Always willing to try things out for my readers (and because my family finds itself in lots of interesting situations), I thought I should share my recent experience with the extended warranty coverage offered by the military exchanges.
My family is really hard on electronics. I don't know if they aren't making them as well as they used to, or if we are just terribly awful people who don't take care of our stuff, but the average lifetime of an electronic device here is really short. Laptops, headphones, music players - I think they should last 10 years and it seems like they rarely make it a year. (I might be exaggerating a little...)
As a result, I've started purchasing those often-maligned extended warranties on our small electronics. And so far, they've paid off. I had one computer's body completely rebuilt, and I got a large check for another computer that just never worked right. I've made claims on headphones whose wire came out after only a month, and all sorts of other issues. It's worked out well for us overall, but this last experience was just amazing.
During a car trip, the combination of some carelessness, plus darkness and an overstuffed vehicle resulted in one child sitting on the other child's computer. While it looked fine, there was some internal damage to the screen. I knew it had coverage, and because of a previous experience, I suspected they would send me a check. I called a local computer repair company to see how much screen replacement might cost and was quoted $150 to $250 dollars. On a $329 computer. Sigh.
I logged onto the extended warranty company's website and entered the information to make a claim. I was surprised when they said that they would send me a box to send the computer to a repair facility. The next day I got a great box with a prepaid label. I dropped the packaged computer at the UPS store on Tuesday afternoon of this week. On Wednesday morning, I received an email that the computer was fixed and was being shipped back, and it arrived mid-day today (Thursday.) It was just about 48 hours from the time I sent the computer off to the time the repaired computer came back to me. Amazing.
Obviously, not all extended warranties are created equal, and not all situations will work out this well. For us, these extended warranties through the military exchanges have been a great investment. Both the Navy Exchange system and the AAFES system use the same company, Asurion. Their service has been excellent and I've never had to fight to make a claim. I am pretty sure I will continue to make my computer purchases at the Exchanges specifically because of the excellent service I've received from their warranty company.
Nice job, Asurion!