Tech Data Rolls Out Warranty Offering For Channel


Tech Data has extended its partnership with a well-known protection plan provider towards a new warranty offering for the channel.

Under the plan, the Clearwater, Florida-based distributor's 60,000 partners will be able to sell three-year protection plans for a variety of edge devices through a company called SquareTrade. Products eligible for coverage include tablets, TVs and projectors, laptops and desktops, printers and scanners, cameras and camcorders, MP3 players, and monitors.

The coverage includes protection against all mechanical and electrical failures from normal use, including parts and labor. The policy for tablets also includes two years of protection against drops and spills.

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No deductibles are charged.

"This is particularly good for small businesses," said Bill Brooks, vice president of technical services at Tech Data. "Instead of having maintenance plans with a host of different vendors, they can consolidate and have everything under one umbrella and under a single vendor."

Prices are variable, based on the device being covered. Low-end equipment such as monitors and MP3 players are typically less than $50 for three years of coverage. Printers, scanners, laptops and desktops are priced under $100 for a three-year contract.

"This is a great margin opportunity for the channel," said Jim Cooper, senior manager of technical services at Tech Data. "Based on our pricing to the reseller, they can expect to earn anywhere from 10- to 15-percent margins. In some cases, the margins may be as high as 20 points."

Cooper also explained that the full range of covered products is supported by a mere seven SKUs within the warranty program. "That's hundreds if not thousands of products," he added.

Already available to consumers at Amazon, Costco, Sam's Club, TigerDirect, Toshiba, Vizio, eBay, QVC and more, SquareTrade offers 24/7 customer support and a five-day or less service guarantee.

"Most people view warranty claims as worse than going to the dentist," said Brooks. "But the customer experience is really key. When an end user registers a device for coverage, they gain access to a portal where they can track any claims made on that device, the term of the contract, etc. This will also help our partners to succeed in the marketplace. It's easy and painless for both our customers and our partners. It is a really good fit."

PUBLISHED JAN. 18, 2013