Whether it's computers, cars, or toaster ovens, "maintenance plans" are
not set up to lose the manufacturer money.  On the average, end-users
lose money, but it's a crap shoot.  While I never buy the extended
warranties on personal electronic devices (or cars, for that matter),
I'm more risk-averse when it comes to school situations. I would rather
take the chance of losing a little money on a support contract that I
don't use than suffer a catastrophe such as Steve mentions.  Even if I
wanted to do it, I wouldn't have the funds to replace a cartful of
laptops in the middle of the school year.

That said, I would be interested in seeing a study on cost-benefit in
this area.  The key, though, may be the "self-insuring."  The way our
budget gets trimmed every year, I don't think we could get away with
budgeting a significant amount of money to hold in reserve waiting for
the above-mentioned catastrophe.

BTW, another issue to consider in the laptop vs. desktop decision is
the extra amount of time it takes to support laptops.  Our experience is
that they require at least half-again the attention of desktops.   Even
if you've got a support contract, when something goes awry, you need to
do some troubleshooting and then get on the phone with the
manufacturer's support people to confirm it's their problem (and we all
have war stories about that process).   You may not want that to be the
deciding issue in which way to go, but if you are converting from
desktops to laptops, you'd better factor in some added support time.


>>> On 2/1/2007 at 9:43 am, in message
<[log in to unmask]>,
[log in to unmask] wrote:
> It would be very interesting to see a true cost analysis of Complete
> Care from schools that have had computers for the life of the
> The gut feeling is that it's well worth the cost, and certainly there
> a safety net aspect to it, but it would be very useful to see the
> cost of the repairs that would not otherwise be covered by standard
> warrantees, versus the total cost for the Complete Care coverage for
> the computers bought that year. Businesses sometimes discover when
> do the cost-benefit analysis that self-insuring saves a significant
> amount of money when the entire fleet is considered. Of course, the
> that you have coverage in the event that someone sends the entire
> down the stairwell has to be considered. Still, one measurement is
> a thousand expert opinions.
> --Steve Barner, South Burlington High School
> ________________________________
> From: School Information Technology Discussion
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Todd Ponto
> Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 8:36 AM
> To: [log in to unmask] 
> Subject: Re: How Low Will You Go?
> Here at ONSU all of our schools have at least one 16 unit laptop
> lab some even have three labs.  They are all Dell laptops with 4yr
> warranty with complete care to cover accidents.  We have had staff
> coffee on two units, we have had staff drop two units and break the
> screens, and a few students that broke keys off from keyboards.
> According to dell the keyboards would have been covered under normal
> warranty but the rest is only covered under the complete care which
> the accidental warranty.  They have replaced the units or sent new
> within a few days at the most.  Great service so far would not get a
> without the accidental coverage.
> Todd Ponto
> Orange North SU
> Director of Technology
> voice: (802) 433-5818 x318
> cell: (802) 318-3748
> fax: (802) 433-5825
> [log in to unmask] 
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