Imagine you just bought a nice new phone, with two years of manufacturer warranty. Unfortunately, you just dropped your phone into the sink and now it won’t charge. But no worries, you can just request a repair or replacement under your warranty…right? Well, not exactly. You’ve just made a totally understandable mistake and mixed up warranty with insurance. Let’s look at the difference and what your warranty is really good for.

Warranties are sort of like insurance…but mostly not.

A manufacturer takes understandable pride in their product, so IT hardware companies like Apple or Lenovo or Samsung or Dell (or any other familiar name in computers and phones) like to guarantee that whatever device you purchased will run as intended for at least one or two or five years – or whatever term they set. This guarantee is called a warranty (actually, the two words basically mean the same thing) and is legally binding – as long as the problem originated in their hardware, and not from the user’s mishandling.

So, yes, like insurance, a warranty means that if something goes wrong, the manufacturer will fix it for you. Unlike insurance, though, the warranty is strictly limited to issues that arise from unnoticed flaws in the hardware as originally designed and built.

So what does the warranty cover, exactly?

An obvious answer to this question is damage or faults that are present as soon as you open the box or attempt to turn on the phone. Otherwise, each manufacturer’s warranty is a bit different from the next, but overall they promises to be responsible for mechanical or electrical failures that keep your device from working properly. Maybe your power button stops working. Maybe your battery completely loses its ability to hold charge after a month or two. Maybe your screen randomly becomes pixelated or won’t turn on. Sometimes these become known issues and you might even receive a notification that you are due a battery replacement or other repair. Sometimes they are device-specific, which can be harder to prove, so be sure to keep notes and documents, take photos if you can, and follow up on problems promptly.

Something to be aware of: for the most part, if you tamper with your device (e.g., attempt a home repair or hardware component replacement, remove parts, add DIY upgrades, etc.), you generally void your warranty. We understand the appeal of customizing your hardware, but just be aware of the consequences if you choose to do so.

Where do we come in?

If you bring a device to us, we always work to diagnose the cause. Water damage, cracks in your screen, mechanical/electrical failures in a really old device: these are most likely not covered by your warranty and will require a paid repair. Battery issues are usually covered for one or two years. Other problems such as with your screen display, ports, buttons, etc., will have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, but you can rest assured that we’ll be as careful and thorough as we can be in determining whether your issue falls under warranty.

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