Indepth: Manufacturer's Warranties

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Don't be tempted to try home-repairs as they can invalidate your warranty.It's tempting to think that a manufacturer's warranty will protect you if the IT equipment you bought directly from them fails. It will to an extent, but there is a limit on what you can expect.

The warranty company will replace or repair the equipment but that's it. They may also expect you to pay carriage. With a maintenance contract or IT support you can also expect the following;

  • Replacement equipment whilst yours is being repaired or replaced. What would you do without your PC, printer or server?
  • Initial diagnosis on your premises or remotely, so you may not even have to be without your equipment.
  • Re-setting all profiles, software and settings as well as restoring data from back-ups. The warranty company will not do this and it can require a significant amount of time and skill.
  • Advice and immediate access to a helpdesk support. The warranty company's helpdesk may be an offshore call centre or charged at premium rates. Plus, they won't know about your systems so can't give specific advice related to your detailed circumstances.
  • If a piece of equipment doesn't work effectively it may be due to another part of your IT set-up, so the problem will still exist or may occur again when you get the equipment back. Only a qualified engineer with detailed knowledge of your systems can identify this.

Including more equipment on a maintenance schedule obviously increases costs, but can prove cost-effective in the event of a system failure.