Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Caveat emptor: check your warranty if you live in Hawaii

by Larry Geller

It’s not new that certain Internet vendors won’t ship to Hawaii. With the price of oil on the rise, that problem won’t be solved any time soon.

I ran into something that I think may be relatively new.

This weekend we went shopping for a 22” LCD monitor. We found a BestBuy ad in the paper that looked promising, and ended up buying a Velocity Micro monitor. They make gaming machines, and this looked like one fast monitor, and at a good price.

While I was setting it up, Nanette read through the manual and warrantee card. Oops… guess what… the warrantee is only good in the 48 contiguous states and DC. That’s right, no warranty in Hawaii.

So back it went. We took a look at another monitor, a Hannspree, which appears to be a BestBuy private brand. Cheap, good color, resolution, etc. Opening it at the store, guess what… the warranty says that if you need repairs, you have to pay shipping to them (pretty standard). But they will only ship it back to an address in the continental US. Forget that.

So over to Costco. We now have a more expensive but higher quality Samsung monitor with a three-year warranty. They will pay shipping both ways if it should break. It’s not as fancy as the Velocity Micro first choice, but we’ll enjoy it more. It has a great non-glare coating and other quality features.

So just to warn you, if something should go wrong with your bargain purchase, these days you could end up paying a good hunk of the purchase price all over again just to get it fixed! Read that fine print in the store if you can, or be sure you can return the thing if you find an unsatisfactory warranty in the box when you open it.

Also check on the length of the warranty. Is it three years or one year? If it’s only one year, there may be a reason for the manufacturer’s reluctance to be responsible longer. That Velocity Micro monitor was warranted only for one year.

Good thing we returned it.

Caveat emptor.


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