September 7, 2006
sponsored by NEW
ISSN 1550-9214         

Television Warranties:

Bigger is usually better, when it comes to TV warranties. While the old tube TVs are more or less disposable, flat screen vendors usually either fix them in the home or send someone out to pick up the units that fail. And while a year is the most common warranty period, several TV manufacturers issue multi-year warranties on their premium lines.

The television industry is an ideal setting for warranty comparisons. Unlike with computers or cameras, there are not a whole lot of options or enhancements to consider. It's basically an illuminated rectangle with speakers and a remote control.

In past weeks we've also looked at printers, MP3 players and CD/DVD players, where the simplicity of the features list isn't always a given. But what also makes televisions an ideal environment for analysis is how neatly the market divides based on screen technology. There are the old cathode ray tube models, then there are the new flat screens, and somewhere in between are the models based on a projector and a screen.

Therefore, we took an extra couple of days this week to make sure we did a thorough job of touring the television warranty world. Unlike with some products where all the warranties are the same and all the products are different, warranties really do vary considerably for TVs based on screen size, purchase price, and screen technology. And given the importance the retail channel attaches to extended warranties for TVs, particularly the largest units, we though it important to develop a good baseline understanding of the manufacturers' product warranties.

Flat vs. Fat

We surveyed 229 televisions sold under 32 different brand names. We looked for the old-style tube televisions (which we designated CRT), the rear projection TVs, and the flat screen TVs (either LCD or plasma).

As we did for computer monitors and other product categories on our summer-long warranty tour, we tried to make selections from the low end, the high end, and the midranges of each manufacturer's product line. Screen size was a big factor, but so was price. And price wasn't always a function of screen size.

Three-quarters of the units we found were flat screen, and of those, two-thirds were LCD and a third were plasma. Only 37 were CRT and only 33 were rear projection, so we found something approaching a bell curve when it comes to screen technology. One could make inferences about the waning or waxing of these technologies based on those totals, but we won't go there. Let's just say that flatness sells, and fatness doesn't.

It was quite reassuring to find TVs still for sale under venerated brand names such as Sylvania, RCA, and Zenith, even if they're not the same companies any more. And it was something of a surprise to find representation in the consumer TV marketplace from computer brands such as Dell and HP, automotive brands such as Hyundai, camera makers such as Polaroid, and appliance brands such as Westinghouse. Whatever happened to those TV-in-a-stove products anyway?

Inch By Inch

We found TV sets with screens stretching all the way in size from 2.5 inches to 84 inches, measured diagonally. The smallest tended to be either CRT or LCD models, while the very largest tended to be either plasma or rear projection units. The largest currently shipping screen was an 84" plasma model from NEC, but second, third and fourth place went to rear projection units. The largest CRT model found was a 38" unit from RCA. LCD televisions spanned the range all the way from 2.5" to 65".

With apologies to our international readers, one inch or 1" equals two-and-a-half centimeters, give or take. But since we're touring just the American TV market, we stuck with the units as they were listed. And diagonal screen size in inches is the first and most important feature listed for any TV set sold in the U.S. No matter what the rest of the world thinks, we still like our fuel in gallons, our TVs in inches, and our burgers in quarter pounds.

We thought about listing the televisions by screen type, but that would have denied readers the chance to compare similar sizes based on different technologies. For instance, around the 38" to 42" level there's the possibility of buying either a CRT, LCD, plasma, or rear projection unit -- sometimes from the same manufacturer.

So instead, we decided to chop the world of televisions up into three highly arbitrary groups: everything under 30 inches, between 30 and 50 inches, and 50 inches and above. Within each group, TVs are listed alphabetically by brand, then in ascending order based on warranty, and then in ascending order based on price. A mixture of street and list prices were used, but this doesn't matter much to the analysis because none of the prices are listed here. We merely used the price data to find cases where cheaper TV sets had better warranties than their more expensive brand mates.

Another Bell Curve

One year parts and one year labor is overwhelmingly the typical warranty period within the U.S. television industry. The 90-day warranties found so frequently elsewhere in the consumer electronics sector were less common for TVs. Only a dozen models out of 229 had 90-day parts warranties -- most covered the cost of parts for 12 months, even if labor was covered for only 90 days. However, even 1-yr./90-day coverage frequently turns out to be a throwaway program disguised as a warranty. With labor paid for by the consumer after day 91, unless the failure occurs within a few months of purchase, that means it will probably cost more to fix than to replace, even if the parts are free for the rest of the year.

But we found only thirty models carrying 90-day labor warranties, and most of them were of the old CRT type that are highly likely to be replaced soon even if they do continue to work perfectly. Only RCA, Sharp, and Audiovox sold LCD units carrying 90-day labor warranties. Everybody else was a year or better. Incredibly, there were two plasma screens -- one each from Akai and Insignia -- that carried only 90-day warranties on both parts and labor. At prices close to $1,400 for each, they're hardly disposable if they fail, but those manufacturers don't seem to care.

