Accidental coverage and Extended warranties for mobile computers

At my company, we always get computers with the next day onsite repair coverage just in case there is a hardware problem. Almost always 3 years, some 5 years. When hardware fails getting service is simple. You call in to technical support, tell them what the issue is and if it is indeed a real issue, they many times will overnight the parts to you. Often they will send a tech to install the parts which is extremely helpful. It’s so convenient and such a time saver.

Just the other day, a client was using his computer, a desktop, and the hard drive died. I verified that it was. How? Two ways. First and most obvious – you hear clicking. Click. Silence. Click. Nothing. Click. It wouldn’t boot up. Second, the computer has onboard diagnostics and after running it, it came back with a hard drive failure error. Fifteen minutes on the phone with support and 24 hours later a new hard drive arrived. Preloaded with the basics – Windows, all the appropriate drivers, and any other software that came with originally on the computer when it was purchased. I still had to load other software – Office, Firefox and Chrome, Java, Flash, etc. But at the end of the day the computer was in working condition in a couple days. Thankfully, we had good backups and folder redirection so the data loss was minimal.

I highly recommended the retailer’s accidental damage coverage if you buy a portable computer, laptop, tablet, or some other device that’s going to see heavy use. I know. Many of you, even me, gasp at the thought of paying for the coverage. It’s true that for the most part for many things, it’s a waste of money. But in the case of laptops, I believe, for the heavy road warrior laptop user, it’s a good safety net to have. Best Buy’s warranty will replace the laptop with a comparable unit sometimes if you have their accidental coverage.

I know of someone who accidentally shattered their laptop screen with a golf club and because the unit was covered with the accidental coverage, Best Buy replaced it with a newer laptop. It was a more powerful machine than the one that was replaced. Why? Because it had been over 2 years since the damaged laptop was purchased and the newer one which had a more powerful CPU, more memory and hard drive space, better graphics was the closest comparable unit. They did all the data transfer and a fully functional, faster, more powerful laptop was handed over to the golfer so that they could watch YouTube videos on how to improve their golf swing once again.

So, if you are going to be travelling around with your laptop or possibly going to put it in situations where it may get dropped or damaged, get the warranty and accidental coverage. Remember that the two are different. The warranty covers all hardware problems as a result of normal use. The accidental coverage takes care of…you guessed it…damage caused by accidents.