ATLANTA -- Many consumers shop around like crazy before deciding on a major purchase like a laptop or TV, but then buy the store's expensive extended warranty without even questioning it.
Store issued warranties are often not worth the price, especially with technology changing dramatically from year to year and gadgets becoming obsolete within a few years.
The good news for consumers is the warranty business is getting more competitive, so a store warranty isn't your only option.
Atlanta resident Adriana Gutierrez dropped her iPad recently, smashing the screen. She had purchased an extended warrantly from SquareTrade.com, a third party warranty company that's slightly less expensive than the Apple Store.
"I called, they told me I could mail it to them or bring it to the Apple Store. It was a no-brainer for me," she said. "The service could not have been better. I took it in the next morning and walked out with a new iPad. I sent them the invoice and got a check within less than 10 days."
Square Trade offers shoppers an alternative to expensive store warranties on computers, TVs, phones and tablets, and the competition is heating up. Protect Your Bubble has a similar business model as does Worth Ave Group. All this competition means you can shop around for your warranty just as your shop around for your electronic devices! All three companies are Better Business Bureau accredited.
Keep in mind many credit cards offer an extra year warranty on items you buy with your card.