@SquareTrade Is For Real

square-tradeBackground

Just under 3 years ago, I bought a MacBook Pro from Amazon and had to decide whether to extend my warranty coverage with AppleCare or Square Trade. I compared the prices and coverages and realized the latter simply offered more, MUCH MORE coverage for less money. But I had no idea if Square Trade was as good as they advertised themselves to be. In fact, it sounded too good to be true!

Square-Trade-coverage

I’m fairly skeptical when buying insurance or warranty extensions, believing it’s mostly a racket and, in the end, will not be all it is advertised to be. In spite of my skepticism, however, I often extend my warranties and hope for the best.

I feel compelled to protect myself because I realize I’m not the kind of Mac owner I see at the coffee shop. You know, the one whose aluminum body MacBook remains shiny and spotless. The one whose monitor doesn’t have smudges or scratches. I. Am. Not. That. Person. I have two kids (ages 10 and 3) who have been known to use my laptop as a spring board or step stool or decorate it with stickers. As rough as they are, though, I’m more rough on the unit. I don’t worship my Mac. I use it as a serious tool, and it shows: scratches, dents, smudges, stickers, missing foot pads, and metal eaten away from HOURS of resting my palms on it.

By now, you must realize something went wrong with my laptop and I am reviewing Square Trade’s warranty. If that’s the case, you are correct.

My Story

About 6 weeks ago, which was a few months before my warranty expired, I was unable to insert a dvd into my SuperDrive® and assumed the reason was a recent tumble my computer experienced. Since the earphone jack had not worked for some time, the two issues gave me the incentive to get it fixed. So, having forgotten I bought Square Trade instead of AppleCare, I went to Apple and was surprised that I didn’t have coverage, which likely would not have been covered by AppleCare anyway.

Puzzled about my lack of coverage and certain that I had purchased extended coverage I went to my Amazon account and called up my previous purchase records. There it was: Square Trade. At the moment, I had no memory of buying it or registering it, but had done both over 2 1/2 years prior. I was nervous, but made the call anyway.

A friendly customer service representative (CSR) answered and helped me sort out my account and make my claim. “What is the problem?” he asked. I explained my SuperDrive® malfunction and earphone jack problem and asked what’s the process to make a claim and get my computer fixed. He asked for me to hold while he updated my file, and when he returned he outlined my options: 1) I could send it to Square Trade and have their techs repair the unit, or 2) I could take it anywhere I wanted for repair and send a receipt for reimbursement. I initially chose option 1 and had a shipping box sent to me, and within minutes I had an email confirming the process and my decision to send it in for repair. However, my skepticism kicked in and I couldn’t bring myself to send it to Square Trade for repair. This was simply too good to be true and too easy. After the shipping box sat in my office for 2 weeks, I called to report my change of mind and ask for option 2. The CSR simply said “okay, let me change your file and give you a new confirmation number.” Within minutes, I had a second email, confirming my decision to choose a technician and be refunded.

Still skeptical, but feeling a little more confident I began to look for local technicians to do the work. I took my laptop in and the tech began work the next day. He called back to say that he didn’t think the SuperDrive® problem was due to a drop, it was something else that would only be revealed after he dug a little deeper, which required a go-ahead from me. He also said, that my earphone jack was likely a logic board problem and that my hard drive was showing signs of failure. All told, the price was upwards of $600 to fix what he thought was wrong, and more if the SuperDrive® was busted. I hoped for the best, gave the go ahead and about a week later, my laptop was fixed. It had a new logic board, new hard drive and a re-aligned SuperDrive®. Oh, the problem with the SuperDrive® was a plastic coin my son had inserted into the slot. I didn’t know he had done that, but realized the culprit immediately when the tech sheepishly said, “there was a coin in your SuperDrive®, a gray plastic coin.”

After paying for the repair, I immediately scanned and emailed my receipt to Square Trade. Within minutes, I received a note declaring payment would arrive within 7-10 business days. Now the wait. It was excruciating because I didn’t have $600 to throw at this thing if Square Trade didn’t come through. As promised, the check arrived without any hesitation for the additional cost of a hard drive, which was never mentioned in my discussion with the CSR.

Conclusion

Square Trade is for real! Their promises were too good to be true, but they were true. Their customer service reps were extremely easy to work with, and understanding of my skepticism. I still can hardly believe how well this worked, but I have the check in hand to prove it.

Thanks Square Trade for doing business the “old fashioned way” with integrity and courtesy.

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