One of the best kept secrets in Memphis, Tennessee isn't B.B. King's Restaurant and Blues Club or the exclusive "Itta Bena" restaurant hidden upstairs; the big secret is a division of FedEx that has quietly been servicing PCs for more than 30 years. Today, Getac, one of the largest manufacturers of rugged notebook and tablet PCs, has chosen FedEx TechConnect for repair, refurbishment, and logistics services for Getac's full line of rugged PCs.
Outsourced Warranty Service? That's Not New.
There is another, less pleasant, secret that many consumers and business might not be aware of: Most PC manufacturers "subcontract" warranty service and repairs with third party companies and never tell you. Yes, if you've ever called or emailed the manufacturer of your PC and requested in-home warranty service it's very likely that the technician who showed up at your door wasn't an employee of the company that made your PC. In fact, regardless of whether your laptop is serviced at home or you ship it back to the manufacturer, your PC is probably being serviced by an employee of some random local repair center that contracts with another company that was hired by the manufacturer.
This is why Getac's announcement about partnering with FedEx TechConnect is something of a milestone for the PC industry. This is the first time that a manufacturer has gone out of its way to formally announce the transition of all repair and service to a partner. You can safely assume that FedEx's brand recognition is a big part of this public announcement, but it's also a matter of Getac being "transparent" to its customers.
What is FedEx TechConnect?
FedEx TechConnect is a subsidiary of FedEx Corporate Services, Inc. which started in 1978 providing repair and support for all electronics being used by the FedEx fleet. FedEx TechConnect now offers those same technology repair, refurbishment, transportation and logistics services to technology manufacturers and enterprises.
Unlike the various third party repair centers that currently work with most manufacturers, FedEx TechConnect delivers a single point of contact and single chain of custody for any device that needs repair. Customer contact centers, worldwide revenue operations, claims, trace and package engineering are all within FedEx's network of services. In other words, when you visit the Getac website (us.getac.com/support) to request a warranty repair you will immediately be taken to a FedEx website. You then print out a FedEx shipping label and you can either take the package to any of more than 1,800 FedEx Office locations or you can schedule a FedEx pickup at your home or office. FedEx trucks then travel directly from the main FedEx hub in Memphis and drop your PC off at the FedEx TechConnect repair center. At all times FedEx is in control of your PC and it never "changes hands" to some unnamed company.
Getac is the first, and almost certainly not the last.
The Getac rugged computers can be shipped by FedEx Ground or FedEx Express to the FedEx TechConnect repair facility where they are repaired (sometimes the same day), and shipped back to the customer's preferred destination, with the near real-time status of the repair available throughout the process. For urgent repairs, customers can upgrade the manner of shipping and be back up and running in as little as 48 hours.
In preparation for launching this service, Getac provided extensive onsite training to FedEx TechConnect technicians on Getac technology, features and the nuances of Getac's products, certifying the technicians to perform repairs. Only those TechConnect technicians who have been certified by Getac will work on Getac machines. FedEx TechConnect quality assurance methodologies combined with Getac's 70-point inspection verify that everything is working properly. Following an initial test period, Getac opened the program to a beta group of select customers from major rugged vertical markets.
While Getac is the first OEM to officially partner with TechConnect for repair and service, TechConnect technicians have been certified to work on a wide variety of PCs and peripherals from various brands as part of TechConnect's ongoing efforts to service the devices that the FedEx fleet relies on every day. This means it may only be a matter of time before other PC manufacturers transition their repair and service from unnamed partners to a higher profile company like FedEx TechConnect.