New CEA Research Helps Consumers Navigate Protection Plans This Holiday Season

"Consumers are increasingly seeking plans to help protect the electronics that have become so ingrained in everyday lives"

Arlington, Va., November 25, 2013 - The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® published new research today revealing consumers' shopping habits and attitudes toward protecting mobile devices from accidental damage. The report, Consumer Electronics, Protection Plans and Changing Habits, created in collaboration with SquareTrade, explores what consumer's value most in a protection plan for gifts purchased during the 2013 holiday shopping season. According to CEA's 20th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, the most desired electronics gifts this holiday season are tablets, notebook/laptop computers, televisions, smartphones and video gaming consoles. As these devices often fall prey to accidental damage, warranties to protect them will also be in high demand.


"Consumers are increasingly seeking plans to help protect the electronics that have become so ingrained in everyday lives," said Shawn DuBravac, CEA's chief economist and senior director of market research. "Our research revealed some rules of thumb that can help consumers make smart decisions around protection plans when shopping for tech this holiday season."

The survey revealed consumer attitudes toward the cost of a protection plan, their process for selecting a plan and the ease of the claims process with plans they've purchased before. From the findings, CEA, in partnership with SquareTrade, created five helpful tips for holiday shoppers looking to protect their tech:

· Find a trusted brand: Most consumers (70 percent) want to know about the company behind their protection plan and 57 percent say the protection plan brand's reputation plays an important role in purchase decisions.

· Research pays off: Seventy-six percent of consumers say the research they do before purchase positively impacts their warranty purchase decision. Consider checking out the brand's social media channels and message boards to see what other customers have to say.

· Look for straight talk: One in three (31 percent) consumers say clear communication of warranty plans is essential and 68 percent indicate they want less fine print. Make sure you can understand the terms of the plan without consulting a lawyer.

· Cost isn't the only consideration: Almost half (42 percent) of consumers say a device's breakability is important or very important in their decision to purchase a protection plan. Consider how you use your device on a daily basis and how frequently it's at risk of accidental damage.

· Easy claims process: One in three (31 percent) consumers experienced poor customer service and consider the overall claims process too difficult (31 percent). Make sure you can file a claim easily and that the company has a good reputation for customer service.

"Our strategy has been to take our lead from customers regarding what they need and want when it comes to protecting their devices. Trust and world-class service were two of the missing ingredients so we made them the centerpiece of our brand and the service we deliver every day," said Ty Shay, CMO at SquareTrade.

The Consumer Electronics, Protection Plans and Changing Habits was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete study is available free to CEA member companies at members.CE.org. Non-members may purchase the study for $999 at the CEA store.

About CEA:

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $203 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES - The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA's industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org, www.DeclareInnovation.com and through social media.

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