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View Full Version : Best Buy extended warrantee on an HDTV?


Kickaha
2010-12-01, 18:13
Ok, so usually these things are utter crap, and a ripoff. The only extended warrantee I've ever purchased before is for MacBooks - they get a lot of abuse, and they're expensive to fix.

Well, I'm buying my first flat panel TV. A coworker had his die *four times* on him in three years, and Best Buy took care of it in his house each time. He swears by the extended warrantee.

Without it, I have to ship the bloody thing off to the manufacturer... and it's a 50" Panasonic. Not really easy to ship. Or cheap.

OTOH, Panasonic makes good kit, and this is one of their high end panels.

But it would be a bitch to repair.

But... but... it's a Best Buy extended warrantee.

I'm confused.

Advice?

turtle
2010-12-01, 18:30
Would you be willing to throw that money out the windows right now to be sure you didn't have a problem over the next few years? If so get it. If you are against plans in general don't. Either the cards will fall so you get a unit needing repair or they won't.

Chance...

For me it depents on the cost of the plan to the cost of the item. $260 for a $2200 MBP, ok. $300 for a $850 HP, no. What are your costs in this?

Elysium
2010-12-01, 18:30
I'd go for a third party Mack warranty instead. I think you can get a discount through some featured providers on AVS forums.

Generally the low-end TVs and all electronics are the ones that need the warranty.

I purchased a warranty via the suggestions above on my tv two years ago. Still haven't needed to use it yet.

PKIDelirium
2010-12-01, 18:57
I've used BB warranties a couple times, had to use it to get my iPod Touch 2G replaced with a refurb through it last month.

May be better off with Mack for a big ticket item though like a TV or camera. My 3 year plan on my new DSLR through a local camera shop is a Mack plan.

torifile
2010-12-01, 19:42
Can you afford to get it fixed/replaced if it needs it? Or is the lower cost of the plan compared to the expected cost of a repair more important to you? I tend to take my chances since if I needed to I could afford to repair the item. I haven't regretted that decision yet. (Knock on wood!)

As you, the only extended warranties I ever purchase are on laptops (or all-in-ones which are essentially laptops). And that's actually to help with my resale value and not because I think I might need it.

RowdyScot
2010-12-01, 19:44
<---Best Buy Employee, but seriously not a pushy one. Unlike a lot of people at Best Buy, I try to know the service plans inside and out so I can be honest with customers.

Is it the 50" 3D Plasma? I typically don't worry about LED TVs needing the GSBTP, but plasmas, even the newer high-end ones, always worry me. The rate of things going wrong on plasmas is much higher. Most of the issues one ever hears about with HDTVs are caused by dumb moves like plugging them directly into the wall or into an ancient surge protector, however. If for nothing else, spend some money on a good surge protector, and you likely will never need something like the GSBTP. Plasmas don't have the frequency of issues they used to, but it is still higher than LCDs or LEDs, and the 3D Plasmas haven't been out long enough to see for sure (same as buying a first-gen Mac, frankly). I'd say you could get by with the 2-year GSBTP, and if nothing happens, have that be it. Spring for a surge protector, though. At the least, get one that regulates voltage. Unlike Monster and their typical shady claims, Panamax is solid. A lower-end Panamax will do better than a Monster.

gsxrboy
2010-12-01, 20:01
Do you have a gold/platinum credit card?

Generally they offer a year extra (past the manus standard warranty, so could be 1+1, 2+1, 3+1 etc) extended warranty when buying a product using it.

Check your credit card provider info!

turtle
2010-12-01, 20:10
I've heard some bad stories about people trying to actually cash in on those perks to the credit card. It might not be worth the hassle if it's anything like I've heard.

Robo
2010-12-01, 20:42
I know this is not at all what you asked, so you don't have to answer if you don't want to, but it's an honest question: is there a reason you're purchasing the TV at Best Buy?

