on October 19, 2014
I bought this plan immediately upon purchasing a new laptop. I knew that I wanted a strong warranty policy, and this came up as a recommended choice on Amazon and had really strong reviews.
After looking through the other reviews though, I found that there was some serious distortion of the results because many of the positive reviews came from people who had never had to file a claim. Because of that, I decided to do a sort of "review of the reviews" to get a better idea of the true quality of this warranty.
Here's the executive summary. More detailed results and the methods that led me to them follow:
1) Overall, the service seems hit-or-miss, though generally it seems to be more hit than miss
2) I would like to re-emphasize what the current most-helpful positive comment says: Make Sure You Know What You Are Buying.
3) The "true" starred rating of this policy is closer to three stars. Right now it is overrated, likely because SquareTrade encourages people to review their product upon purchase, before the consumer has had any real need to use it.
I sorted the comments by "most recent," because I wanted to get an up-to-date snapshot of how well they are doing. Then I went through each review, going back three months. For each review, I first classified it as "definitely filed a claim," "definitely did not file a claim," or "unclear." Then I further sorted these into "positive" (4-5 stars) "neutral" (3 stars) or "negative" (1-2 stars). When sorting into "positive" etc., I did not consider the comments, only the starred rating. More on the comments below.
First, here are the overall results:
**Definitely Filed a Claim**
**Definitely Did Not File a Claim**
_Of the people who actually used the service, about 2/3 were happy. Good, but not great.
_Only 25% of positive reviews came from people who definitely filed a claim, compared to 42% of negative reviews coming from people who definitely filed a claim, suggesting that the current starred rating is significantly too high.
_In all fairness, a few of the negative reviews from people who filed a claim came from people who were dissatisfied for reasons that related at least partly to their own misunderstanding of the product. Nevertheless, one or two raised some really serious issues (e.g., using inferior replacement parts)
_I would like to suggest to Amazon that they discourage SquareTrade from directing consumers to the review page immediately upon purchase. Doing so creates very muddled results.
That's all folks.
on June 12, 2012
First let's get this out of the way: you need to understand SquareTrade's warranties to appreciate them, and make appropriate decisions on them. If you understand that the value of the warranty diminishes with your repair claims, then you're OK. The point of the ST warranty is to make sure your computer runs for the duration of the warranty period OR fix or replace it up to, or until, the face value of the warranty is met. Meaning: if you have warranted the computer for $1000, and it is repaired at a repair cost of $200, your remaining warranty is only good for $800 worth of additinoal repairs or refund during the warranty period. I understand this and think it is a fair policy which helps keep pricing affordable.
My claims experience with SquareTrade is twofold. About a year into the warranty my touchscreen laptop had a screen problem. SquareTrade repaired it quickly. Unfortunately the screen still occassionally lost its touch ability, but this seemed more software based than hardware as a reboot would correct. All in all I was happy with the repair. The cost of the repair was valued at roughly $250, which seemed reasonable.
About a year after that, in a rush, I unfortunately dropped the laptop and broke it severely. I felt terrible as this is my daughter's computer which she loves. Since we had Accidental Damage protection (thought we might need it for my daughter and not for me!) I frantically called SquareTrade. My call was taken care of quickly and professionally. I sent the laptop in and in 2 days was greeted with a warranty payment equal to the face amount minus the $250 previous repair charge. This allowed me to replace my daughter's computer quickly (and with less of a wallet impact) and not have an issue with her school work.
Worked exactly as advertised by SquareTrade and I am very happy with their service. This experience will provide additional peace of mind to me should I ever need to make another claim (which I hope I do not) on any of the other items I have warranted with them.
on January 22, 2014
This review is from a person processing a claim, and that person is me. I have read many reviews on this company, but very, very few are from people who have actually processed a claim. That is telling in itself.
I wonder how many bad experiences go unnoticed with this company. SquareTrade has a good website interface with clear language. However, today I was told I would receive a call back by a supervisor, "...in 24 business hours." That was a first for me. I have an extensive past career as a technical support person and having been a manager at a phone support center for a major company as well as a trainer and quality assurance officer, I was more than a little annoyed, surprised and drawn into action. Suffice it to say, you may stop reading at the end of this paragraph and know that the rest of the story fills the details in for your amusement and perhaps the management at SquareTrade. This company failed in providing the service and communications to this end user at many points in the warranty claim cycle and the tipping point was the courteous, apparently hard working, phone support person who read scripts to great annoyance. Quite simply, SquareTrade talks the talk, but does not walk the walk. From 24 business hours to business days to business weeks, it makes little difference how much time SquareTrade says it needs to repair and ship something back if no business actually happens. In my case, the repair of my laptop.
