Extended Warranties

Have you ever had the experience of going into an electronics store and having a salesperson try to hard sell you an extended warranty before you've even committed to actually buying a product? 

There's a mixed view on these warranties which are licenses to print money for the electronics retailers – some people say you should never buy them, some say you should only buy them for certain types of goods that have high fault rates (digital cameras, DVD players) and some people like the security of buying them every time they buy a product, even if it's something that's highly unlikely to fail (hello brand new TV). 

The reason this is in my mind is that my laptop gave up the goat last night. I did buy an extended warranty with it and am obviously glad that I did.  Initially I thought it was the hard drive that died but when I took it into PC Place (one of my favourite electronic retailers ever – I've been buying computers from them for 15 years – and hey, they're in Ontario now!) they thought it was likely the motherboard which is good/bad news.  I do have a backup system in place but restoring all that data would've really been a pain in the butt so it's good that my hard drive's fine.  But instead of being fixed right here, they have to ship it to Acer HQ for repairs which means I'll be without my main computer for 2-3 weeks.  I do have access to an old desktop here (obviously) as well as one in Weyburn so I won't be too out of touch.  But it still feels like somebody cut off both my arms anyhow. 

The back-up system has come in handy once or twice when I've accidently deleted a file or a directory but this is the first time that I nearly had to use the entire restore function.  True, the $50 or whatever it is for an annual subscription is expensive compared to the cost of buying an external hard drive and doing your own backups.  But I like the “always on” feature so that I don't have to remember to do backups and even for software that allows you to automatically schedule backups for daily or even more frequently, Carbonite is instantaneous – as soon as I change a file or upload new photos or whatever, they're automatically sent to Carbonite. 

So anyhow, updates may be even more sparse (although I'm doing pretty good for a guy with a new baby – although next Tuesday is back to work so that'll cut into my time for doing non-essential stuff even more) for the next few weeks. 

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