No joke! I did read something funny, though. This article said (discussing warranties) that for all large items, get/consider the extended warranty, but for small things, don't get it. That is, except for the iPod. It really said that.
Yeah we sell extended service plans at my work and it is uselly a good idea on some thing (you have to know how to use it to your advantage) For example it is a good idea to buy our service plans on MP3 players PDAs GPUs and Laptops CPUs and Motherboards. Because for GPU CPUs and motherbored we dont actually check if somthing is broken so when somthing new comes out that you want then all toy do is take it in and say it doesnt work anymore and you would like to upgrade then you get a credit for what ever you paied for the last one (kind of a trade in service if you do it right) then for MP3 players and PDAs we have a good plan because its stright up exchange if you brake it. But if you never brake it we also cover the battery on thoes so when you dont get a full charge anymore just bring it in and upgrade the same way as the CPU and GPU. Then for laptops we cover all acidently damage and give you a free battery thoes cost a lot right there.
Other things like Harddrives and routers its just stupid to buy on.