My laptop was in receipt for 9 business days with no update other than it was to be fixed. This is my first encounter with this company and they have very clear milestones denoted in the claim process. Unfortunately, no one individual really handles your claim, follows up with the repair depot or updates the customer with delays. All seem to fall through the proverbial crack. Today, I gave them a call and spoke with Tracy in customer service. She authenticated me five different ways and then proceeded to finish her script stating she would put me on hold and check on the laptop. She came back after a few minutes and alerted me that the repair depot had to order parts and that repairs were being made and it would ship out in 2-3 business days. Wow. You have had the laptop for 9 business days, not made any update even though you said you would if there were delays, and now you have the parts in hand and still won't be able to ship it for 2-3 business days? The website indicates five business days for repair and up to 2 business days for shipping. Shame on me for not following up at 7 business days! It would seem this should be a priority for a company to repair, but perhaps not. I was going to accept that the laptop would ship out in a few days and then take unknown amount of days (up to 2) to be delivered. Then, I realized the repair takes less than a couple of hours, probably a lot less as it was just a bezel, but certainly not 2-3 business days. Why am I not getting the laptop shipped today? I asked to speak to a supervisor. Mind you, very politely and acknowledging that I was not angry at Tracy. I was told by Tracy that I would be contacted by a supervisor, "...in 24 business hours." Huh? What does that mean? Is that a fancy or sneaky way of saying 3 business days? I told her I was not happy and would take the matter up with the seller of the warranty and make it known to the world. Then, all of a sudden, Tracy says I can talk to a more senior representative. Huh? Is that a fancy way of disguising supervisors as "senior customer service reps?" I said, "Ok, please let me talk to this person." She put me on hold and then one minute later the line gets disconnected. Sound familiar? To her credit she called me back, but I had already called them back and asked to talk to Tracy and was informed there were many call centers. Not surprising to me. No authentication this time and I moved right into checking if there were any updates to the account with the new representative. He checked and nothing there. He indicated maybe Tracy had not yet posted anything to the account. Tracy was on hold while we figured this out, perhaps a bit of payback. I gave her my work number and asked if they could call me back in half an hour at that number. It must take some number of business minutes to get the call back as I have yet not heard back and it has been several regular hours.
And so the dance continues. I did not pay $99 to go dancing and spend hours on the phone. Save your hundred bucks, buy a good case, and be careful. Do this and most of the time you will get your three years and then some out of your tech. If it breaks and is not related to your handling, then it probably will do so within the manufacturers warranty period. Are extended warranties a bad idea? For laptops, I say yes. Probably for most all electronics.
Updates to follow as my claim unfolds.
The representative indicated they would send me an email, ask a senior representative to contact me, and nothing happened. This was yesterday.
Talking to Ashley now to ask what's up. Ashley says they have no leverage with the repair depot as they are contracted out and would I like to call them. Huh? One person calling a big company to spend more time on the phone with a company that could care less. The failure, is with communication to me from SquareTrade, the failure of the repair depot to communicate up to SquareTrade (which I could never know if that happened or not), and the failure of the systems used to process a claim. Yes, I am talking to you web communications person.
All that is needed is a fair assessment of how long things take and the reality is that it takes 2-3 times longer than they say. If it is going to take longer update the claim! Of course, it could be longer as I am still without a laptop and the repair depot approved the claim of repair on 1/8/2014.
on April 12, 2013
I bought my laptop a year ago and bought this protection plan for it. Two months ago it kept turning off so I sent it in to square trade for them to fix it. I haven't had my laptop for a total of 7 weeks and I still haven't received it back. I have spoke with several employees and none of them communicate with each other. Every time I call they have something else to tell me. After sending it in the first time, they told me nothing was wrong with it and sent it back to me. My brother had to call them and point out what was wrong with it to the employees who SHOULD be trained in this profession. Some employees tell me I will receive a check to buy a new laptop and others tell me I will have my laptop back in two days. I don't know how many times THIS WEEK ALONE I have been told that I will have my laptop back to me 'tomorrow.' It is absurd that they treat their customers like this. I am extremely disappointed with this company. There is no reason that a college student should not have access to their own computer for this length of time. It is absolutely ridiculous and unprofessional to keep customers waiting this long with such inconsistence. If you purchase this, you are basically paying money to wait and be lied to by unprofessional employees.
on October 3, 2010
I bought an ASUS netbook in Sep 2009 and also bought the SquareTrade (ST) warranty with accidental damage for 3 years. At just under one year, the battery went dead - netbook shows it is charged, but the netbook will not even turn on with battery. ASUS would do NOTHING and their battery is not even stocked by ASUS. So, I turned to my ST warranty. I submited a claim and SquareTrade rejected it.
It turns out - batteries and chargers are NOT covered by ST. So, my dead netbook will not be fixed under the SquareTrade warranty. That info is not on this webpage (4Oct2010). It is a little misleading to talk about all of the "good things" and leave out the "minor detail" that two most likely parts to fail (battery and charger) are NOT covered!
on July 22, 2013
I am very upset with the service I was provided with. I had a problem with power up on my computer, Square Trade did respond properly and sent a box to have it shipped back to them for repairs. It came back in a short time and the paper with it said what was done and they verified it was good to go. It was not as it would still not power on. I contacted Square Trade who told me they do not do the repairs a subcontractor does so they promised me a response from them. When they contacted me they wanted to send me another box and have it returned back to them yet again. I took the computer to a local repair shop to be repaired and it was repaired this time, I could not be without my computer again.
on November 26, 2013
Absolutely horrible experience dealing with this company.
