Coverplan Service Agreements - worth having ?

  Creditman 14:35 24 Feb 2004

My system being almost 12 months old, Mastercare have offered 2-year service agreements as follows : on my Emachine 270 for £110, on the TFT monitor for £34 & on the HP PSC 2115 for £31. An engineer will visit if fault cannot be fixed over phone (says the smaal print). I wonder if these are good value - any thoughts or experience please ?

  Diodorus Siculus 14:45 24 Feb 2004

Well, my view of these things is that there is unlikely to be £110 worth of a problem with your pc seems that it has gotten through the first year or so. Generally speaking, any problems likely to arise may be software related. Clean out any dust from within the PC and ensure that all fans are running as they should and you should be ok.

The TFT monitor also should be ok - again, problems are likely to arise early. I don't imagine that the coverplan will cover things like wear and tear, and if the quality of the image decreases, it is likely to be put down to natural wear and tear. Same goes for the printer; unlikely to be a cause of concern.

But don't take my word for it; others will no doubt have their own opinions.

  Widows Son 14:49 24 Feb 2004

unless you can just cover the monitor for £34

Reasons being

Your printer can be bought new for £99 and a realistic 2nd hand value of it would be £40 - £50 so I wouldn't pay insurance at £31

You would need a catalog of things to go wrong before £110 would be money well spent.
Motherboards can be replaced for £40-80 Processors £50-80 Hard Drives £50-100 Keyboards £10+

Besides when they talk about "over the phone" at what call rate are they talking about free or £1.50 per minute?

  LastChip 14:49 24 Feb 2004


  Widows Son 14:50 24 Feb 2004

But it seems we were replying at the same time

  Jester2K 14:52 24 Feb 2004

Aren't these things covered by a warranty anyway?

  byfordr 14:55 24 Feb 2004

Or just put £175 towards a replacement that will be better spec'd. You can get new pc's with TFT screens for under £500 now.

  Sir Radfordin 14:58 24 Feb 2004

If you get any form of accidental cover for the items then I'd be tempted by the £34 for the TFT screen but not for the other items for the same reasons as given above. The cost of sorting out a new TFT screen is the one thing you may save money on should something go wrong.

Yes a motherboard can be replaced for £40-£50 providing you do it yourself, but if you have to have an engineer to do this, or any of the other things that can go wrong then the cost will very quickly rise.
If you are not happy or confident on doing your own fault finding/repairs, the £110 for two years is good value; otherwise don't bother.

  Stuartli 15:29 24 Feb 2004

Extended warranties are, more often than not, a complete waste of money and often excessively priced.

If I bought a year's extra warranty for my £200 Minolta digital camera it would cost £64 - in contrast a four year parts warranty for a £500 Miele washing machine, commencing after the original one year warranty expired, was just £15.

That's good value, especially as the key components of the washing machine (drum etc) come with a 10-year parts and labour warranty in any case.

The camera is now two years old (the original was replaced by Minolta when it was just over three months old when the zoom lens would not always extend or retract and, was therefore, covered by the manufacturer's original warranty) and this replacement has given no problems.

  Stuartli 15:34 24 Feb 2004

If a computer system is going to go wrong (I'm not including the monitor in this and they are generally very reliable in any case), on average it is normally very shortly after it has been acquired.

It would therefore be covered by the original warranty/guarantee.

As yours, as already pointed out by Diodorus Siculus, is now about a year old and still going strong, I'd put the £110 asked for the system and £31 for the printer warranties into a savings account to help pay for its eventual replacement....:-)

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