Surface Pro 3 Diary Entry 6: Is the Extended Service Plan Worth the Money?

Surface Pro 3 Diary Entry 6: Is the Extended Service Plan Worth the Money?

Over the weekend, a friend of mine reported that the thing you always dread happening, happened. He dropped his Surface Pro 3 and the screen cracked. A cracked screen is one of those dire situations that a lifetime of IT experience, or a simple recovery procedure, just can't fix.

If you're like me, I always feign off those extended warranties, thinking they're a bit of a scam. I can't tell you the number of times I've shopped and been offered an extended warranty on the silliest things, further solidifying my "it's a scam" mentality. I'm a pretty careful guy, anyway, so I've always felt pretty comfortable declining them.

Through the discussions with my friend this weekend, we took the path to discover the best options for getting the Surface Pro 3 fixed. And, it was this discovery process and my friend's experience that changed my mind against an extended warranty in this case. When I heard of his troubles my heart sank, thinking what it would be like if that had happened to me instead.

Many of you have been reading my diary series on Surface Pro 3 because there's a lot of you going down the same path. Some of you want to see me succeed, while others, undoubtedly, want to see the Surface fail. But, extended warranties are something I need to consider as part of the overall process because I believe this is something you might be thinking about, too. I'm fine being the guinea pig.

Microsoft provides a standard warranty for purchased Surface tablets, but it only covers the Touch Cover, Type Cover, power supply, cords and adapters and the Surface Pen. It does not cover a cracked screen or any other accidental or environmental hazard.

Then, for an applicable fee, Microsoft offers a Complete Extended Service Plan. This option takes the standard warranty and then adds full coverage over the Surface tablet itself.

The Extended Service Plan must be bought within 45 days of your Surface purchase, but it lasts for two full years. It covers everything. If you have a cracked screen or a non-functioning tablet due to spills or other environmental hazards, Microsoft will just replace it. Drop by a Microsoft store and they will swap you out and offer to transfer your data. You are limited to two claims within the two year period. For full hardware coverage information see here:

Complete Extended Service Plan terms and conditions

For a regular Surface (non-Pro, Surface 2), the cost is $99. For the Surface Pro series (including Pro 2 and Pro 3), the cost is $149. Even at $149, this is quite a deal in my opinion, considering my Surface Pro 3 now powers my entire computing life. Since my Surface Pro 3 purchase was within the 45-day allotment, I went ahead and purchased extended warranty over the weekend. That's probably my first extended warranty purchase in 15 years.

So, is it worth it? I'd say so. Think about it: The Surface Pro 3 will cost you over $1,000 and as you use it more and more and it becomes your daily computing driver, what is the true cost of staying productive? $150 is chump change compared to lost time and a loss of productivity. At least that's the way I now look at it.

Both extended service plans can be found here: Microsoft Complete Extended Service Plan for Surface

Additionally, Microsoft also offers special business support for the Surface models. Two distinct extended service offerings are available:

Microsoft Extended Hardware Service

  • Coverage: Standard warranty extension to 3 years. Repair or replacement through Advanced Exchange.

Microsoft Complete for Business

  • Coverage: Extended Hardware Service plus device damage due to drops, liquid, electrical surge, battery failure, or any accidental breakage.

The business plans are purchased through Authorized Surface Resellers and the within 45-day of purchase still applies.

Find out more here: Microsoft Surface support for business

Incidentally, there are vendors out there that offer services to replace a broken Surface screen for around $75. But, that only covers a broken screen, and it means you'll have to do without your Surface Pro 3 throughout the duration of the repair process (shipping both ways and time to repair).


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