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Old 08-15-2010, 09:47 AM   #1
smallhagrid
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Exclamation New reader ? Get a GOOD warranty. Seriously.

Time to post about something I learned 1st hand while the Cooler Reader firmware is percolating into the Mentor...

Handhelds of any sort take a beating - portables in general all do.
New tech products tend to be iffy in lots of ways too and one nightmare is when a person gets a wonderful new widget, and finds after most of a year when it fails that the MFG. warranty is rubbish because either the company has folded or been snarfed up by Big Corp, Inc. who no longer honours it.

Enter the extended warranty...and here is what I have learned - personally:

Kmart (the one I've used the most).
Having bought stuff at Kmart and gotten theirs, as long as it is registered online soon after purchase, if/when the thing fails it is a joy to use.
All it takes is one phone call and soon after a check appears as if by magic in the mail. Simple, easy, quick.
A great answer to 'iffy' tech purchases.

NewEgg (via their mysterious child company)...
Sucks.
Newegg itself is mostly great - but their extended warranty is pure h*ll to use and or collect on - and they seem to be 'replacement ONLY'.
1 - No contract EVER arrived - they take the funds, but to use the thing you MUST have the contract number, which they will NOT provide via phone.
2 - Contacting the warranty co. (with long hold times...) is a great way to spend some time finding out that you need to speak with Newegg 1st.
3 - Newegg says they'll email the contract. Then they don't.
4 - Calling back exposes how they 'suddenly' can provide the contract number via phone...it's a miracle !!!
5 - Trying to do the warranty online is a wash - the contract number is not recognized and you must call them...
6 - The next call seems to work - and they ask ALOT of questions trying to trip you up, then finally email you a UPS shipping label with the following instructions provided verbally ONLY:
-You must box up ALL cables/adapters/cords which belong to the unit.
-If any are attached you must cut them off.
-This is the proof they require - you dispose of the unit however you like.
7 - The UPS label arrives unprintable as a misnamed GIF file attachment and after fiddling around with it a while it can be more or less printed at the right size and readable enough to use.
8 - It then takes a week for it to reach their place.
9 - At some unspecified time after that it will be processed and they will arrange for a replacement to be sent - new or used, and with no further warranty coverage remaining as this ends your contract coverage.
WAY more work and time than I want to put into such a thing !
Also. the firm impression I get is that they really do anything/everything possible to prevent the buyer from having and/or using their warranty.
I will NOT use Newegg's add-on warranty again. Ever.

Square Trade.
Easy. Pleasant. Fast.
Buy a thing (REALLY EASY if it is bought via Ebay !) - go to their site - fill in a few details - get a warranty and a confirming email. That's all.
Claiming it is so easy as to be a pleasure.
Call, answer a few questions, specify either a Paypal or check disbursement - and you get it, pronto either momentarily via Paypal, or a check by mail.
No resistance, wasted time, or complications.

The ONE detail which is important is that the item MUST either come from Ebay and be in a category they cover, OR have a US-based warranty to begin with, no matter how short in duration.

The above is what stopped me COLD from getting my next e-reader via DealExtreme - no warranty - no deal !!!

However, here is what I did get...the Mentor from Newegg with an added Square Trade warranty - a $99 unit with a $20.99 warranty for 3 YEARS.
That is a real no-brainer if ever there was one and I highly recommend it.

There. Hope that all helps someone.

Now to see how the Mentor is doing...

mark

Last edited by smallhagrid; 08-15-2010 at 09:52 AM. Reason: my bad typing.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:01 AM   #2
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SquareTrade told me they would replace a battery, too.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:33 AM   #3
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I've been reading eBooks for over 20 years, and never needed to claim on a warranty.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:33 AM   #4
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I never get extended warranties on anything. I haven't found them to be cost-effective.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:43 AM   #5
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I salute you Xanth:
Quote:
I never get extended warranties on anything. I haven't found them to be cost-effective.
On mobile electronics I always get them and have needed them quite often despite treating the stuff gently.

