Extended Warranties – Do You Need Them??

Should you purchase the extended warranty?

Yes and No –  there are good warranties and there are less-good warranties.

Typically a computer, tablet, laptop etc comes with a standard 1 year warranty.  And typically the extended warranty takes that out to 3 years.  What makes them good and what makes them less-good?

It’s all about the terms.  The only warranty we can say is good provides at least Next Business Day (NBD) Onsite service.  If you’re purchasing business-grade computers this extended warranty will come direct from the manufacturer and is usually NBD.  But even extended warranties from the manufacturer can include mail-in service.  The key is Next Business Day Onsite.  It gets worse.  Computer warranties you purchase at a big box retail outlet will typically be offered through the outlet in a contract with a third-party “insurance” company covering the warranty.  That can get complicated.  Sometimes that works out okay but there can be a lot of pitfalls along the way.

Here’s the loop:  Computer breaks, you call retail outlet to get it fixed (company #1).  First scenario: They give you an 800 number to call (company #2), you do.  They will send someone out (company #3) if warranty provides onsite service.  Depending on the maze of corporate dealings, they will contact manufacturer or a parts supplier (companies #4 and #5).  Then you might be without your computer for an undetermined amount of time (probably weeks) and there is absolutely NO guarantee that your data will survive this intact.  Second scenario:  You take it back to the retail outlet and they navigate some of the maze for you.  Still no guarantee your data is safe, they’ll even tell you so because they’re going to ship it off somewhere (maybe company #6?) they’re not even sure what will happen to it.  Kind of a crap shoot because really those retail extended warranties are just there as an up-sell in hopes only a small fraction of consumers utilize them.  It’s a numbers game.

Moral of the story:  If you’re a business or in business, purchase business grade equipment from the manufacturer or one of their reps.  Big box retail stores are not reps.  Yes, get the extended warranty from the manufacturer Next Business Day Onsite.  Computer Wrangler recommends a 3 year warranty on all business grade computer purchases.  Again, as long as it’s NBD Onsite.

Did we mention NBD Onsite ?

Happy Holidays – and Happy Computing!

p.s There are some retail outlets that do perform their own repairs and can be trusted.  Call us and we’ll let you know where they can be found.

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