At the other end of the bell curve, there were numerous manufacturers standing behind their products for longer than a year. Of the 33 TVs that had anything better than a one-year warranty on either parts or labor, only two were CRT models, and only nine were LCDs. The other 22 were all plasma screens from Fujitsu, Hitachi, LG Electronics, NEC, Pioneer, Sampo, Samsung, and Sony. And there were another 22 plasma screens with only a one-year warranty, including five priced over $5,000. So, while at least eight plasma sellers are trying to boost their competitiveness and quality image with better-than-average warranties, two are still selling plasma screens like they were throwaway items.

Terms & Conditions

Because the flat screens used in commercial applications so frequently fall victim to image burn-in, and because those sets may be turned on more or less all day, it's common to find manufacturers either disclaiming or severely limiting their warranties if the units are used outside the home.

It's also becoming common to see manufacturers try to limit distribution by disclaiming warranties if the unit was purchased from anyone but an authorized reseller. For instance, Fujitsu General is generous with its three-year warranties, but the company makes a special mention in its terms and conditions that the warranty is invalid if the product was purchased from an unauthorized dealer or online retailer. Shipping in both directions is also not covered at any time.

Sampo also disclaims the two-year warranty in bold print if the product is not bought from an authorized retailer. But Sampo expressedly endorses commercial applications of its displays.

Regent USA, the company behind the Maxent brand, explicitly states in its terms and conditions that the warranty period for its plasma and LCD units is one year for consumers and 90 days for commercial applications. Sony does the same for its 42" rear projection TV, and Toshiba does the same for its plasma TVs. Norcent and RCA completely exclude commercial users from their warranty policies, so any TVs used for commercial purposes are out of warranty.

You may have peeked below and noticed the .08 years in the Mitsubishi column. That's not a typo. Mitsubishi guarantees the screen on its largest rear projection televisions with only a 30-day warranty, covering parts and labor. The bulb is covered for one year, parts only, meaning the customer must replace it themselves. But at least the most crucial piece of the hardware is covered for more than a month.

In contrast, Panasonic covers the bulb in its projection TVs for 90 days, and the rest of the set for one year (parts and labor). Panasonic guarantees its CRT screens for two years (90 days for labor) and the rest of the set for one year (90 days labor). The glass panel on its plasma sets is covered for two years (one year labor), with all other parts covered for one year (parts and labor). Sharp and Sony guarantee their CRT screens for two years (90 days labor) while the rest of the sets are warranted for one year parts, 90 days labor. NEC guarantees its plasma screens for one year, with all other parts and labor covered for three years.

Durability vs. Vulnerability

The problem is that CRT, plasma, LCD, and projection TV screens all have different durabilities, and different vulnerabilities. Not many of us have ever kicked in a tube TV, but we all know what a cataclysmic event that would be in the life of the product. CRT screens don't crack unless they're hit hard. Plasma and LCD screens don't explode, but their screens can burn in persistent images, and pixels malfunction over time, one at a time. The bulbs inside of projection TVs burn out like the light bulbs they are.

Therefore, some manufacturers assign either longer or shorter warranties to the screen or the bulb, as the case may be. But the Mitsubishi 30-day warranty period on the screen is especially brief, as are the Panasonic 10-day warranties on some of their rechargeable batteries for cameras -- they're almost out of box, out of warranty products. And they should be red flags for potential customers, if they were properly disclosed before the sale. We bet most Mitsubishi projection TV and most Panasonic digital camera customers have no idea how long ago their screen and battery warranties expired, nor do they care until they need to care.

So let the warranty tour begin. We'll start at the small end of the market -- in other words what used to be the market until designers got the idea that bigger is better. Perhaps someday we'll have to measure our screens diagonally in meters. But it doesn't seem all that long ago that a 27" screen was considered large.

TV Warranties
for Screen Sizes Under 30"

