Saturday, July 14, 2007

SquareTrade Warranty... DONE.

Long time no posts (for me at least). The image at the top of this post is an outtake from the Dreams challenge at DPC. The fly pretty much killed what could have been a pretty good picture (kind of sums up my week).

There was a bunch of stuff going on this week, including:

  • The DPL playoffs. I tanked and had some bad entries, but the rest of my team turned in our best week yet. We're still not convinced we'll beat the Ribbon Hogs though.
  • Major time on the part-time job. Suddenly, I've gone from 2 hours of tutoring a week to almost thirty hours a week (including tutoring, teaching, and proctoring). That, along with my PhD research (and my third job, which I've knocked down to a few hours a week) has me spread pretty thin.
  • Apartment hunting. It looks like we'll actually be kicked off campus this summer (it has been threatened the past few years but this time it looks like it will likely happen). Nothing bad, I'm just out of priority years (a ten year PhD will do that to you). What's worse is the rent at the cheap places is still well more than 50% of our income (even with our five jobs). But we have a plan.
  • Family shoots and editing. Last weekend I had two shoots, and I also had two families leaving the area this week so I had to rush to get most of their shots edited.

Sadly, it doesn't look like the rest of the summer will be much better, but the stress level will go down a lot once we know where we will live.

In other news:
  • The 20D is working out nicely. Look for my initial review in the next week or so (I just need to get some time). Review summary: I really like it, although it has a few things that bug me.
  • I got the Kingston 2GB Cards and extra battery. So I'm pretty set up with the 20D now. I still need to submit the Kingston rebate though!
  • I've been rethinking the decision to start a photography business. I can put in a lot more hours (with less overhead) doing SAT tutoring, and with the move off-campus, it might be more work that I'd like. Expect a post on this soon. I'm not planning to abandon the idea, just scale it down a ton and do it more for fun.
  • We have an ant colony in our minivan. Never thought it could happen, but it did. Two weeks ago we found a bunch of ants in the van, cleaned it out, and I assumed that they'd just found their way to the food droppings my kids had left everywhere. We didn't see too many after that, but this week I left a wrapper on the passenger seat and two hours later ten ants were on it. Ant traps were put in the van that night, and I haven't seen any ants in the van since.
  • I've finally decided on the SquareTrade warranty...

Yup, it took me a while, but I decided to get the SquareTrade warranty for my refurbished 20D right before the offer expired tomorrow. It was a pretty close decision, honestly, and I only really decided about an hour ago. Yesterday, I was planning on not doing it :) But, today I went ahead and spent the $55 (I had a 10% off code).

This is my reasoning:
  • Mathematically, it is about the same either way. Obviously, SquareTrade can't make money off the warranties if, on average, people need a replacement item over 10% of the time. Ignoring cases where the user breaks the camera, I'd say most electronics items will break less than 10% of the time if you exclude the first 60 days of use. But, I have to figure a digital camera (especially an SLR with a fast moving mirror and shutter, plus many buttons) will tend to break more often. Plus, I'll be using the camera more than the average consumer, so that pushes it in my direction too. Overall, I thought it'd be about the same: either I insure it myself and save a small amount of money now (but risk more later if it breaks) or I do the SquareTrade warranty and pay a little now to avoid more later.
  • I trust SquareTrade. It is obvious they care about their PR, so they aren't going to risk screwing over consumers on technicalities.
  • The 20D is refurbished. Realistically, I don't know what has been done to the camera in the past, or how much use it has gotten. If it was a new camera, the Canon warranty would probably be enough for me. But since it is a refurb, I like that extra security.
  • They have a refund policy. My biggest concern is the decent risk that I (or someone I know) will accidentally break the camera. In that case, the money I put towards the warranty would be lost... except they offer a refund: "REFUND POLICY: We will provide you with a full refund if you cancel your Service Agreement within 60 days of the purchase of your item. If you choose to cancel your Service Agreement after the first 60 days, we will pro-rate your refund based on how much time has passed. You can also transfer your Service Agreement at no cost." (from their website) So the only time I lose money is if my refurbished 20D stands up to heavy use over the next two years. Which isn't really a loss in my book.
  • I had the 10% off offer. Silly, but that extra $6 off pushed me towards the purchase and made the math work.
So, in summary, I spent about $700 total on a refurbished Canon 20D which will be under warranty for a little over 2 years. The first 90 days will be the Canon warranty, and after that, it will be SquareTrade. I absolutely trust SquareTrade because they have learned the hard way that customer service is what defines a warranty company. And hey, if I break it, I can always get the remaining money back.

Oh, and of course, if something breaks and I end up contacting SquareTrade, you can bet I'll post here about it. Likewise, if you have an interesting SquareTrade experience, post a comment!


flotson said...

A bit off-topic, but the fly on the peaches is what MAKES this a good picture. Without the fly, you've just got another pretty but boring photo.

wp said...

How is the squaretrade warranty working for you? Do they do annual cleaning? I'm thinking of getting them for my 40d

wp said...

please email me a response at Thank you!