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PC Warranties:
To Buy or Not To Buy

All PC retailers offer a PC warranty and an extended warranty. Are these warranties worth it for you to purchase? Generally, the answer is that they are not cost effective to purchase. So let us examine why.

Recently my expensive Maytag washer failed. I got the call from Cate that she had a bad day and had to wring out clothes by hand before drying them. The Maytag (the now less than Dependability Company) washer failed to lock its door so that the spin cycle did not proceed. It was their Neptune front load washer that died. In the past I searched the web for repair instructions and parts for my appliance repairs. As a nerd defined by Dr Seuss (not a geek that comes from Circus freak), I fix everything that I can including my own home appliances. However, in this case the Internet search revealed that there was a class action law suit against Maytag for defective washer design. Apparently, the suit was settled and all claimants after May 2005 were required to pay for the repair on their own. My good luck always seems to prevail. The Maytag repair cost around $350 for one of the Google responders.

There are two important points here. First, if you have any problem search Google or Vivisimo for help and information. If there is a modicum of nerd in you, you may be able to fix the problem your self. Second, major home appliances increase in price each year. My replacement Kenmore washer cost around $1,000. Refrigerators, washers, dryers, and other mostly mechanical appliances increase in price annually. In contrast most electronics do not. My Sony 42-inch plasma TV, that cost $6,500 when new and failed because of lightning, could have been replaced for $3000. Today an equivalent unit would cost $2000 or less. Sony (in contrast to Maytag) repaired the plasma panel for free. There was no class action law suit found for Sony. This illustrates good customer service vs. poor customer service. Nerds relish in giving superior customer service.

PCs decrease in price and increase in performance every three months. If a PC disk fails, the replacement costs about $100. Further, it typically has more capacity than the original failing disk. Disk drives are readily replaced on both laptops and desktop PCs. Power supplies cost about $60. Universal 450 watt (as compared to 230 watt – more watts are better) power supplies fit most PCs. I recently had to hacksaw and to shoehorn a universal replacement supply into an HP multimedia PC. It worked. The customer even saw the surgery and did not faint.

My most expensive hardware repair was to a Dell destroyed by lightning. I had to replace the chassis, motherboard, and CPU for $500. The remaining parts were good. An equivalent replacement brand new PC from Dell cost $600. Laptops are tougher. The only one I could not cost effectively fix was a Sony with the problem in the internal power conversion module. I could not find the part on the Internet. Laptops with smashed displays are also very expensive to repair because of the display cost.

An effective consumer strategy is to check the basic warranty. If it is a one year replacement parts warranty, then stick with it. Run the PC day and night for the first several months. Use a less than two-year old, 1000 joule or better surge suppressor (especially for Dell PCs.) If a disk drive or power supply replacement is needed it is likely to cost the same as the extended warranty. It is possible in a minority of cases that the more expensive repair could be required (more likely for laptops). However, the odds are in your favor. These are much better odds than you get at Las Vegas. So save some money and vote “Not To Buy”. As for washers and refrigerators, warranties are good.


Link to "5 Reasons Not To Buy An Extended Warranty"

P. D. Moulton and Dial A Nerd, a local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) PC repair, computer repair, laptop computer repair, Wi-Fi network and wired LAN network configuration & repair, Windows XP repair, Windows Vista repair, Windows 7 repair, network server computer support, and virus & spyware removal. Dial-A-Nerd repairs PC (s), computers, networks, removes viruses & spyware and upgrades slow computers 24 hours a day 7 days a week. DialANerd provides immediate remote access as well as fixed price computer repair, network repair, virus & spyware removal services at its local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) repair shop. Repair completion is typically 24-hours to 48-hours. Dial A Nerd recovers hard disk data and saves your data. Each hard disk is tested for errors for free. Dial A Nerd makes a fixed disk image, recovers and saves your data for about a 90% of the desktop computer, laptop computer, and netbook PC (s) serviced. Dial A Nerd, a local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) repair business provides fast PC repair, computer repair, desktop computer repair, laptop computer repair, Wi-Fi network and wired LAN network configuration & repair, Windows XP repair, Windows Vista repair, Windows 7 repair, network server support, and virus & spyware removal services with a warranty. Dial A Nerd works on many PCs including Sony computers, Gateway computers, Hewlett Packard computers, Compaq computers, Toshiba computers, Emachines computers, Clone PCs, and Dell computers in the local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD). The Dial A Nerd mission is delivering the best quality, affordable cost effective PC repair, computer repair, laptop computer repair, desktop computer repair, Wi-Fi network and wired LAN network configuration & repair, Windows XP repair, Windows Vista repair, Windows 7 repair, network server support, virus & spyware removal, home PC repair, printer configuration, PC - desktop computer - laptop computer - netbook computer performance optimization & speed up service. Homes and small businesses with limited IT service and IT support budgets in the local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) hire Dial A Nerd.


2000-2013 P. D. Moulton
DialANerd
7146 Rivers Edge Road Columbia, MD 21044 US
Phone: 410-531-5890 Website: dialanerd.com