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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | Repairs, Returns and Refunds | Deciding on a Course of Action ]

The Guarantee Period

If you are a smart shopper, then you only purchase systems and components from reputable vendors that include in their terms of sale a limited money-back guarantee period. Within this period you have the right to return for refund or exchange any products that you decide you don't want or need, or that are causing you difficulty. The guarantee period is usually 30 days, but this varies by vendor (and is often lower for items such as system processors and other commodity items that drop in price quickly and which, if they work the first day, they generally work for years).

This sort of guarantee is a critical part of the services provided by a top-notch vendor, and you should not be afraid to use the guarantee if you need it. If you have a failure of a system or component within your guarantee period, in my opinion the item should be returned for exchange with another, identical, new item.

No reputable vendor should have a problem with this use of a guarantee, although they may want to try to troubleshoot the problem with you first to make sure that the component is really bad before allowing it to be sent back. Disreputable vendors will try to tell you to talk to the manufacturer and will refuse to honor their guarantee, or will offer to repair the item instead of replacing it with a new one. Some really lame ones may try to charge a restocking fee. This is, frankly, nonsense; a new item that fails within 30 days or less is basically a "lemon", and you should not have to put up with the hassle of a repair job on it. Also, a restocking fee may apply to an item returned for refund, but should not apply to an exchange on a defective item.

Warning: Do not just send parts back to a vendor on your own initiative, even if you have a guarantee. Most vendors who receive a package without an RMA number will just send it right back to you. See this section for specific information on returning items to vendors.

Next: The Warranty Period

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