Hugh Pickens writes "Consumer Reports says that most of the time, extended service contracts aren't worth the additional dollars. But the Washington Post reports that purchases of extended warranties are up 10 percent over last year, according to the Service Contract Industry Council, a trade group. Consumers 'tend to be more risk-averse and are less willing to absorb the cost of an unexpected product repair or replacement,' says Timothy Meenan, the council's executive director. Mark Kotkin, director of survey research for CR, acknowledges that there are instances when the extended warranty can be worth it. 'We recommend getting one for the Apple computer,' Kotkin says. 'The tech support that comes with the extended warranty is great. Without it, the tech support is skimpy.' Another product where extended warranties may be of use are giant television sets, where few manufacturers will come to your home to make warranty repairs. Extended service contracts for big screen TVs often offer in-home repair, says Meenan, who once shipped a Sony TV to the service center for repair under the manufacturer's warranty. 'They fixed it and brought it back 45 days later.'"
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