Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Why you should buy an extended warranty on computers

Ok so most know I work from home instructing military students from around the world. The two most important tools I use for my job are my satellite connection, and my PC I bought specifically for this job. Monday morning, blech I hate Mondays again, it would power up for about 30 seconds and then cut off.

Hmm, that's new. I run a quick calculation through my head on warranty time and realize I'm out of bounds by a few months. Damnit. Well fine I think, I'll just go online and purchase a power supply from Dell and fix it myself.

What I find is a refurbished power supply for my PC model and call to see if they had any new ones which turned out to be no. During that conversation the sales rep suggested I get the extended warranty which would cover the power supply, motherboard etc ie major components. The cost was $20 difference so knowing I had at least a power supply to replace I bit and bought the extended warranty.

Now, after agreeing to purchase the warranty I am to be transferred to technical support so they can help me troubleshoot my problem. Ok fine let's do that. But I'm transferred to the extension that is busy and then I get disconnected. Sigh, I hate having to deal with tech support but in this case it is a formality I must go through to get what I want. I end up calling back twice more and being sent to extensions that "are not answering their calls, and this call will be disconnected, sorry for the inconvenience." I think Dell has come up with an inventive solution for the problem of long wait times in queue for tech support so I applaud that.

Well at this point my temperature was rising (duh this is Jim) so I hop onto a different computer and get on Dell's site to write a searing email complaining about the shortcomings of their telephone system. But as I'm skimming through I see 'start a chat session' and I click on it and see that I'm only 6th in queue. At first I think, great I'm in the wrong place and they are going to tell me to call that 800# again. But then....typing appears and it seems to be human. Incredulous but still willing to play along I greet them and am instructed to do all sorts of things (things I've already done, but no matter I follow along).

And then it happened, I couldn't believe my eyes of what I was reading in the chat window. The rep was offering to replace not only my power supply, but my whole motherboard and a separate I/O board AND someone would come out and do it.

Now I wait for the call from the service tech to setup an appointment so we will see how that goes.

Moral of the story: If you buy a major manufacturer computer spring for the extended warranty, more than likely it will pay off.

See ya!

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