DO consider replacements. Before getting your equipment repaired you should check with your supplier to see if there are replacements of the same card available. If they are available, then run a quick cost-analysis to see how your warranty, lead-time and shipping costs factor into your decision.
DO get competitive quotes. Not all repair centers can repair everything, but if they say that they can then you should consider getting a quote to compare with theirs. Most companies specialize in a few particular platforms, and though they might do those well… chances are they repair other platforms at higher costs.
DO check the serial numbers on your cards. There is no doubt your company has some sort of program in place to track when and where your equipment was originally purchased. Surprisingly there are many times when equipment can be replaced with a warranty versus having to resort to repair.
DON’T pay for “no trouble found”. I’ve learned that there a lot of repair centers that will charge you for “handling” or “inspecting” a card. This $100 fee can add up quickly on non-repairable cards. There are plenty of repair vendors out there that do not charge anything to find a card non-repairable. Using these types of repair centers can lead to big savings.
DON’T pay shipping both ways on your repairable cards. I have found a lot of success working with customers by picking up the shipping costs one way. Shipping can certainly add up when you factor in the amount of cards you ship out, especially when you’re paying for those that are found to be un-repairable. Cutting down on the price of shipping is an easy way to keep the total costs of repair to a minimum.
DON’T assume everything needs to be repaired. Exhaust your replacement options first. Look to see if the manufacturer has an upgrade option on a particular card. Check to see if the card you’re looking for is available in another colocation within your company. This could save you time and money.
These are just a few tips that can make the repair process less painful and hopefully less expensive as well. If you know of other ideas, or if you’ve had a success story, please share it with us!