Adding An Extended Warranty To Commercial Displays: Yes or No?
Updated: Jan 21, 2020
This is the age old question for any larger purchase: do you wish to purchase an extended warranty?
If you are anything like me, the words "no thank you" slip from your mouth before the person selling it can even finish asking.
I'll admit, I'm a rebel, a risk-taker, a fingers-crossed livin'-on-the-edge kind of person (at least when it comes to spending additional funds on warranties).
Most products come with a limited manufacturer's warranty that cover defects and such. I'm good with that (most of the time). On some things, I can chalk up the win, but I've also been bit (quite hard sometimes), for saying no to that extra support and piece of mind.
It turns out, warranties do not account for a small business for sure. Consumers spent roughly $23 billion in 2016 on a protection plan for their appliances, electronics, computers, and mobile phones.
With that kind of number, it is more a consideration than I give it credit for.
Things like the cost of the product itself, the length of time you expect it to last, the already given manufacturer's warranty, limitations of the extended warranty, the cost of replacing if you do not purchase, etc., are all things that need to be accounted for when making this decision.
While I probably would feel right in saying no to the extended warranty on my at-home coffee maker (it is clear the money will be better spent on the coffee that goes in it and fuels my day); on the contrary, it would be to my demise to say no to the extended warranty on my commercial displays in my digital signage project.
Digital signage displays are those digital menu boards at your local quick service restaurant, they are the lobby displays at your doctor's office begging you to pay attention to them, they are the large video walls at your city's convention centers creating works of art as well as providing you useful information.
Isn't It Just A TV?
I wish that were the case! Let me identify for you the differences between "just a TV" (consumer grade display) and a commercial or professional display used for digital signage.
The table below shares some of the major differences, and are just typical situations. Not all brands or companies follow this 100%, this is a generalization.
The Provided Manufacturer's Warranty
Just slightly touched on in the chart, with your commercial grade display, you will get a manufacturer's warranty.
This (give or take) will include:
2-3 year warranty, parts and labor
On-site, off-wall repairs
Original Purchaser, non-transferable
While this is a great warranty, especially compared to the consumer grade TVs we talked about earlier, there are some "hidden" or special considerations that should be mentioned.
On-site, off-wall repairs, means that a service technician may be sent to you, to make the repairs, however they will not be the ones to remove the signage off the mount or the wall.
You will most likely need to hire a technician to take care of this piece, for the uninstall and then for the re-installation when repairs are complete.
Also, there may be a lag in turn around time for making those repairs or receiving replacements parts or screens with a general warranty.
If you decide to transfer the signage or products to a new owner, the warranty is no longer valid even if the sign itself is not touched. All warranties are based on non-transferrable purchases.
Why Get The Extended Warranty?
In this scenario, your life will be easier and you will be thanking the warranty gods of the world if you have an issue and you chose to get the extended warranty and here is why.
Extends Time: You can take that manufacturers warranty and extend the life of it. So now turn that 2-3 years into, a possible, 5 years. Depending on your project and the life you expect it to have, this could give you peace of mind for an extended period of time on parts and labor at the very least.
Faster Service: Some upgraded warranty offerings include same day or next day repairs/delivery. If you rely on your digital signage as a menu board or for up selling or for internal communication, the down time for your screens can be detrimental to your business.
Paying the extra to ensure a quick turn around when something goes wrong can actually help keep those costs down.
Includes Uninstall/Reinstall: When I said before that a general warranty does not include taking the screen down to repair and then re-installing it, well an extended warranty may include that part.
This again will save costs in the long run and could even shorten down time as well. Why not have the verified technicians take care of all of it at one time?
Unlimited Service Calls: Do you keep having issues or don't want to be limited to the amount of times you can keep your screens going when down? An extended warranty can give you an unlimited amount of calls to ensure service is handled every time there is an issue.
As you can see, there are many reasons that adding an extended warranty to your digital signage displays would be worth every penny. Each brand you work with is different in their offerings, so take your time to work with your digital signage integrator.
Your integrator can give you the breakdown and best approach to whether it's best to add that extended warranty or forego it.
Ultimately, it will be up to you, and whether that gamble is one you choose to take. Reach out to Coffman Media, a leading digital signage integrator, for your free consultation.