Recently I had to use my extended warranty from Squaretrade and I had an excellent experience. Two years ago I purchased a Sony Vaio laptop and decided to get an extended warranty for it. I shopped around and found the Sony and Fry’s warranties to be much more expensive than one from Squaretrade. I had never used Squaretrade before but the reviews seemed positive so I went for it. The warranty cost about $100 with one of the abundant coupon codes you can find online. The coverage was for 3 years including accidental damage (important for a portable item like a laptop). Two years of use and the laptop was fine. Suddenly the speakers stopped working. Headphones still worked fine, just not the speakers. Since the Sony factory warranty that came with the laptop was only for 1 year, I had to use the Squaretrade warranty. I logged into the Squaretrade website and submitted a claim. The next day I received a call from a contracted repair center. They said they needed to know what model of laptop I had so they could send out a box. Two days later a special box arrived with a return shipping label in it. The laptop just fit but it seemed very secure when the box was closed up. I sent the laptop off via 2 day shipping. Once the laptop arrived at the repair center I received an email stating that it should be repaired within 5 days. The next week (5 business days later) I checked my status claim on the website and it still said they were waiting for the laptop to be shipped. Since I already received an email stating that they had the laptop I decided to give them a call. I talked to the Squaretrade representative and explained the situation. The rep looked up my account and said that the repair center was waiting for a part. He then called the repair center to confirm but they were already closed for the day. He said he would get back with them the next day but it seemed like they weren’t going to get the part and would probably just payout the claim. This was a little disturbing since it was just a bad speaker and I fully thought that it was repairable. Luckily I did a full backup of my data before sending it off. A couple of days later I called back for an update. After being on hold a long time before they answered, I was told that they couldn’t get the part and they were going to send me a check for the full price of the laptop. That sounded great except that I was really expecting to get my laptop back but they said I wouldn’t. I asked if they could at least return the hard drive to me so that I could uninstall some software and recover the activation keys. The Squaretrade rep contacted the repair center and put in the request. He said that the laptop hadn’t been scrapped yet so it should be possible. Within a few days I received a check for the full purchase price of the laptop. About a week later the hard drive also arrived.
Overall, my experience with Squaretrade was better than expected. I have always been fearful that these third party warranties would find some loophole to deny my claim. Squaretrade almost did the opposite. Heck, I got a new laptop because of a broken speaker! There are a couple of small things that they could improve. I wish the information on the website was updated more accurate and up to date. I was also on hold for 15 minutes once waiting for them to answer the phone. Other than those minor complaints I was very happy with Squaretrade. The entire process only took a couple weeks and they even sent back my hard drive. I’ve already replaced the laptop and purchased a Squaretrade warranty for it.