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Old 24th November 2010, 03:06   #1
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Exclamation Caution - Retailer's Extended Warranty

As many of you know, retailers like eZone, Hypercity and Next are selling their own Extended Warranties at a very less price compared to the Manufacturer's warranty. There are some important catches in this. I am sharing my experience with this.

I bought an Acer laptop from Hypercity just before Diwali. The cost of second and third year extended warranty was Rs.2,100. When I bought this, I wasn't aware that Acer's extended warranty for 2nd and 3rd year costs around Rs.6,000. The warranty certificate was in the form of a receipt mentioning the laptop's serial number and the warranty validity period. Hypercity sales staff told that it is accepted all over India by all Authorized Acer Service Centers. I went ahead and bought it.

One of my other Acer laptop had some issues and I took it to the Acer authorized service center. There I enquired about the warranty issued by Hypercity. I was shocked when they told that Acer does not honor any extended warranty issued by retailers. Same day, I had to visit Nokia care for repairing my cell phone and they too confirmed that they do not accept any extended warranty issued by retailers.

Same evening, I went to Hypercity and talked to the salesman first. As expected, he didn't have any clue when I said that Acer and Nokia authorized service centers refused to accept the extended warranty.

Next came the supervisor wearing a t-shirt saying 'Ask me for Extended warranty'. He defended that this whole extended warranty thing is new, Acer and Nokia are not aware of Hypercity's warranty. In 6 months time this information would flow to them and there will not be any issues. I wasn't convinced with the nice story he told. The supervisor went and brought the Store Manager.

The Store Manager revealed that, the Hypercity's warranty is 'covered' by Tata AIG and I need to call Hypercity's helpline when I face any issue and lodge a 'claim'. Then, 'someone' (not the authorized service center) will contact me and service the laptop. I don't know when and how long it would take for Tata AIG to find someone to service my laptop. Then, Tata AIG would 'reimburse' the cost of service to me. From all the keywords he used, it became evident that they are selling an 'Insurance' product and giving wrong impression to the customers that it is an extended warranty. This is how they are able to sell this at about one third of the price (Rs.2,100 vs Rs.6,000). The Store Manager defended that it is a warranty product. I responded telling that, their product is very similar to Car Insurance which is a lot different than a Car's extended warranty, he didn't have an answer.

I just told him that I would not have bought this product had the salesman was transparent about how the warranty works. I asked him to cancel it and refund the money. Luckily, I was within the 14 day grace period where in I can cancel the warranty and get full refund. So, they gave me some credit note for Rs.2100 which I can use in Hypercity. Looks like, they wouldn't refund in cash.

Even with manufacturer's warranty, we face issues with part availability. Am not sure how Hypercity can work with Tata AIG (both know nothing about servicing a laptop) and resolve the issue within a reasonable period of time.

Folks, just beware before buying any Retailer's extended warranty.
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Old 24th November 2010, 03:21   #2
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Thanks for this great piece of info. It is very appalling to see the lengths retailers will go to swindle customers.
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Old 24th November 2010, 04:57   #3
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Feel really bad for you. If you have time on your disposal, you can actually take them to court. The warranty is clearly not of merchantable quality, and you should get a refund on the warranty.

On a more serious, and effective note, laptops are a sham. Lessons:

(1) The entire point of buying a branded laptop (which is what all laptops are), is buying reliability. The only laptops with reliable service in India are the Dell one, and to some extent Apple. Never buy anything else, and never ever buy third party service guarantees.
(2) Always buy the full-maximum warranty possible.

My personal take off late has been that not everyone really needs a laptop. Laptops are way too fragile. It's better to go for a desktop+netbook combo.
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Old 24th November 2010, 08:26   #4
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Red face

Thats something new and unexpected from the retailers. I have been visiting Hypercity/More/Big Bazaar/Croma regularly and was contemplating of buying the white goods from them with the extended warranty for that peace of mind. Never imagined that the so called extended warranty thing is nothing but a pure eye wash. Will be extra careful about this and inform all near & dear ones about the same.

Thanks Voyager for the same.
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Old 24th November 2010, 09:13   #5
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OMG! I have also bought extended warranty for my Samsung Microwave from Hypercity. I need to check it seriously. Let me contact hypercity, whitefield. However it is more than 3 months over.
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Old 24th November 2010, 09:42   #6
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@Voyager-1 - No doubt, this is a great information that you've shared with us & a good eye-opener for people.

