Saturday, December 11th, 2010 | technology
Many people are surprised when they knock a laptop off a table, or drop a data projector, and the vendor tells them that the warranty does not cover the repair of the item. This refusal raises questions about the value of warranties.
What is a warranty? It is a guarantee given by a vendor to you, the buyer of the device, stating that the product is reliable and free from defects and that the vendor will – without charge – repair or replace defective parts within a given time limit and under certain conditions.
Three things should be noted in this definition of a warranty:
Free from defects: The equipment comes to you as a new product and you can expect it to be in perfect working order.
Within a given time limit: The warranty period is always stipulated. In most cases it is one year, but special deals for extended warranties can often be negotiated. It is in your own interest to start using the item as soon as possible – from the moment you take ownership of it the warranty period is ticking away.
Under certain conditions: You must understand the warranty conditions – these are often found in the “small print” of the warranty certificate. To protect themselves, vendors state clearly under which conditions the warranty will not be honoured. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand these exclusions. Take note of where the repairs will be done: at your site, at the vendor’s premises, or must the equipment be sent away to the manufacturer?
A warranty is of great value to you. It gives you peace of mind – if the equipment breaks down owing to a manufacturer’s fault, it will be fixed at no cost to you. The warranty does not free you of the responsibility to look after it. When you read the warranty conditions, you will note that all of them imply that you undertake to take good care of the item. You can’t expect the vendor to fix your machine if, for instance, you:
- bump or drop it
- scratch or damage the surface through rough handling
- fiddle with the delicate parts
- allow an unauthorized person to fix or upgrade it.
In general, technology vendors honour warranty agreements – you are likewise expected to honour your commitment to take care of your equipment.
For more technology tips for teachers click here.