Typically, with any electronic gadget you buy, you will get a one-year warranty from the manufacturer. In case there is a glitch in your device, a software malfunction or any other problem during this period, the warranty will ensure that the same is taken care of without you having to shell out a single penny. However, if you have noticed, it’s usually after a year that problems actually start creeping in, and that’s when you may need that warranty the most. Also, the warranty provided by the manufacturer doesn’t cover any damage to screen, accidental damage or even liquid damage. And there are no prizes for guessing that these damages top the list of woes of smartphone or tablet owners. So wouldn’t it be nice if you had a warranty plan that would cover these areas too?
Fortunately, recognising this need of the smartphone owners, several third party vendors have entered the field and are offering what is called as extended warranty. Though this concept is highly popular in the West, it is still finding its legs in India.
How it works?
You can avail these extended warranty plans provided you have a valid bill of purchase. The cost of the plan will depend on the price of your handset. For instance, if your handset is worth Rs 18,000, then you will have to shell out approximately Rs 1,000 to get an extended warranty. The lower the cost of the handset, the lower the amount you have to pay. This is a one-time payment you make towards the extended warranty and in most cases, the one-year warranty begins after the expiration of the warranty provided by the manufacturer. However, even if that’s the case, you will have to buy an extended warranty plan soon after you purchase your device. Usually, you will have to buy a plan within a month or two of buying your device and you will need the valid bill and invoice of the purchase. Unfortunately, if you have purchased your phone from the grey market, without bill and warranty, then you cannot opt for extended warranty.
Just like you would go through the terms and conditions before buying an insurance policy, you have to read the details of what is being covered under the warranty. Generally, it will cover the same things that the standard warranty from the manufacturer covers. This means that the accessories won’t be a part of the coverage and neither will any physical or liquid damage to screen or the device. You can buy these extended warranties online. Currently there are three players who offer the same – GadgetCops, WarrantyBazaar, Onsite Care. Even The Mobile Store offers extended warranty plans, but these are limited to phones bought from their online site or their retail outlet.
Amongst all the players in the market offering extended warranty, what’s unique to GadgetCops is the fact that their extended warranty plan offers coverage for damage to the screen arising out of liquid damage or physical damage. Here it’s important to note that when they say protection against liquid damage, what won’t be covered is the damage to the battery, but they will repair your motherboard and even the screen. This is not something that is covered by even the manufacturer’s warranty. GadgetCops offers a two-year protection plan that works at two levels. During the first year, it will cover accidental and liquid damage, and in the second year, the extended warranty that is similar to the one offered by the manufacturer kicks in. Currently, GadgetCops has physical presence in six cities, including Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
GadgetCops covers damage to screen caused by liquid spill
If you buy a protection plan from GadgetCops, then their executive will pick your damaged device from you, get it serviced and drop it off as well. This saves you the hassle of making a trip to the authorised service centres, not to mention the serpentine queues. However, if you are based in cities other than those mentioned above, then you need not fret, as the services of GadgetCops are pan India. It has tie-ups with courier services and they will have your device picked up and delivered. You can buy the protection plan online from SnapDeal. Before you buy their protection plan, especially if your phone is a couple of months old, then their executive will thoroughly check your device for any glitches or other wear and tear.
Rohit Agrawal, founder of GadgetCops, says that he wants to standardise the whole process of servicing devices. Speaking about the benefits, he says, “We have tie-ups with the authorized service centers of all handset manufacturers, so we get priority when it comes to repairs. This lessens the time taken for repairs. And we also get the best price, in case of some repairs that are not covered under the standard warranty. Also, the customer is saved the hassles of making several trips to the service center. Additionally, we have our own state-of-art service centers where we carry out repairs, using genuine parts that we source from the service centres.”
Currently, their plans are limited only to smartphones and tablets; however, they soon plan to extend it to other consumer electronics to include laptops, cameras and even TV. Also on agenda is establishing their physical presence in other cities.
Another soon to be launched service is Onsite Secure. Just like GadgetCops, it provides you with a protection plan of two years, coverage against spills and drops, and the pick-up/drop facility. Even their protection plan works on similar lines to the one offered by GadgetCops. However, Onsite Secure is not just limited to smartphones and tablets; it provides extended warranty plans for laptops and cameras as well. The range of plans that they offer for phones are from Rs 490 to Rs 5390. Basically, the price will be in the 6-10 percent range in all cases. Onsite Secure plan will be offered for an additional year for phones and tablets and for two additional years in case of laptops and cameras. In case of smartphones, Onsite will provide you with a standby device while your handset is getting repaired. They have a tie-up with the authorised service centres across all major cities where the devices are serviced and repaired. Currently, they have a presence in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. In the next six months, they plan to expand their service to other cities in India.
