Wait for it. The question is sure to accompany the pricey laptop you’re about to buy: “Do you want to purchase the extended warranty on this?”
The thought of paying more for something already high priced often is met with a resounding “No.”
When purchasing expensive items like computers, electronics and appliances, even vehicles, most consumers forgo additional protection plans, sometimes called extended warranties or express warranties, because the factory warranty usually covers most repairs. For years, editors at the nonprofit Consumer Reports magazine have said don’t spend your money.
The consumer advocacy organization based in Yonkers, New York, has given similar advice on warranties for appliances, autos, desktop computers, tablets and televisions. Its 2019 laptop computer extended warranty survey found that most repairs are made while items are still covered under factory warranties, not extended warranties or service contracts.
Insurance and repair costs are similar
The median cost of an extended warranty or service contract is about the same as the median cost of a single repair, says Christopher Raymond, Consumer Reports’ deputy technology editor, noting that extended warranties might make sense for small, portable items like smartphones.
“The bottom line: If you have a habit of dropping your phone, it might make sense to spring for the added protection,” he says. “Otherwise, put the money into your savings account just in case you need it. The stats say you’ll probably get to keep it.”
Liz Weston, a columnist for popular personal finance site NerdWallet, echoes Raymond’s sentiment.