Paycheck Chronicles

Using The Exchange Extended Protections Plans

I'm really conflicted about extended protection plans.  They don't seem like they should be a good value.  They're expensive, often more than 25% of the product price, and things just shouldn't break that much.  But, my family has purchased them, and used them, frequently.

Today, my daughter got back her laptop that was repaired, for free, under coverage purchased at the same time we purchased the computer at the Navy Exchange.  For those of you wondering how this coverage works, I thought I'd do a little run-down of the process.  It's really simple and fast.

When we purchased the computer, I went online and registered the computer warranty, including uploading a picture of the receipt.  You don't have to do it when you buy, you can do it later, but I find it easier because that way I don't have to worry about losing the receipt.

Last week, my daughter said she was having trouble with some of the keys not working.  I hopped online and started a claim.  I was then instructed to call the company.  The tech asked a few questions and suggested a troubleshooting technique.  When that did not work, the tech determined that the computer should be sent in.  She informed me that they would be sending a pre-paid box to the house.  The tech suggested that the computer be backed up before being sent in.

Two days later, the box arrived.  It had materials to securely package the laptop, plus a mailing label.  My daughter packed up the computer, taped the box, and applied the label.  We dropped it off at the UPS store just before closing on Thursday night, and the UPS store informed us that it wouldn't be mailed out until Friday.

On Monday, I received an email stating that the computer was received at the repair facility, and a link to tracking its progress.  On Tuesday morning, I checked the status and was surprised, and delighted, to see that the computer had been sent back out on Monday afternoon and was nearly to our house already.  It was delivered mid-day Tuesday and works great.

Maybe we're just really hard on computers here, but we've used the extended warranty on almost every laptop we own.  The extended warranty has been a good purchase for us, and I'm pleased with the ease and speed of the service.  For me, the hardest part is keeping the receipts, and uploading them at purchase eliminates that worry.

I can't definitively say that extended warranties are always good, or always bad, but they're working for this family.

What's your experience been?

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