SCIC Issues Consumer Tips for Purchasing Back-To-School Electronics

(Tallahassee, FL) August 14, 2009 – Many back-to-school consumers of laptops, computers, printers, cell phones, PDAs, high-end calculators, cameras, music systems, etc. are seeking to protect and maximize their essential electronic gear for the academic year ahead, according to the Service Contract Industry Council (SCIC).

Students and parents can purchase service contracts (sometimes called extended warranties) to help with repair and replacement coverage beyond limited manufacturers warranties.

“Service contracts for electronics help minimize the downtime and cost associated with equipment malfunctions,” said Timothy Meenan, SCIC executive director. “Students can stay focused on their studies and parents can rest assured without having to deal with the hassle and expense generally associated with repairing or replacing electronic products.”

SCIC tips on buying and using service contracts (extended warranties):

  • Read and understand terms-and-conditions
  • Locate name/contact information of the contract provider on the document
  • Most states require providers to be licensed
  • Contact a state insurance regulator, BBB, and/or SCIC with questions or concerns
  • Do not buy a service contract if the provider will not supply a copy of the contract prior to purchase
  • Avoid purchasing service contracts from overly aggressive sales personnel
  • Service contracts can be purchased with the product or within days of purchase
  • Most service contracts provide a 30-day “free-look” period for consumers to review and return the contract for a full refund
  • While many e-providers offer competitive pricing and reputable service, caution is urged when purchasing service contracts over the Internet; guard against “phishing” scams
  • After purchase, fulfill all responsibilities related to maintenance, handling, etc.
  • Maintain a dedicated file for contracts, receipts, and maintenance records; activate service contracts as needed and applicable to enhance product use and maximize productivity
  • Visit www.go-scic.com for additional tips and information.
About SCIC

The Service Contract Industry Council, www.go-scic.com, is a national trade association whose member companies collectively offer approximately 80 percent of the service contracts sold in the U.S. for home, auto, and consumer goods. Founded in 1989, the SCIC educates consumers about service contracts, encourages its members to pursue high standards of customer satisfaction, and has developed and promoted model legislation to regulate the industry with standards designed to protect the consumer and the industry.

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