Buying Peace of Mind
With high-end technology and the latest “gotta-have-it” gadgets, life is becoming more complicated by the day.
Consider a typical college student’s list of necessities: computer, printer, USB drive, assorted hardware, flat-screen TV, video game console, MP3 player, digital camera and cell phone. So what happens when one of these items breaks down, your college student is hundreds of miles away, and you don’t know who to call for repairs?
For many parents, an extended service plan is the answer. Anyone who has ever purchased a big-ticket item has been asked the question of whether or not they want to protect their investment with an extended service plan. And for high-tech school supplies, this protection is worth considering.
While products should be able to take their share of bumps and bruises, having a service plan ensures that consumers will get their money’s worth by not having to pay out-of-pocket costs to repair or replace an expensive item should it become damaged or defective. And many parents find that investing in a plan, particularly when the product is high-tech and will be used by a student, saves them time, frustration and cost down the road.
“For parents whose kids are in or heading off to college, service plans offer peace of mind that all of the high-priced ‘school supplies’ they just bought are protected,” said Danny Hourigan, president of the Service Plan Division of NEW, a third-party administrator of extended service plans. “And if something goes wrong with their purchase, all it takes is one toll-free phone call and a customer service agent will troubleshoot their problem or arrange to get it repaired or replaced.”
Service plans typically cover 100 percent of the parts and labor costs or full replacement for failed products. In addition, most offer convenient 24-hour toll-free customer assistance, product support and troubleshooting; a nationwide network of repair technicians that provide on-site, carry-in or depot service; coverage against accidental damage from handling; and a no-lemon guarantee.