Laptop Failure Rates and The Merits of Extended Warranties
Laptop Failure Rates
Research conducted and published by SquareTrade in November 2009 revealed that notebooks failure rate vary from 10% to 15% over two years, and 15% to 26% over three years.
Netbooks, which are normally made of cheaper materials are disproportionately more likely to break down in three years; about 25.1 percent should stop working in the period, the analysts say. Budget but full-size laptops, which dominate the lineups of Acer, Gateway and HP, are also more likely to break and face a 20.6 percent failure rate..
Over three years, it's believed as much as 31 percent of notebooks will either fail of their own accord or by accidental damge (such as liquid spills, drops, etc) that render them inoperable.
Extended Warranties.There has been a bit of publicity recently, including a story on Today-Tonight last week about shoppers being advised to think twice before spending money on an extended warranty. I am often conflicted about what to do when I am at the cash register and the "sales-person" is trying to up-sell me on an extended warranty.
I'd like to give you the benefit of my experience with laptop repairs to help you decide on extended warranties for laptops. We have seen a lot of recent statistical reports and research which would suggest that laptops fail at the rate of 33% per annum. This suggests to me that if you plan to own your laptop for 6 years, if will fail twice in that period.
We always recommend that customers purchase an extended warranty at the time they buy a new laptop, extending it to three years. The cost to do this is $100-$200.
The complaint is made that Extended Warranty companies make life difficult for the user, do not pay claims, find ways of blaming you for the failure, etc. This is true for some obscure extended warranty companies but certainly untrue for the major players. If you were to buy an extended warranty from Myers, WOW, Harvey Norman, etc, you are dealing, in my experience, with a reputable and fair company.
I recommend you make the "extended warranty" decision before you enter the shop and then be bold and ask these type of questions: What are the terms and conditions?, How long is the extended warranty?, Who is providing the warranty?, Is it the retailer or a third party?, Does the warranty cover a replacement if needed or does it only cover repairs?, Is the number of repairs or the cost of repairs limited?, Do you have to deal with the repairer?, Do you have a choice of repairer?, Does the policy have a "lemon clause" covering repeated failure? If the item is sent away is freight covered ?
I recommend that buyers of new laptops extend their warranty, to me it's a good investment based on my repair experiences with thousands of laptops each year.