View Full Version : camera extended warranties--help?

09-28-2004, 07:52 AM
Hi Everyone!
Thanks to everyone's thoughtful advice in the different forums, I am ready to purchase a digital camera (Either the FZ10 or FZ20). I definitely want the kind of warranty that Ritz camera sells (ESP--no questions asked, even if I fell and the camera broke, etc.) but am wondering does any other company that is reputable offer this type of warranty? So far, my research tells me no, but perhaps some of you have experience to the contrary?
Anna :)

09-28-2004, 09:40 AM
IMHO thas a waste of money, its a con m8 !
whatever they tell you its B/S
u get yrs warranty anyway
get insurance instead..

09-28-2004, 12:41 PM
I've tried checking into insurance online, but so far all I can find for digital camera insurance is sold in the UK for people who live there (I am a US resident living outside of the US for a bit). Any ideas? The only reason I'd like to get a policy that covers damage caused by accidents is that I have had to use it 2x already on my SLR due a few unfortunate events so I'm afraid I won't be able to afford repairs or a new camera--especially with a digital! Either way I suppose it's a risk. . .
Anna :)

09-30-2004, 12:44 AM
Just to let you know I got the FZ20 w/o the extra warranty. Hope all goes well with it. I am excited to start using it!

09-30-2004, 07:42 AM
Just be careful. In a year's time there'll be a new camera out that'll cost less than you paid for this year's model.

Camera insurance/warranties are a fiddle anyway. Case in point - the 3 year insurance/warranty thing for a GBP 80 digital costs more than the camera!

09-30-2004, 08:38 AM
Camera insurance/warranties are a fiddle anyway. Case in point - the 3 year insurance/warranty thing for a GBP 80 digital costs more than the camera!
Rhys makes a good and valid point about next year's model but I feel that doesn't really deal with the issue because I'd guess most people don't buy a new camera every year. Looking to cover your camera against damage or loss or failure might therefore be the sensible thing to do.

But the trouble is that different parts of the world treat these things differently. For instance, here in the UK, you get a 12 month guarantee. Full stop. If the camera fails of its own accord in that time, you'll get it repaired for nothing. A lot of the bigger retailers may not even bother with the repair option and will simply replace it there and then once you've shown the original receipt. That's what they legally have to in the first 28 days after purchase in any case.

Of course, you can take out extended warranties which commence on the first day of the second year after purchase. At that point, Rhys's comments make sense. If your warranty costs the 80+ he mentions, then you could say that's 80+ towards the cost of the latest model. But that would be your choice.

It's a fact that most things electronic will fail in the very early days, if they're going to fail at all. So for that side of the thing, you probably will be OK without the extended warranty. However, a camera is also a part-mechanical item and you may feel more comfortable with the knowledge that you do have such a warranty.

As for accidental damage or loss of some sort, then again, here in the UK, your very typical household contents insurance will cover you for that, automatically, almost no questions asked. Unless it's over 3,000 in value as a single item, you don't even have to declare it as a separate item on the schedule. You'll only have to pay any excess that you've agreed when the policy is taken out.

That is certainly true with my own insurers - a major High Street bank - and from some research I had to do a short while back, it's true of most. However, just in case yours IS different, you should check with your own insurance company about such things.

09-30-2004, 10:04 AM
It's a fact that most things electronic will fail in the very early days, if they're going to fail at all. So for that side of the thing, you probably will be OK without the extended warranty. However, a camera is also a part-mechanical item and you may feel more comfortable with the knowledge that you do have such a warranty.

This is my experience. Electronics are either DOA or they work decently for quite a while. The only exception was my fax machine which broke after only 4 years usage. That was so disappointing in terms of cost/usage that I never bought another fax. A standard example would be my last hard drive - bought it, plugged it in and it was DOA. Took it back and had it changed.

In photography, I've tried a number of cheap digitals that I thought would be good to toss into my pocket when cycling - none were anything other than DOAs though. About a decade ago, I had a Pentax Super A. Now that was a disaster from beginning to end. The first one had a broken depth of field preview lever. The replacement had a short circuit that meant a battery would last only 3 days. That was repaired and I still didn't get more than 6 to 8 weeks out of a battery. In the end, I sold it for a knockdown price just to get rid of it. I've since heard only bad things about Pentax electronic cameras but only good things about their manual, mechanical cameras (K1000 etc).

Back in my days studying computer components, it was a rule of thumb that electronics had a bathtub effect with high failure at the beginning and end of a 10-year period. Anything that lasted past 10 years was liable to last forever.

I can honestly say that I have never bought insurance for anything that ever turned out to be worthwhile. I had a couple of instances where I needed to claim on the insurance and in each instance the insurance company had to be sued in order to enforce their contracts with me. I just don't bother buying insurance now. It's not worth the hassle of suing the companies because by the time I've got my claim settled plus damages plus lost earnings plus costs, it just works out better not to bother in the first place.

10-03-2004, 09:37 PM
I know that the American Express Blue card has a benefit where it supposedly extends the Manufacturers warranty of what you buy with your Blue Card, to one extra year (with restrictions on what products are eligable for this).

Some other credit cards might do this also.

