iPod extended warranties at purchase time

I’m going to be buying an 80GB iPod in the next few days. Since it’s a rather expensive gadget, I’d like to protect it somehow. Is there a general consensus on the ‘protectection plans’ and ‘extended warranties’ for iPods in particular. I generally avoid extended warranties without giving it a second thought, but I know that people have complaints about their iPods with a fair degree of regularity - batteries, etc.

Circuit City, for example, has 2 levels of extended warranties
[Advantage](javascript:espWin(’/ccd/serviceplans.do?c=1&b=g&u=c&poid=161362&espLength=24&cm_re=protectionplan&warranty_ind=0#skipLead’):wink: for $70, and [Advantage Plus](javascript:espWin(’/ccd/serviceplans.do?c=1&b=g&u=c&poid=161362&espLength=25&cm_re=protectionplan&warranty_ind=1#skipLead’):wink: for $110

Basically I want to have my ipod for a few years without worrying too much about it crapping out on me due to defects or minor drops (I think only the second covers drops), and am willing to pay for that peace of mind. Does anyone have any recommendations? Are there any companies that specialize in this sort of externally provided warranty that are not also stores? Are there some stores that I should be watching out for, or others I should go to? (circuit city, comp usa, etc)

Also, should I even be buying it now, or will there be a new ipod version next month?

Don’t buy Circuit Citys, buy the apple care plan that you have the option of getting when you register the ipod. It is well worth it. I had a 4G 40gig black and white ipod that would regularly crash and burn after about 5 months. With apple you get 1 year of free warrenty service and the apple care plan extends that by another year. It is, I think, $50.

Just take the ipod into an apple store and they will hand you a new one, no questions asked. It is a good service. On my 4th trade in they even upgraded me to an ipod that they said had fewer hard drive problems. (turns out my model had a glitch that caused the hard drive to crash if you listened for too long to too many audiobooks, it was fixed on later models.)

Any idea if that applecare covers battery failures? I’ve heard of people having problems with those. I’d read the contract, but you know, who wants to do that when you can just ask.

There will always be a new iPod version just around the bend.

As for AppleCare, you don’t even have to buy it at the time of purchase - it just has to be bought while the product’s original warranty is valid.

Run away from any extended warranties offered by a store. Besides being a much better “no quibble” sort of policy, (if the iPod goes bad, you’re all but guaranteed a speedy new replacement from Apple) AppleCare for iPod is only $59.

They do cover iPod batteries with this fine print:

No help but I dropped my 4G 30G in the hot tub.

I took the back off and dried it out for a few days.

It still works leading me to believe that a good percentage of crapped out units must be hard drive related.

And there’s good reason to wait until right before the original warranty is up. If something happens to your iPod that’s not covered by the warranty, you won’t be out the iPod and the warranty money.

I always consult the macrumors buyer’s guide before I buy an Apple product. According to the guide, it’s been more than 300 days since the last full size iPod update, and the average between updates is 223 days. So, it should be updated soon.

I’ve been waiting for the new iMacs for months. I think we’re finally getting close.

Agreed, just buy it from Apple and get the AppleCare. Friendly easy service (in person anyway, haven’t tried support outside the store).

There are strong rumors to the effect of that a new “true video iPod” is going to be released around September. This will basically be the iPhone (touchscreen, etc) without the phone aspect. It’s not known yet whether it will have wifi like the iphone, and it’s also not known yet whether it will be flash memory like the iPod (smaller memory) or Hard Drive like the current larger iPods.

You could also use a credit card that offers a extended warranty, most will double the orignal one up to a extra year. It won’t be as complete as the apple one, but it is some piece of mind.

Remember too that computer electronics get progressively better very quick, so you are not warranting a new cutting edge piece of equipment, that coverage is part of the purchase price. You are buying a warranty on a 1 year old, and probably obsolete piece of computer electronics. So you have to guess, if I needed to replace a 80 gb ipod in a year to two years, what will the cost be for that older model, and what is the chance I’ll need it, if you add in the credit card’s extended warranty you can factor in if it does break will the CC extended warranty pay for it (and the added hassle of redeeming the CC extended warranty, compared to the apple one).

Not in this part of the world they don’t. If your iPod craps out on you 45 seconds after you walk out of the retailer’s store with it, it has to go back to Apple in Sydney for repair. No exchanges without authorisation from Apple (which isn’t forthcoming until they’ve had a look at the unit), no refunds until the unit’s fault status us determined… you get the idea.

We have to tell every single person who buys an iPod that the warranty is covered externally by Apple, so if they have problems with it, we are unable to help them and they’ll need to take it up with Apple.

We recommend Creative players for anyone who asks us for an opinion- they seem to work a lot better and they have FM radios in them straight off the bat. (And we will happily swap faulty Creative MP3 players over and send the customers on their way; Creative’s retailer support is very good like that).

As I’ve said previously, we get at least 1 call a week regarding faulty iPods; I haven’t had any faulty Creative players through the store in the last two months.

Of course, if sales are anything like the US, the iPods outsell those Creative players about 25 to 1, so that’s pretty much what you’d expect, even if failure rates were identical.

In our store it’s close to 60/40 iPod/Creative, I’d estimate.

It’s too bad there’s no actual Apple stores in Australia. I much prefer the manufacturer-owned shops to NextByte and the other resellers, service-wise. (Although apparently when purchasing new equipment one can sometimes get a better deal from a reseller than straight from Apple–I bought my DuoCore Macbook for 800 USD from a NY reseller a few months before the DuoCore2 came out).

I’m not sure why you want to spend so much on a product you expect to be faulty. I’m not going to enter the debate about which players are better, but I have a non Apple product which has lasted for 6 years with very regular use.

Personally I’d never buy an extended warranty, it just doesnt give me confidence in the product. Besides, over here (and maybe elsewhere in the world) we have the sales of goods act. This protection is usually enough.