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When you should and shouldn

When you should and shouldn't buy an extended warranty

2/28/2014

If you've ever bought a smartphone from a retail store, you may have been given a sales pitch from an employee trying to get you to buy an extended warranty. It's natural to feel skeptical about a plan that you are learning about through the words of a worker who is trying to earn a higher commission. So before you make a decision, you may want to take the time to research what an extended warranty entails and how it might benefit you.

Here are a few things every phone owner should know about extended warranties:

Understanding what an extended warranty means
The details of an extended warranty vary from provider to provider, but generally, it offers a longer protection plan than those provided by manufacturers. Many manufacturers only grant a year of coverage. Additionally, basic warranties may not cover accidental damage resulting from spills or drops. These plans are mainly intended to assure phone owners that if they receive a device that has a manufacturing defect, the provider will replace it.

In addition to providing longer coverage, some extended warranties offer more comprehensive protection. Lifehacker points out that Best Buy's extended plans, for example, also cover accidental phone damage. 

When you shouldn't buy an extended warranty
Not every extended warranty plan is going to benefit smartphone owners, although retail employees may try to make it seem that way. Never rush into buying a warranty - if you feel that a salesman is trying to pressure you into purchasing an extended plan, remember that you don't have to buy it immediately.

You may also discover that the price of an extended plan is not worth the level of protection provided. Lifehacker reasons that phone owners should not pay more than 20 percent of the item's retail price for a warranty plan. 

When an extended warranty could be a good idea
You've heard the adage that "It's better to be safe than sorry," and while it may be awfully clichéd, it still applies greatly to many phone owners. If you know that you have a history of irresponsibility with your devices, it may be a good idea to buy an extended warranty. Even if you are a reliable person, keep in mind that some devices break easily, so it may be useful to spend some extra cash to ensure that your phone is covered from any damage that it may incur later on. Sites like Consumer Reports provide reports on the repair rates of devices. If your phone has a particularly high repair rate, it may be in your best interest to buy an extended warranty. 

Whether or not you decide to buy an extended plan, the security of your personal data and identity is not something to take lightly. Many mobile users don't realize that their iPhone warranty does not protect them from fraud. An identity protection plan like that offered by ProtectCELL can help phone owners make sure that their identities will remain their own.

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