I’ve bought my share of pricey items at stores like Best Buy in my lifetime. (By “pricey” I mean more than, say, $150.) And of course, the sales person always tries to sell me their protection plan, usually at something like $69.99 for two years. No thanks, I say, wondering if they are really selling such crappy items that they expect them to need replacing within two years.
Now I’m rethinking my automatic refusal.
It’s one thing when I’m buying something large that will stay in one place – an appliance of some sort, a TV, even a stereo component. Those kinds of items are not going to get moved arond a lot, aren’t going to get dropped on the floor, etc. It’s quite reasonable to expect them to last far longer than the two years covered by the protection plans.
But over the past five years or so, smaller “pocket-sized” electronics have become extremely popular – things like digital cameras and iPods. Part of the appeal of a lot of these items, of course, is their small size and portability. My digital camera and iPod spent lots of time in my purse or even my pants pocket. They suffer a fair amount of bumps in both places, and I’ve even dropped my iPod on the floor at least once. (Oops.) They are used around – and sometimes even by – kids often. My point is that unlike their larger, more stationary counterparts, these things see a lot of wear and tear, and there is a lot more opportunity for damage.
How do I know this? Well, I’m on my second MP3 player (first iPod) – I accidentally yanked the cord off my desk at work, sending the player to the floor, and it was never the same. My little digital camera, which is less than a year old, seems to have died – the lens no longer extends properly, and I can’t use the camera at all. I’m sure that repairs would be more than the $150 that the camera originally cost. Sure wish I had bought protection plans for both of those items, so that they could have been fixed (or replaced) for free.
And you can bet that I bought the protection for the new iPod that I bought last month!!