According to Warranty Week, extended warranties are a $40 billion business. Manufacturers make lucrative margins on warranties, because they know that most people will never take them up on the offer. For personal electronics, extended warranties aren’t usually worth the money because the chances of needing a repair are low; the cost of repairs or even replacement isn’t significant; and you can usually live without the item for a while.
However, when you’re considering computer warranties for your business, you have completely different factors to consider. For that reason, we almost always recommend getting the extended warranty.
For workstations we recommend three year warranties, and on servers we recommend five. Most computer manufacturers will allow you to renew the initial warranty twice. After five years, most equipment is beyond its serviceable life and should be considered for replacement.
Why extended warranties on business computers are different
We think of warranties as the cost of doing business. Just like you wouldn’t buy a car without car insurance, buying computer equipment without a warranty is risky. For many reasons.
1. Computer equipment is vital to business operations
If your server goes down and employees can’t work, you’re losing far more money than you would have paid for the warranty.
Without access to the same-day service warranty offered by the manufacturers, you may be waiting days or weeks for repair. If the server requires replacement, it will probably take two to three weeks for it to be delivered and configured.
In another scenario, we have a client that travels regularly for business (at least they did before the pandemic). Their risk of damage or loss is significantly higher than the average laptop user and the client didn’t want to risk losing a high-value client by not having a laptop. Getting the manufacturer’s extended warranty meant getting same day service or replacement, wherever they are in the world.
2. Parts aren’t always available
Manufacturers typically keep an inventory of components exclusively available to their warranty customers. For older equipment, you may not even be able to buy the part on the open market. Equipment over five years old is usually no longer supported.
3. The cost of replacement is high
A manufacturer’s original warranty is typically three years, but business computers are usually replaced every five years. For that reason, businesses are usually allowed to renew their hardware warranty to cover all five years. Investing in a server is a capital expense you can build into your business budget. When a server has to be replaced mid-way through its expected life, it means another large cash outlay. Plus, the costs can compound substantially because you also reconfigure other network components.
4. Service costs
The manufacturer warranty includes professional services. A manufacturer rep will repair the equipment and bring it up to date with the latest software and security patches.
What happens if you never need the extended warranty?
Count yourself lucky! Just like you don’t want to get in a car crash to get value from your car insurance, the extended warranty provides peace of mind and protection for your business.
Businesses should continually be evaluating how to lower their risk. Buying extended warranties for computer equipment is one way. Doing regular business backups is another. And having an IT Partner you can rely on is the third.
If you’re looking for better IT service or support, please give us a try. Our small team is right-sized for growing businesses. We’re based just outside of Detroit Michigan, but ready to service companies anywhere in the USA.
Is it worth getting a warranty on a laptop?
For a personal laptop, it most likely isn’t worth it. However, you should invest in a warranty on a business computer.
Should I buy an extended warranty?
Most times on personal computers you won’t need to use your extended warranty. However, business computers should get the extended warranty, and sometimes can get extra time added to it for free.
What is a warranty on a computer?
A warranty for your computer is like insurance for your car. If something goes wrong, the manufacturer will repair or replace the pieces to keep your computer in top shape.
Do computers come with a warranty?
When you buy a brand new computer, it should come with a manufacturer warranty. Most times, this doesn’t last very long and to be safe you should purchase the extended warranty.