IMO, I never trust the dealers be it US or India; when I buy a product, I only trust the manufacturer & the product's reputation in the market. The business with the dealer is over once the transaction is completed & I make the payment. I'll visit them only when I need my next product. That has always been my policy.

If the manufacturer states that customers have to approach them only via dealers, then I'll avoid buying such products as much as possible. Reason? Any dealership is bound to change or close in course of time (don't tell me that's the same case with manufacturer; not the products like LG/Samsung/Onida etc, very rare cases such as BPL, Dyanora, Konark). I'd rather talk to the person who makes the product rather than who sells their product & do not have any idea on it. Trust me, 99% of the people who sell product do not have any idea of what they're selling & what goes inside it.

But @Voyager-1, did you not question the dealer as how he can provide an extended warranty for a product that he's not manufacturing or on what basis is he providing the extended warranty?
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Old 24th November 2010, 09:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
But @Voyager-1, did you not question the dealer as how he can provide an extended warranty for a product that he's not manufacturing or on what basis is he providing the extended warranty?
Anyone can provide extended warranty - extended warranty is like an insurance product - you don't need to have manufactured the stuff to provide insurance for it.

Anyway, why buy extended warranty at all in the first place?
I have no idea about laptops, but for other consumer goods, I don't think it makes sense buying extended warranty at all - extended warranty is a big money spinner for companies.

Assume you are buying 5 different products over a period of time - take whatever you would have paid for each of one of those extended warranties, add it up & put in a Fixed deposit. Even, assuming you are unlucky, at most one of those 5 products would have ended up needed the extended warranty with some expensive repairs. The money you saved should easily cover the cost of repairs of that 1 product. If none of the 5 need expensive repairs, everything is money saved for you.

If there was a product for which the unanimous opinion is that you absolutely need an extended warranty (Apple products - check the Apple thread in shifting gears), I would avoid the product all together - it either means that the product is very unreliable or that it overprices it's spares & maintenance.
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Old 24th November 2010, 10:07   #8
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Yhanks very much for sharing this piece of valuable information. Im sure most of us out there dont know about this. Croma did try to stick me with their extended warranty when I got a fridge ac & washing machine from them. Im very glad I didnt buy it.
Someone needs to report this to the MRTPC or relevant authorities. This is genuinely misinforming the customer and daylight robbery.
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Old 24th November 2010, 10:17   #9
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Well, being into a after-sales profession. I would try to make make it in clear words.

From Company point of view - "No extended warranty is valid until and unless company issues you or certifies someone to issues a certificate on company behalf."

ELSE

The Seller (Megastore) will be responsible for the warranty repairs after official warranty gets over.

Some Megastores which provided such extended warranty where-in megastore will look for warranty issues through their own sources after official warranty is over.
1) Croma
2) Reliance Digital
3) Hypercity
4) Musicworld
5) Planet M
6) Spice Hotspot (Previously known as Hot Spot)
7) Vijay Sales
8) Various Stores/retailers which offer extended warranty on products sold by them apart from original product warranty.

Last edited by ashthedivx : 24th November 2010 at 10:22.
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Old 24th November 2010, 11:11   #10
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I too had purchased an HP 735 all in one printer from Croma (Juhu) with 2 years Croma extended warranty. After a year of purchase I had some issues with the printer with paper getting regularly jammed inside. On contacting Chroma I was directed to a third party service provider (not HP authorised) at Vikhroli. I was shocked as I was totally unaware of HP's non-involvement in the so called extended warranty. These guys at Vikhroli were less equipped and took 3 weeks to get the printer serviced after a lot of followup. However things got moving only after I started pestering Croma with phone calls and sms's. I have earlier purchased a washing machine, high end water purifier, Sony PS3 from Croma, all with the so called extended warranty. Now I shudder to think that god forbid any thing goes wrong with any of this product then Croma will make me scurry all over in search of these "service providers". In case of the PS 3 I doubt they will ever getting anyone to repair it.
The so called fine print in the Extended Warranty should be properly highlighted in bold and block letters all over the store so that customer is fully aware of what he is getting into.
It would be better if Croma at least handles all the complaints and warranty issues themselves and internally gets the issues resolved by the "service providers".
To summarize this scheme should be called Product Insurance and not extended warranty by any chance.
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