Warranties: The Insurance for Your Business Part 1

We’ve all seen those Farmers Insurance commercials about gaps in your coverage. How you may be covered for this, but not for that. The only time you may figure out you have a gap is when something happens and you have to file a claim. Proactive businesses will have someone come in and assess their insurance policies every 3 years. As new policies are created, things change, and again, there may be gaps that were covered in the past, but not anymore. Insurance is one of those things a business doesn’t think twice about. You have to have it, and you have to keep it updated.

So what about Warranties?

Warranties are the same as insurance. Warranties protect the technology and equipment that power your business, and just as insurance protects you and your business, warranties protect the items that you use daily. They are both necessities for protecting your business…BUT… just like insurance, there could be gaps in your warranty, and you may not know it until something breaks.

Should you buy an extended warranty?

Yes. An extended warranty provides you with an additional 2 years of manufacturer’s warranty coverage over the basic coverage that is provided upon purchase. It usually provides on-site repair services to repair/replace defective hardware components for 3 years (which does not come in the original manufacturer’s warranty). The warranty guarantees the return of your hardware to it’s original state. If you have custom functionality of the equipment, those features will also need to be completed before your system is deemed “repaired.”

If you rely solely on the basic manufacturer’s warranty, you will need to be fully aware of the limits to the warranty. Most manufacturer’s warranties are limited to one year, and off-site service. Meaning, you have to ship or deliver the your server or PC to the the repair site, and you will be without that product for a period of time. The cost associated with a 3 year next business day on-site warranty is not expensive and provides a clear value to those who “can’t work without” a server or personal computer.

We go to bat for our customers

One of our customers came to work one day to find that his screen was no longer working. He spent 2 weeks fighting with the manufacturer’s trying to get the problem solved. The LED screens were on backorder and thus, they “couldn’t do anything” until the screens were in. He could not be without his computer and couldn’t use a fixed monitor to see his screen, as he needed to move around the office. We were able to call the manufacturer and have them expedite the process and immediately send him a replacement and upgraded computer.

The moral of that story? You don’t want to spend time calling the manufacturer and spending most of that time at a Level 1, dealing with basic customer service. The experience is horrid especially if you don’t know who to push, who to talk to, etc. We can call-in at a higher level, often times we can call straight to the management team and expedite the whole process. Managed services companies like ours, often have relationships with vendors and manufacturers and thus we can get engaged quicker and more efficiently.

All in all, it is going to cost you money and more importantly, productivity when a piece of equipment fails. Why not be prepared with warranties and managed services so that if something goes wrong, your downtime is decreased significantly, and you don’t lose any more money?