  Brand, Make, Model & Description  Parts  Warranty  (years)  Labor  Warranty  (years)
  Akai LCT2701TD 27" LCD 1 1
  Audiovox TFT2500 2.5" LCD 0.25 0.25
  Audiovox TFT5000 5" LCD 0.25 0.25
  Audiovox D1210 12" LCD 1 1
  Audiovox FPE2005 20" LCD 1 1
  Audiovox FPE2705 27" LCD 1 1
  Audiovox FPE2305 23" LCD 1 1
  BenQ Q150 15" LCD 1 1
  BenQ H200 20" LCD 1 1
  BenQ DV2680 26" LCD 1 1
  Dell W2306C 23" LCD 1 1
  Dell W2607C 26" LCD 1 1
  Hitachi 26HDL52 26" LCD 1 1
  Hyundai IT E260D 26" LCD 1 1
  Insignia IS-TV040920 20" CRT 0.25 0.25
  Insignia NS-27HTV 27" CRT 1 1
  Kreisen KR-270T 27" LCD 1 1
  LG 15LC1RB 15" LCD 1 1
  LG 20LC1RB 20" LCD 1 1
  Maxent MX-26X3 26" LCD 1 1
  Norcent LT-2022 20" LCD 1 1
  Norcent LT-2722 27" LCD 1 1
  Panasonic PV-20DF25 20" CRT 1 0.25
  Panasonic TC-23LX60 23" LCD 1 1
  Panasonic TC-26LX600 26" LCD 1 1
  Philips 20PT643R 20" CRT 1 0.25
  Philips 27PT9015D/37 27" CRT 1 0.25
  Philips 26PF5321D/37 26" LCD 1 1
  Planar XP17W 17" LCD 3 3
  Polaroid TTM-2401 24" CRT 0.25 0.25
  Polaroid TTM-2003 20" CRT DVD 0.25 0.25
  Polaroid FDM-1511 15" LCD 1 1
  Polaroid FLM-1911 19" LCD 1 1
  Polaroid FLM-2634B 26" LCD 1 1
  RCA 14F512T 14" LCD 1 0.25
  RCA 20V500T 20" CRT 1 0.25
  RCA 20F510TD 20" LCD 1 0.25
  RCA 24V510T 24" CRT 1 1
  RCA L26W11 26" LCD 1 1
  Sampo LME-15S2 15" LCD 2 2
  Sampo SME-27FDL6 29" CRT 2 2
  Samsung TX-R1635 16" CRT 1 0.25
  Samsung TX-R2035 20" CRT 1 0.25
  Samsung TX-R2435 24" CRT 1 0.25
  Samsung LN-R1550P 15" LCD 1 1
  Samsung TX-S2783 27" CRT 1 1
  Samsung LN-S2341W 23" LCD 1 1
  Samsung LN-S2738D 27" LCD 1 1
  Sharp 25C340 25" CRT 1 0.25
  Sharp LC-20SH3U 20" LCD 1 0.25
  Sharp Aquos LC-15A2U 15" LCD 1 1
  Sharp 27N-S300 27" CRT 1 1
  Sharp Aquos LC-20D30U 20" LCD 1 1
  Sharp Aquos LC-26GA4U 26" LCD 1 1
  Sony KV-20FS120 20" CRT 1 0.25
  Sony KV-24FS120 24" CRT 1 0.25
  Sony KD-27FS170 27" CRT 1 0.25
  Sony KDL-26S2000 26" LCD 1 1
  Sony MFM-HT95 19" LCD PC 3 3
  Sony MFM-HT205 20" LCD PC 3 3
  Sylvania C6413TE 13" CRT 1 1
  Sylvania C6419TE 19" CRT 1 1
  Sylvania C6615LE 15" LCD 1 1
  Sylvania C6727TE 27" CRT 1 1
  Syntax Olevia LT20S 20" LCD 1 1
  Syntax Olevia LT27HVS 27" LCD 1 1
  Toshiba 13A26 13" CRT 1 0.25
  Toshiba 24AF45 24" CRT 1 0.25
  Toshiba 27D46 27" CRT 1 0.25
  Toshiba 20HLV86 20" LCD DVD 1 1
  Toshiba 23HL85 23" LCD 1 1
  ViewSonic N2011 20" LCD 1 1
  ViewSonic N2751w 27" LCD 1 1
  Westinghouse LTV-20v4 20" LCD 1 1
  Westinghouse LTV-27w2 27" LCD 1 1
  Zenith Z15LA7R 15" LCD 1 1
  Zenith Z23LZ6R 23" LCD 1 1

Notice how several manufacturers assign the shortest warranties to the low end of their line, where screen sizes are smallest, unit price is lowest, and the technologies are oldest. Those Audiovox miniature LCDs sell for under $100, as does the Toshiba 13". But then again, so do two of the Sylvania units, and they have one-year warranties. So obviously some manufacturers position their wares as disposables while others are willing to stand behind them for a year.

And while there are no warranties over a year at the real low end, Planar has found a way to back a $500 17" LCD screen with a three-year warranty. Sampo has a 15" LCD and a 29" CRT that get two-year warranties. And Sony has a 19" LCD model that also can double as a PC monitor. Admittedly, its $800 list price puts it at the top end of the small-screen segment, but nobody would call it a disposable.

In the midrange screen size, longer warranties are a little more common, and shorter warranties are a little less common. It's no wonder: only two of the units in the list below retail for less than $500, and only 16 more retail for $500 to $1,000. The top of the line in this screen size can range as high as $4,000 or more for the JVC and Polaroid LCD models, or the LG and Fujitsu plasma models.

