ATLANTA — Tablets, laptops and mobile devices are flying off store shelves this holiday shopping season. More than 89 million shoppers grabbed the latest, high-end gadgets and technological advances during the Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy, according to the National Retail Federation.
The flurry of spending resulting in record sales — $52.4 billion in sales during the Black Friday weekend and another $1.25 billion on Cyber Monday — suggests that consumers feel more optimistic about spending their hard-earned dollars. Still, many may feel anxious about how to keep their electronics working properly. When the manufacturer’s warranty expires, often within a year of purchase, product technical support often is restricted or terminates.
Extended service contracts, on the other hand, bridge the service gap by providing convenient, 24-hour technical support. The plans usually cover normal wear and tear plus accidental damage beyond what is provided by the product warranty. They also offer a variety of technical support such as basic troubleshooting, defragging and optimizing speed.
In many cases, consumers can receive answers to their questions and resolution of their technical issues from the comfort of their homes. For instance, malfunctioning keys, buttons or switches on a mobile device might return to working order by turning off the phone, removing the battery and waiting for 30 seconds before reinserting the battery and powering the phone up. The same process may also restore the display screen or power to a device that unexpectedly shuts down.
Computers pose a greater challenge, as one in three breaks down before the fourth year often due to software and hard-drive problems, according to Consumer Reports. A laptop not powering up may indicate just a defective battery or AC adaptor, but a blue screen could signal costly issues with the software, operating system, hardware or motherboard. Identifying and preventing computer problems can save consumers time and money.
“We ask probing questions to perform over-the-phone diagnostics and distinguish between minor and major problems,” saidMary Brewer, a technical service representative at Assurant Solutions, a global provider of extended service contracts. “We help customers keep their devices running like new and avoid costly repairs. It saves them headache and heartache.”
Assurant Solutions enlists a national network of certified technicians and service providers to troubleshoot and resolve minor to complex technical problems. Electronics that cannot be repaired remotely can be sent in to a service center for prompt repair and return.
“Immediate access to technical expertise allows customers to have their issues resolved in the most efficient manner,” saidJoe Erdeman, president of extended protection solutions at Assurant Solutions. “Our technicians provide the best level of service so consumers can get back to using their devices sooner.”
Assurant Solutions issues customized policies for consumer electronics, appliances, jewelry and other products well beyond the manufacturer’s warranty. The policies provide millions of customers with the comfort of knowing their products can be repaired or replaced. To learn more about extended service contracts, visit www.assurantsolutions.com/extendedprotection.
About Assurant Solutions
Assurant Solutions businesses develop, underwrite, market and administer specialty insurance, extended service contracts and other risk management solutions through collaborative relationships with leading financial institutions, retailers, automobile dealers, funeral homes, manufacturers, wireless carriers and other entities. With operations in 25 locations, including executive offices in Atlanta, Assurant Solutions serves clients and their customers in 12 countries throughout North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia. www.assurantsolutions.com.
Assurant Solutions is part of Assurant, a premier provider of specializes insurance products and related services in North America and worldwide markets. Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ. Assurant has approximately $27 billion in assets and $8 billion in annual revenue. Assurant has approximately 14,000 employees worldwide and is headquartered in New York’s financial district.www.assurant.com.