In the infrastructure solution market, extended warranties are commonplace and almost a standard feature. In fact, I am not sure that anyone can sell a solution today without claiming that they offer 15, 20, 25 years or even lifetime coverage. However the reality is that discussion about warranties, and subsequent selection of an infrastructure solution based on the warranty, hinge on three important factors:

1)      Assurance – what the customer expects, wants and needs from the warranty

2)      Cost – what the customer is prepared to pay for the warranty

3)      Risk – What the customer stands to lose by not getting what they thought they were buying.

Whatever balance of these three factors is relevant to you, the potential outcome is probably going to be the same if the solution and the warranty does not live up to expectations.

Storage of potential future ‘time-bomb’ for claims

Failure of system to perform – resulting in unhappy users, lost business, disputes and possibly litigation

Potential project delays leading to increased project costs

Additional legal and specialist consultancy fees

Reputation damaged – ‘Not IT savvy and capable’

Loss of repeat business

So what should you consider when selecting an infrastructure solution, and specifically the warranty associated with it?

Don't compare infrastructure solutions and their extended warranties by price alone, avoid warranty potholes!

I would have to say that the commercialization of the network infrastructure market has dangerously jaded you, if you shop for infrastructure solutions by price alone!

You do get what you pay for!

I have to believe the lowest priced solution probably has the highest risk of a warranty that could leave you with worthless paper. It could mean for instance under-funding the support for your warranty claims.

Check The Warranty Before You Buy, NOT After You Buy!
Don't leave a contract discussion with a false sense of security that you have a warranty protecting you from everything. Some warranties have so many small-print clauses you'll be lucky if the claims are paid, or what you thought was covered is covered.

The more you dig, the more you'll find. If you cannot get a copy of the warranty documentation, DON'T BUY THE SYSTEM AND WARRANTY!

WARNING! Some extended warranties DO NOT pay for parts and labor reimbursement during the warranty period!

In a future post I hope to follow up on this subject and share some tips for getting the value you are expecting.

What features do you expect from a warranty?  

About the Author

James Donovan

James Donovan is Vice President of the CommScope Infrastructure Academy. James joined CommScope in 1993 and has held positions in Sales, Technical, Marketing, Training and Business Development and served most recently as VP of Digital and Creative Services for CommScope. James oversees the CommScope Infrastructure Academy, which is CommScope’s partner and customer training platform. Prior to joining the company, he held positions at GEC, ITT and Alcatel. He holds a Masters Degree in Engineering and a BSc Honors degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

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