Grenville and myself are unabashed Apple users and we each have our own devices as we don't share well. Our 2-person household contains: two desktop PCs, notebooks, iPhones and tablets. At the very least, we're “standardized" in our product line. We even invested in the company's stock (on a very, very limited basis).
Whenever either of us have bought a new and/or refurbished Apple product, we've always added AppleCare Protection which extends the standard 1-year product warranty to 3 years with 24/7 priority access to Apple experts by chat or phone. Of course, it's more costly to do so, but it's proven useful for us. It covers hardware issues with unlimited phone-in support for software issues/questions, which have been the focus of most calls.
For myself, the expense has been worth it. This week, I experienced an issue when a 2-year old iMac desktop PC (with AppleCare) and an external Apple DVD drive no longer "played together." Short story is that the DVD caused the PC to "crash" when a CD was inserted. This DVD drive was working when used about 2 weeks ago and to verify that it was still working, we tested it on Grenville's PC and a notebook PC, where it worked as expected.
Over 6 hours, I spoke with support reps in NC, TX and FL on this issue. The reason for so many calls was there were procedures the PC needed time to complete and Apple support sets a callback time — and always called back. AppleCare support centers are nationwide in the U.S. and the case number and detailed information was available to each rep. Unfortunately, the issue is unresolved and on the last call was escalated to a senior support analyst who guided me through running PC diagnostics and uploading files for analysis by Apple. After it's reviewed, the analyst will call back (no doubts about this).
As for buying extended warranties for major appliances, we're now apartment dwellers so if something breaks down, we notify the management office for a repair. As former homeowners, we never bought extended warranties and never had an issue even during what would have been the "lifetime" of an extended warranty. However, with delicate electronics that can be costly to repair, we get extra coverage to ensure that nothing "bad" happens, sort of like buying auto and house insurance — you dislike the expense and pray you don't have to use the coverage
Have you ever purchased a support plan for a product — electronics or not?
If so, did you ever use it and was your issue(s) revolved?