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Author Topic: Warranties  (Read 8312 times)

Ray

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« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2006, 10:34:11 am »

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You only really know after the warranty expires whether it was worthwhile, but the basic value of such a calculation is that as long as you can estimate the values for the two input variables, it tells you whether the premium is rational.
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Mark,
How do you know if the premium is rational if you don't know the percentage of defective products that are produced? The percentage of defective products is either very low or I am very lucky because I've never, ever had to return a camera or a lens during the warranty period for repair as a result of a manufacturing defect.

Now I know that anecdotal evidence like this is not conclusive. It might really be I'm just lucky and others might have the opposite unlucky stories, so what can I say. Experience counts for something, doesn't it?
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Rob C

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« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2006, 10:59:51 am »

Hi folks

I think that insurance, by a manufacturer, is perhaps a scam; I know that there is always a good chance of things going wrong, regardless of how expensive or not the purchase may have been, but whose fault is that?

The solution to this, of course, should not lie in the maker being able to extract more money from the customer via insurance premiums: the solution should be a statutory five year guarantee, valid anywhere that manufacturer has his products on sale.

If that manufacturer cannot face such a guarantee, then I would suggest that he knows that his product is not up to merchantable standards and he should not have it on offer in the market, in any market.

That might cause a slowing down of development - so what? Is your Nikon F5 able to give you better pictures than your original F? I don't think so; I would apply that logic to pretty well all products other than medicine.

But don't hold your collective breath: it will never happen.

Cheers - Rob C (an original 'catharsis ' member )

Mark D Segal

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« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2006, 11:35:34 am »

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Mark,
How do you know if the premium is rational if you don't know the percentage of defective products that are produced? The percentage of defective products is either very low or I am very lucky because I've never, ever had to return a camera or a lens during the warranty period for repair as a result of a manufacturing defect.

Now I know that anecdotal evidence like this is not conclusive. It might really be I'm just lucky and others might have the opposite unlucky stories, so what can I say. Experience counts for something, doesn't it?
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Ray, that's why I said "as long as you know the values of the input variables" - that is the hard part. The probability of occurrance does depend on the manufacturers' QC amongst other things. So the more reliable the make, the lower the risk, but they don't publish that data - in fact it is usually considered corporate-confidential. So one is reduced to searching web-forums for clues and making subjective or anecdotal judgments. And unless you know what aspects are most likely to go wrong, you don't know how much the repair cost could be. So as usual, knowledge is everything and "they" have the upper hand because "they" have the information and "they" don't share it.

I agree with Rob C that high-quality wanrranties are observable evidence of high quality products. But who gives 5 years' international unconditional warranties (included in the purchase price) on anything much these days? More and more we're being confronted with an "unbundling" of the risk - which means any consumer who wants the extra insurance pays for it extra.

Now that is a separate matter from the question about the scope of geographic validity to the warranty. As we discussed above, that issue relates more to finding ways of assuring the financial viability of local distribution operations. (For example, it is interesting on the B&H website, you'll notice for alot of Canon stuff they sell, the same item has two price quotes, one for "USA" and then another price for the same item just above or below it. The USA quote is always a few dollars higher. What that means is if you buy the USA product you'll have a Canon USA warrantee. If you don't you won't.) So here they have unbundled the risk on a geographic basis for those who think it better to save a few bucks and take the chance of being denied US warrantee service. I wouldn't do it - the price differences are usually smaller than the value to my peace of mind! But that isn't always the case everywhere.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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David White

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« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2006, 11:58:44 am »

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As an addendum (building on the how many people can you fit onto the british isles?) I know we have a special relationship between the UK and the US (and that Mr B and B are good chums) but please could you take Madona back.
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We'll take Madonna if you'll take Junior.    
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David White

Ray

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« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2006, 12:16:52 pm »

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I agree with Rob C that high-quality wanrranties are observable evidence of high quality products. But who gives 5 years' international unconditional warranties (included in the purchase price) on anything much these days? More and more we're being confronted with an "unbundling" of the risk - which means any consumer who wants the extra insurance pays for it extra.


Indeed! Extended warranties included in the price are evidence of a reliable product and I always try to put a monetary value on this. If two similar products (identical in function) have the same price but one has a 3 year warranty and the other a 1 year warranty, then the product with a 3 year warranty is clearly better value. If you have to pay more for the product with the extended warranty, then one is in a quandary.

My air conditioner in my studio had a 5 year warranty. 5 1/2 years after I installed it, it broke down. My Bose 901 speakers bought in the 1980's had a 5 year warranty. 5 1/2 years later the polystyrene surrounds of the individual speaker cones began to disintegrate. My Panasonic TV set with just a 2 year warranty keeps on going on, flawlessly, year after year. I can't find an excuse to replace it with a fine, high resolution 16:9 plasma or LCD.

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it is interesting on the B&H website, you'll notice for alot of Canon stuff they sell, the same item has two price quotes, one for "USA" and then another price for the same item just above or below it. The USA quote is always a few dollars higher.


Now that's rational. US labour costs are generally higher than elsewhere, aren't they? Everything has a monetary cost whether we like it or not. I would say in general if someone has bought some camera equipment at a lower price than they would pay back home, but that price includes only a local warranty, then take it and be grateful you've saved some money   .
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