on July 16, 2013
I'm getting ready to buy another computer, and given the problems with computers I've owned so far, an extensive warranty of several years is crucial. I looked at the website and the warranty, to see what is and isn't covered.
1) Warranty starts the day you buy the product, not the day you get it or plug it in (which can be weeks later.)
2) They will never pay more to fix the computer than you paid to buy it. If you have one costly repair because you have a melted motherboard, let's say, and then something else happens later, they may not be obligated to pay for it all, and may therefore decline to pay anything.
3) If they replace an item, that's it too. Coverage ends then. So what if the item they give you as a replacement fails within a week? You are out of luck. Sorry.
4) They can use substitute parts instead of the manufacturer's original parts.
5) You may have to pay to ship the item to them.
6) MANY things are not covered either. Reading through them, section "F" excludes "overheating", with no limits stated (so if they decide your computer failed due to some part overheating, they may choose not to fix it.)
7) Another exclusion is for battery failure (section L). Sure, they might only have to put in a $3 battery, but they can also choose to tell you the repair's not covered, and you are SOL.
8) Under section V, damage from a power surge or loss is not covered. Oops.
9) Under section Y, damage from a computer virus is NOT covered either. Your problem, not theirs.
10) Under section Z, a "manufacturer's error" (good luck arguing that) is not covered. Wouldn't ANY defect making a product not work be a manufacturer's error? If so, again, you have paid for a warranty that doesn't have to do jack.
11) They're not responsible for any delay while fixing the product, meaning they can take their sweet time. If a repair takes 2 months (or the entire 4 years), too bad, your problem.
12) Software and related issues are not covered. But who ever has a software problem with a computer? Of course you do, and it's not covered.
13) Damage to recording media and hard drives is also excluded.
14) Despite the original page claiming the warranty can be transferred, it says in the pdf document that it can NOT be transferred.
So what is covered? Heck if I know. There was a long list of items also not covered that I didn't want to bother writing down to repeat here. But it looks as if they wrote out a huge list to comfortably exclude most problems and issues that most normal people would reasonably expect to be covered. Given that, the warranty doesn't appear to be worth anything.
I have not bought the product and used it, but I did read what it says. You can go on their website and see for yourself. It's at [...] You'll have to look for the "Terms and Services" section and open the pdf file.
on July 31, 2014
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! You are better off looking for a REPUTABLE customer friendly company to get insurance with. The feel good, I am covered feeling evaporates once you actually have to file a claim. Various blogs have extremely negative comments about their customer service and settlement of claims (worth your time to look at complaints for SmartGuard and Warrantech). Better Business Bureau cites them for late mailings or emailings of actual contracts so customers are not aware of exclusions, which cover almost everything. We purchased a new computer, had it a month with a purchased 4 year plan when a power surge ruined the motherboard. Gateway stated they do not cover power surge damage at all. Had noted that our SmartGuard Plan indicated they did. We did NOT get the warranty info until after the fact. In trying to file a claim the initial female agent was extremely rude, told me it was a manufacturer warranty issue and not their problem if I had not ever seen the warranty, indicating it probably went to SPAM folder. Said it was an Amazon purchase anyway and she didn't deal with that, so asked for the Amazon Rep to which she informed me I was wasting my time but she did transfer me. In all my numerous years I have never been treated so rudely, just so you are prepared in case you do have this plan and ever have to use it. (Blogs from former employees will stun you on what they are instructed to say). On being transferred a man said that he would have the warranty to us within 24 hours with a PIN so we could file a claim. Did not happen. Called back to SmartGuard on their toll free number and was told there was probably an issue with the PIN number and she would set it to expedite and should have info that day, but would be a couple days before the enrollment process was complete for us to attempt (note that word...attempt) to file a claim but everything the first year was a manufacturer warranty issue and they covered nothing. (Contrary to what they have posted as being covered but even if so the plan would be a 3 year extended warranty and not a 4 year warranty). Realizing this was going to be a very frustrating battle, to get an expert opinion took the computer to a local master technician who confirmed motherboard was dead and system had experienced a surge of some type (making it a SmartGuard Issue). Heard nothing from SmartGuard yet again so sent a chronological email to them as well as an INFO copy to Amazon. Received a very nice email from Amazon saying they were recommending a conference call with myself, them and the SmartGuard customer service reps if I was having such a hard time. Received from SmartGuard/Warrantech and email at same time with warranty and PIN. Online went to register the product and on the FILE A CLAIM box, I clicked it which said I have to call their toll free number again. Told right away it was a manufacturer issue and SmartGuard does not cover surges at all. Read him straight from the Amazon page that it clearly stated they do. Was put on hold for a while and when he came back on it was obvious he was annoyed. Told me I would have to wait a couple of days for registration to be completed before we could file and that I would have to prove the computer was plugged into a UL Listed Surge Protector and have the original receipt for when purchased. Told him the DSL was connected to a Belkin Advanced Surge Protector (UL listed) and the computer to a Philips 2160 joules Surge Protector that I could