I sent it in to have a cracked screen fixed, and after a month and a half with no progress, I called the company to get an update. I find out I won't be able to get my computer back, but they offered to send me my hard drive and a check to compensate for the rest. That's fine, s*** happens. I accept their offer. However, I receive an email shortly after stating that, as previously promised, they would NOT be returning my hard drive. Not fine, but there was nothing I could do.
As compensation for their screw-ups, they offered me a coupon code for 30% off my next warranty with them. As loathe as I was to ever have to deal with this company again, there was a fairly-priced warranty offered by the store where I bought my next computer that was through Squaretrade, so I decided to give them another try. When I try to purchase this new warranty, they initially wouldn't honor the 30% discount. I had to be on the phone for 40 minutes, put on hold for long stretches of time, to convince them to give me what they had promised.
Throughout this experience, I had to deal with representatives who were inept, apathetic, and unyielding in their efforts to deny me adequate customer service. I can't remember the last time I was ever as dissatisfied with a business's practices as I am with Squaretrade. Save yourself the headache and seek out a warranty from anyone else.
on July 6, 2014
One of the selling points is 'Fixed or receive full replacement cost in 5 days or less - guaranteed' which was not my experience. I bought the full coverage for a laptop. The laptop suddenly would not boot to OS or go into BIOS so I started the process with square trade. The first time they had it for two week. There was no communication from them and I had to constantly call them to find out what was going on. Their web site updates claim status with a massive delay. It said 'waiting on shipment' for two weeks even though they confirmed on a call they had it. Then it said 'awaiting approval' when they had already shipped it. Finally they tell me that they got a new motherboard and I will get it back in a few days.
When I got it back the laptop had visible damage front and back, plastic chipped, dents and pry marks, and some parts are missing! They had not fixed the problems and they introduced new problems probably by hooking a cable backwards. Repair report shows that visible and functional inspection took place and was signed off. The repair report says the hard drive was replaced and no mention of motherboard. What a joke.
So back it goes to Squaretrade with a full report of all the existing and new problems. The second time they had it over two weeks and again no communication so I was calling theme every 2 days but they just keep telling me to call back later and cannot give an estimate on how long it will take to fix it. I find out that in the first week they have done nothing on it because of some internal mix up. They order parts on the 8th day but don't know when they will arrive. The second week they just keep saying parts are on order with no expected date of repair.
I got frustrated as I had now been without a working laptop of 6 weeks and ask to speak to a manager. I was on hold for over an hour and finally was told a manager was not available but one would call me with 24 hours. 48 hours later and no call so I call again. On hold for 1 hour 40 minutes! and again a manager is not available!!. The rep says he will speak with a manager and call me back in 24 hours. Another 48 hours and no call!!!
Finally after 5 days of trying to speak to a manager I get through to one and explain the situation from the start. I tell them I want the replacement cost money as they are taking so long with no end in sight, they have already botched the repair once, and I am wasting so much time calling them. He tells me I have to call back in 3 days because the repair depot is now closed and he needs a manager to approve the replacement cost money. Oh yeah, he's not a manager he just said he was one!! It's clear they have just been lying and employing stall tactics.
Currently in process with BBB.
on November 20, 2012
When my computer had trouble, SquareTrade asked for photos -- I sent them in within 12 hours of the request but NEVER HEARD BACK! After a week, I called and spoke with a new representative (not the original person, who had stopped responding to my emails), who tried to refuse my claim, as if by second nature. On multiple occasions, they offered to "buy back" my warranty. This is their tactic to effectively erase all evidence you had a warranty at all and avoid taking care of your claim. Finally, after the representative spoke with her "senior manager" they suddenly decided they could repair it (I suspect she never even talked to the manager -- these are just the tactics they use).
Days later, after SquareTrade missed multiple phone appointments which I had changed my schedule to accommodate, they denied my claim -- the technician's report contained multiple inconsistencies, but when I called to point out the inconsistenties, THE REPRESENTATIVE HUNG UP ON ME! He yelled at me, "You're not listening" and then -- click -- he hung up on me! After hanging up on me and without asking, they sent back my computer unrepaired.
TERRIBLE COMPANY -- THEY WILL LIE TO AVOID HONORING YOUR CLAIM. THEY WILL HANG UP ON YOU AND IGNORE YOUR CLAIM. They use their tactics to talk people out of their claims.
on January 10, 2013
I purchased an HP Envy 17 Laptop from Amazon. After a little less than one year, I started having hard drive problems with one of the two drives. I contacted Square Trade and they were not helpful in two respects. First, they said I should use the HP warranty. In fact, they insisted that I use the HP warranty. When I told them I wanted to use them, they next said they didn't have the expertise to properly format the sophisticated hard drives of the HP Envy. Therefore, if they did repair it, I would not get it back in the same condition. What a dissappointment. I contacted HP and they took care of it (although it took awhile). I renewed my HP factory warranty for 2 more years and ate the loss on the useless "Square Trade" warranty.