Starting Friday (March 1), Agilent is offering a three-year standard warranty on all of its electronic test instruments. Previously, the company offered a one-year warranty. Recently, I spoke with Ken Woonton, Agilent’s marketing and business development manager for the electronics measurement group about this step. So what inspired this confidence?
Over the last ten years, the company has been instituting quality initiatives that have resulted in cutting failure rates in half. “We’ve achieved a steady decline in failure rates, and decided to pass this back to the customer,” explains Woonton.
In addition to the standard three-year warranty, the company also rolled out a “Warranty Assurance Plan” which is akin to an “extended warranty.” In addition to the expected coverage found in the standard three-year warranty, this plan also includes a one-time six-month plan extension if a repair is required during the 5-year period, and it includes one electro-static discharge (ESD)/electrical overload stress (EOS) failure.
Failures are one thing, but needing calibration is something users can count on. Today, Agilent also introduced a new calibration assurance plan. (Arguably, this is an effort to compete with third-party calibration labs.) With its upfront calibration plan, Agilent reports that the price is discounted 15 or 20%, for a three-year or five-year term, respectively.
Every laptop computer that I've owned his required significant repairs under their extended warranty - that feature has been much appreciated. In laboratory instruments, the extended warranty has not helped me personally - BUT I've often encountered out of life issues. Having a longer support period would be appreciated.
I'm pleased by the extended warranties - but also by an important corollary: the instruments will continue to be supported for an extended period of time. It is always frustrating when an instrument continues to work - but some trivial support item is no longer available.
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