Things You Unwittingly Do to Void Electronics Warranties

One of the reasons you purchased the electronic device was the long-term warranty on it. You thought that if anything went wrong, it would be simple to get it fixed. When something failed and you called the manufacturer, though, you were sorely surprised. What do you mean you voided the warranty? How did that happen? Unfortunately, it is all too common.

A simple download of software to your computer or laptop could be your demise. Whether you know it or not, this isn’t covered by most warranties. If you download software that damages any component of your hard drive, for example, your warranty doesn’t provide protection. That includes any damage to the data you had on it.

On the other hand, the software itself may come with some limited warranties. This varies significantly the manufacturer. Find out if the software has a warranty attached to it.

You Replaced Parts

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Image via Flickr by mikedemers

You upgraded the memory. You changed out the hard drive. You wanted better graphics so you upgraded the video or graphics card. If you changed anything inside your system, especially the main parts, your warranty may no longer be in place.

However, some manufacturers specifically state which types of upgrades and changes you can make without doing damage to the warranty. Read the fine print before you buy. You may be able to select one that allows you to upgrade RAM and the hard drive without a problem. Just don’t touch the screen, graphics card or processor as those are rarely covered.

You Caused the Damage

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Image via Flickr by Andymangold

Did you know a power surge could void your warranty? If you drop the device or spill a cup of coffee on your business laptop or if you dropped your laptop on the concrete pavement on the way to class, don’t look at warranty for help. Chances are good that any type of damage you cause, even inadvertently, is all on you to deal with rather than the manufacturer. And we all know how much notebooks for students cost. My first laptop was attached to a price tag of $800.

There is some potential good news, though. If you took the time to add your laptop or other electronic device to your homeowners or business insurance policy, it may have protection under that policy even if you caused the damage. To find out, call your insurer and find out.

Your Other Electronics

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Image via Flickr by Alexli Machal

Do you have an MP3 player? If so, don’t “jail break” it. This term refers to breaking into the system when it is password frozen. If you do, that could nix your warranty. If you own a tablet computer, don’t try to pry it open. These don’t often come with any type of built-in warranty for upgrades like laptops.

Like laptops, though, these items may come with protection under a homeowner’s policy. However, for that to happen, you need to add them to your policy in the first place.

You didn’t do it on purpose but now your warranty is void. The best thing to do any time you buy any type of expensive electronic device is to read the warranty and look for those specific exclusions. Then, protect it from your accidental drops.

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