Higher Price & Longer Warranty

Interestingly, there are nine models on the list below that sell for more than $2,500 yet still have only one-year warranties. We won't mention them, but we will mention the eight other sets selling for more than $2,500 that carry longer-than-a-year warranties: the Fujitsu Plasmavision P42XTA51UB; the Hitachi 37HLX99; the Hitachi 42HDX99; the LG 42PX4D; the NEC PX-42XR4A; the Pioneer PRO-930HD; the Sampo LME-42X8; and the Sony FWD-40LX1. Five are plasmas and three are LCDs, and all are between 37" and 43" in size.

The only other CRT on any of these lists that has a two- or three-year warranty is the 34" Sony model, which lists for $1,200. There are no rear projection screens on either of the lists with anything better than a one-year warranty. So maybe the manufacturers know something about durability that they're not saying? Or could it be that the pressure to leave retailers room to sell extended warranties is so strong that manufacturers dare not encroach on their territory?

TV Warranties
for Screen Sizes Between 30" & 50"

  Brand, Make, Model & Description  Parts  Warranty  (years)  Labor  Warranty  (years)
  Akai PDP4295ED 42" plasma 0.25 0.25
  Akai LCT3226 32" LCD 1 1
  Audiovox FPE3205 32" LCD 1 1
  BenQ DV3080 30" LCD 1 1
  BenQ 46W1T 46" plasma 1 1
  Dell W3207C 32" LCD 1 1
  Dell W3706MC 37" LCD 1 1
  Dell W4201C 42" plasma 1 1
  Fujitsu P42XTA51UB 42" plasma 3 3
  Hitachi 32HDL52 32" LCD 1 1
  Hitachi 42HDT79 42" plasma 1 1
  Hitachi 37HDL52 37" LCD 1 1
  Hitachi 37HLX99 37" LCD 2 2
  Hitachi 42HDX99 42" plasma 2 2
  HP LC3260N 32" LCD 1 1
  HP PL4260N 42" plasma 1 1
  HP SLC3760N 37" LCD 1 1
  Hyundai IT Q321 32" LCD 1 1
  Hyundai IT E370D 37" LCD 1 1
  Insignia IS-TVHD30 30" CRT 0.25 0.25
  Insignia IS-EDPLTV42 42" plasma 0.25 0.25
  JVC AV32WF47 32" CRT 1 1
  JVC LT32X667 32" LCD 1 1
  JVC LT-40X667 40" LCD 1 1
  JVC LT-46FN97 46" LCD 1 1
  Kreisen KR-320T 32" LCD 1 1
  LG DU-42LZ30 42" LCD 1 1
  LG 42PX4D 42" plasma 2 2
  Maxent MX-42VM11 42" plasma 1 1
  Mitsubishi PD-4265 42" plasma 1 1
  NEC PX-42XM4A 42" plasma 1 1
  NEC PX-42XR4A 42" plasma 3 3
  Norcent LT-3225 32" LCD 1 1
  Norcent PM-4201 42" plasma 1 1
  Panasonic TC-32LX600 32" LCD 1 1
  Panasonic TH-42PD50U 42" plasma 1 1
  Panasonic CT-30WX15 30" CRT 2 0.25
  Philips 32PT9005D/37 32" CRT 1 0.25
  Philips 32PF5321D/37 32" LCD 1 1
  Philips 42PF7421D/37 42" LCD 1 1
  Philips 42PF9631D/37 42" plasma 1 1
  Pioneer PDP-4270HD 42" plasma 1 1
  Pioneer PRO-930HD 43" plasma 2 2
  Planar XP37W 37" LCD 1 1
  Planar PD42ED 42" plasma 1 1
  Polaroid FLM-3234B 32" LCD 1 1
  Polaroid FLM-3734B 37" LCD 1 1
  Polaroid PLA-4237 42" plasma 1 1
  Polaroid FLM-4701 47" LCD 1 1
  RCA D32F750T 32" LCD 1 1
  RCA F38310 38" CRT 1 1
  RCA D40W20 40" rear proj 1 1
  Sampo PME-42V8 42" plasma 2 2
  Sampo LME-32X8 32" LCD 2 2
  Sampo LME-42X8 42" LCD 2 2
  Samsung TX-P3064W 30" CRT 1 1
  Samsung TX-R3265 32" CRT 1 1
  Samsung LN-S3251D 32" LCD 1 1
  Samsung HL-S4266W 42" rear proj 1 1
  Samsung SP-S4243 42" plasma 1 1
  Samsung LN-S4041D 40" LCD 1 1
  Samsung HP-S4273 42" plasma 2 2
  Sharp LC-37SH20U 37" LCD 1 0.25
  Sharp 36C530 36" CRT 1 1
  Sony KD-32FS170 32" CRT 1 0.25
  Sony KD-36FS170 36" CRT 1 0.25
  Sony KDF-42E2000 42" rear proj 1 1
  Sony KDL-32S2000 32" LCD 1 1
  Sony KLV-40U100M 40" LCD 1 1
  Sony KD-34XBR970 34" CRT 2 2
  Sony PFM-42B2H 42" plasma 2 2
  Sony FWD-40LX1 40" LCD 2 2
  Syntax Olevia LT32HVE 32" LCD 1 1
  Toshiba 34HF85 34" CRT 1 1
  Toshiba 32HL83 32" LCD 1 1
  Toshiba 42HP66 42" plasma 1 1
  Toshiba 37HLX95 37" LCD DVD 1 1
  ViewSonic N3251w 32" LCD 1 1
  ViewSonic N3760w 37" LCD 1 1
  ViewSonic N4060w 40" LCD 1 1
  ViewSonic N4200w 42" LCD 1 1
  Westinghouse LTV-30w2 30" LCD 1 1
  Westinghouse LTV-32w3 HD 32" LCD 1 1
  Westinghouse LTV-37w2 HD 37" LCD 1 1
  Westinghouse LTV-40w1 HDC 40" LCD 1 1
  Zenith Z32LZ5R 32" LCD 1 1
  Zenith Z42PX2D/H 42" plasma 1 1
  Zenith Z37LZ5D 37" LCD 1 1