The Jetbook was the BEST example - device useless after 53 weeks - company useless - at least the warranty can be claimed.
And the JB is still shiny/clean/new looking with nary a scratch on it, but will not read.

Cost effective ? When I have the replacement JB in-hand I'll know for sure...

Smarty pants:
Quote:
I've been reading eBooks for over 20 years, and never needed to claim on a warranty.
__________________
Harry
On some kind of computer, sure - I have too !
On a handheld though ? I think NOT, considering they haven't been sold for very long and using a teeny-tiny old monochrome Palm device does NOT count !!!

Best Wishes,

mark
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:49 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by smallhagrid View Post
On a handheld though ? I think NOT, considering they haven't been sold for very long and using a teeny-tiny old monochrome Palm device does NOT count !!!

Best Wishes,

mark
On Psion Palmtop devices, innumerable Palm devices, then later on HP (and later Compaq) iPaq Windows CE handheld devices; Sony, Bookeen, iRex, Kindle, BeBook, Pocketbook eInk devices, and Apple iPhone and iPad. The only problem I've ever had was a faulty display controller on a Sony PRS-600, which was repaired under warranty.

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Old 08-15-2010, 11:18 AM   #7
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Lightbulb

OK - kindly pardon my attempts at exactitude, but:
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
On Psion Palmtop devices, innumerable Palm devices, then later on HP (and later Compaq) iPaq Windows CE handheld devices; Sony, Bookeen, iRex, Kindle, BeBook, Pocketbook eInk devices, and Apple iPhone and iPad.
Of the lot above, a very few were made 10 years ago - and as you go further back fewer and fewer indeed - 20 years ago ?
'Small' 20 years ago was the size of a portable sewing machine; I was 'doing PCs' at the time and remember quite clearly when 'laptops' arrived and they were NOT even close to being handheld !!!

This forum is about MODERN e-readers, most of which have been around less than several years (as opposed to ancient tech devices....).

Got an old, floppy-based IBM PC ? It'll display ebooks as plain text sure enough...but that's not the subject here, neither are Psion, Palm, HP/Ipaq devices; E-readers such as those made by Sony, Bookeen, iRex, Kindle, BeBook, Pocketbook eInk devices ARE what this forum seems to be about, and NONE of those AFAIK have been around anyplace NEAR 10-20 years.

My point in the above description:
If a person STILL has ancient tech gear it is usually of incredibly high quality and was made to last, well - almost forever (Like the aforemention original IBM PC.
Using an old palmtop device does NOT compare to an e-reader because they were NOT made as E-readers ! Same for Palms and that ilk.
That is why they do NOT count in this consideration.

BUT REALLY the biggie here is durability; go ahead, tell me you expect things made/bought today to last as long as that 30 year old Maytag washer that still works EVERY day and has ONLY EVER needed a single belt - sure, go ahead...and I will simply laugh and laugh and laugh because only a person in staunch denial even thinks things made today are made THAT tough.

Again, please pardon my attempt at exactitude; I am presently in a town which is currently infested with swarms of antique cars going on average 15 MPH no matter the posted speed and spewing clouds of noxious, untamed exhaust which hurts the eyes and respiration.
Like 20 year old tech gear - they are from a different time and were built to a different standard altogether.
I think they are VERY pretty when restored - and I also think they have exactly ZERO business on the roads UNLESS they go the posted speeds safely and without excessive pollution !!!
Old tech gear is very nice too, but NOT suited for comfortable handheld reading - yes - a person may adore their ipaq, and I salute them - but it is not what I want nor is it what this forum seems to be about.

Best Wishes.

mark
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:51 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by smallhagrid View Post
This forum is about MODERN e-readers, most of which have been around less than several years (as opposed to ancient tech devices....).
The fact remains, Mark, that I've owned the overwhelming majority of eInk readers on the market, past and present. With the exception of the PRS-600 display controller problem I mentioned earlier, none has ever gone wrong.

