Add-on Warranty for your Flat Screen TV Purchase: A Good Idea?

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fst-0000001I have never been a fan of buying extended or add-on warranties. We see them being offered almost everywhere you buy stuff— most especially electronic stuff— but I believe they aren’t a practical addition to any of your purchases. At least not most of the time. If you’re buying a flat screen LCD/LED/OLED TV from one of the top brands, I believe you are mostly covered from rare occurrences of any defect as they do offer some form of manufacturer’s warranty. In a 2012 report by CNET, it was indicated that the repair rate among the big brands stands at an estimate of only 4.3% to 4.6% for LCD and plasma units (data was based on Consumer Reports surveys from 2008 to 2012). An aggregate of all the brands (not just the top ones) brings it up to only around 6%.

What this tells us is that these devices are fairly robust and isn’t as fragile as some people think. And consequently, spending additional cash for extended or add-on warranty may be something you won’t need approximately 95% of the time.

The Exception

However, I do admit that, after getting an input from one of this site’s readers, my views have changed somewhat. There may be a good justification for spending a little extra to protect you from the unfortunate hassle getting a lemon entails.

In a previous article I talked about the emergence of inexpensive Ultra-HD 4K flat screen displays along with some newer brands most people have never heard about. One such brand is Seiki which offers large-screened 4K TVs that severely undercut big and popular brands like Sony, LG, Samsung, etc. If you are wondering how reliable these units are in the long run then I must welcome you to the club. Without any track record to base that judgment from, we’ll have to learn as we go with these new kids on the block. And if you’re too worried, one good way to mitigate any risks is to, well, get add-on or extended warranty for your TV purchase!

What is a 4k TV?

Justification: A 50-inch 4K model from Seiki costs just a little over $400 as of last check. Adding a 5-year extended warranty plan for an additional $50 seems pretty fair in this context and you still get to significantly undercut the cheapest of similar models offered by the top manufacturers. A 55-inch Sony 4k model is currently being sold for nearly $4,000!!! For the most practical folks out there, this simply is a no-brainer.

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