Consumer electronics are in the worst possible shape these days. It seems like everything we buy is junk. No matter where you bought it, who made it, or how much it costs, we are all buying a product produced with the least possible cost, with the most corners cut. These days, the company that cut the most corners (and got away with it) wins.

Computer hardware is no exception. I currently witness more out the box failures, than ever.

A few months back, I purchased a brand new microwave and it could came with a 30 day warranty. This wasn’t some off-brand model either. This was a nice, expensive ($200+) convection type microwave oven. I was very upset that the company only had 30 days worth of confidence in their product. Before I settled on that particular item, i went from store to store reading the different warranty’s with different models. 80% only had a 30 day warranty. I couldn’t find a single microwave with a (what i did consider standard) 1 year warranty. I wasn’t upset at the retailer, they don’t set the warranty policy, the manufacturer does.

Why was I surprised? In my own industry I have watched as the not so standard 1 year warranty has gone away. Very few items come with a 1 year warranty anymore. The ones that do, it takes so long to get a replacement, you may as well just buy another one anyway.

2 years ago we started tracking data on how difficult and lengthly the return process was for various manufacturers. Using that data, we begun carrying parts from manufacturers who had the best warranty and return policies. This has allowed us to maintain a 6 month warranty on all new parts.

The second part about any warranty is the “who administers the warranty” portion.

Consider this hypothetical scenario. You purchase a new refrigerator. The retailer tell you it has a 10 year manufactures warranty. Great! We’ll take that one, deliver it on Monday.  Your new appliance arrives on Monday, they set it up, and it works great. Works great for 2 years anyway, and now it leaks and doesn’t keep your food cold.

You call for repair service. You are informed you must take it across town to have it fixed. You call the “authorized repair center” to see how long it will be. They tell you a week or so, longer if they have to order the parts. Wh#!@$! What do we use until then? They have no idea, and neither do you.

That story has a somewhat happier ending than one in where you have to ship it off for service. (There are no authorized repair centers local to you.) Never paid to ship a 250+ pound object? It isn’t cheap. You are tempted to drive it there yourself.

What a headache. Unfortunately the same can apply to computers. You go into one of the big box retailers, and you buy a PC. When it needs service, you can’t take it back to where you purchased it. You have to call the manufacturer (Dell, HP, Sony, IBM, Gateway, Toshiba, etc) They will tell you how and where to get service. On some models, as an add-on you could have purchased in-home repair service. They send someone to you house and fix it there. Not all vendors offer that. For the ones that don’t, you have to ship your PC to them for service. It’s not as much as shipping a fridge, but what do you use in the mean time?

In the future, before you purchase anything, ask who does the warranty work. See if you have to ship it off, or can you bring it back to the place where you bought it.

Custom-PC services what we sell. If you bought it from us, you can bring it back to us (If it is still in warranty) 6 month warranty on all new parts. Feel confident that you will be taken care of when you buy from us.