Perhaps I've been exceptionally lucky, but I reiterate that for me personally, buying extended warranties would not have been cost effective. Perhaps we have different lifestyles if you find yourself frequently breaking such devices. That hasn't been my own experience.

We can only go on our own experience when it comes to deciding whether buying extended warranties is justified. For me personally it isn't. It sounds as though for you it is.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:06 PM   #9
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Lightbulb NOT 'broken' in ANY physical way. It...just...quit.

Dear Sir:
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
....if you find yourself frequently breaking such devices.
I have not BROKEN any device; breakage, in my life as well as in my career is practically unheard of.

When a device of recent vintage simply ceases to perform it's stated function and becomes unusable thereby that is NOT breakage.
For me, the frequency of 'modern' vintage devices ceasing to function at an early date has been observed more and more.

I see the extended warranty idea as a simple way to put the load for cheaply made devices BACK into the corporate arena - and cite as an example that the Mentor I just bought is clearly made by an Asian concern for at least several different sellers who in fact actually make...nothing physical...maybe just the firmware for them and the designs for the packaging.

A device which costs a mere $99 should last more than a year IMO.
The JB (which was treated like gold, with great care...) which lasted just 53 weeks before simply quitting cost me almost $200, and should have lasted FAR more than that EVEN in daily use.

I agree that each person must decide for themself - and still it is my OPINION that for handheld devices an add-on warranty is a GOOD IDEA.

Peace out.

mark
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:23 PM   #10
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Good advice that I got from the book "Personal Finance for Dummies": Insure for disasters. Anything else, self-insure.

Insurers price to cover their expenses and make a good profit. If you can comfortably cover the loss, in the long run, over many products, you should be able to accrue the insurer's expense charge and profit for yourself. And you will also save the bother of dealing with the insurer (time and annoyance).

Of course, there are some exceptions, depending on device and/or person and usage. E.g., Mark's experiences. Or cellphones owned by people who use them very heavily, or who are clumsy with them. Certain devices that are, or appear to be, more prone to failure (e.g., jetBook?, certain DVD recorders, maybe large-screen glass eInk readers], etc.).

And if you're handy, the web now has disassembly and repair instructions for most electronic devices.

I got talked into buying a $30 extended warranty for a $100 Sony PDA in 2003. The salesperson said it's a no-brainer because the battery fails within two years, so it more than pays for itself. Still waiting for that battery to fail, or the PDA to fail.
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:06 PM   #11
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My first portable, a Columbia, weighed 32 pounds but that was, as I recall, 1983. Then I went to Toshiba laptops and an IBM. I needed them at work. No extended warranties on anything.

But, when I was buying stuff I was pestered endlessly by young men to buy their extended warranty. The record was getting asked five times in one visit.

I always wondered who bought extended warranties. I never did and never needed one. I got an IBM hard drive, an Intel motherboard, and an Intel processor replaced under normal warranty.
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:24 PM   #12
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Thumbs up Just a po old guy with little money to spare !

I'm so poor I...never mind !!!

The idea of self-insuring is brilliant so long as a person has finances to match.
Quote:
Good advice that I got from the book "Personal Finance for Dummies": Insure for disasters. Anything else, self-insure.
Also, I see a difference between insurance and a product warranty in that IF the event in question is one of excessive expense like a long-term illness or the cost of replacing a device due to early failure.

Yes:
Quote:
Of course, there are some exceptions, depending on device and/or person and usage. E.g., Mark's experiences. Or cellphones owned by people who use them very heavily, or who are clumsy with them. Certain devices that are, or appear to be, more prone to failure (e.g., jetBook?, certain DVD recorders, maybe large-screen glass eInk readers], etc.).
Or newly-invented devices which are almost ALL made by Asian makers and simply re-labeled for sellers in other countries en-masse...

