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Review of the Reviews; Consensus is 'Hit or Miss, Mostly Hit"
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.