Are Warranties On TVs And PCs Long Enough?


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.

About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

14 Comments

  1. Hi Jim. Glad you spoke on this topic. I purchased two Sharp TV’s (40 and 50 inch). The 50 inch unit lost the picture just after the 12 month warranty. Asked a friend who does repairs and he said the cost was more than getting a newer unit which I did, just not from Sharp. The 40 inch unit, over 10 years old, is still working fine.

    My computer monitors (24 inch) are also many years old and left on 24/7 just going into sleep mode and work without problems (so far). Was asked if I wanted to pay extra for am extended policy (2 and 3 year plans only add 1 to 2 years as the first is covered by the manufacturer) , am happy I did not get this insurance waste of money.

    For me, electronic parts can either die quickly or last many years. I upgrade my computers, so does this mean I replace all the parts and just keep the box – not at all. I still own a 486 which I purchased second hand 3 decades ago, had running almost 24/7 for over a decade, and shelved a few years ago.

    When I purchased a $10CDN toaster many years ago, it came with a warranty card. Pay the two way shipping and either get a brand new or refurbished one. I laughed as the shipping cost exceeded another brand new toaster. But that was decades ago, and I seldom use that toaster.

    Yet, I fully understand this silly one year warranty policy. It is the way manufactures can keep the cost down and keep you buying replacements. Since many are all offering the same policy, they do not care if you purchase from the competition, Mindblower!

    • Surprised this wasn’t mentioned in the above article. If you spent over $1000 on a TV in Australia you would be entitled to expect at least three years warranty. Jim should have threatened Panasonic with the ACCC and their tone may have changed quite quickly.

      • Hey Reg,

        If you spent over $1000 on a TV in Australia you would be entitled to expect at least three years warranty.

        I agree, the expectation of warranty should be at least 3 years. My point exactly. The ACCC does NOT act on behalf of private individuals. It maintains a record of consumer complaints and, if enough complaints are received against a specific organization, they will then take action against said organization.

    • Hey Gary,

      The issue with that is; the only way to to enforce those legislated consumer rights is by taking the vendor or manufacturer to court, in which case the costs and hassle involved more often than not outweigh any benefits. The Office of Fair Trading (in Queensland) is a toothless tiger. They are not a legal organization and, if the vendor or manufacturer tells them to go jump in the lake, all they’ll do is recommend that the consumer initiates his or her own civil legal action. Been there, done that.

  2. Yes the ACCC has been very successful in last couple of years with retailers being find $,000,000. These were big retailers whose names I will not mention but can be found on ACCC site. One retailer had signs in their shops saying that customers had to deal with manufacturers direct if there was a problem under warranty. They were fined for that. It is surprising how cooperative the retailer becomes when you mention your rights and that maybe the ACCC should know about service they have given. Some of this is from firsthand experience.

    • I agree Gary, the ACCC has done a great job as an industry/consumer watchdog. However, as I mentioned earlier, the ACCC will not pursue individual consumer complaints. I guess the threat of submitting a complaint to the ACCC might have the desired effect on occasions but it has not worked for me in the past.

    • David. Have you looked into the Costco warranty plan? Is their 2 year plan on top of what each manufacture offers? And do not forget, you must have a Costco membership, Mindblower!

    • Hey David,

      Costco has only just moved into Australia and, as yet, they have no store anywhere near where I live, and I won’t buy large expensive items, such as big screen TVs, online. Maybe, one day, Costco will open a store near where I live.

      • Jim and I come from same area and as he says Costco have only moved to Australia and as yet there is no store close to where I live. We do have other store we can buy from near by. A few of them have been the ones I mentioned that have had action taken against them by ACCC. For those not in Australia ACCC stands for Australian Competition and Consumer Commission who have some powers to ensure our businesses are doing the right thing.

  3. Some years ago, I bought a Samsung boom box, complete with a CD player. Similar to the article above, the CD player died at 13 months. I contacted Samsung and got the exact same result as above. In the years that have passed since this, I have purchased many, many appliances, TV’s etc, and NONE have been a Samsung. I will never buy their products again. On the other hand, I had a Breville electric kettle that began to leak via the sight glass at 15 months (1 year warranty) and they replaced it at no charge, and advised me to register the replacement unit to make sure I got the 1 year warranty. Guess what? All of my kitchen appliances are now Breville.

    • Makes sense doesn’t it Ralph… cheap PR to keep the customer happy. These companies amuse me, they spend millions on advertising and then begrudge a comparatively few measly dollars in order to keep a customer happy. Seems word of mouth isn’t worth what it once was.

      Thanks for sharing mate.

      • I worked in industrial sales most of my career and our company’s reputation was the most valuable asset we had. Many companies today don’t value that at all. The ones that do, get my business and support.

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