Amazon has Panasonic's GT25 for $1,000 less than Best Buy's VT25 (and of course it comes with the free 3D starter kit and 3D Blu-ray player and Avatar, which you can sell on eBay for megabucks if you don't need it now). They're not the same set, of course, but they're probably not $1,000 apart, either...

gsxrboy
2010-12-01, 21:50
I've heard some bad stories about people trying to actually cash in on those perks to the credit card. It might not be worth the hassle if it's anything like I've heard.

Good and the bad with anything though :)

Here's the good I've experienced :-

Free repairs to a 2 + year old Yamaha receiver for me.
Free repairs to a 1 + year old LG tv for the folks.

Maybe .au companies are easier to deal with, certainly our banks make enough money... but that's another story.

RowdyScot
2010-12-01, 22:18
I know this is not at all what you asked, so you don't have to answer if you don't want to, but it's an honest question: is there a reason you're purchasing the TV at Best Buy?

Amazon has Panasonic's GT25 for $1,000 less than Best Buy's VT25 (and of course it comes with the free 3D starter kit and 3D Blu-ray player and Avatar, which you can sell on eBay for megabucks if you don't need it now). They're not the same set, of course, but they're probably not $1,000 apart, either...

The GT25 has documented unstable black levels, false 24p (some Blu-Rays may flicker slightly, and yes, it is noticeable in comparison to actual 24p), and slower phosphors (meaning worse 2D - again, noticeable in a side-by-side comparison). I don't know if I'd say it's worth the full $1000 in difference, but it is worth a good chunk of that, or at least it would be to me, personally. Now, would you know it if you bought the GT25 without a direct side-by-side comparison watching the same 3D/2D Blu-Ray on the VT25? Probably not.

Robo
2010-12-01, 23:06
The GT25 has documented unstable black levels, false 24p (some Blu-Rays may flicker slightly, and yes, it is noticeable in comparison to actual 24p), and slower phosphors (meaning worse 2D - again, noticeable in a side-by-side comparison). I don't know if I'd say it's worth the full $1000 in difference, but it is worth a good chunk of that, or at least it would be to me, personally. Now, would you know it if you bought the GT25 without a direct side-by-side comparison watching the same 3D/2D Blu-Ray on the VT25? Probably not.

Agreed. The difference in MSRP between the two models is $500. For $500 more I'd consider going with the VT25, but for a full grand more...well, let's just say it better knock my socks off in-store. :D

RowdyScot
2010-12-02, 00:42
True, Robo - and that's a fair way to assess it.

Regardless, get a good surge protector that will actually protect what you buy, Kick. That's honestly the best advice I can give. Beyond that, the models are a bit too new of technology with the better Panasonics to know what sorts of issues, if any, they could have down the road. I've not seen any come back in my Best Buy, nor have I heard any complaints, but I'd go for covering my ass because they're so recently released technology. I know the idea isn't always nice to think of with extended warranties, but if you're going to make the investment, you should do whatever you are willing to protect it. If that's just a good surge protector, it should be enough barring horrible design flaws yet to be seen. If more, you may not use it, but there's a peace of mind should anything happen.

Kickaha
2010-12-02, 00:51
APC UPS is the first thing it was plugged into... I did, however, think it not worth putting on battery backup. ;)

It's the G20 panel, decided not to go first-gen 3D, point taken about relative costs, I'll check again how much the plan is. Will also look into the Mack plans, thanks.

bassplayinMacFiend
2010-12-02, 10:30
I bought a GE 4 year extended warranty when I bought my DLP (not from Best Buy). Spent about $400 on it.

A little over 3.5 years later, a shadow appeared on my screen. Called the 800 number and within 2 weeks they had repaired my TV (in-house, the wait was for parts). If I didn't have the extended warranty I would've paid $900 out of pocket.

Maciej
2010-12-02, 17:36
Spring for a surge protector, though. At the least, get one that regulates voltage. Unlike Monster and their typical shady claims, Panamax is solid. A lower-end Panamax will do better than a Monster.

