02 July 2016

Protection: MACK Extended Warranties for Camera Gear


Art Model, Anon 3 ©2012 Terrell Neasley
Continuing my reviews on the question of protection, I think extended warranties are another good one to cover. So what's an extended warranty? Most of the items you buy will come with some form of guarantee that the product will function and operate as specified. They will usually offer this guarantee for a year with most newly purchased electronics. That's not too bad when you consider that if the product makes it that long, chances are it will perform similarly over the next few years with proper maintenance and care. At least, that's the usual case unless you are one of those people who's products last until the month AFTER their warranty expires.

Art Model, Anon 3 ©2012 Terrell Neasley
An Extended Warranty can do a couple more things. It can extend this same level of guarantee by a third party, other than the manufacturer, OR it can also add more coverage not provided by the manufacturer warranty. For instance, in addition to the manufacturer's warranty, an extended warranty might also add ACCIDENTAL DAMAGE, which means the product is covered if it malfunctions for some reason, but ALSO the product is covered for repair/replacement if YOU damage it. So in this case, if you happen to be out shooting your camera and you damage if by dropping it, running it over in your car, (I have seen this), or because your inconsiderate numb-skull friend decided it would be funny to give you a shove while you were taking pics by the pool (seen that too).

So should you buy or risk it?

I'll say it depends. If you already have insurance for professionals on your gear, then maybe not. However, if you DO have pro insurance and don't want to pay the deductible if there is damage AND don't want your rates to increase...buy the extended warranty. I would be extremely leery of using homeowner's insurance. Just last week, I had a gentleman explain to me that he initially thought his camera gear was covered, however the insurance company denied his claim for the camera gear, insisting that he used it commercially. It didn't matter that he made no money at it. The gear he lost was of professional quality. Had he tried to recover damage on a $599 Canon Rebel T3i, maybe his insurance would have covered it. But with a Canon 5DMarkIII, 2 more bodies, lights, etc...they said no.

Art Model, Anon 3 ©2012 Terrell Neasley
If you know you are prone to mishandling gear, get the insurance. When you know you have a history of knocking things off the table or dropping things onto the floor, save yourself the heartache and spend the few extra bucks to protect yourself.

It also depends on what you are getting the extended warranty for. For an item that does not get handled much or carried around, I may not be as inclined to purchase it. A camera or a lens, yes indeed, I am in favor of it. Because like my last post about UV filters, it has to do with who's handling the warranty claim as well as how responsive is the warranty issuer. B&C Camera has at least two people at all times who submit and monitor MACK extended warranties.

Art Model, Anon 3 ©2012 Terrell Neasley
I've seen worried consumers come in the store with busted gear. Maybe they don't have the receipt, but they can look up your gear by serial number and find out if you are covered. When these guys realize they we can reproduce their proof of purchase, well, you should witness the sense of relief in their faces. They chose to purchase the 3-Year MACK Diamond Extended Warranty when it was offered. These are the ones that the B&C Camera owner chooses to use because it's most beneficial to the customers and it makes the most sense.

Art Model, Anon 3 ©2012 Terrell Neasley
The warranty doesn't protect against loss or theft. They can't help you if your gear has been in a fire. The warranty is for manufacturer malfunction and accidental damage. A lady drove over her camera and crushed it. She brought all the pieces back that identified the camera make, model, and serial number. She got a new camera as it was not repairable. Same model...brand new. How happy do you think she was? What happens if your camera is not repairable and has been discontinued for the upgraded model? You get that upgrade. Here is an excerpt from the MACK website:

Diamond warranties include standard coverage as well coverage for malfunctions due to accidental damage from handling (ADH).
This includes malfunctions due to liquid damage that were the result of an accident. All types of accidental damage, including liquid damage, will be covered at the discretion of Mack Worldwide Warranty.
Benefits:
  • Impact Damage
  • Manufacturer Defects
  • Sand/Grit Damage
  • Accidental Damage and Unintentional Abuse
  • Mechanical Malfunctions
  • Normal and Abnormal Wear and Tear
  • Lemon Protection
  • 2 Free CCD Cleaning for the life of the warranty (USA Only)
Art Model, Anon 3 ©2012 Terrell Neasley
See there? That's 2 free sensor cleanings over the life of the warranty. That's anywhere from $120 to $200 in cleaning right there. B&C Camera charges $60 per sensor cleaning, BTW and its done right there in the store by a specialist, named Kris. Depending on the value of your camera that's either the full cost of the insurance or at least half of it in most cases. So is the peace of mind worth it? I think it is. A one-time payment and you're protected for 3 years. That's a good deal. Do it.

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