Extended Warranties Could Spare Some Holiday Hangovers
If you shelled out a lot of money for a new HDTV or 4K Ultra HDTV this holiday season, you should expect your investment to give you many years of enjoyment, but sadly, that’s not always the case, and sometimes a good deal on the right extended warranty either during the purchase or up to 60 days after the purchase can bring you peace of mind down the road.
Most HDTVs can be considered quite reliable, with big-name brands like Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic scoring high marks on consumer surveys. But even though most of today’s HDTVs have a 7-10 year life expectancy, you could end up owning one with a problem that requires a costly repair. Don’t panic: We’re going to outline the steps you should take when you make your purchase to guard against this eventuality.
We consider small TVs that sell for under $200 more or less disposable, but big screen models cost real money. If you’re on a fixed income, or plan to finance your purchase, we strongly recommend sticking with brands that have an excellent reputation for product reliability and customer service. JD Power’s most recent customer satisfaction survey gave top performance and reliability marks to Samsung for both its HDTVs smaller than 50 inches and HDTVs 50 inches and larger. In general, some other brands tend to rate below average in some of our readers’ estimations for reliability and service performance, as comments on some of HDGuru.com’s warning and recall news stories will attest.
If you’re worried that you won’t be able to afford a major repair during the first few years of HDTV ownership, here’s what we recommend.
• Pay for your TV using an American Express, MasterCard , or a Visa Signature card (must be Signature-type Visa card). These three options offer a free doubling of the manufacturer’s warranty for up to one year parts and labor (most new HDTVs come with a one-year factory warranty).
• If you can’t obtain one of the above cards, or want to take advantage of a store’s free financing deal—or simply desire longer-term peace of mind—a SquareTrade extended warranty from Costco is a real deal that big screen HDTV and UHDTV buyers should not pass up!
Costco now offers a SquareTrade three-year extended warranty for $89.99 on any television $1000 and up. They also offer a 3-year warranty for $29.99 for TVs costing less than $500, or $59.99 for TVs costing from $500 to $1000 . Some restrictions apply: You must buy the TV from an authorized dealer (or Costco), and the plan must be added within 60 days of your purchase. The three-year warranty comes on top of the manufacturer’s own warranty. For example, Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, and LG HDTVs come with a 12-month parts and labor warranty, so that’s 4 years total with the SquareTrade plan added.
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Another option is to get one of Hisense’s new Ultra HDTVs or ULED 4K UHD TVs that come with a 2-year factory warranty, plus two additional years (four years altogether) after registering the warranty on their website.
We compared TV prices from Best Buy and Amazon (with UPP link they are about the same) along with the Best Buy Geek Squad protection plan pricing and the SquareTrade/Costco deal on TVs above $1000. SquareTrade warranties are also available directly through the SquareTrade web site and as an add-on to a TV sale made through Amazon, and we’ve included the Amazon price for corresponding SquareTrade warranties. You’ll find significant savings purchasing the SquareTrade warranty from Costco as a member, even if you purchased the TV from another dealer. You’ll also find in some cases huge savings compared to buying the TV and a Geek Squad protection plan from Best Buy. Here are a few examples:
Samsung 65JU6700: Amazon ($1797.99); (BB) $1799.99; BB Geek Squad 5-year total plan ($269.99); Costco member 4-year total plan ($89.99); 5-year SquareTrade protection plan purchased through Amazon ($172.68)
Samsung 65JS9500: Amazon ($3,997.99); BB ($3,999.99); BB Geek Squad 4-year total plan ($799.99); Costco member SquareTrade 4-year total plan ($89.99); 5-year SquareTrade protection plan purchased through Amazon ($237.45).
LG 65EF9500: Amazon ($4,997.99); BB ($4,999.98); BB Geek Squad 5-year total plan ($999.99); Costco member SquareTrade 4-year total plan ($89.99); 5-year SquareTrade protection plan purchased through Amazon ($239.99).
Sony XBR-65X930C: Amazon ($2,998.00); BB ($2,999.98); BB Geek Squad 5-year total plan ($599.99); Costco member SquareTrade 4-year total protection plan ($89.99), 5-year SquareTrade protection plan purchased through Amazon ($224.48).
Sony XBR-55X850C: Amazon ($1,198.99); BB ($1,999.99); BB 5-year total plan ($249.99); Costco member SquareTrade 4-year total plan ($89.99); 5-year SquareTrade protection plan purchased through Amazon ($180.41).
Bottom Line: The price for the Costco SquareTrade protection plan is so low, we can’t see why anyone would pass it up.
Note: prices are correct as of posting and may change at any time, please verify with our links. This was an updated version of an earlier article posted on HD Guru.com.
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