Are extended warranties necessary on plasmas?

I was considering purchasing a 42 inch plasma last week for around $2000. The salesman strongly recommeded the extended warranty, at a cost of $500. I backed off because something seemed very wrong with a 25% markup for a warranty. The unit came with a 90 day warranty for labor and 1 year for parts. Has anyone had or seen any lemons that tanked out before the manufacturers warranty expired? Has anyone ever have a plasma repaired? If so, what was the cost?
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CC and BB are known for things like this. It's how they make profit. There is so much competition for plama TV's right now, they have to sell them for near what they cost. They make profit on the extended warranty.

My personal feeling is to only go with the manufacturer's warranty. They should cover just about everything.
Most catastrophic failures will occur very soon after purchase. The mfr's warranty is more than enough to cover this. Extended warranties on electronics are a complete waste of $$$.

I'm really enjoying the 37" plasma I recently bought for the bedroom...
yeah, plasma should not need anything that manufactures shouldn't take care of in a reasonable time frame. After that, you're likely looking at long term product failure, probably after a warranty. Yeah, theyre' pushing a sale here.
Really, the older CRT's NEEDED and extended warranty, that included yearly maintainance, but not your set! You should be good as it is.
That said, you can clearly see by this, and that internet sales affect also, that it's very very difficult for an electronics store to make profit selling gear! I've personally tried to stear clear of selling electronics by themseleves, and sell what really counts, which is service, consulting,etc. In this case, I'd sell a calibration and installation of the set,with a one year warranty on the work, and just figure to make a few bucks on the Plasma...that's if I were selling it. The warranty? I don't think you need it, no.
My Panasonic failed just a few days before the 1 year warrantee expired. Close call! But, although I had bought the thing on the internet, the local service center fixed it (replacement board) quickly and with no complaints.
Most extended warranties are a big money maker for the issuer, and therefore, a ripoff for the consumer. However, if I were to consider one, it would be for a plasma. That is because a failure of the panel, whether catastrophic, or more than a few pixels gone bad, means the set is a goner. The bulk of the expense is in the panel.

I have actually know a few people whose sets died from a panel failure that occurred well into the life of the set. But, I understand this is not so much of a problem these days as it was earlier on. On balance, I would be in the no extended warranty camp, unless the dealer was offering a very good price.
The comments above are "on the money". Extended warranties are almost always a complete waste of money - and virtually pure profit to the seller of the warranty.

I have a colleague that used to work for Good Guys (before they went bankrupt), and he has told me that the sales staff were under intense pressure to sell extended warranties with TV's -- even to the point that they might tell the customer that they wouldn't sell the TV without the extra warranty.

You'd be far better off to simply put the cost of the extended warranty into a certificate-of-deposit and let it earn interest against the day that you might need the money to pay for repairs.
If you pay the 500 you know you just spent 500 for sure. If you do not pay the 500 it remains in your pocket until (if)there is a problem. I have never bought the warrantee since a repair would not send me to the poor house. I have lots of warrantee money still in my pocket. Never a repair.
Ok, hear it from someone who actually owns a plasma.

My NEC VP4 failed after 2 years and probably less than 200 hours total, vertical driver failed and lots of missing columns. NEC only offered 1 year warranty at that time, but they are nice enough to fix mine for free :)

My friend's Pioneer Elite 50" failed 2 times during 3 years of ownership, power supply failed. First time was under warranty period, but Pioneer blamed it on bad incoming power and would not honor warranty. They paid $1500 to fix each time.

My college friend's JVC failed after 3 years with very little hour (was in his vacation home oversea), similar problem as mine. JVC told him he is better off buying a new one as it was the glass that went bad.

My mom's Samsung failed after a few months, no idea what went wrong. Good thing it was bought from my sister's company and they took care of it right away.

So far, I only know a couple others who own plasma for over a year without problem. But then plasma are very commonly used in airport and other public display. If fail rate is so high, I bet they will replace plasma with something else right away. My theory is plasma does not like power fluctuation and power cycle.
Semi, it seems if the failure rate is that high, all plasmas are lemons and not worth having anyway.

That's kind of a weird salesl pitch from salespeople, telling you you need an extended warrantee because the item is sure to need it....doesn't say much for the reliability or build quality of the item.

By the way, in fairness to the salesperson, he didn't pitch the warranty when I was inquiring about the lcd's and dlp models.
Mitch4t, I am not in the position to state whether plasma have high fail rate in general but just stating some known facts. My CRT TV is still going strong after almost 20 years of service.

