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Thread: Buying store's extended warranty

  1. #1

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    Buying store's extended warranty

    Does anyone buy the store's extended warranty? After much thought, I am going to purchase a Canon Speedlite 430EX-II which only has a 1 year warranty from Canon. I was just wondering if the store warranties were worth it. One year is around $43.00.

  2. #2
    Scott Stephen's Avatar
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    Re: Buying store's extended warranty

    Personally, I never do that with anything, and I would be especially uninterested in doing that with a Canon speedlite. If you did get a lemon, it would probably be apparent well within the 1st year. If it is not a lemon, then it should last a hobbyist 10 years no problem.

  3. #3
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Buying store's extended warranty

    These are the stores biggest money makers. These devices generally have problems shortly after purchase well within the warranty period and after that settle in for a very long service life. The stores sell these and hardly every need to pay out.

    I tried one of these with a major big box store for a non-photo device and the store refused to honour the warranty and said the only way the device could have failed was through misuse. Not worth ever getting one.

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    Re: Buying store's extended warranty

    It depends on the item. I purchased a third-party 7-year warranty on a factory-refurbished Nikon 70-300 VR lens. The lens only gets a few months warranty from Nikon as a refurb, but the 70-300 has a history of mechanical problems after a few years' use. I got the warranty for something like $30 as I recall, and it seemed like cheap insurance to me. But, for most things, I don't get the extended warranty.

  5. #5

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    Re: Buying store's extended warranty

    Thanks so much for everyone's input. Believe I'll skip it.

  6. #6
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: Buying store's extended warranty

    Jeannie,

    To be honest, at that price, I would definitely not buy that warranty. The term for that rate is ridiculous.

    However, what I do suggest is that you give your insurance agent a call. See what they can do for you to put together a separate rider on your home owners insurance to cover specifically your camera equipment (usually smart on your more expensive jewelry too!). In my case, I get all my equipment covered for something like $1 per year per $100 worth of equipment through State Farm (don't quote me on that price, I could be wrong, as far as it could be double that, but even still!). And according to my insurance agent, I'm covered for pretty much everything that way - including if I would drop my camera in the toilet (he doesn't want to know why or how I would drop my camera in the toilet, but it would be covered). I think you'll find that you can get all of your camera equipment covered for a much better price than you could get this single flash covered with this in-store warranty.

    Hope this helps!

    - Bill

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Buying store's extended warranty

    I once purchased a warranty on a non-photo item through a major third party warranty provider. When the item failed during the warranty period, I could never get service from that company. I have never since purchased an extended warranty from a third party supplier.

    I definitely would not pay $43 for an extended one-year warranty on a flash unit!

    BTW: I buy my Canon cameras now as Canon Factory Refurbished units. They only come wih a 90-day warranty; unless purchased from Adorama which extends the Canon warranty to a full year with an Adorama warranty.

    I crunch the numbers when deciding if I want to purchase a Canon refurbished item through Adorama or directly from Canon.

    Adorama will provide an additional 9-months of warranty, usually provides free shipping and will not charge state sales tax unless you live in New York State wherein Adorama is located.

    Canon provides a 90-day warranty (usually quite sufficient), charges shipping (amount depending upon the item) and also charges state sales tax (predicated on the state of residence of the purchaser).

    I will decide after number crunching which is the best buy, Canon or Adorama. However, make sure that the item is an authentic Canon Factory Refurbished item. Some brick and mortar stores do a cursory look over returned items and sell them as "refurbished". A Canon refurbished item will be in a white box and will be marked as a Canon Factory Refurbished Item.

    NOTE: I was unable to find a Factory Refurbished 580EX ii from Canon or Adorama...

    However, I have not had any problems with any refurbished gear. I agree that if a piece of electronic photographic equipment such as a SLR or flash is to fail, it will do so within the first 90-days or so...

    BTW: I would definitely make sure that if I included my photo gear as a rider on my home owners insurance, that the rider would be a separate policy and not connected by claims to my home owner's rates. I would hate to make a claim for a relatively cheap item like a flash and have that clain increase the total premiums for my home owner's insurance. That could possibly cost far more than I could get from any claim for a flash unit...

  8. #8
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: Buying store's extended warranty

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    BTW: I would definitely make sure that if I included my photo gear as a rider on my home owners insurance, that the rider would be a separate policy and not connected by claims to my home owner's rates. I would hate to make a claim for a relatively cheap item like a flash and have that clain increase the total premiums for my home owner's insurance. That could possibly cost far more than I could get from any claim for a flash unit...
    Actually - I guess I misspoke when I said it was a rider on my home-owners. It is indeed its own policy. It does not fall under the home-owners deductible, and would not impact the home-owners rate if I needed to make a claim.