sent him pictures of right now, but as far as having the original receipts I doubted that seriously as was told that might be required to validate my system was hooked up in compliance with their warranty. (With a business computer, 2 personal computers and 3 T.V.s in the house ALL are hooked up to surge protectors and all are UL listed.) Updated my original email with latest problems with SmartGuard/Warrantech to Amazon and asking them why SmartGuard was not required to display their policy exclusions (again it has legalese loopholes for virtually everything) before a customer might even consider purchasing from this company. For example (this is from their warranty) EXCLUSIONS "Causes beyond your control;.....external perils of nature (including but not limited to: fire, flood, smoke, sand, dirt (they say includes dust accumulation ...but before you think of using a can of air to clean read further down), lightning, humidity, storms, wind, hail and earthquake." And as if that does not cover about everything most users want to upgrade their systems either initially or in time by usually adding extra memory, possibly a second optical disk drive or maybe a secondary hard drive for those back ups that are so important in the event of a system failure; then comes (again straight from their warranty you won't see until AFTER you buy) "Modifications, adjustments, alterations, manipulation or repairs by anyone other than a service technician authorized by us" In other words if you open the case for anything even cleaning the fans/CPU, boards, etc you have negated your own contract if you have not first contacted them for approval and they select (even if authorized) who you may have it serviced by. Within just a few hours of sending the latest update of the massive and ever continuing problems with SmartGuard/Warrantech to Amazon, Amazon authorized a complete refund of our purchase. Get that? Amazon not SmartGuard. So we will return the unit to Amazon and thank goodness Amazon is customer friendly and has always been reliable. So do a bit of checking for available warranty services other than SmartGuard, there are a couple highly rated with excellent reviews. We thought being advertised and promoted on Amazon gave this company credibility .... it does not nor would I recommend to anyone.
on May 15, 2014
Smart Guard is owned by Warrentech, a corporation doing business under 35 different names. Despite its "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau, the BBB notes a pattern of consumer complaints concerning delays, difficulties with communication, and other issues connected to repairs which the company agreed to provide. An Internet search of the names "Smart Guard" and "Warrentech" has convinced me that a contract with this company is not a gamble I am prepared to make.
Incidentally, as I did not purchase the product, my one-star rating is in the same category as the reviewers who awarded Smart Guard with 4 or 5 stars -- NONE of whom have had repairs performed under the Plan.
on May 19, 2014
I attempted to use this warranty in order to replace a faulty motherboard of my desktop. Below are some of the tribulations which ultimately forced me to purchase a new motherboard. I believe the comparable reliability of this review rests upon the fact that I (almost) underwent the full process, whereas the writers of some other reviews haven't.
First, the information and instructions are frustratingly manifold and inconsistent. The e-mail sent says, "Log into [...] locate contract and file claim online". Whether that was telling me to log into the website and consequently find a contract was unclear, but it didn't matter since there was none to be found. Then the "file claim online" portion seems reliable, but it was impossible for reasons upon which I will elaborate, because I took a step before these instructions, as per the -other- instructions in the e-mail.
In accordance with those, I registered my protection plan, filling out the necessary information. No further guidance was provided, and I wasted plenty of time clicking various links that all directed me to the same page after making me repeat the two confirmation numbers.
Assuming, then, that it was time to file a claim, I clicked the corresponding link on the homepage. I was asked to log in, and had to create an account, which I find unnecessary since there's already secure PINs and such. After logging in with my new account, I was presented with an empty list of protection plans, so I needed to create a new one. I put in the information of the one I already registered, as requested, and was brought to the page in which I viewed it. But, in contrast to what one might expect, that did not actually connect that registered plan with my account. I went back to my account (having to log in again each time), and saw it still empty of plans. Several more attempts with subtle variation brought no success. I then tried the option to search an already registered plan; I entered the information, but no plans were found. The form offered little room for discrepancy, but I tried every conceivable input to no avail.
With no other option, I used customer support. I explained the circumstances succinctly, and received an e-mail approximately ten minutes afterward. Complying with the reminiscently vague instructions requested in the e-mail, I waited for the next response. It came fifty minutes later, and the content of these second instructions felt quite hopeless. Seeing that the progress made in this exchange would not theoretically solve my problem in any reasonable amount of time, coupled with the fact that it's quite important to have my personal computer in working condition soon (especially bearing in mind that no convenient information was provided concerning the time and definite means by which it would be repaired), I then decided to ignore the warranty and purchase my replacements instead.
Ubiquitous throughout this process were cases of simply incompetent design. Although it may not concern some people, typos were easily perceivable in the e-mails and on the website despite the relative shortness of all instructions. The website is subject to numerous aggravating flaws; nearly every link is one more tedious request to log in. Many links direct the user to the same page. The "Submit Query" refreshes the same page.
