Being the owner of a new computer can be intimidating, especially if you do not have anyone in the family who can help fix it. The ‘peace of mind’ market is thus very attractive to large computer resellers, who offer to alleviate your fears through extended warranties, purchasable for virtually any electronic device out there. For these companies, it is a prime opportunity for pure profit with little risk, as the final decision on how you are ‘satisfied’ is up to them – not the customer.
If an electronic device is going to fail, chances are it will do so outright. Your standard 15-30 day return policy will cover this, if you bought it at a reputable dealer. Don’t be swayed by a repairman telling you that something is ‘designed to be replaced every two or three years’, as chances are someone is trying to sell you something. Electronic devices will last for quite a long time if you take care of them; in fact, I am writing this on a PC I built myself 7 years ago.
If you would feel more comfortable having a fallback plan, then try this: every month, sock $20 away in your top drawer. After two years, you will have nearly $500 – more than the cost of a good PC these days. If you find that your computer is still going strong after two years, well then you just earned $500! If you find that you do need a repair, use the services of a smaller shop as larger companies have a lot of overhead and marketing expenses they need to make up for, and prices are inflated accordingly.
The extended warranty market preys heavily upon the uninformed. The best defense is to educate yourself, and find someone you can trust to help you get out of the occasional jam. If you need free advice, call this office anytime and I will be glad to answer any and all of your questions.
Daniel Bradburry is the owner of McKinne IT, an onsite PC services company that serves the needs of residential and small business customers in the DFW area. He can be reached at 214-663-4452, or by email at Daniel@mckinneyit.com. Visit his webise at www.mckinneyit.com