Good advice too:
Quote:
And if you're handy, the web now has disassembly and repair instructions for most electronic devices.
And speaking as a person who is VERY handy, taking the dead JB as an example - it is physically unbroken and may be fixable if I had an entire circuit board for it - much less practical than just having it replaced as a result of the extra $19.99 I chose to spend when I bought it...it even has a sealed in battery; which alone would be more costly than replacement according to the warranty folks !

A GREAT EXAMPLE !:
Quote:
I got talked into buying a $30 extended warranty for a $100 Sony PDA in 2003. The salesperson said it's a no-brainer because the battery fails within two years, so it more than pays for itself. Still waiting for that battery to fail, or the PDA to fail.
7 years ago in terms of tech gear is an ETERNITY - and back then Sony was making practically ALL their own stuff and was simply KING of QUALITY !!!
Not anymore though, sadly. They've fallen upon terribly hard times.

Things have changed drastically world-wide as a result of finances going nutty and quality as well as conditions have gotten cored-out in ALOT of ways and places.
Small tech devices are now like peanuts.
Use em up and toss em. (Then buy more...)

Have you had a USB stick fail yet ? A hard disk drive made less than 3 years ago ? Perhaps a PC PSU ? Those are all good examples of things suffering from drastically lowered quality in just the last 3 years.

I have PC PSUs still in use that are 12 years old and of a totally outdated standard; vs. others which were made/bought around a year ago which have already failed - another pertinent example of different qualities<->differing vintages.

If I, like a friend of mine, had enough $ to walk in and simply buy 2 new cars with CASH, I would agree with the financial advice you've cited - completely.
By comparison I am NOT in good shape financially and have ZERO disposable funds, so the idea of gambling on adding $20 to a $100 or $200 purchase is a VERY good idea and pays off in a very desirable fashion WHEN it is needed and works as advertised...more often in the current world than ever before in my middle-aged life.

Best Wishes.

mark
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:35 PM   #13
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Years ago I was shopping for a CD player at Best Buy. The salesman suggested that I buy the cheapest model and get the five-year extended warranty.

His argument was that the unit is sure to fail in that time. And maybe its replacement will too. And maybe its replacement! So for the price of the unit plus the warranty, you are assured of five years worth of use. Makes sense to me!
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by smallhagrid View Post
Have you had a USB stick fail yet ? A hard disk drive made less than 3 years ago ? Perhaps a PC PSU ? Those are all good examples of things suffering from drastically lowered quality in just the last 3 years.

I have PC PSUs still in use that are 12 years old and of a totally outdated standard; vs. others which were made/bought around a year ago which have already failed - another pertinent example of different qualities<->differing vintages.
I just replaced a 3-year old PSU, and was pondering about how this broke my old rule of getting 6 trouble-free years out of each PC. Looks like I have an answer (and will need to ditch that 6-year rule).

Edit: To say nothing of the spate of bad capacitors.

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Old 08-15-2010, 03:33 PM   #15
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I 100% agree - tech gear ain't what it used to be !!!

The bad caps caught me by surprise and with much dismay because it brought alot of wasted time and angry people with it; worse still was when I rebuilt all the PCs in the office using Antec PSUs and very quickly, one by one, they ALL krapped out - forcing me to do the unspeakable and get temporary cheapies from Geeks and to ship about 100 pounds of PSUs to CA.

But wait, it gets WORSE - when the warranty replacements came back they were ALL of the wonderful 'Earthwatts' line - some of which were DOA and all those that did work (but 1) failed in short order...AAAAAAAARGH !!!

Back in went the cheapies - more shipping - and so forth.
(These were ALL done on the original MFG warranty - no extended thingies involved.)

My point:
I consider my POV regarding tech gear vs. adding warranties to be honestly acquired and well justified, all things considered.

And to add to your point above:
I now expect PCs in daily use to now last 1 1/2 to 2 years MAX. and I take action accordingly just to avoid downtime and angry people.

Handhelds cannot possibly be made of sturdier stuff than desktop PCs IMO.

Best Wishes.

mark
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