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they are legally obliged to pay you the money/replace the products etc etc.

No, they're not.


Unless you can prove beyond doubt that all the conditions are met.


ALL of them.


There's a reason the agreement is more than "We will fix or replace your gear if it gets toasted."


Much much more.


They're companies, not charities.

Edited by SquallStrife

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You can get surge protectors that can protect equipment from surges. There are a number of different rated protectors, always check the equipment that you are buying to ensure that it will cover your eqiupment.


They are normally guaranteed to protect up to a certain amount of equipment too. DSE and Jaycar have a number of them available.

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Just a heads up... we've just had a whole heap of equipment fried by Friday afternoon's storm that passed through Brisbane.


Equipment fried/made unusable:

  • Yaesu FT-897D -- ~$1200
  • Netgear 8-port 10/100Mbps ethernet switch -- probably ~$50 to replace with equivalent
  • D-Link DSL-504 ADSL router -- will look to replace with ADSL2+ router... probably <$200
  • 3Com 10/100Mbps PCI ethernet card... ~$10

Equipment partially damaged (but still usable)

  • Netcomm 24-port unmanaged switch[1] (a few ports now dead)
  • Netcomm "Bigpond Next G" Wireless Router[2] (one port reports a phantom link)

1. For those who were at the Irradiate LAN... this one was the one that sat on the stage and provided the network "back bone".

2. We use this as a wireless AP using WPA2... the SIM card is removed and its DHCP functionality disabled.


Fingers crossed, we can get this replaced on the home insurance policy we have here. But needless to say, I've just experienced the pain of loosing equipment in a storm, and just having the PSU (Powertech MP3098) turned off was not enough to save the radio.

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The legal problem has to do with those increasingly popular Connected Equipment Warranties (CEWs).


You can read a sample Belkin Connected Equipment Warranty in PDF format here, or a Panamax one (also PDF) here. I'm afraid they go on a bit, so you might like to skip actually reading them.


I took the time to plough through them, though. So I know that first up, you'd better still have the receipt for your surge protector. The Connected Equipment Warranty probably only covers the original purchaser.


And if you can find a cheap power filter whose CEW covers new-for-old replacement of damaged equipment, I'd like to see it. Normally, they give you blue-book used value for your gear. Blue-book value for a tweaky overclocked "enthusiast" PC with a fast graphics card may be the same as for a bargain-basement Dell with similar basic specs. CEWs also often leave the guarantor the option of having the equipment repaired, rather than replaced. And of making you pay to have your exploded computer shipped to whatever repairer they choose.


If the guarantors really want to weasel out of the deal - which they won't necessarily, but we're talking about the insurance industry now, so anything's possible - they can insist on proof that every wire going into the toasted equipment was protected with their gear. Were you using an extension cord? Were you overloading the surge protector (did you plug your laser printer into it?). Hey, maybe the spike was just bigger than the filter was meant to deal with!


Did the filter protect you from a spike last week, burn out, and so not protect you from a spike this week? If so, then no payout.


Bit of a Catch 22 there, really. If the filter's not burned out then they can say you didn't have it plugged in at all, and if it is then they can say that it was dead already, and you should have stuck your head behind your desk every day to see whether the little orange light had gone out.


The take-home message from all of this is that quality power filtering isn't cheap. Fortunately, though, most people here in Australia don't need quality power filtering.




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