We're already deep into the territory that only a few years ago would have been classified as big screen. But the fact is that they get even bigger. And somewhere north of a 27" screen there comes a point where weight and size make it impractical for manufacturers to insist that the consumer must bring the defective unit back to the point of purchase to get it repaired.

Each manufacturer has a different policy, and there is no consensus. But most have some policy about a pickup, either by a shipping company or by an authorized repair technician. One of the best policies comes from Dell Inc., which is somewhat of a surprise given the beating they have taken lately for their computer customer care. For its larger plasma screens, after the usual troubleshooting back-and-forth over the phone, Dell sends a technician to the home, who packs and ships the unit for the customer. But the customer may have to pay a $100 fee for the visit. For the smaller LCD units, Dell will simply ship a replacement unit to the customer, and will expect them to ship back the defective unit.

BenQ provides a one-year warranty on parts and labor, but it will pay for freight in both directions for just the first 90 days. After 90 days, the customer must pay for freight in both directions. With a smaller unit, that may be a minor charge, but some of these really big screens need two people to carry them. Just imagine for a second if refrigerators were fixed that way.

In-Home Service vs. Pick-up or Drop-off

The line between sending it back and picking it up varies from one manufacturer to the next. RCA's CRT warranty allows for pickup of any tube TVs larger than 20" by an authorized RCA service center technician. Panasonic sets the line between carry-in and in-home service at 22 inches for its CRT units. With the less bulky flat screens, the line of demarcation is of course higher. Norcent, for instance, provides a carry-in warranty for flat screens up to 40", and an in-home repair for anything over 40". Sampo picks up anything larger than 33", regardless of its screen technology. Sony provides for a pick-up of anything larger than 30".

Keep that in mind as you scan the list below. It may be worthwhile to buy the extended warranty after all -- not because they're extended in terms of time, but because they're extended in terms of service level. Again, going back to the refrigerator analogy: imagine if GE or Whirlpool regularly send someone out to pick up the unit or package it for shipment via UPS. What would you do with the food? It's immensely clear why the repair is usually done in the home. And it's becoming clearer why these big screens don't travel well. It's not just a question of weight or size. It also involves loss of use, and many consumers would pay to prevent that from happening. In other words, it's not just the length of the warranty or the width of the screen that matters. It's also the depth of the repair service.

TV Warranties
for Screen Sizes Over 50"

