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When should I not "void my warranty"?

As I understand it, a manufacturer provides a manufacturer's warranty to convince you, the consumer, you are buying a quality product and if it breaks they will fix it. This is, of course, not how the real world works. Some things are not covered by the warranty and some companies are not worth dealing with.

So, what should I consider (in checklist form, please) before I void my warranty/guarantee?

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For me:

  • Not until I was certain there was no chance the warranty will be honored
  • The exception would be if I absolutely had to have information from the unit--in that case I would remove the HD and copy my data and reinstall the drive. This should not void the warranty.
  • Out of warranty its mine, all mine. Ralph

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I think it depends to a large extent on what type of device you're talking about. Assuming you're talking about consumer electronics devices and computers (rather that cars, for instance), I would consider the following:

  • How likely is the device to break? Is it a well-made device from a trusted manufacturer or is it a cheap device of questionable build quality? (The more likely it is to break the more likely you'll want the warranty intact).
  • How will the device be treated? A desktop computer that sits in one spot plugged into a UPS is less likely to break (and need warranty service) than a laptop that gets tossed in the trunk and hauled around with you every day.
  • Above all, how would you feel if the device died and you couldn't get warranty replacement? If you feel you absolutely need a device in working order and are not comfortable shelling out full replacement cost, you might want to avoid voiding the warranty.


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for me, at least:

  • cost - how much money am I destroying, how much fun ist it? - that surely varies for everyone
  • can I replace it if I fxxx it (it may never work again as intended)
  • do I need it and / or can I do wthout it (or do I have to replace it .....)
  • do I have a backup - if the ansewr is no and you need 'it' yu better stop reading and take measures

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  1. Does the company repair warranty-void items for a charge ? If no, then don't. Sometimes your product develops a particular problem that can't be solved by anyone but it's makers.
  2. Are the spares/parts that need to be replaced easily available in the open market ? For example, I had an APC UPS. It had three parts, the battery, the logic board and the transformer...whenever it underwent a severe voltage fluctuation, the PCB got burnt and had to be replaced. In such a case, I won't dare void the warranty.
  3. Does the warranty do any real help ? If no, then it's useless.
  4. If the product is of a good and solid brand, the warranty can be voided as there are lesser chances of the product being damaged.
  5. Is the product something unique made by that particular company or a general product manufactured by all brands ? A product like a microwave can be easily maintained without warranty but a device like iPhone cannot.

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I think your question might actually be "When is an extended warranty worth purchasing'? Like most things some people swear BY warranties, others swear AT warranties mostly having to do with personal experiences.

I think two important considerations are:

What's my time worth? Can I afford to find out if the warranty will be honored, can I afford the time it will take to get my item repaired under the warranty?

Can I get along without the item while it's being repaired under warranty? OR can I rent or be provided with a loaner if needed?

If you wont use the warranty, your concern about voiding it is of no value.

If there's a warranty then use it, if you can't wait for a warranted repair then either toss the item and buy a replacement, or if that's not possible you repair it.


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One simple rule: do what's most cost-effecitve, if it's more cost-effective to not void it (eg. voiding the warranty would run you more money than is worth) then don't, if it's more cost-effecitive to void it (eg., water damage in all situations).

If you have a blanket warranty like AppleCare try really hard not to void it (water damage!), with programs like that you can get a new unit for the tiniest things, so that works out well. But if you have a limited warranty on say, a phone, and it needs a new antenna, and the company will charge you a ton to fix it, you might be able to do it yourself for cheaper, even though it involves voiding the warranty.

For the murky areas simply ask yourself if you can live with it and/or if you can find a workaround.

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