Mobile Devices

December 20, 2013

Juniper Systems Announces Warranty Plans for its Rugged Devices-Are They Worth It?

On Monday, Juniper Systems announced the launch of its Complete Care service plans that provide repairs beyond standard warranty periods. According to the Logan, Utah-based maker of rugged handheld devices that range from PDAs to notebook size, the suite of plans was created in response to customer demand.  For periods ranging from one to five years, customers can save on repair costs and get expedited shipping to keep downtime to a minimum.

The introduction of these plans raises one question—Are they a cost effective form of protection or a just another scheme that does not even coming close to delivering what you pay for it?

In the retail consumer market, anyone who buys electronic goods will get the sales pitch offering service plans or extended warranties that offer more protection against damage and costly repairs than standard warranties do. A combination of the expected lifespan of the product; its replacement cost and consumer protections provided by credit card vendors like doubling standard warranties make extended warranties less compelling.

With any contract, the devil is in the details and what’s an issue with one consumer may be insignificant to another. Evaluating the risk of damage to a device; how much paying for the warranty will cost over time; the cost of deductibles; how often you upgrade devices will show which warranties make sense and which don’t. Consumers are more likely to buy a couple of hundred dollars to protect a $600 iPhone they’ll keep for two years than they are a low-end Android smartphone that they’ll ditch in less than a year.

In the market that Juniper Systems sells to there are a lot of other considerations. Companies that depend on these rugged devices cannot afford much downtime. The information that many of these devices capture and store is usually of the highest value. A lot more is at stake than protection against the unexpected replacement cost of the device itself.

Just as consumers should analyze risk and costs, so should companies that use electronic devices subject to warranty and extended warranty protection. In the consumer market, many of these extended warranties don’t seem to be worth the trouble, but for companies whose success depends on having working devices as much as possible, they are worthy of consideration. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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