Holiday Consumer Alert: Tablets, E-Readers May Cost as Much to Repair as to Purchase

Hottest 2011 holiday gadgets will cost consumers an estimated 50 to 100 percent of purchase price to fix without a protection plan

WASHINGTON--()--N.E.W. Customer Service Companies (NEW) today released data showing that repairs of some popular tech gadgets cost 50 to 100 percent of the original product purchase price. With the “it” gifts this holiday season being tablet computers and e-readers, the data details important information consumers should consider when purchasing gifts.

“The cost of tablet and e-reader repair is extremely high when compared with other products. For example, for a $400 tablet, you will need to pay at least $200 to repair the LCD screen, one of the most common issues, and for a $120 e-reader, the least expensive problem to fix will cost you upward of $100,” said Jamie Breneman, a contributor to The Savvy Shopper blog and NEW’s senior marketing director. “These facts absolutely reinforce the value of buying an extended service plan. If a product is going to cost you 50 percent or more of the purchase price to repair, paying 10 to 20 percent upfront to protect your purchase is an easy choice.”

For a $150 e-reader, an extended service plan should cost $10-$30, and for a $400 tablet, product protection will range between $40 and $80, depending on the retailer and level of benefits. Many product protection plans for portable electronics such as tablets and e-readers also include coverage for accidental damage from handling as well as product replacement, which provides consumers with a replacement solution within as little as 24 hours.

Based on claims data from NEW, the top reason that tablets fail is LCD failure. The average cost to repair, including parts and labor, is about $228, which is approximately 50 percent of the average estimated purchase cost of $423. Other top reasons for tablet failure are, in order of frequency, digitizer failure (with the average cost to repair at $228) and main board failure (with the average cost to repair at $328).

The leading cause of e-reader repair based on NEW claims data is LCD screen/digitizer failure, which costs on average $148 to fix. This repair cost is 75 to 125 percent of the average cost of e-readers, which NEW estimates is $149. Another leading cause of e-reader failure is motherboard failure, which comes in on average at $168 to repair.

For more facts about the average cost of repairs of top consumer electronics and more, see the Holiday Information Kit for shoppers at The Savvy Shopper blog. These fact sheets for consumers and media help address and answer the following questions:

  • What are the top consumer products that tend to fail and why?
  • How much does it typically cost to repair the most popular tech gadgets and appliances?
  • How do the most common repair costs compare with cost of extended service plans?
  • How do manufacturers’ warranties, credit card warranties, and extended service plans differ, and why is it critical for consumers to know the difference?
  • Why is it increasingly difficult to find parts for products when they break?

Subscribe to The Savvy Shopper blog for weekly updates about top consumer technologies, shopper insights and advice, facts on product protection, and more! Get in on our product and gift card giveaways by becoming our fan on Facebook at and following us on Twitter at @NewCorpTweets.

About N.E.W. Customer Service Companies, LLC (NEW)

NEW, together with its affiliates and member companies, is the leading global provider of extended service plans, buyer protection services and product support, providing coverage to more than 150 million consumers around the world. Founded in 1983, with headquarters in Sterling, Va., NEW provides award-recognized post-sale consumer care for leading retailers, consumer service providers, wireless carriers and financial services firms in the United States, Canada, China, Japan, Turkey and the United Kingdom. NEW delivers a comprehensive customer care solution that begins on day one of the product purchase and extends through the end of the product life cycle. For more information, please visit NEW at or call 1-800 WHAT'S NEW (1-800-942-8763).


Focused Image (for NEW)
Kristina Messner, 703-678-6023

Release Summary

N.E.W. Customer Service Companies (NEW) today released data showing that repairs of some popular tech gadgets cost 50 to 100 percent of the original product purchase price.


Focused Image (for NEW)
Kristina Messner, 703-678-6023