It's good to see someone with a positive experience relate it on this board. I also work for CompUSA in a certain respect & have seen a number of instances where customers are taken care of above & beyond what the situation calls for. Obviously, they will try to fix the one you have because the assumption is that you really like it, thus you end up waiting at times for parts to come in & what not. I feel for those who have not been properly dealt with & can only tell you to keep working on it through phone calls up the ladder & be patient.
As for the extended warranty argument, I agree that it is not always necessary. That said, I have to seriously disagree when it comes to laptops & HDTV's. These modern technologies suffer from certain usage problems that really require you to get extended service.
First, laptops are a mobile technology. This in & of itself will cause wear & tear most technology will not see. Screen replacement is a must in case the unspeakable happens, but the benefits of total repair of anything from a key to the screen itself make this a viable purchase. Maybe not so much on a desktop, but definitely on a laptop. Also, the newer HDTV's use bulbs to light the screen & they typically burn out within a year or two. The cost of the bulb alone will justify the service plan & having the added protection against other problems is a nice safety net.
The best thing I can liken it to is insurance for your car. If something goes wrong, you call your insurance agency (in this case a CompUSA store) and let them know of your problem. They fix it or replace it & you go on with your life. Sure, some people will be stuck with waiting for periods of time but my guess would be 75-90% get resolved within the first 2 weeks.
For the guy who spilled his beer
on his $3000 laptop you got what you deserved, sorry, but you did. For 20 years computer manufacturers have been telling everyone not to put drinks around their computers & yet people still do it. Do I put my sodas on my $4000 Phillips HDTV? Are you kidding me? Would I throw a friend out of my house if he did it? In a heartbeat, he would be fired out my front door & have his beer thrown at his head.
For the guy who said he never bought an extended service in 20 years, you have either been extremely lucky or have been very rude to some store employees at some point in your life. I see these old guys come in all the time & just rant & rave about their problem that we can do nothing about. It's not the employees' fault and you were offered the extended service. If you can afford to buy a brand new piece 12 months later then yeah, the service may not be important for you. If a laptop costing over $1,000 is a big purchase then I have to ask you guys to please reread what I have said in the first few paragraphs.
I have been on both ends of the equations. I helped my father buy his Sony 60" WEGA HDTV & insisted that he buy the service because they watch a good deal of TV. I will do a mathematical rundown for you:
average day of viewing for someone who works full-time:3-10 hours, totalling about 30 hours a week with weekends included.
average year = 52weeks*30 hours=1560 hours a years
bulb life=1,000-2,000 hours on LCD/DLP, some of them get 3,000
bulb cost=$200-$400 a pop
average amount spent on bulbs over 3 years: $750 (from $300-1200 dependant upon said variables)
average service contract for those 3 years: $250-500 depending on the HDTV's price
Do these companies make money on these service plans? Of course they do, if they didn't make money on everything they sold you they wouldn't be in business anymore. Does that mean it is a bad investment? Well my car insurance agent makes more money than I do, does that mean I should cancel my car insurance? It's always going to be a personal choice, but it's worth it for something that costs this much money...even if you ARE rich. Clark Howard isn't always right folks, sorry.