Buying a new device like a Surface Pro 3 is a significant decision. Not only is it a substantial financial commitment, but there are many other questions that come along with it. Which configuration should you get? What accessories are "must haves" from the start?
Today, we want to answer another question: Is it worth buying the extended Microsoft Complete warranty?
When you are already spending $800 or more on the device itself, and presumably another $130 on a Type Cover, it's hard to swallow another $150 on a warranty. However, Microsoft Complete is more than just an extended warranty. And as someone who is typically wary of such things as myself, I thought it would be useful to share my thoughts on why I decided to buy Microsoft Complete.
What is Microsoft Complete?
If you wanted the tl;dr answer, someone might tell you that Microsoft Complete is an extended warranty you can buy for just about any new Microsoft product. Unfortunately, that explanation overlooks many other benefits that Microsoft Complete offers. It is two-year support system for you and your new device.
Microsoft Complete varies from device to device, but you can purchase the extend warranty when you buy something new direct from Microsoft, including:
Besides the type of coverage, the pricing also varies. For instance, for the Surface Pro Microsoft Complete runs for $149 but for a Surface 2, it is just $99. For the new Microsoft Band, you are looking at a much lower $19 for a full, extended warranty. If you are buying an Xbox One, it will run you $69.99.
When it comes to a high-end laptop, you are usually facing an extra $199 for two-year protection.
How to buy
You can only buy Microsoft Complete during the 'add to cart' sequence when buying online from the Microsoft Store.
When in a physical Microsoft Store, the sales associate should offer you the warranty during the checkout stage, allowing you to ask him or her about the cost, benefits and how the program works.
Update: As many have noted in comments, if you do buy a Surface or Xbox from another retailer, you can bring it into a Microsoft Store within 45-days to add Microsoft Complete. The Store will just need to see a receipt and that the item is in working order.
What is included?
Microsoft Complete includes four services:
1. Extended Warranty
Out of the box, a new Surface Pro 3 and its accessories come with a 1-year warranty that protects you from manufacturing defects. Microsoft Complete doubles that to two years. For the Band, it merely extends it by one-month to thirteen total.
2. Accidental Damage Protection
An essential piece to your coverage. The manufacturer warranty only protects you against defects. With Microsoft Complete, even if you drop your device or spill something on it, you can get it replaced.
It is very similar to the insurance that you may have for your cell phone. If something happens to your purchased item, just pay a deductible, and you get a replacement device. You can only file two claims over the life of the warranty, but it's still better than the alternative.
You're going to shell out a lot of money for your Surface. It would be tragic to lose it because you tripped on your way out the door or your clumsy coworker spilled coffee on it.
3. Technical Support (for PCs, laptops, or Surface)
In addition to protection for your hardware, Microsoft Complete gives you two years of access to their Answer Desk for technical support via phone, live chat, or in person at a Microsoft store.
They will answer questions, help you fix problems and assist with PC tune-ups and virus prevention/removal. And should the worst occur, your Microsoft Complete also entitles you to their data recovery services.
4. Training (for PCs, laptops, or Surface)
Often, the move to a new device also means venturing into unfamiliar territory. Maybe you aren't familiar with Windows 8 or Office 2013. Perhaps you are not a technical person, but you want to get the most out of your Microsoft Band. If your device is covered under the Microsoft Complete plan, you can partake in in-store training sessions that will teach you how to use it. There is no limit to how many of these you can attend during your coverage period.
For an accessory device like the Microsoft Band, Microsoft Complete includes:
- Extends the standard warranty coverage for your Microsoft Band by one additional month (for a total of 13 months of hardware warranty coverage).
- Provides one-time replacement of your Microsoft Band for accidental damage within 13 months of purchase.
Note: Microsoft Complete for Microsoft Band covers cracked screens, broken band and broken clasp, it does not cover cosmetic scratches due to normal wear and tear
Is it worth it?
In the end, that is a question you are going to have to answer for yourself. As an IT professional, I will probably never use most of the perks that come with Microsoft Complete. I do not need the training and can provide 99% of the support that I would need for myself.
However, after spending over $1000 on my Surface Pro 3 and its accessories, I felt that it was worth the extra money solely to protect my investment. It also helped that Microsoft was offering the Surface Essentials Bundle, which packaged a Type Cover, Office 365, a Surface sleeve and Microsoft Complete together at a discounted price. That made it a no-brainer for me.
Unfortunately, Microsoft is no longer offering this bundle. However, when it comes to the high-priced items, Microsoft Complete stands on its own as a good deal for everyone including knowledgeable techies. You do not have to look far on forums or reddits to find stories of people dropping their new Surface or spilling coffee on their laptop. Considering how laid-back Microsoft Complete is to redeem, the small investment indeed seems to be worth it.
Remember, If you still aren't sure about whether you want it or not when you buy your machine, you still have 45 days after the purchase date to add Microsoft Complete coverage.
Finally, perhaps a significant downside of Microsoft Complete is that it is most easily obtainable through a Microsoft Store. Although there are now over 100 across the US, for those outside the States, finding a Store is still impossible. Still, assuming you are lucky enough to be buying something directly through Microsoft, their Microsoft Complete warranty seems like a good value to protect your investment.
Have you had to use Microsoft Complete before? Share your experience below!