Literally 1000's of computer technicians worldwide derive their income from providing onsite computer warranty repair services. With the decline in price of computers in general, fewer extended type warranties are being sold. These warranties can be expensive. The justification for not purchasing one of these warranties, is that the consumer, in their mind say "I'll Just buy another $300.00 computer if it breaks".
What they don't realize, is that there are reasons that make it possible to produce a computer that cheaply. As consumers, we are being "victimized" by mass production. Even though manufacturers can consistently produce a quality product through use of automation, there is always going to be a percentage of components that are either dead on arrival or fail prematurely. Even a random check of a small percentage of these items will not ferrett out all the failures before the consumer gets thier hands on it. It would not suprise me if in many cases, if the decision to ship or not to ship is based on what I call "an allowable rate of failure".
Manufacturers know that it costs more to test something than to let the consumer test it for them. So if random sampling failures, fall into the magic allowable rate of failure, the shipment goes out unchecked.
The Economics of Selling a Computer...
Most people would be suprised to know that computer manufactures really only make pennies on the dollar for selling you a computer. Where the real money to be made is selling other things with thier name on it made buy other manufacturers, Additionally, they sell software, supplies and of course the warranty.
Think of a warranty just like an insurance policy. Just like any insurance policy, that money is invested to make more money. The decline in warranty sales has resulted in a reduction in the available money pool. With less money to work with, the computer manufacturers drive even harder to remain profitable. The effects of that trickels down to the consumer who actually buys the warranty.
With less Money to Work with...
- The computer manufacturers are paying less to the service providers
- The service providers have to hire employees (technicians) at lower wage rates
- Lower paid technicians mean many of them possibly are no more than glorified parts changers...not technicians.
- Out-Sourced Technical Support to foreign countries by individuals who likely have no field experience or even own a personal computer.
- Customers being asked to fix the computer themselves,
The last item is of peticular interest to us technicians. Since we derive our income from that end of the business. Here is what the consumer loses when they get talked into fixing the computer themselves when they actually paid for "ONSITE" service under thier warrany agreement:
- You probably have to be home to sign for the parts. If you are not there or somebody can't sign for the package, a note is often left on the door where you can go and pick it up. This causes a repair delay.
- You are responsible to remove the defective part.
- You are responsible to send back the old part. If you don't, you could be billed for the defective part at a rate often exceeding current market price of that item.
- You lose the opportunity to ask additional questions from possibly a "real" technician who maybe performing this service for you.
- Onsite technicians often have access to higher levels of support with lower wait times than the consumer does if additional problems are discovered, the wrong parts were sent, or what they sent didn't correct the problem. When the consumer calls back in...let the wait begin!
READ THE FINE PRINT!
You deserve to get what you paid for and you should demand it. When you accept to perform component exchanges/repairs yourself, you give the computer manufacturer permission to operate "outside" of the warranty agreement. Whose best interest does this serve?
During the initial troubleshooting experience, you may be asked to remove and re-install parts to determine the source of the problem and decide what parts need to be sent. Your tech support person may use this as an avenue to assure you that you are competant enough to do the repairs yourself. What they don't tell you is that you lose the convenience of scheduling a repair call with your onsite tech who is also responsible for recieving and returning the parts, takes ownership of the problem, and likely has more experience than you in resolving issues.
How much is your time worth?
Please send this to all your friends who own a computer. Along with that goes the thanks of 1000's of computer technicians worldwide. Our employers may not be able to justify our existence if you do the work.
Where will we be when YOU REALLY need us?