NEC plasma is the 2nd biggest plasma house on earth and manufacture their own glass. Mine was made in Japan, the land of rising sun with tight QC, but still failed prematurely. NEC did not offer any explanation why it failed so quickly, but they are confident their products are well built and offer 3 year warranty on their newer plasma.

Rear projection is not any better. My Sony GW-IV RP went from 3 dead pixel to >10 in one year and I only watch about 3~4 hours of TV a week. Called up Sony and they replaced the light engine, but that does not guarantee pixel count will not grow again. LCD panel used in PR is also known to have other issue due to the organic substrate. Newer LCD (not sure which version) avoided it. DLP can also fail from fatigue.
Geez Semi, you just bummed me out. The money was burning a hole in my pocket to get one of those cool and sexy flat panels hanging on my wall. I currently have a four year old 61 inch 4:3 Phillips analog projection behemoth sitting in my living room now. It works just fine, except that it's so, um, er, ...20th century....and I wanted something new and sleek. I guess I'll hold off until the reliability issues clear up. Thanks Semi and the rest of you for your input, I appreciate it.

Ya, hold off a bit more. I read that Panasonic is going to flood the market and drive prices down a bit. Panasonic if I remember right.
First of all,it's everyone's preferences.
For paying extra $500 for five years extended warranty is a great deal.That is $100 a year,big deal !.but $100 devided x 365 days =.27 cents a day....that is nothing ! So,actually you can relax and watch movie for the next 6 years ( incl. 1 out worry.Have any one heard about this image retention ?As i said it's every one's preferences.
Pescolar, $500 is something. It's $500. They make you pay all $500 of it up front....not .27 cents a day over 5 yrs.

A 25% warranty is excessive.
Heres my 2...

1. Use a credit card that doubles the manufacturers warranty. The base warranty on decent plasmas really should be one and one, not 90 days and one.

2. Bad Pixels on Plasmas are usually bad from the git go' pixels almost never go bad during the life of a plasma; its an upfront QA issue with plasmas.

3. To address the post with all the plasma failures up there- I Believe it. All the way. All of those brands, especially and including NEC, have failure rates above Panasonic, Fujitsu, and Hitachi. Pioneer makes a great display, but is EXTREMELY difficult to deal with when something goes wrong. Thats because they are loosing money on plasma despite in general having a GREAT product-- if you get one without faults. Check out there dead pixel return policy. Holy smokes. Samsung has gotten better by the way, put a couple years back they had big time QA problems.

4. Some folks get the warranty for piece of mind and are good with that. Some dont. Me? I Didnt. I had two years with the credit card. I have had the Panasonic plasma for three years ( plus) with no problems yet.

5. And yes- Panny is releasing a torrential flood of stuff over the coming months, although I am not sure how much downward pressure on pricing will occur. Expect about 5500 for the 58 inch commerical display and maybe 7500 for the commerical 65 inch 1080P display. A rough guess with minimal inside information other than the whispers about the 65 ich 1080P consumer model goin for 9 grand msrp. Commerical at 1500 less is reasonable and consistent with hisorical pricing patterns.
I just purchased a Pioneer 5060HD about 3 months ago and I am not a big fan on extended warranties, but I did not purchase a $1000.00 TV. I felt since the TV was almost $5k that some sort of extended warranty was needed. My dealer, not BB, but a local guy sold me an extended waranty for 2 more years after the manufacturer's warranty expired (manufacturers warranty 1 year for the 5060HD). I felt that $200.00 was worth the investment. If the price was $500.00 I would have thought otherwise.
I paid for the peace of mind that comes with the extended warranty. I wasn't thrilled with paying for the extended warranty, but I rationalized it as an insurance policy on my entertainment investment. If anything goes wrong - no worries.
When was the first time you heard from an extended warranty?

I think is a money making strategy that is based only on probability of failure i.e. I sell 100 and get 50 people to buy the extended warr. ergo I make 25 grand that might take a hit of ca 1300 dls if one plasma fails .... not bad business math

Quality control and manufacturing techniques have drastically evolved in the last 20 years I'm not saying there are no lemons out there but the probability of getting one is not that high...... paradox is that information spreading i.e. internet forums seems to make a problem more
likely to ocurr and it helps the extended warranty campaigners
History has shown extended waranty plans on non portable items is mostly a waste, and a huge profit for dealers, in 99% of equipment failure it is usually almost imediate, so the standard warranty would be fine.
Stuff goes wrong with plasmas all the time though- piece of mind has value as well--and the production QA control is not as consistent as you think in many factories.