Yikes, their stuff is pricey!

torifile
2010-12-02, 19:34
I bought a GE 4 year extended warranty when I bought my DLP (not from Best Buy). Spent about $400 on it.

A little over 3.5 years later, a shadow appeared on my screen. Called the 800 number and within 2 weeks they had repaired my TV (in-house, the wait was for parts). If I didn't have the extended warranty I would've paid $900 out of pocket.
Well if you had put that $400 in AAPL 3.5 years ago, you could have bought 3.5 shares translating into roughly $1120 today. It's all about opportunity cost. :)

RowdyScot
2010-12-02, 19:52
Yikes, their stuff is pricey!

Let's just say I've personally witnessed their $300 surge protector in action vs. Monster's. Monster's caught on fire, had parts actually explode, and there was no way in hell it protected a thing. Panamax's just shut everything down and that was that.

Maciej
2010-12-02, 22:13
Oh I believe you. In the last month we've had a lot of strange power surges and outages so I've been strongly considering getting better power strips and battery backups for my most valuable stuff. Good tip rowdy!

bassplayinMacFiend
2010-12-03, 14:13
Oh I believe you. In the last month we've had a lot of strange power surges and outages so I've been strongly considering getting better power strips and battery backups for my most valuable stuff. Good tip rowdy!

If you're going to spend hundreds of dollars, get a power conditioner, like a UPS. Provides clean power no matter what's coming out of the wall, and provides battery backup so you can cleanly power down your home theater (especially important for DLP owners as it keeps the bulb fan running).

Kickaha
2011-03-08, 00:01
*bump*

Just ran across something that may help others in the same boat.

I have a 2009 Mac mini hooked up to my plasma via MiniDisplayPort... and the signal has *SUCKED*. Dark regions are blotted out black, bright regions are washed out blindingly bright. Nothing I did with contrast, brightness, display calibration, *nothing* helped with this. THX mode made it worse. I knew it was the signal from the mini, because the VieraCast system includes Netflix. Playing it directly on the TV, it looked pretty good. Playing it through Safari on the mini? *Horrible*.

Finally found the solution.

Deep in the guts of the TV setup, was a setting for how many bits of the HDMI signal were being utilized. Apparently, it's standard for HDMI to ignore the bottom 15, and the top 15 bits of the 0-255 range.

I set it to explicitly use the 'non-standard' 0-255, and... voila. Dark areas and bright areas each popped into place. Re-calibrated, and... freaking gorgeous.

Hope this helps anyone else.

alcimedes
2011-03-08, 00:33
Granted this is way late, but wouldn't you specifically want to have it plugged into the battery backup portion of the UPS to maintain steady voltage even when power dips, not just the spikes?

joveblue
2011-03-09, 04:44
Also way late but I thought I'd throw in my 2c, and keep in mind this is coming from someone from the insurance industry.

Extended warranties, like other forms of insurance is essentially like gambling in a casino where the house always wins. On a house or car, it's going to be hard to finance out of pocket when you lose a hand. So insure them because you're screwed without them, but avoid the bells and whistles. Health and travel insurance are also no-brainers, but again, don't pay more than you really need it

For anything else, you're going to be able to manage without too much trouble if you can manage your finances effectively. Compare:

Put $1000 (for illustrative purposes) into extended warranties. The retail store takes about a 20% margin (guesstimate) and passes $800 along to the underwriter. The underwriter takes another 20% margin (guesstimate) and the remaining $640 of your money goes into the insurance pool. In other words, for every $1 you put into extended warranties, you could expect to see around $0.64 back on average, on the above math. It's a very poor gamble. At least on roulette you could expect to see $0.947 back.

On the other hand, putting enough money to cover any unexpected costs that come up throughout life into a high interest savings account or a diversified share portfolio and earn returns on it, seems like a much more sensible idea to me :)