Finance · Product Comparision

Know before you buy: Store Protection Plans


cracked screenCurrently we are in the season of shopping and many of us are going to buy new cell phones, tablets, computers, televisions and accessories. Many retailers offer a protection plan for those items at an additional cost. Many people wonder if the store protection plan is worth the additional money. The short answer to that is yes and no. In all reality it depends on who the item is for and the kind of device you are trying to protect. Devices that are likely going to remain stationary such as a television, gaming console, or surround sound system are not worth buying a store protection plan. The life of those devices are usually at least 6 years minimum. The longest absolute longest store warranty/ protection plan I have ever seen is for 3 years. Stationary devices are typically going to continue to work without fail in normal conditions the first few years. The store  protection plan would likely be a waste of a few hundred dollars. In the event you did acquire the one odd TV that stops working in 6 months then at least there would be the manufacturer’s warranty to cover the issue.

For mobile devices then a store protection plan with drop and spill protection is well worth the money depending upon the person the device is given. To clarify a mobile device would be something like a cell phone, tablet, laptop, hand-held gaming system like a Nintendo DSI, or expensive headsets. I know a few people who are magnets for accidents. Liquids seem to immediately be drawn to any electronic in their vicinity. The power they posses to create electronic calamity knows no bounds. Waterproof cell phones and tablets are not even safe in their presence. These particular people manage to drop their devices on the rockiest terrain in the middle of a metropolitan city. For those kinds of people store protection plans with drop and spill protection is a must.

You have likely heard others advise you not to buy store warranties and that you automatically get amanufacturer’s warranty for a year. To put things into perspective. Manufactures warranties typically only cover a few issues and require sending the item in for repair. If its something like a laptop the shipping can be quite expensive. Very few manufactures will pay for the shipping. Manufacturers then usually take about six weeks to repair the item before mailing it back to you. Most of us are not willing to be without our devices for 6-8 to weeks for repair. Manufacturer warranties NEVER cover those accidental drops and spills. Lets be honest in most cases where there is damage to a mobile device, it is usually due to dropping it or spilling something on it.

Children, older family members, and the accident prone are perfect candidates for store protection plans with drop and spill protection. Most retailers will either replace the device that day or repair it in a weeks time. For example, if you purchase a device like a $400 laptop for a clumsy teenager and you purchase the store  protection plan for 2-3 years is usually about $100. Imagine if you didn’t purchase the protection plan and your child spills a bottle of water on it 3 months later. The manufacturer would not fix it; because most manufacturers do not cover repair from personal negligence and the retailer would not allow you to return the laptop. Hence the only option would be to take the laptop into a local repair shop that will likely charge $100 or more to repair it, with no future guarantee. It is better purchase the protection plan and not have to hover over you child out of fear they are going to drop or spill something on their device. Peace of mind is almost priceless. Happy Savings!!