Standard Television Warranties
With big-screen smart TVs now all the go, I am amazed that the major television manufacturers — Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony — are still getting away with providing just 12 months warranty. It is incongruous to me that a TV costing hundreds, and even thousands of dollars, can come with the same period of warranty as a $30 toaster. If manufacturers are not prepared to warranty their TVs beyond one year, to me that means they have no faith at all in their products. This standard 12 months warranty also provides retailers with a perfect opportunity to push their extended warranty contracts and make even more money out of the deal.
I had been a Panasonic buyer for many years. However, the last Panasonic TV I bought broke down at age 14 months, just two months out of warranty. I subsequently contacted Panasonic via email and they flatly refused to help out in any way, stating that the TV was out of warranty so, more or less, stiff cheddar. The cost of repairs was estimated at around $800 which I thought was a waste of money and better put toward a new TV. Once you start spending money like that, where do you draw the line? If the same TV breaks down again in (say) the next six months or so, are you going to be prepared to spend yet another $800, and so on? That was when I bought my first Hisense TV which comes with a standard three-year warranty.
I have been extremely happy with the Hisense TVs and am now a dedicated Hisense buyer, never again will I buy a TV with just 12 months warranty. As far as I am aware, there are only two TV brands that come with more than 12 months warranty (in Australia) and they are Hisense and TCL, both of which provide a warranty covering three years. I’m guessing the major manufacturers are in collusion on this matter and unless their sales drop dramatically forcing one or more to break ranks and start providing longer warranties, the situation is almost certain to remain status quo.
Standard Computer Warranties
A very similar situation exists with computers, and specifically laptop computers, where the majority of manufacturers provide only 12 months warranty. However, while I don’t condone this very short warranty period, I can understand it to a certain extent. Mobile laptops, by their very nature, are far more susceptible to damage than a stationary electronic device that just sits for its entire life atop a cabinet. Even so, I still believe that the standard 12 months warranty on computers is nowhere near long enough and, as far as I am concerned, should be at least doubled. Again, I am guessing that it will take one or more of the major computer manufactures to step out of line and increase the warranty period before we will see any sort of change.
One final point– I know from first-hand experience that the markup on electrical goods, between manufacturer and retailer, is huge, possibly the biggest markup of all, and manufacturers could easily afford to absorb any additional overheads created by extending their warranties.
It’s amazing how often electronic goods will break just after the warranty period has expired, and it is most annoying. I’m sure many of you will have warranty nightmare stories to tell, please feel free to share via the comments.