Warranty Is A Home Help

An extended warranty scheme will shortly be available for home computer users. The scheme is being set up by Astronics, a company formed to specialise in on-the-spot maintenance.

Most of the systems gracing the shelves of high street stores are sold with one year's warranty. It has been possible to buy home computers off the shelf for just over a year, and Astronics reckons it is now that owners will be feeling the pinch, as they reach into their pockets for the cost of repairs.

Insurance is one way of paying for breakdowns (PCN, issue 19). But David Evans of Astronics commented: "As we repair equipment ourselves, the return time is much shorter, as paperwork accompanied by an insurance claim is not necessary."

The warranties available will be for three or five years, not only for new equipment but also for items on which the maker's guarantee has expired. It costs £25 and £35 respectively, and will cover micros such as Commodore's Vic 20, and C64, the Dragon, the Lynx and the Oric.

Astronics is only interested in home micros. It will be happy to extend the warranty on the BBC, but not if it is being used for business purposes. "We have maintenance contracts available for businesses," said Mr. Evans.

A WHSmith spokeswoman commented: "We believe it will be welcomed by consumers and we are currently considering an extended warranty ourselves, although we do believe the greatest need is goind to be for the more expensive hardware, because people are trading up to more sophisticated machines."

The warranties will be available nationwide from micro dealers or direct from Astronics on (0705) 326223.