When your tape drive breaks and your backup is down it can become a critical decision making process choosing a tape drive repair company since so much rests on backing up your computers data. Many selection factors should be considered before you ship your backup device off to a repair depot if it is near by or across the continent. Some times the nearest repair company is not the best one.
The first point to consider involves the turnaround time or time it will take to get the repair done. Some depot repair houses for tape drives can get the work done in 1 or 2 days for an extra expedite fee. Some repair houses could take up to 4 weeks if they do not have the parts and need to order parts. Most reputable repair facilities can repair your drive in about a week. Make sure you know if they have ample parts to do the work before sending your drive in. And consider that this time period is not including shipping time into the facility or back to your location. So if you are in a hurry do not ship the drive across country via UPS Ground which could take 5 days to arrive at the destination. It might pay to ship the drive in overnight and have it shipped back overnight. The shipping in and back is paid by you not the repair house unless you make that part of the price.
The second point to go over involves the warranty on the repair. Is it 1 month, 3 months or 6 months in length or longer? Naturally, the longer the warranty the better. If you can buy an extended warranty even better. So compare apples with apples when it comes to the length of the warranty when choosing a repair vendor and comparing pricing.
Third, find out what is covered under the warranty? Does the warranty cover just parts replaced or does it cover the whole drive or unit? If it is only the parts replaced then make sure you know which parts were replaced. Ask for a detailed breakdown on the parts replaced when you get a bill or invoice. You may need this information if you have a warranty issue in the future. If the warranty does cover the whole unit the process is much clearer but do know what parts the warranty covers before you ship your drive out.
Fourth factor, find out how long the repair company you are considering has been in business, how long they have been repairing tape drives and how good is their reputation? This can be done easily by asking the company and checking via the Better Business Bureau and checking online. The longer the company has been in business and the better their reputation the more likely you are to get your tape drive repair done quickly and professionally. A company that is not well established may not be around next year to honor the warranty that you paid for. The company should have an established return RMA numbering process. The return material authorization (RMA) number should be assigned to your repair job in advance and that number is put on your shipping box and referenced if needed via communications with the repair house. Some vendors have this process online which is very convenient.