  Brand, Make, Model & Description  Parts  Warranty  (years)  Labor  Warranty  (years)
  Dell W5001C 50" plasma 1 1
  Fujitsu P50XTA51US 50" plasma 3 3
  Fujitsu P55XTA51UB 55" plasma 3 3
  Fujitsu P63XTA51US 63" plasma 3 3
  Hitachi 50VG825 50" rear proj 1 1
  Hitachi 62VS69 62" rear proj 1 1
  Hitachi 60VG825 60" rear proj 1 1
  Hitachi 55HDT79 55" plasma 1 1
  Hitachi 55HDM71 55" plasma 1 1
  Hitachi 70VS810 70" rear proj 1 1
  Hitachi 55HDX99 55" plasma 2 2
  HP PL5060N 50" plasma 1 1
  HP MD5880n 58" rear proj 1 1
  HP MD6580n 65" rear proj 1 1
  JVC HD527BP7 52" rear proj 1 1
  JVC HD567BP7 56" rear proj 1 1
  JVC HD617BP7 61" rear proj 1 1
  JVC HD56FN97 56" rear proj 1 1
  JVC HD61FN97 61" rear proj 1 1
  LG 52SX4D 52" rear proj 1 1
  LG 62SX4D 62" rear proj 1 1
  LG 55LP1M 55" LCD 1 1
  LG 50PX5D 50" plasma 2 2
  LG DU60PY10 60" plasma 2 2
  LG MW-71PY10 71" plasma 2 2
  Maxent MX-50X3 50" plasma 1 1
  Mitsubishi WD-52628 52" rear proj 1/0.08 1/0.08
  Mitsubishi WD-62628 62" rear proj 1/0.08 1/0.08
  Mitsubishi WD-62827 62" rear proj 1/0.08 1/0.08
  Mitsubishi WD-73727 73" rear proj 1/0.08 1/0.08
  Mitsubishi WD-73927 73" rear proj 1/0.08 1/0.08
  Mitsubishi PD-6150 61" plasma 1/0.08 1/0.08
  NEC PX-84VM5A 84" plasma 1 1
  NEC PX-61XM4A 61" plasma 1 1
  NEC PX-61XR4A 61" plasma 3 3
  Panasonic PT-56LCX66 56" rear proj 1 1
  Panasonic PT-61LCX65 61" rear proj 1 1
  Panasonic PT-61LCX66 61" rear proj 1 1
  Panasonic TH-58PX600U 58" plasma 1 1
  Philips 50PF9731D/37 50" plasma 1 1
  Pioneer PDP-5070HD 50" plasma 1 1
  Pioneer PRO-1410HD 61" plasma 2 2
  Pioneer PRO-FHD1 50" plasma 2 2
  Polaroid PLA-5040 50" plasma 1 1
  RCA HD50LPW175 50" rear proj 1 1
  RCA HD65W20 65" rear proj 1 1
  Sampo PME-50X10 50" plasma 2 2
  Samsung HL-R6768W 67" rear proj 1 1
  Samsung HP-S5033 50" plasma 1 1
  Samsung HL-R7178W 71" rear proj 1 1
  Samsung LN-S5797D 57" LCD 1 1
  Samsung HP-S5073 50" plasma 2 2
  Samsung HP-R6372 63" plasma 2 2
  Sharp 56DR650 56" rear proj 1 1
  Sharp 65DR650 65" rear proj 1 1
  Sharp Aquos LC-65D90U 65" LCD 1 1
  Sony KDF-50E2000 50" rear proj 1 1
  Sony KDS-60A2000 60" rear proj 1 1
  Sony FWD-50PX2/B 50" LCD 2 2
  Sony PFM-50C1 50" plasma 2 2
  Toshiba 52HM95 52" rear proj HDTV 1 1
  Toshiba 72MX195 72" rear proj 1 1
  Toshiba 50HPX95 50" plasma 1 1
  Zenith Z50PX2D 50" plasma 1 1

In this very large screen segment it's common for manufacturers to position a part of their line as premium, both in terms of price and in terms of warranty. All six of the plasma units selling for more than $8,000 carry warranties longer than a year. Of the 22 plasma models selling for between $3,000 and $8,000, twelve carry warranties longer than a year. And of the twelve brands that play at this rarified price level, only Mitsubishi, Toshiba, and Zenith have nothing to offer that carries a premium warranty.

Other Stops on the Warranty Tour

Automotive Warranties

Computer Warranties

Consumer Electronics

NEW Customer Service Companies


This Week’s Warranty Week Headlines

General Motors to provide a 5-yr./100,000-mile powertrain warranty on all 2007 cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. and Canada.
Press Release, September 6, 2006
Deutsch/LA to handle $60 million advertising budget for GM's new powertrain warranties.
Adweek, September 6, 2006
New York officials drop some of the charges against former American International Group executives Maurice R. Greenberg and Howard I. Smith.
Business Insurance, September 6, 2006
American Standard Warranty Company licenses 4CS iWarranty software to help manage extended warranties.
Press Release, September 5, 2006
Microsoft Windows XP end user license agreement disclaims all damages, including breaches of contract.
InfoWorld, September 5, 2006

More Warranty Headlines below

SAS Institute


Warranty Headlines (cont’d)

TH Properties introduces five-year home warranties in Malaysia.
Malaysia Star, September 4, 2006
Zandl Group says the iPod backlash has begun, citing battery life as an issue.
Times of London, September 3, 2006
Bridgestone says failure of the Louisiana Superdome's roof during Katrina was an "act of God," not covered under warranty.
Associated Press, September 2, 2006
Hartford tests a fuel cell bus, but it needs a longer warranty to be competitive with diesel models.
Hartford Courant, September 1, 2006
Datalogic UK appoints Mercom to do warranty work on its barcode scanners and handhelds.
Press Release, September 1, 2006

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ServiceBench for Service Administrators


Warranty Headlines (cont’d)