    - Bill

  9. #9
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Buying store's extended warranty

    Take a look at http://www.businessweek.com/stories/...ranty-windfall. Although the information is dated now it is clear those retailers rarely have to make good on warrantees and that warrantees can account for as much as 45% of a retail store's total yearly profit.

  10. #10

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    Re: Buying store's extended warranty

    Thanks for all the info!! Appreciate the info about Adorama and also about an insurance rider...very good idea.

  11. #11
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: Buying store's extended warranty

    How about a view from the other side.

    I sell photographic equipment every day and I get photographic equipment back every day that has either failed or been in an accident.
    If is has failed within the year (two with some brands in the UK) then all is well and good, your Manufacturers Warranty will cover the costs. If it is outside of the first year and it has failed you may still have a claim (in the EU) but getting the repair done at no coats is very, very difficult in most cases.

    If the equipment has been involved in an accident then its another matter all together. I get people in all the time who believe that the camera they have dropped, smashed the screen or bent the lens on etc should be fixed under their warranty - it won't be. This is where insurance or shop care plans come in. If you have a very robust home insurance policy then you likely don't need a shop bought one - but - the shop one won't have an excess and it won't affect your following years premiums so check your home contents insurance policy carefully before saying no. In many cases the shop plans are very good value, but it will depend on the item being covered. I would always say to get them on your day-to-day compact cameras as these get used by everyone in the family, get taken to parties, the beach, holidays...you name it and have a very rough life. The likely hood that they will get damaged is very high and the 15-40 cost of a care plan is better than a typical 50 excess on a home policy. If you have a small range of DSLR based photographic equipment then the shop route may still be a good option, its when you start to build up a bigger kit that proper and very robust insurance needs to be looked into. It will need to cover the total cost of a replacement - often many thousands of pounds - and it will need to be from a big firm. Remember photographic repairs have limited choices of repair agents and the cost is typically very high.


    What I can say is we send equipment away every week under the care plans we sell, it is always fixed at no cost to the customer and it is still in place for the remainder of the policy time when the customer gets their working camera back. I have a great number of happy customers because they took it out.

  12. #12

    Re: Buying store's extended warranty

    Quote Originally Posted by black pearl View Post
    This is where insurance or shop care plans come in.
    Entirely true. The issue however is that the shop care plans are almost always far more expensive that getting insurance. Assorted consumer reports have repeatedly confirmed this. Stores get a large commission on these warranties and its the customer who is paying that. Insurance via a standard insurance company (or a specialist photographic equipment policy if you have a lot of kit) is simply better value.

  13. #13
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Buying store's extended warranty

    A couple of points. Insurance works by calculating the average payout and then adding profit. Therefore, the average purchaser has to lose money, or the insurer can't stay in business. This is fine when you are really buying insurance for what it was originally designed for: protecting you against risks that are too large for you to comfortably handle yourself. I hope to lose money on fire insurance my whole life, but I will always buy it. For this reason, I only rarely buy extended warranties on anything.

    Second, some credit cards will double the manufacturer's warranty. check yours.

    Third, re this:

    I get people in all the time who believe that the camera they have dropped, smashed the screen or bent the lens on etc should be fixed under their warranty - it won't be. This is where insurance or shop care plans come in.
    Not necessarily. Check carefully what risks are covered and excluded. For example, a couple of years ago, I accidentally dropped an expensive lens while changing lenses on the shore of a lake. The lens went into the lake and was ruined. I contacted my insurance company, because my homeowner's policy has no limitations pertaining explicitly to photographic equipment. However, the terms of the policy don't cover--for any class of property--my stupidly dropping something into a lake. The agent found a more tactful way to say this. I then read the contract, and she was correct. Another example: when my daughter was younger, I bought the carrier's insurance on her phone. One year, she dropped it, and it slid into a sewer. End of phone. It turned out, however, that the insurance contract prorated the coverage, so the payout to us was very low. We did not save any money and might have lost a bit.

    So all in all, I virtually never buy extended warranties on photographic equipment. Electronics usually, although not always, fail quite quickly if they fail at all. (An exception: a fault in one of the circuit boards of my 50D took several years to reveal itself.) And as tedious as it is, read the contract.

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