Acer revises warranties

Acer has amended its notebook warranties, citing reseller and end-user requests for the change of tack.

The hardware vendor currently offers a one-year return to base warranty with a two-hour express service on its entire range of notebooks.

The changes, which come into effect on March 15, will see a one-year return to base warranty apply to Acer's Extensa and Aspire series; a one-year pick-up, repair and return courier service for its TravelMate series; and a three-year pick-up, repair and return service for its top-end TravelMate models.

Acer's two-hour express service will also no longer be standard. Instead, it will be provided as an optional upgrade for the Acer TravelMate range only. Explaining the changes, Acer marketing manager, Raymond Vardanega, said the initiative was led by customers and resellers.

"Over the past four months we have been looking at what channel partners and customers want and there has been a very noticeable shift toward onsite and three-year warranties for mid- and high-end notebooks," he said.

A key factor in this was the increasing number of businesses using notebooks less as mobile business tools and more as desktop replacements, Vardanega said.

"There are fewer people out and about with their notebooks so they are less willing to drop them into service centres," he said. "As they are using them instead of a PC in the office they want onsite pick-up and return."

Another factor was the increasing commoditisation of notebooks, which meant retailers no longer saw any differentiation in vendor offerings, Vardanega said.

The changes would be of benefit to the channel, according to Vardanega, as partners could now offer a three-year warranty on high-end systems as standard rather than having to convince a customer to upgrade.

"The price of notebooks will also go unchanged as we have made changes to our systems to fund the upgrades," he said. "Consequently, the two-hour warranty service guarantee is now optional."

While warranty changes currently applied to notebooks only, Acer would keep a close watch on the market to assess whether changes to its PC business were also in order, Vardanega said.