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The Importance of Extended Warranties

Our team always recommends that clients purchase their PCs, laptops and servers from 1st tier manufacturers such as Dell, HP or IBM/Lenovo.  We do this for one reason:  support. 

Many people will lecture that extended warranties are a tax on the stupid.  I disagree completely.  Especially on laptops and servers.  $100 per year is a small price to pay for the insurance that should anything break, the vendor will replace the parts.

Computers are prone to failures.  From a hard drive failing to a monitor melting down to dropping a laptop, it’s virtually guaranteed that it’s going to happen within 3 years.  All of the top providers offer extended support, that can include accidents (like driving over your laptop) and any type of failure. 

Think of the cost of dropping a laptop.  Let’s say it’s minor – hard drive fails (and is backed up).  Cost for parts alone:  $150 for a new drive.  That’s already 50% of your extended warranty cost through Dell.  Imagine now that you cracked the screen.  Or dropped water into your keyboard.  Dell sends the parts within 24 hours, and a technician to replace them.  I’d gone through this process, many a time.

Getting our team to find parts and replace them is far more expensive.  Of course, there’s the big if there – parts may not even be available for older machines.  If you’ve dropped water into a laptop with no accidental damage protection warranty, you can generally write it off.  Not good for your $1000-$2000 investment. 

I know companies like Future Shop offer this kind of warranty as well.  Note that for them, it’s depot warranty and the on-site component is not generally available.  Depot warranty means that laptop is out of your hands for days.  When my Compaq failed, Future Shop had it for 3 weeks!  Thankfully I had a spare laptop, or I would have been in big trouble.  Clearly on-site, next business day service would have been worth the extra couple dollars. 

 In the next few posts I’ll talk about our experiences with the support teams from the major manufacturers.

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