This warranty appears financially viable, but when taking into consideration the unfavorable probability by which one's product will actually be repaired, it certainly is not. I do not recommend this for anybody.
on September 14, 2013
No need to get this product. It's an extra warranty which in most cases it would take an act of congress before they would even come out to fix or repair the product. I refunded the purchase of this warranty, few days after I knew the manufacturer warranty will cover the same thing if not better. However, if I am buying a big ticket item that cost anywhere between $1500 to $5000. I will consider it. FYI, they are not affiliated with Amazon. Essentially, they really don;t have any major repetition to lose.
on November 11, 2015
To begin with, this company has no integrity. I purchased my warranty along with a desktop computer a little over a year ago. My computer just stopped coming on in July. I attempted to get the problem diagnosed and finally when I was able to contact this company, in August, they informed me that they'd send me a box to ship my computer to them to repair. I waited for two weeks for nothing; I called back and was told that they wouldn't be shipping any box and that they'd put me in touch with their technical department to see what could be the problem. The tech dept., without coming out to see for themselves what the problem was, told me over the phone what they suspected was the problem. So they went and ordered some parts that were shipped to my home and then a week after this happened, a technician called me to schedule an appointment to come to my home to fix the desktop. I came home from work on the scheduled day to find a broken English-speaking guy in my kitchen with my desktop dismantled on my kitchen table, the technician with a quizzical look on his face as he viewed a "YouTube how to" video on his cell phone while trying to work on my desktop. An hour or two later he gives up the ghost and states that he has to confer with his department because he can't fix the problem. So, he halfway puts my desktop back together with the housing partially securely on and the dvd/cd tray protruding from its slot. I called this company back to tell them all this and they stated that they'd send another technician soon. A week passes and I get another call from a different technician who sets another date to come to my home in another week. He arrives, with another technician, and after being stunned with the state that the previous technician left my desktop in, he attempts to make good on everything. However, he runs into a serious snag...the new parts that were ordered aren't present, turns out the first guy took the new parts with him. According to the second tech, he could restore power but with the removal of the new parts, the computer wasn't going to boot up. He phones his bosses in front of my wife on speaker to inform them of this, they make apologies and assurances that the computer would most likely need to be replaced at this point; and this tech states that when the new desktop arrives give him a call so that he can download all of our information from the old desktop onto the new one. A week and a half later, I get an email from this company asking me how much I paid for the desktop and when, I responded; days later I get another email asking me to email them a copy of the original invoice, I comply. Another week passes, then I get an email from this company that states that they're sending me a "E-card" with half the price of my computer on it and that's it. I'm furious now, that happened toward the end of October; after calling this company and getting the runaround, I discovered that the company contracts outside techs to repair their products that are under warrantee from them. Time to get a supervisor involved, tough luck, they give me a "team leader". She's arrogant and determined to tell me to settle for the 300+ dollars and that's all they're responsible for, she even gives me a goading "in your face" call the next morning to drive home the point. I call Amazon to inform them of all this and the representative was astonished enough to inform me that he'd be filing a formal customer complaint with this service....that was two weeks ago, and I still have no working $650 Dell desktop computer. Good luck to anyone using this warranty company.
on January 4, 2014
i bought this at the same time i bought my pc and have never heard from them. was supposed to get it on December 11. i sent them an email and never heard from them. i checked them out on bing after i bought it and saw they were scammers that rip people off. should have checked it out before i bought it. i guess it taught me to check it out first. dont waste your time and money.
on January 3, 2014
This plan was an automatic recommendation and my concentration was centered around the computer I was trying to buy; therefore, I overlooked that the plan is not sufficient to cover the product I purchased. My computer cost $527.88 w/tax, so I was unable to register the warranty plan. When I tried, I was informed by the site that my cost exceeds the warranty coverage. Total waste of money.
I cannot say how well the coverage works because I ended up returning it. But that's where the "beware" comes in. If you are buying this plan for a business or for business work, you need to check with the smart guard people. The business where I work ordered a computer, programs and the smart guard plan using my account and when I contacted the smart guard people about something and mentioned that, they informed me that smart guard doesn't provide protection plans for business computers, only individuals' computers. They insisted that I initiate a return request and they refunded my money. So, you need to check before you buy if you're buying it for business, because you might not be covered.
on March 10, 2015
This is a big waste of time and money. As I write this, it's going on 7 days and the desktop under warranty is still dead, despite making over 10 calls to 5 different "departments," each time receiving assurances of call backs and service that never happens (I was on hold for an hour and a half in one call!). I feel like I'm in the 9th circle of hell. To summarize: has NOT saved me money; has NOT saved me time; web-based support options NOT available; claims processing is ridiculously disorganized and broken; NO 24/7 service, because someone answering the phone to say they can't help you isn't actually service; it's the opposite of fast, convenient, quality and every other adjective in their ad. Peace of mind, please!