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Saturdays 7:45 a.m.
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Sree's Thoughts on Extended Warranties for Gadgets & Computers
ay, May 1, 2003

It isn't just car shopping that's confusing. When you buy almost any electronic gadget these days, the salesman is likely to try to sell you an extended warranty. They can add up to 20 percent more to your purchase price. But are they worth it? The short answer is, it depends on the product.

Keep these factors in mind:

* Extended warranties represent a nice portion of the profits of companies, so it's in their interest to try to force you to get the warranty. It's just like those supersized fries - it costs them very little to offer them to you.

* Check to see who will be doing the repair - the manufacturer or the store.

* Check who pays for the shipping from your house to the repair place and back. It can add up. Insist they pay.

* Check to see if routine wear-and-tear is covered. It should be.

* Check to see if 24-hour telephone support is included.

* Check to see if in-home repair is available - important if you are dealing with large products, such as projection TVs and such. You don't want to be paying the high cost of shipping. But it's not just the cost. The hassle of packing and shipping large items is just not worth it.

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