Soon to be launched Onsite Secure has a innovative No-lemon policy
Speaking about the services offered by Onsite Secure, Pratik Yagnik, Business Head - Onsite Secure, says, “Customers can buy EW from our website from March 25th. We will also be collaborating with our existing retail channel partners who will sell EW as an add-on service for their products. Our plans are designed to be extremely comprehensive. They will cover all mechanical, electrical and hardware failures. They will cover accidental and liquid damage even while the product is under manufacturer’s warranty. We also offer a 'No Lemon' policy whereby if a product requires a repair for the same issue thrice, we give the customers an equivalent or better device as a replacement.” In the pipeline are tie-ups with manufacturers and even stores that sell gadgets.
The Mobile Store
If you are amongst the reckless types who keep losing their phone, then here’s something that will reduce the heartburn of spending money on buying a new device. The Mobile Store offers theft insurance for handsets purchased from their online store or outlet. It has four plans you can choose from. Basically, just like the extended warranty plans, even these plans reciprocate to the cost of your device. So, for a phone that is over Rs 15,000, you will have to buy an insurance plan of Rs 750. They have a tie-up with United Insurance and you will have to fill up a form when you make the purchase. The insurance starts from the day of purchase and remains in effect for one year. In case you lose your device during that period, then you will have to lodge an FIR and submit the copy of the FIR to either the store or with the United Insurance office. If your device is traced during the wait period, then you won’t get the compensation. However, if your device remains untraced, then you will get a compensation depending on your usage. For instance, if you lose your phone within one to three months of purchase, then you will get 80 percent of the amount. The higher the number of months that you have used the phone, lower the amount you get.
The Mobile Store offers theft insurance
Apart from theft insurance plans, the Mobile Store also offers extended warranty, which begins after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired and lasts for a year. It is similar to the warranty offered by the manufacturer and works on the same terms and conditions. Basically, it will provide warranty for any malfunction or damage arising out of some glitch in the device. It doesn’t include cover for physical damage or other damage arising out of wear and tear.
Another player in the field is WarrantyBazaar. It offers extended warranty for products ranging from smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras to even TVs. You can purchase their extended warranty plan online from their site; the cost of the plan depends on the cost of your device. You will have to purchase their extended warranty plan within ninety days of having purchased a new phone. You will also need a valid bill of purchase.
WarrantyBazaar offers extended warranty
What WarrantyBazaar offers is an extended warranty that kicks-in after the standard warranty offered by the manufacturer has expired. It will simply extend the warranty by an additional year and offer the same coverage as the manufacturer’s warranty, which means it won’t be of any help if your device stops functioning due to liquid or accidental damage. In case your device cannot be repaired, then WarrantyBazaar will replace it with an equivalent device, but at their sole discretion. Additionally, you will have to take your device to the authorised service centre yourself. The information on the same can be found on their website or you can call their helpline number. You can purchase the WarrantyBazaar extended warranty plans from SnapDeal as well; they have recently tied-up with the online merchant. In future, they also plan to introduce theft insurance.
Should you get your device insured?
Typically, these warranty plans will cost you 6-10 percent of the cost of your device and when you compare it to the benefit, then that’s a paltry sum. To put things in perspective, if the screen of your phone were to get damaged due to a fall, then the standard manufacturer’s warranty won’t cover it and you will have to shell out the moolah to get it fixed. Again, here the prices vary according to the manufacturer, but you will end up paying a minimum of Rs 2,000, and this can go up to over Rs 10,000 depending on the handset you own. If you have a protection plan for your device, then you will save yourself a great deal of money, not to mention the hassle of actually visiting the service centre.
What they have to offer...
Based purely on the plans offered and the other addtional benefits, the protection plan from GadgetCops seems to be a good one. It will provide you protection for two years, including coverage for screen damage as well. Addtionally, they have better presence in the market compared to the others.
Have your ever tried the services provided by any of these players? Do let us know your experience in the comments section below.
Cover image: GettyImages
Comparison Table: Harshad Gujare
Published Date: Mar 08, 2013 10:06 am | Updated Date: Mar 08, 2013 10:06 am