Why I’ve Started Upgrading My Phone and Laptop Warranties

I mentioned in my last post that one of the reasons that I chose the Lenovo X1 Carbon over my preferred choice of a MacBook was the 3-year next-day onsite service. Here’s what that warranty provides that’s key for me:

If an issue cannot be resolved by phone, Lenovo will dispatch a certified technician to attempt repair of your machine at your location with no shipping involved. This service provides parts and labor repair coverage where labor is provided onsite at your place of business. [R]epair will be made onsite, typically the next business day.

For almost everything I own, that’s absurd overkill. Most tools and appliances I can get by without for days or weeks without any major disruption to my life, including my car. Not so with my phone and my laptop. I basically need to be up and running with those devices at all times, otherwise I’m pretty handicapped with what I can do.

At most, I can get by on my Chromebook for a day or two, or put my sim card into an old phone, but I’ve come to realize that those are situations that I very much want to avoid. I also prefer not to have to do unplanned restores from my backups. Planned migrations to new devices are hard enough – running to Best Buy to buy whatever the best laptop they have is, and then restoring backups is not my idea of a good time.

The crazy thing is how long it took me to come to this realization and put it into practice. It’s so ingrained into my head never buy extended warranties on things like furniture and appliances, it never occurred to me that in some circumstances they could be incredibly valuable to me. It took hearing a discussion on TWiT a while back about people who only buy Lenovo’s for this onsite support to make me start to consider their value.

Given the peace of mind that you’re getting, and how fast you can be back up and running if you need it, $169 for 3 years is a bargain. As is the $5/mo I pay Project Fi for device protection for my Pixel 2 XL.

In fact, I dropped my Pixel 2 XL last month and cracked my first ever screen. I contacted Google and they sent me a new phone via FedEx Standard Overnight, which I received the next day from California. I plugged my new phone into my old phone, customized a few things that didn’t sync over, and I was up and running. Worth every penny!