Monday, January 24, 2011

Don't trust your gadgets with anyone

We never want it to happen, but techno gadgets can break down, freeze and otherwise make your techno life impossible. What do you do with a broken phone, iPad or laptop? In some cases, it’s okay to bring your toy in a general it support store. People in those stores are trained to deal with a large variety of hardware and software problems with computers. But what if it’s your phone or your other techno gadget?

Computer repair stores often have specialties, but they don’t usually repair phones and other smaller toys. Also, keep in mind that not all computer repair stores deal with both Mac and PC; often it is one or the other. Mac repair stores tend to be more exclusive and rare than PC stores, so don’t put your Mac computer in the hands of a store that doesn’t have an Apple accreditation. PC stores are more generalized, since PCs are also more popular.

So that covers computer repairs. But what about phones and gadgets? For phones, your service provider should be your first stop. They often have in-house repair departments, but for bigger issues they can send your phone to the manufacturer. Many cell phone service providers will offer you a loaner will you wait for your phone to be repaired. However, these services cost money. If you search a little, you will discover that you can sometimes send your broken phone directly to the manufacturer without paying the extra cost of the service provider. But often this involves going to the manufacturer’s offices, and they are only in major cities. Also, they will not offer you a loaner while you wait, so you will have to go phoneless for as long as they need to solve the problem. Weigh the pros and cons while making your decision to go to your service provider or the manufacturer.

For other electronic toys bought in electronic stores or over the Internet, make sure to read the small print about returns, repairs and reimbursement. Sometimes these are provided by the retailer, sometimes by the manufacturer. Be especially aware of potentially fraudulent Internet retailers; make sure that the site you buy from is trustworthy and has a good reputation. Ask friends around. For something bought in a store, you can usually conveniently go to the store and they will take care of the repairs for you, usually for a fee; or you can contact the manufacturer directly, which might involve mailing costs and more difficulty keeping up with the status of your repairs.

If it is offered, you should always consider getting an extended warranty; these can save you a lot of problems if your gadget should break after the regular warranty period expires. Make sure that you check out Internet it services and gadget support before you send out your gadget for repairs; sometimes you can do it yourself at home, and it will only cost you some time. Choose your repair option carefully, and always make sure that your provider is trustworthy by checking references and Internet reviews.





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