If you’re having problems with your computer, you may be able to get it fixed for free. Most computers have at least a one year warranty, with many having a two year extended warranty. These warranties cover technical problems such as equipment failure due to manufacturer problems and even damage caused by viruses. Some warranties even cover user damage such as dropping your laptop or spilling liquid on your computer. Before you spend a lot of money repairing your computer, see if your manufacturer will fix it for free.
Ways to Check
Warranty information is usually provided when you purchase your computer. Check all the paperwork provided with your computer. The warranty information is listed on a small certificate, including all the fine print and how to contact your manufacturer.
If you’ve lost your paperwork, you can check online. Not only is warranty information provided, but you can see the exact date the warranty expires. First, visit your computer manufacturer’s website. For instance, if you have a Dell, go to Dell.com. Look for a Support or Help section on the site. Some sites, like Toshiba, have a Warranty page. You’ll need your service tag number, which is listed on a tag on the bottom of your laptop or back of your desktop.
Call your manufacturer. If you want to speak to a customer representative, you can call your manufacturer’s technical support team. Contact information is listed on the manufacturer’s website and in your computer’s paperwork.
If you purchased your computer from someone other than the manufacturer, check the retailer’s website or your receipt for warranty information. Most store warranties cover your computer for sixty to ninety days unless you purchase a separate warranty.
Information You’ll Need
If you check using a website or by phone, you’ll need to have as much information about your computer as possible. You must have the service tag or other type of code. Different manufacturers call the tag something different. When you check online, the manufacturer provides instructions on where to find the tag or code in question. This is a unique code that identifies your computer.
You may also be required to provide the date you purchased the computer if you purchased from a retailer other than the manufacturer. This is found on your purchase receipt. However, the manufacturer can also check to see the date your operating system was first activated, which happens when you start your computer the first time.
If your computer is still under warranty, you must contact customer support to schedule repairs. If you can do the repairs yourself, you may be able to just order the parts without having to send your computer in. The manufacturer pays for shipping, but you may be responsible for providing the intial packaging materials. Pay close attention to what the manufacturer needs. For instance, you may be able to keep your hard drive to prevent data loss.
If your warranty has expired or is about to expire, you can order an extended warranty from many retailers. Visit your manufacturer’s website or contact the retailer you bought the computer from. You can order a one or two year extended warranty. However, unless expect to have many problems with your computer, extended warranties are often useless and may not cover problems due to age.