>If you’re one of the many people (latest stats are actually over 90%) that buy expensive electronics without extra ADH protection, I will change your life today by empowering you with knowledge that will save you thousands for the rest of your life.

Actual ADH protection plans, available through Best Buy, Office Max, and a handful of other electronic retailers, offer ADH protection, or Accidental Damage and Handling… plus other needed protection: surge protection, weather damage, etc.

Between 3% – 6% of electronic purchases are processed with the additional ADH protection. Yep, the others are just raw purchases. Good for them, they won. They got out of the store without spending the extra money.

Wrong.

Let me predict your future (or remind you of your past): You have broken something expensive and had to pay full price to replace it. Or worse… wait until you could afford to replace it.

How did you feel when you dropped that cell phone or digital camera and you heard that voice in your head, the one of the sales clerk asking you, “Would you like to hear about the extended warranty protection we offer?” And you said back, “No thanks, this is all I want today… [WOO HOO, I WON, THEY LOST!]“

No actually, the next lucky retailer you go to replace that device wins and you lost. And you won’t go back to the store you bought it from because, no one wants to feel stupid for being short term money conscious.

Don’t comment or email me about how the last “extended warranty” you purchased didn’t work out, didn’t get redeemed, whatever. If it’s in writing, the sponsoring company must comply with the coverage. It’s the law. And if they sales clerk lied to you about the protection, then it’s still your fault for being in a hurry and not asking, “really? Can you show me that on the coverage brochure?”

“Hey just a dadgum minute, Crash.. Consumer Reports has been warning us for years that extended warranties are a rip off!

Yep. They’re right. Buying an extended labor or service warranty is a bad idea for most cheap electronics. Read the article again. Slowly. Breathe it all in. Again I’ll repeat… I’m posting here about ADH protection, NOT EXTENDED WARRANTIES. The sad thing is that most retail sales clerk “sell it wrong” so you’re mislead by the pitch, “do you want to also get our extended service and warranty plan?”

Your response should be: “Is this an extended service and labor warranty or Accidental Damage and Handling Protection plan?” If they give you the second option, then ask, “so if I drop this new device in the lake while I’m fishing, I can get it fixed, replaced, or my money back?”

Their response will let you know what they’re offering. Again, I’m preaching here about obvious protection most of us are ignoring at the register.

If you must save because it’s “the game” for you, then thanks for reading this far. Good luck. You’ll drop or break the device eventually and you’ll pay full price. You may even come out ahead if your device happens to be on sale the moment you broke it. Good for you. The game is afoot and you’re ahead so far.

Or, the device is no longer available or outdated now. Oh well, you can go get another cheap one with similar or better features. It’s all good…

Whatever.

Or you can spend the extra money at the register and never pay full price for it’s replacement again. One thing Consumer Reports fails to mention on just one expense that people don’t plan on, but it happens, and someone you know has done it: a cracked laptop screen.

If your laptop happens to come with some miracle warranty that will replace your cracked screen because you dropped the laptop, or stepped on it, on tripped over the power cord and jerked it onto the floor then you’re in denial. They don’t exist. If they do after this posting, then great—it’s because of my article and I’ve bettered the world. :-)

Let’s check out the costs:

Brand new Compaq Presario CQ62-220US Notebook PC Office Max this week: $430.00.

Things that will break by accidental damage:

Monitor $95.00, Keyboard $26.00, Base Enclosure $26.00, Insured shipping $50 – $80, etc, etc.

Cost of MaxAssurance protection for FOUR years: $174.00

And I’m not including the other things that will go wrong: BATTERY REPLACEMENT, surges, humidity, spills, broken keys/spacebar, yadda, yadda, yadda. Or the loaner program. Or the phone support. Or the “take it back to the store” options, or….

You get the idea. $430 or replacing it for the upfront costs of $174.00. Is it a gamble? Sure it is. But the best thing I like about insurance or “purchased protection”…. peace of mind. I break it, it becomes someone else’s problem and expense… not mine.

All I know is that I sent someone I really care about (I will protect this person’s name so he/she won’t feel even more ashamed then they did when they dropped it) an Office Max gift card for $280 so he/she could buy a specific camera for his/her birthday which included $50 for a 3 year ADH plan. They decided to use the $50 extra to upgrade their camera choice on the spot. 3 months later he/she dropped the new camera and it was instantly useless. I wasn’t told about it until months after that because “I felt really bad for not taking your advice and now I don’t have a camera because I can’t afford to replace it right now.”

I bought a big screen TV from Costco. And the ADH protection. And I moved from Texas to Wisconsin. And I broke the TV’s screen. And they replaced it (better, fancier TV since features went up, prices went down). And I’m a fan of the plan.

I’ve been in retail sales on and off again since 1981. You wouldn’t believe how many times someone has said to me, “I wish I’d have paid the extra money when bought it, now I’m buying a new one for full price.”

If you only have said amount to spend, then downgrade your features choices and include the cost of the ADH protection. If you’re doing some internet research, also keep in mind that all the negative posts you read about “extended warranties” come from human beings treating human beings badly. Stores have great employees and they have bad employees. Know any bad employees at YOUR company? When the rubber meets the road, the sponsoring retailer who sells the protection plan is responsible for it’s redemption. The laws are on your side.

When a clerk spouts off the cost of their ADH plan, do the math. You’ll discover your peace of mind should come to about a $1.00 per week. Be prepared to spend the money upfront, budget for it. Call the store ahead of time. If you’re researching your device, research their ADH coverages and costs, too.

I actually like to call the store that “lost my sale” and tell ‘em to contact their supervisor and let them know that Office Max (or Best Buy, or Lowes, etc.) got the sale because their ADH plan was more comprehensive and cheaper!

THAT’S how you win the game.

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