American Express Extended Warranty Protection Buys You A New Laptop

Sick of listening to us tell you not to buy the extended warranty at Best Buy? Listen to this: David first wrote to us back in December about a laptop he’d purchased for his sister-in-law as a Christmas gift the year before. The laptop, a Compaq, had simply stopped working two weeks after its one-year warranty (from date of purchase) had ended. David found this especially frustrating, because his sister-in-law had not even opened the laptop until Christmas. From David’s email:

So I dug out the receipt and she called Compaq/HP. She told them everything and they said it needed to be sent in for repair and that they WOULD cover it under the 1 year warranty. So she had me fax them the receipt. When she called back they said that they WOULD NOT cover it.

Now I am mad. So I called back this morning and went through the whole thing with several layers of managers and what not all saying no. I find this absolutely ridiculous…is there anything I can do? Should I contact HP non-support customer service? I just find this so ridiculous. I literally could have bought the laptop a week later, still given it to her on Christmas, and thus it would have broken the same time, and it would be covered.

After a bit of research, we knew David had pretty much exhausted his options with Compaq, but there was still hope. Even without an extended warranty, we helped David get his laptop replaced. How? Read our response to David and his success story inside.

The Consumerist writes:

David,

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Technically, you are past the one year warranty and they don’t have to help you. The way I see it, you have two options.

1) You can try to get in touch with a supervisor and plead your case. Play the Christmas card. (No pun intended.) You might find someone sympathetic who will help you out. They are not obligated to help, so be nice.

2) If you bought the laptop with a credit card, you might not have any problems at all, which is why we always, always, always suggest you buy large tech items with a credit card. Say, for example, you had a Citi Mastercard:

“Extended Warranty is a special benefit offered to Citi

Platinum and Gold MasterCard

Cardmembers. This service enables you to make a claim for repairs if the original manufacturer’s warranty has expired on an item you purchased on your MasterCard card. Your claim must be made within the Citibank

Extended Warranty period (double the time of the manufacturer’s warranty, up to one additional year). No registration is necessary.”

You can submit your info to Citi and make a claim for repairs through them. Lots of credit cards have this. If you don’t have a card that does, we suggest you get one specifically for this type of purchase. You don’t need to carry a balance on it to be eligible for this program, and you don’t need to register.

Some debit cards also have the Extended Warranty benefit. You might want to check to see if yours does.

Please let me know if this advice helped you. If you get your laptop repaired we’d love to post your story! Good luck and keep in touch.

Yours,

Meghann

David writes:

Meghann,

I wanted to follow up with you concerning our emails copied below to let you know that your help was incredible. I have an American Express Rewards card that I use for everything. I love the customer service from Amex and the fact that I have to pay it off every month keeps me out of the credit card debt problem (which I luckily just dug out of).

Thus, your wonderful response reminded me that I bought the computer with my Amex which should have the extended warranty for products. I called them up and sure enough, they would take care of it. I just had to take it into a shop to be diagnosed. After that just fax in the report and receipt, and since they were giving me a full refund on the computer, the computer itself. They even said they would cover the cost of the diagnosis!

It took a little over a month to get everything taken care of and the proper authorizations, but I now have been credited the full cost of the computer plus tax and can go get a brand new computer.

I am more than impressed with Amex and eternally grateful to you and the Consumerist for reminding me of this wonderful service available to me.

Thanks,

David

David was able to get the full cost of his computer refunded to him without paying for an extended warranty. He also had an excellent experience dealing with American Express, in clear contrast with his experience with both Best Buy’s Geek Squad and Compaq.

This could be you! Be sure you know what benefits are offered to you as a credit card/debit card holder. Take advantage of them! Card holder benefits can make your life easier, and as we’ve seen here, they can save you a lot of money. Just be sure to use credit wisely, lest the cost outweigh the benefits.—MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo:robertpaulyoung)