Symbol Plan Promises Hassle-Free Repairs

The new Service From The Start program, which covers Symbol&'s MC mobile computing products, lets end users send their damaged devices to Symbol and have them repaired or replaced in three days. Customers are covered for accidental damage such as cracked displays and damaged keypads, according to Arthur O&'Donnell, senior vice president and general manager of the Global Services Division at Symbol, Holtsville, N.Y.

Pete Greenwald, sales and marketing director at Heartland Computers, a Wauconda, Ill.-based Symbol partner, says although Symbol devices are very durable, there are some day-to-day issues that do arise with exterior and internal components.

“The fact that this is a no-fault warranty is definitely impressive,” he said.

A Symbol partner in Toronto, Qdata CEO Jeff Lem, commented: “Unless the product has tire tracks on it, Symbol will fix and turnaround in three days.”

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Another important intention of the program is to clarify repair procedures and eliminate confusion over third-party support, O&'Donnell said. “Symbol&'s centralized repair capability gives our partners and customers an advantage because it removes what had been such a pain in the past,” he said.

Although the program is an easy sell for partners, Lem said it could put a dent in his long-term service revenue.

“[Partners] may become victims of our own success, as it will be hard to sell customers on an upgrade due to the product&'s durability,” he said. “If anything, [Service From The Start] puts downward pressure on our service revenues, and we will have to compensate for it with increased hardware sales and higher service attach rates.”

The program, which is available now through Symbol partners, provides three years of coverage. Partners can sell the plan within 30 days of the original product sale. Pricing ranges from $115 for the MC1000 line to $369 for the MC70 line.