The final step when configuring a trading computer is deciding on a warranty. It’s something you’ll never want to have to use, but will be a life saver if you do, especially since downtime equals lost revenue. Here are just a few things to look for when selecting one:
How long is it? – First and foremost, length of the warranty should be a top priority. Most computers come with a 1-year as the standard with options to extend up to 3 or even 4-years. Consider how long you plan on keeping this computer and how important it is to have full coverage for that period when choosing your warranty. Also note, when purchasing a computer from a retailer, beware of their extended warranties. They’re almost always fulfilled by a third party, and typically not as useful as manufacturer provided warranties.
What’s the level of service? – Standard for the industry is limited coverage for parts and labor. Typically, “limited” means that user incurred damage is not covered but just how limited the warranty is can be up to the warranty provider, so make sure you receive clarification at purchase. Some warranties may even be voided if the computer case is opened. Buyer beware.
Where are repairs done? – A warranty that includes “depot repair” means that the computer would need to be boxed up and shipped back to a repair facility. This generally translates to a longer downtime. When choosing a warranty, make sure to consider where those repair facilities are located to minimize that downtime. For many people, an upgrade to “on-site repair,” where a repair technician would be dispatched to your location, may be a good idea to ensure you’re back up and trading as quickly as possible.
Is phone support included? For how long? – The majority of computer issues can be solved over the phone so solid support can mean the difference between making money, and being out of the game indefinitely. The growing trend in PC support is charging for that support, especially after the first year, though that’s not something we believe in. In our opinion, phone support should be free and for the lifetime of the PC. It just makes sense.
Where is that support based? – Phone support isn’t worth much if you can’t understand the technician you’re speaking with or if he’s working from a generic script. Yes, most phone support is now based in Taiwan, Mexico, India, or the Philippines, but that doesn’t mean Us-based tech support is dead. One call, and you understand its importance.
What about when the warranty expires? – Out of warranty service can be just as important as in warranty. Make sure your warranty provider also offers service for repair after the standard warranty has expired or for cases where coverage does not apply. Would you buy a car with no out of warranty service?