Even though I didnt buy one, doesnt mean I cant see the other side on this issue.
Dawgbyte,you are right .Do not worry for the next at least 3 years.
BTW,if plasma is only $500,who needs warranty!
Thank you Pescolar. I'll give everyone an example of the value of an extended warranty. I purchased a computer several years ago from an unmentioned PC manufacturer. Within months I had to replace the internal CPU fan twice and the hard drive once. The following year another hard drive failure and another fan replaced. Last summer another hard drive failure. Okay, enough is enough... my extended warranty identified me as a "Platinum level" customer. After this failure the computer company sent me a "refurbished" computer - in reality it was their top of the line computer with the faster processor Intel makes, an additional DVD drive and upgrades across the board.

Are extended warranties a resellers best friend? Yes indeed, but when the value of the object your purchasing is higher than the cost of the insurance to fix or replace the item, then I believe it's something to seriously consider. As was just pointed out by Pescolar - does it make sense to purchase a $250 extended warranty on a $500? I doubt it.

Do I regret purchasing the extended warranty on my plasma? Nope!
I personally know a CC serviceman who works on these TV's evey day... he advises that the extended warranty on these units makes a lot of sense; these things fail constantly and are typically very expensive to repair. Most of the customers he deals with do have the extended warranty and are glad that they do.
The original question had to do with $500.00 value of the extended warranty. First, I don't think I would buy a plasma that did not already come with a one-year warranty. This speaks to the confidance the manufacturer has in their own product. Second, when something does go wrong, can it be repaired for less than $500.00? Why buy a warrenty that costs more than the repair.

For more on this subject, try

Go to this site especially when deciding on a particular model. The NEC and Panasonic threads are great reads.
LIke anything else in life, you take's yer chances! Me, haveing sold, hundreds, maybe even thousands of extended warranties over the years in retail sales, I don't think most of these things end up panning out in the big scheme of things. Your odds are that you're fine. So, I think "why buy" to a loosing propossition, odds-wise? Being the gambling man I am, I prefer to go with the odds, as does Vegas. That's just me. However, a deal's a deal. And if you opt to pay $500 more on something, so you can sleep better at night, then so be it.
Nowadays, if it were my money, and I bought a $4k plasma, er whatever, and the darn thing took a bath 2 years latter, I'd first try to talk to the manufacture and try to reason with them, and see what they'd do.
What I've found is that many of the manufacturers have a warranty, like any other, to simply protect themselves legally. However, many good companies will go very much above and beyond the warranty to satisfy their customers, their reputation, and business, by taking care of you! I've had many products over the years fixed by manufacturers well beyond the warranty expiration date, personally. YOu just gotta talk to them.
However, if that doesn't work, you can always resort to putting "pressure" on them, telling them you'll raise a stink on the internet, and that you've lots of influence on the buying public, and will spread their bad reputation around, or that you've been buying their products for year,s and you and your family/friends will never buy thier products again, etc, etc. Usually, it doesn't get to this. However, some will make you pay in the end. Still, I like my chances! I'll pass on most of the warranty situations.
HOWEVER,some of the products out there offer "replacement warranties. You can DEFINITELY work these to your advantage when they're about to expire!!! You can simply "make the products fail", right before warranty expires, and then get the new/improved current technology replacement! I know, I know,'s a bit underhanded. However, who here has never, a time or two, worked the system?! (lol) Heck, the employees of these AV chain stores used to do this kind of manuever with their "emplyee purchases" when they purchased a warranty on something, and something NEW AND IMPROVED WAS was coming down the pike!
Whatever. Anyway, the fact that they manke money overall on these things means you're THROWING AWAY MONEY! You gotta know you'll likely never use the warranty, and that you're money is going "bye bye!!!" I prefer to take my changes, save the money (time is money after all), and buy something else with the money saved.
Usually products are going to fail pretty quickly anyhow, if they are at all...
I guess I have been pretty luck with my plasma displays. I have three Fujitsu ()1 50" and (2) 42". One 42" is about 4 years old the other 2 are almost 3 years old. My dad also bought a Fujitsu 50" about the same time and no problem with his either. I didn't buy extended warranty.