Most computer manufacturer try to sell you extended warranty or a service contract. These warranty covers two years past the manufacturer's one year warranty. Most sales employees or OEM (manufacturers) make so much commission from selling extended warranties. This is nothing but rip-offs, IMHO.
If I build a computer for myself by purchasing parts I get following warranties:
=> Intel CPU and motherboard - 3 years warranty
=> Seagate hard disk - 5 years warranty
=> Nvidia chipset display card - 3 years warranty
=> Dell / Samsung 27" TFT Monitor - 3 years warranty
=> DVD / CD Write combo / keyboard / mouse - 90 days warrant (but works for years w/o a problem).
Most OEMs will not pass these warranties to end user. I never buy an extended warranty. I own 2 desktops, 2 laptops (Dell and Sony) and total 5 enterprise grade rack mount servers for my personal use. All are build using parts except laptops. Let me tell you simple truth:
It is cheaper to pay for repairs as and when they happen rather than buy a warranty. Extended warranties are not a good investment, period.
Today you don't require tools to build PC. All you need is screwdriver to fix a computer. I only open my computer when I need upgrade or replacement of hard disk etc. If you use Windows, you simply need to use updated version of anti-virus / anti-spyware cleanups program.
Finally, if you need an extended warranty make sure you get answers to the following questions:
- Is the warranty transferable?
- Can repairs be performed at any repair shop located anywhere in the world?
- Find out what's covered and what's not covered.
- Make sure it is not reimbursement based warranty. For example, some computer repair shop require that you pay the bill and then send receipt to OEM and wait for reimbursement.
- Always read the fine print. For example, If you drop or broke something there is no warranty.
- Use the Internet to dig out information about product and services. Search mailing lists and forum for product. See the current user satisfaction level.
Please add your opinion about extended warranties in the comments.