Black Friday will be here in mere weeks, but the extended warranty business runs year round. What are some things to watch out for, and do you really need to buy a warranty for some of the smaller ticket items? We get CNET News reporter (and fellow CNET News Daily Podcast host) Erica Ogg in the studio to give us a breakdown on tech warranties, along with what gadgets you should and shouldn't buy one of these warranties for.
We also talk about Best Buy's upcoming video service, batteries made out of zinc, and a new wireless device … Read more
It's getting to be that time of year again: The leaves change, the temperature drops, and we redecorate our living rooms, desks,, and backpacks with shiny new electronics.
A recent survey by the Consumer Electronics Association found that respondents plan to spend, on average, $222 each on gadgets this holiday, an 8 percent increase over last year. And among teens and adults, computers and video games are the most wished-for items this year after clothing.
One of the grand traditions that goes along with buying electronics is being asked at the register, "Would you like to purchase … Read more
A year after the state of New York won its case against Dell and Dell Financial Services, the company will now pay up.
The PC maker will fork over $4 million to settle a case initially filed in 2007, New York's Office of the Attorney General said Tuesday. The initial suit brought by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo accused Dell of fraud, false advertising, and deceptive business practices, including offering misleading financing, and failing to honor rebates, warranties, and service contracts.
Going to a retail store for consumer electronics purchases can be both exciting and frustrating. After working at Best Buy for two years, I have a few opinions to share that you might want to consider before your next shopping trip.
1. We have no formal training in the field of consumer electronics. Upon transferring to the computer department from home theater, I expressed concern to the manager: "Will there be time for someone to train me on laptops/desktops? What do these specifications mean?" His reply was simple: "Just do your best. A good salesperson can just read the labels and compare specs." Ouch.
Salespeople are not necessarily experts in the products sold in their departments, even if they are expert salespeople. Though many express a strong interest in the products they sell, your time spent at a retail store fishing for information about a future TV purchase could be better spent online researching the products yourself (I heard CNET has pretty great reviews).
2. We make little off the big-ticket items, so we smother you with accessories. Remember the story "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie"? Well, if you tell a salesman you're going to buy a TV, he's going to want to sell you a DVD player to go with it. Once he sells you the DVD player, he's going to want to get you to buy an HDMI cable, too.
Managers at Best Buy (and possibly all retailers) tell employees that the store profits surprisingly little from video game consoles and computers. Cables, accessories, mice, and other components, however, have a huge profit margin-- stores can make about $120 from a $150 Monster HDMI cable. Angry yet? The point is, we're going to work really hard to convince you to purchase that big item, but once you've said "OK" you've opened Pandora's Box.
Here's my advice: Grab the big item, and run. Purchase all accessories online, including memory cards, cables, traveling cases, and so on. Amazon, Monoprice, and Newegg are all reputable discount Web sites. You'll find what you need at a much lower price.… Read more
But you can point north if you wear a belt of a dozen or so magnets all the time. We'll explain. Also Palm Pre is coming for $200 and we have some rumored next-generation specs. Oh and about 300 car stories, 'cause you know. Cooley is on the show.Listen now: Download today's podcast Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE 977
Palm Pre to arrive June 6 for $200 http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10244423-1.html
Next-gen iPhone specs, launch date revealed? http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/05/next-gen-iphone-specs-launch-date-revealed/
Biz Stone on Twitter: … Read more
I get this one a lot, what should I do about my--fill-in-the-blank--broken headphones, buzzing speakers, static noises, intermittent sound, or when my subwoofer stops subbing?
Only rarely can I solve the problem with a quick fix; I always first advise contacting the dealer or Web site that sold you the product. Service is their responsibility and if they don't provide it, you shouldn't buy from them.
Of course, the best time to ask about service is before you buy any product. Will they replace a product if it fails within 90 days of purchase? Do they pay for return shipping? I'm talking about audio products here, but that advice works for any tech purchase. … Read more
Finally, Microsoft and the Linux Foundation agree on something. Neither wants to stand behind their products. OK, OK, that's not fair.
However, the Linux group and software maker are both opposing a law group's proposal that would create an implied warranty that software products ship with no material defects.
The two joined forces on a letter to the American Law Institute taking issue with its proposal. Microsoft and the Linux Foundation believe the proposal could do more harm than good.
"While the principles reflect a lot of hard work and thought by the ALI, Microsoft and the … Read more
First, there was the Red Ring of Death (RRoD) epidemic. It struck thousands of early Xbox 360s and led Microsoft to announce in 2007 that it would repair all afflicted consoles free of charge and offer an extended three-year warranty on those machines.
The latest XBox 360 bug? The "E74 error," which has become enough of problem that Microsoft has had to announce that it will repair all consoles affected by it--and extend its three-year warranty to cover any potential E74 problems.
Like the Red Ring of Death, it's not hard to figure out whether you have … Read more
As klutzy Apple laptop users know, damage from spilled water, coffee, or other liquids is not covered under the standard warranty. To uncover any potential for warranty fraud, it's rumored the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has installed liquid sensors in its new line of MacBooks and MacBook Pros. CNET's Kara Tsuboi looks into the rumored move and the potential for false-positives.