Jeff Keller
10-03-2004, 10:50 PM
I only buy the extended warranty on things that are really cutting edge. I got it on my TiVo w/DirecTV back when it came out. Of course it never died. I just bought a Sony Grand WEGA TV (which costs a bundle) and I figure any repair to the TV will cost more than the extended warranty (which I got at a discount, fortunately). As for cameras, I consider them to be disposable and would rather buy another one if it needed major repairs.

10-03-2004, 11:53 PM
I'm about to have my PDA replaced for "free" because one of the button's stopped working after 2.5 yrs (three year warrantee). Best Buy (and I believe no circuit city) have a 'it breaks you get full credit towards a current model'. They also will clean it (more important for video recorders). Its a cost trade off. These are slightly different warrantee's than the ones described above and the costs are quite a bit lowerer. Also, in the states, Panasonic has only a 90 day labor guarantee. I think its a flat$100 fee to fix anyting after the first 90 days. Of course the parts are free.


10-09-2004, 01:29 AM
One thing of note, though I don't think much to the normal extended warranty I like the 'Tecsure' policy as seen in a large number of shops in the UK, basically it covers you for any repairs & corrections that need to be made to the camera (PDA, dictaphone, etc.) including things that are caused by 'over use'.

10-13-2004, 01:54 AM
EXTRA warranty is a ripoff, jus save that warranty money in a saver acc for every item you buy, if one breaks your sorted..

10-13-2004, 06:04 AM
I just purchased a Nikon D70, somewhat expensive (at least to me). The extended warranty for 2 more years is a about $120. To me this seems reasonable and perhaps somehting I might partake. In a sense its the price of peace of mind.
I agree that with electronics, if they are going to fail they typically fail sooner then later but they can fail later. Another point is that cameras are not completly electronic, there have mechincal components. If I do need to have it repaired the cost is almost certainly going to be more then the $120.

Does the cost of repair or replacement outweigh the cost of a new d-SLR, sure, do I want to gamble that the camera will be defect free for two more years (after the first year warranty) maybe but right now I'm leaning on getting it.

My $.02.

10-14-2004, 05:36 PM
I usually buy my electronics from Future Shop (Canadian twin to Best Buy); and usually purchase the PSP (their extended warranty plan...)

So far, it has always paid off -- got a free upgrade from a Panasonic VCD to a Toshiba VCR/DVD combo, had numerous things go on my PC (power supply, cd rom) and have had them exchanged free of charge and always upgraded to a newer/faster component...

My rule is very simple - if the warranty is less then 1/3 of the item cost, I usually buy it. If its more, I agree with a previous post: put it in your account, not theirs :-)

11-10-2004, 06:27 AM
Like several folks in here I'm of the opinion that it's either going to fail right away or it's going to be fine and work a couple of years--ever heard of "burning in" i.e. stressing it out to be sure nothing's going to fail. I do it with every piece of gear I buy whether it be a motherboard, a laptop, a new hard drive or a digital camera. About the only thing I'd ever consider an extended warranty on would be a monitor because they're so dang heavy just shipping it out for a warranty repair would cost your left arm. I'd also buy one for a flat panel monitor because so many develop bad pixels just under everyday use (just be sure you read the fine print and they don't say only covers more than 10 bad pixels or something dumb like that). I bought the extended warranty on my pda, never used it.

I guess it just really depends on your life style, if you travel a lot and have the stuff in pockets or just under heavy use it might be worth it but like somebody else pointed out, next year the newer version will be out anyhow and you could just put what you spent on the warranty towards the new version.

If you ask me the big problem with most extended warranties is the fine print, whatever fails they'll work really hard to say it isn't covered (same thing with car extended warranties) and who wants or needs that hassle. I bought a canon G2 about a year after they came out, still works perfectly. I bought a HP850 in 2002(?) and now two years later the flash has crapped out on it--however now the much better 945 is out so for $350.00 on ebay I could get a new camera and I'll bet the repair would be around half of that because labor costs so much.

I tend to be very careful with my toys and I don't have kids or allow them near my stuff. If I had kids or I was crawling around in the mud taking nature shots all the time I might think twice. Another thing about those warranties is that generally they have some kind of clause buried in the legalese that says they don't pay if you're using the equipment professionally (i.e. being paid for your services). Most of the time I feel they're a big waste of money. I've had them on my window ac (they found a way to not pay) and on my car--they hassled me to death and played games with the deductible and worked hard at not paying on that one too. The whole thing is a great big holdup most of the time.

04-01-2005, 08:23 AM
Just to add onto this thread:

Consumer Reports had an article on extended warranties in its January 2005 issue.

They pointed out that in most cases, it's not worth buying the warranty (two exceptions: laptop computers and plasma tvs).

They also mentioned the credit card extension that tc17 mentioned.

CR also has a list of the odds of a product needing a repair within the first three years.

Desktop PCs lead the list, at 37%
Digital cameras are all the way down near the bottom of the list, needing repairs only 8% of the time.

Thanks to CR, and to this thread, I'm not going to get the warranty on the camera I'm about to buy...

04-01-2005, 08:51 PM
I paid $99 for the 4 year extended warranty on my Rebel XT namely cause Best Buy ad matched the price knocking $50 of the $999.95 for sale price. To several years back with my Minolta 7000i the LCD Aperture display quit functioning properly exactly one month after the warranty went out. They wanted $120 to repair it in 1996. Needless to say it never got fixed.

04-09-2006, 10:18 PM
try online insurances that offers free quote such as http://www.onshopinsurance.com might help you with your concerns.