Do You Need That Extended Warranty?
Whenever we configure a new desktop, laptop or server for our small business customers one configuration option that often needs discussion is whether or not to purchase the extended warranty. The answer differs based upon the system being purchased.
Servers – We typically recommend the maximum available warranty with 7 day, 4 hour service if available and affordable. Often, the client might say, “well, if a hard drive were to fail, wouldn’t it simply be cheaper to go out and purchase a new one, rather than pay so much to have the warranty cover the replacement?”
The cost of the hardware isn’t what the primary focus should be here. What’s important to realize is that every minute of downtime, where your entire office is completely inoperable could be costing you a fortune in lost productivity. The value in having a replacement part delivered to your office within 4 hours, without the risk of having a part being out of stock or unavailable for delivery is well worth whatever the cost of the warranty might be.
Workstations – Here is where we rarely spend anything more than what’s included as the basic warranty on the system. It’s very rare that an actual hardware component will fail on a new workstation, and if it did, the cost of a replacement will generally be less than the cost of the warranty. We do typically like Dell Optiplex workstations that come with a standard three year warranty.
Being that only one user would be affected by an outage, this is a risk that is usually deemed justifiable in taking, rather than purchase an expensive warranty to insure against the potential downtime. It’s often not too difficult to find a spare workstation for a single employee to work on temporarily while waiting for their computer to be repaired.
Laptops – Here’s another instance where we typically recommend to our clients that the extended warranty with “Complete Care” or “Accidental Damage” protection be purchased. Laptops being mobile devices are highly susceptible to damage from being dropped or banged.
Depending on the model of laptop and the part that’s broken (often the screen), the cost of repair can come close to the actual purchase price of a new laptop. This is why we typically recommend to our mobile small business customers that purchasing the extended warranty with accidental damage protection for their shiny, new and often expensive laptop is a wise move. Of course there are times when you are buying the cheapest laptop available and in that case you may choose to take your chances and go with the standard warranty.
If a laptop comes into our shop in need of service and it isn’t covered by an active warranty, often the news that we’re forced to report to our client isn’t what they would like to hear.