4CS CEO Ashok Kartham to speak at warranty management webinar on Sept. 7 at 1 PM EDT, joined by Mark Vigoroso of Aberdeen & Jeff Stewart of Takeuchi.
Press Release, August 31, 2006
Attorney says many commercial software warranties aren't much better than "as-is."
InfoWorld, August 31, 2006
Driver wants cracked windshield, first paid for by insurance, to now be repaired under warranty.
Hamilton Spectator, August 31, 2006
Carrier Transicold broadens its extended warranty coverage to include units up to eight years old with up to 16,000 engine run hours.
Press Release, August 30, 2006
Freightliner's SelecTrucks Division covers used Class 8 trucks with a 36-month/300,000-mile warranty.
Press Release, August 29, 2006

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4CS iWarranty


Warranty Headlines (cont’d)

ServiceMaster may move headquarters to Memphis.
Crain's Chicago Business, August 29, 2006
Tektronix covers two new digital oscilloscopes with a lifetime warranty.
Press Release, August 29, 2006
Prosecutors say Discovery Ford in Michigan may have swindled customers by pocketing extended warranty premiums.
Muskegon Chronicle, August 29, 2006
Ford's PZEV Focus with the 2.0-liter Duratec 20E engine meets California requirements with a 15 year/150,000 mile emissions warranty.
Press Release, August 28, 2006
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies boosts Deskstar 7K500 hard drive's warranty from three years to five.
Press Release, August 28, 2006

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Warranty Headlines (cont’d)

SAS Institute announces a new reseller program that will bring business intelligence to a broader customer base.
Press Release, August 28, 2006
Therapedic president says long warranties give a false impression of a product’s useful life.
Furniture Today, August 28, 2006
Better Building Solutions introduces warranty management service for homebuilders.
Press Release, August 26, 2006
Electronic Arts worker says Xbox failure rate much higher than 3-5%, says Capcom's Dead Rising game causes heat problem; Microsoft denys story.
Game Daily Biz, August 25, 2006
Apple to replace for free 1.8 million PowerPC-based notebook batteries affected by recall.
Information Week, August 25, 2006

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AMT Warranty Corp.


Warranty Headlines (cont’d)

