Like most readers of Consumerist, Adam is cynical about extended warranties. However, he writes that he had a surprisingly good experience with a SquareTrade warranty that he purchased, and wanted to share.
Back in 2007 I purchased a new Samsung home theater in a box on eBay. The price and specs were exactly what I wanted but I read some bad reviews that the electronic dimmer would go bad in some of these. Usually I send the Square Trade emails to SPAM but this time I figured that a 3 year warranty for under 50 bucks would be what a new dimmer would cost and I might as well just buy it (The unit was under 400). Fast forward 3 years later and no problems with the dimmer but the unit began making an intermittent noise. I filed an easy online claim with Square Trade which denied the claim since intermittent noises are not covered per the fine print (overall I think this is a reasonable policy). A few weeks later my unit was out of warranty but the noise turned into a growl which literally shook the unit and wasn’t going away any more. I called the toll free number and spoke to Mark (who ironically also denied my previous claim). Without having to hold Mark went through some basic troubleshooting steps and standard questions. After 5 minutes on the phone Mark determined the problem could not be fixed and it would be too expensive to actually ship the unit. However, since they had record of the problem beginning to occur before the warranty date Square Trade will send a Paypal for the original cost of the unit less the shipping charges I paid to the eBay seller.
Although I was extremely skeptical of Square Trade before this, I will now be purchasing the coverage alongside all of my online purchases. Good Job!
We normally don’t advise buying extended warranties (after all, you can make your own at home), but in some cases it can be a good idea. Manufacturer’s warranties often don’t apply for items purchased on eBay, and in this case, Adam also researched the failure rate and decided that he was better off with one. Kudos to Squaretrade for going above and beyond and replacing the unit.