true cost of your warranty

The True Cost of Your Warranty | Advanced Kiosks

August 16, 2016

 

At Advanced Kiosks we build our interactive kiosks to a high quality standard, and not in order to meet a particular price point. As a general rule, we refuse to cut corners in our design to compete in a race to the bottom line. We strongly believe, because of these standards, that we offer the best value and most dependable hardware and software in the interactive kiosk marketplace.

 

To better understand why we set our standards so high, it is important to first dive into the distinctions between two labels that most people simply categorize as business use or personal use. Those two labels are: “Consumer Grade” and “Commercial Grade”. While many people understand that commercial grade is a superior product, few people understand why, or the finer points that make up the distinctions.

 

Commercial Grade versus Consumer Grade

 

Commercial Grade hardware, and components, are often designed to function reliably in harsher environments, and for a longer time period than their consumer grade counterparts. TV manufacturers, for instance, will frequently offer both a commercial grade and a consumer grade variant of what will generally look like the same unit, with the same features. The commercial grade unit, however, will have upgraded parts like the power supplies, speakers, electronics, back-lights, and other components that are designed to last longer and to stand up to heavier use. These components are more expensive, but they allow the manufacturer to include a 3 year warranty on the commercial grade TV whereas the consumer grade model will usually include a 1 year warranty. If you look at the fine print in the warranty, the terms of service often state that the warranty only covers a consumer grade product for personal use in a home environment. So if you plan on hanging those TVs in a sports bar, where they will be on every day for hours, you definitely want the commercial grade product.

 

Electronic component manufacturers frequently provide an MTTF (Mean Time to Failure) statistic, which (for those who have developed a little rust on their statistical vocabulary since high school) simply means the average time the product will function before it eventually breaks. Consumer grade electronics frequently make concessions in the quality of their components, when compared to their commercial grade counterparts. They do this in order to offer competitive pricing in the dog eat dog world that is the consumer marketplace. These products are generally warrantied for only 1 year because some of the expensive components are downgraded from ones rated for 30,000-50,000 hour MTTF (Commercial Grade) to cheaper ones that are designed for around 10,000 hour MTTF (Consumer Grade). With 8,760 hours in a year, and a device like a self-service kiosk frequently running 24/7, those hours add up quickly. Your interactive kiosk’s functionality and reliability is only as strong as its weakest link (or in this instance, component).

 

This system does make sense, though most consumers are not using their electronics 24-7 so consumer grade suits them well.

 

Now that we have a deeper understanding of commercial grade versus consumer grade components, let’s take a more in depth look at how warranties work. Most of our competitors offer a 1 year warranty. Some of them will cobble together different parts from different vendors, and simply manufacture and warranty their kiosk enclosures. This leave you (for instance) to call Dell if your computer fails, because it wasn’t included in the 1 year warranty. Some kiosk manufacturers will allow you to pay a rather hefty sum for a 3 year warranty if you really insist on having one.

limited warranty

 

 

The Advanced Kiosks Warranty Difference

ak warranty vs competitor

The difference with Advanced Kiosks is that our touch screen kiosks are designed to not only meet, but also exceed, our 3 year warranty which covers the kiosk enclosure, the computer and the touch screen monitor. We include a standard 3 year warranty, at no additional cost, with every kiosk that leaves the manufacturing floor. The word “standard” is especially important here because there are two different ways that a 3 year warranty on a kiosk can be offered – standard, or as an extended warranty. This distinction is particularly important to you, the person deciding which manufacturer to choose. Next I’ll explain why.

 

In an extended warranty scenario, the fact of the matter is that the product was usually designed around consumer grade components and a 1 year warranty. Then, in order to offer an extended warranty, accountants crunch the numbers on failure rates and replacement and repair expenses. Finally, they pad it a bit (as an additional safety net for the kiosk manufacturer) and pass on the costs of failed hardware, while designing to meet the expectation of a one year warranty, to the customer as an extended warranty line item. With this scenario, you are given the same kiosk hardware, often incorporating consumer grade components, and initially designed around a 1 year warranty. If their accountants got the numbers right, you’ve already paid for them to replace it when it fails. If they are lucky, they actually make additional profits on anything that doesn’t. They cross their fingers and hope that the kiosk is only on for part of the day every day. They hope that the hours don’t add up to failure times inside their extended warranty, but they tend to charge you as if the kiosk didn’t have an off switch. The whole scenario basically translates to them gambling with your money, and you actually paying them extra for all of the down-time that they anticipate for you.

 

 

So what is the downside of this if they both cost the same?

Malfunctioning Problems: 50 percent chance of at least one kiosk problem in the first 3 years. You will have to call in to get the kiosk fixed, and deal with the kiosk not working.

Kiosk Life Span: The average life of a kiosk with a 3 year warranty is 4 plus years, while the life span of a kiosk with a one year warranty is about 2 years.

Your Time: When we compare the two interactive kiosks, the big issue that most people forget is their time and their company’s time. With XYZ Company you’re covered for the cost of the hardware but not for the equipment down time, IT’s time to report the failure and the time it takes to get the equipment up and running again.

 

Are you outraged yet?

At Advanced Kiosks, we are not a fan of playing those games, or gambling with our customers’ money. We would rather offer a quality product designed and built to last. Advanced Kiosks, in addition to offering quality hardware, also provides great software. We develop our own kiosk software, and continue to improve upon it in-house. By investing in quality hardware and software, this allows us to not only provide the most dependable interactive kiosks on the market (with our best in the industry 3 year warranty) but to also be a complete solutions provider. We are a single source for your hardware, software and technical support. At Advanced Kiosks we design, engineer and manufacture interactive kiosks to a high standard, and not to a price, and that standard is excellence.

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