If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. Er, I mean, buying the service plan on a laptop would be it.
Just before I went off to law school, back in the summer of 'aught three, I went down to the local general store/Best Buy and bought me ah one ah them fancy computin' machines. And not just a regular computin' machine, but ah one that sat right in mah lap. Along with the laptop I decided it might be wise to purchase the service plan they offered. It was a three year plan that covered a whole slew of troubles. And thank goodness I went with the service plan, because of troubles I had a whole slew.
I don't quite recall what all went wrong with that laptop. All I know is that it didn't really work when finals came around at the end of my first semester. That was a problem, since the tests were ideally taken on our laptops. And it didn't really work when finals came around at the end of my second semester. Or when finals came around at the end of my third semester.
About a year and a half after I had purchased my first laptop it broke for what was at least the fourth time. Under the Best Buy service plan, a device that breaks four times can be considered a lemon, and the customer can get a free exchange. The exchange is supposed to be for the same or most similiar computer that they have. Given the rapid advances in computer technology the most similiar computer turned out to be a substantial upgrade. So after a year and a half, under the service plan, I got myself new computer number 2. For free. Well, I did have to purchase a new service plan, since the old one expired with the previous laptop. But they discounted the price on it, and I didn't pay much at all. Essentially a free new computer.
Not long after I got my first replacement I started to have troubles with it. It didn't last very long before I had to take it into Best Buy to have it repaired. Come to think of it, it broke just in time for finals again! It kept breaking throughout the next year, and in February of '06 I brought it in for a fourth time in just less than a year. Being the fourth time, they told me I was eligible for a replacement computer. This again turned out to be a substantial upgrade from my previous laptop. Plus this time, because the other computer had broken so many times within the first year, they didn't make me even pay for a new service plan; I just got to keep the old one.
That replacement laptop was quite sturdy. I didn't have any problems with it at all for quite some time. Unfortunately it started to wear down over the past year, and just last week I brought it into Best Buy for the fourth time. Sure enough, I'm typing this post on my very nice, very upgraded, very new, very free laptop. I had to buy another service plan, but it was well worth it. After all, I'm currently on my third free laptop.
Making the situation even sweeter is that my service plan was set to expire on February 18th. If my computer had broken just three weeks later, I would have been SOL. Instead I've got a beautiful new machine that I'm extremely happy with.
Oh, and a new three-year service plan.
But trust me on the sunscreen