Apple, Dell & Toyota recalls affect iconic brands.
AMR Research, August 25, 2006
General Motors India launches CNG Chevrolet Optra, powered by compressed natural gas, with a two-year 100K warranty.
Gujarat Global, August 25, 2006
Mark Brunelle of Hardware 4 Less sentenced to home confinement for selling counterfeit Compaq parts to federal lab.
WCAX-TV, Concord NH, August 25, 2006
A Warranty replacement, Verizon-style.
InfoWorld, August 25, 2006
Consumers urged to scrutinise warranties, tale of an earpiece that fell apart after a month.
Borneo Bulletin, August 25, 2006
New Web site opens to help consumers manage receipts for products with long warranties.
Net 4 Now UK, August 25, 2006
Student's dad says buy the four-year warranty after son wrecks two laptops at school.
Baltimore Sun, August 24, 2006
Dell details inductor failure on 2003 PowerEdge 1650 servers to refute blog story that they caught fire.
CRN, August 24, 2006
Portland Water District to sell water service line warranties backed by Home Service USA Corp. for $4/month to residential customers.
Press Release, August 23, 2006
Members of the Independent Tire Dealers Group LLC to offer the Sonsio Road Hazard Program in 11 states.
Modern Tire Dealer, August 23, 2006
iPod gray market booms in India, but even for legit Apple units the closest warranty center is in Singapore.
Wired News, August 23, 2006
IBM announces high-end disk array storage systems backed by a four-year warranty to reduce the cost of ownership.
Computerworld, August 22, 2006
Apple Computer once again tops the 19th Annual Reader Satisfaction Survey at PC Magazine.
PC Magazine, August 21, 2006
Laptop's status turns from available to sold out once customer declines to buy the extended warranty.
Ventura County Star, August 21, 2006
Dell says customers must wait 20 business days for a replacement laptop battery.
Information Week, August 21, 2006
Warranty management software can reduce claims 10-15% and boost supplier recovery
Network Magazine, August 2006
Ford promises a cleaner and quieter diesel engine in 2007, backed by a five-year or 100,000-mile warranty.
Press Release, August 21, 2006
Despite recalling two million vehicles, Toyota is able to maintain its quality image.
San Antonio Express-News, August 19, 2006
Duke University students and faculty begin getting reconditioned 30 GB iPods backed by a one-year AppleCare warranty.
Press Release, August 17, 2006
Consumer objects to terms of GE refrigerator icemaker class action settlement, calling extended warranty deadlines unfair.
WBBH-TV Fort Myers FL, August 17, 2006
Kenworth and International rank highest in J.D. Power truck customer satisfaction survey.
Press Release, August 16, 2006
SAS Institute introduces Manufacturing Intelligence Solution in Hong Kong.
Press Release, August 16, 2006
Former Dell technician says company knew about its laptop battery problem for more than two years.
Consumer Affairs, August 15, 2006
Dell plans huge recall of 4.1 million laptop batteries Sony manufactured for it between 2003 and 2006.
Consumer Affairs, August 14, 2006
Financial analysts predict the recall of 4.1 million laptop batteries could cost Dell and its battery supplier Sony $250 million or more.
AMR Research note, August 15, 2006
Deutsche Post seeks 37 million euros in warranty claims from Deutsche Telekom after purchasing some logistics centers from the phone company six years ago.
Bloomberg News, August 15, 2006
Ryder System to cover the powertrain for pre-owned "Road Ready" trucks for up to 12 months or 100,000 miles.
Press Release, August 15, 2006
N.E.W. Customer Service Companies executives have been putting together a Chinese business plan.
Leesburg Today, August 14, 2006
Onex Corp., acquiring Aon Warranty Group, closed its second private equity fund at US$3.45 billion.
Press Release, August 14, 2006
Ingram Micro Inc. to launch a new Services Division to help resellers manage service contracts.
Press Release, August 14, 2006
Warranty service for Bobcat skid steer loaders and excavators in Vietnam to be provided by Vietserve Technology Ltd.
Viet Nam News, August 14, 2006
Dell's customer service problems benefit rival system builders who have better technical support.
CRN, August 11, 2006
Dell says its DellConnect remote troubleshooting tool has served one million customers.
Press Release, August 11, 2006
New Jersey State Police investigate whether bankrupt South Shore Ford dealership pocketed EasyCare extended warranty premiums.
Atlantic City Press, August 11, 2006
Canadian auto parts manufacturer Bosal offers technicians a lifetime warranty on its replacement mufflers.
Auto Service World, August 11, 2006
Freightliner's antitrust lawsuit alleges that GM's Allison Division punishes companies that do not participate in its Edge Program.
MarketWatch, August 10, 2006
Hyundai Motor America executive says warranty costs were cut in half from 2003 to 2006.
Reuters, August 10, 2006
Berkshire Partners LLC and Freeman Spogli & Co. buy a majority interest in N.E.W. Customer Service Companies Inc., giving it an enterprise value of $1.21 billion.
Press Release, August 8, 2006
N.E.W. has more than tripled in value in two years, after being launched with its founder's credit cards.
Washington Post, August 9, 2006
DaimlerChrysler, NextEnergy, and Michigan State University research biofules and auto warranties.
The State News, August 8, 2006
GE Auto Warranty Services appoints Orlando Zayas as president, moving him over from GE's Benefit Solutions business.
Press Release, August 8, 2006 (PDF file)
Warranty Direct Ltd. releases 2006 Warranty Direct Garage Labour Rates Survey, finding wide disparity between regions.
What Car? August 7, 2006
Drivers are flaming mad about blazing Vauxhall Corsas in UK and say company is slow with warranty claims.
Sunday Mail, August 6, 2006
Owner of Town N Country Chevrolet-Olds in Virginia accused of pocketing service contract premiums.
Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 4, 2006
Residents of DeForest's Sunrise Estates say CertainTeed's roof shingles failed after 12 years despite a 25-year warranty.
Wisconsin State Journal, August 4, 2006
Ford recalls 1.2 million trucks, SUVs and vans amid concerns of potential engine fires.
Associated Press, August 3, 2006
Scattered reports continue to surface of Dell laptops bursting into flames without warning.
Consumer Affairs, August 3, 2006
Gateway gross margin drops 2% after a warranty change in estimate.
Press Release, August 3, 2006
Aon Corp. expects sale of warranty group to take place during the fourth quarter, has reclassified AWG as a discontinued operation.
Press Release, August 3, 2006 (PDF file)
Tavant Technologies announces a partnership with SAS Institute for warranty software solutions.
Press Release, August 2, 2006
ServicePower agrees to provide Warrantech with scheduling and dispatch services and quality-of-service surveys.
Press Release, August 2, 2006
Mutual Warranty Company of Denver skips town, may be in Panama.
KMGH-TV Denver, August 2, 2006
Auto insurance company GEICO sells its one millionth mechanical breakdown insurance policy.
Press Release, August 2, 2006
ServiceMaster says its American Home Shield business was up 11% from last year's second quarter.
Press Release, August 1, 2006
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co. to sell extended warranties for new and used machinery.
Press Release, August 1, 2006
Crawford & Co. to move its headquarters to a larger building, leasing seven floors from HP in northern Atlanta.
Press Release, August 1, 2006 (PDF file)
Gray market discount electronics products purchased online often have no warranty.
WEWS-TV Cleveland, July 31, 2006
SecuGen Corp. lengthens warranty on Hamster III and Hamster Plus fingerprint scanners from one year to three.
Press Release, July 31, 2006
Hyundai quadrupled US sales, but longer warranties cost it hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
Business Week, July 31, 2006
Xbox 360 owners start a petition to tell Microsoft they want 90-day warranties lengthened to one year.
Xbox Circle, July 30, 2006

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