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Fujitsu Offers Free Laptop Upgrades For Life 166

Barence writes "Fujitsu Siemens is offering its customers free laptop upgrades for life with its Lifebook4Life scheme. Customers buying a Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook will be offered a free upgrade three years after their original purchase, and every subsequent three years for the rest of their life — as long as they purchase an extended three-year warranty. Customers will have to hope inflation stays low, though: the value of each new notebook cannot exceed the value of the previous one, adjusted 10% for inflation. Fujitsu says the scheme is profitable, and a raft of small print ensures plenty of people will find they've excluded themselves from the scheme for all sorts of reasons."
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Fujitsu Offers Free Laptop Upgrades For Life

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  • by Mr Reaney ( 544642 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:24AM (#25908161)
    Because in my experience, Fujitsu won't honour their warranties anyway.
  • by Ksempac ( 934247 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:26AM (#25908169)
    Bad summary indeed : Exact quote from TFA :

    A Fujitsu Siemens spokesperson assured PC Pro today that the scheme is a profitable venture, once the sale of future warranties and upgrades is taken into account. Only Fujitsu Siemens modifications are allowed, so upgrading with cheap third-party RAM is out of the question.

    I can understand that overpriced hardware upgrades can make up for the lack of sales. And they wouldn't be the first ones to offer these kind of upgrades.

  • by nstrom ( 152310 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:28AM (#25908177)

    Fujitsu Siemens [wikipedia.org] as a collaboration sells only to Europe/Middle East/Africa, not the US. I don't think this laptop or offer is available in the US.

  • The small print (Score:5, Informative)

    by troll8901 ( 1397145 ) <troll8901@gmail.com> on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:29AM (#25908181) Journal

    Hit any of these, and you'll get excluded permanently.

    • fail to register within 21 days of purchase
    • lost receipt
    • fail to take an upgrade

    From TFA:

    If customers fail to register their notebook within 21 days of purchase, they lose out, and if the initial sales receipt is lost then they will not be able to claim a replacement notebook. If at any point a customer fails to take an upgrade, then they will also be ineligible for any future laptops.

  • by Corporate Troll ( 537873 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @10:05AM (#25908341) Homepage Journal

    What do you mean? Here in Europe, many consumers do have Fujitsu-Siemens computers. It seems to be one of the most popular brands. At my local supermarket they sell many models of that brand. Even here at the office (where all laptops are HP), the workstations are Fujitsu-Siemens. Heck, we just got a new VM server and it was Fujitsu-Siemens.

    Fujitsu-Siemens is huge.

  • Re:The small print (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 27, 2008 @10:32AM (#25908469)

    The Fujitsu-Siemens laptop I'm writing this from had no pre-installed OS and came with a Knoppix CD. It is an Esprimo though, not a Lifebook.

  • Re:I have to agree (Score:5, Informative)

    by mmxsaro ( 187943 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @10:45AM (#25908531) Homepage

    A lot of people don't understand that it's heat that kills a battery (and not "overcharging", let's talk about Lithium Ion for now). My Dell 700m batteries (2) each hold a charge of 5 hours after 4 years of usage. How's this possible, you may ask? I seldom charge the battery while using the laptop. I usually run it off A/C with the battery removed, and then at night, I put the battery back in and let it charge while the machine is powered off. This method has worked for me and my father very well.

    Manufacturer's won't tell you that, especially since a killer profit is to be made for post-sales accessories.

  • Re:I have to agree (Score:5, Informative)

    by Crias ( 1388217 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @11:06AM (#25908693)

    From TFA:

    This offer is far from comprehensive, though, as it excludes case cracks, small numbers of dead pixels, broken keys, smashed screens, software issues, virus infections or failed batteries that are older than one year.

    Basically, the normal wear and tear of a laptop is excluded. This seems particularly negligent regarding failed batteries, as I've noticed that most laptops become almost unusable after a few years. Even with a RAM upgrade after 3 years, it is unlikely to last much longer than that, especially if broken keys and worn out batteries aren't included. (Are batteries even designed to last that long?

    Man, you've taken the article out of context. You're implying that what you're describing relates to the Lifebook4Life program - it does not.

    For anyone too lazy to read, here's what they -actually- said.

    From TFA:

    The company is also launching another interesting scheme with its Esprimo range, offering a complete refund of the original sales price if the customer needs to send the notebook back to Fujitsu Siemens for any repairs.

    This offer is far from comprehensive, though, as it excludes case cracks, small numbers of dead pixels, broken keys, smashed screens, software issues, virus infections or failed batteries that are older than one year.

    They're offering full refund on the -first- sign of trouble. It's only fair that they exclude normal wear and tear. No company can make money by giving you back all your money every 3 years because you cracked the case, come on!

  • Re:I have to agree (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lonewolf666 ( 259450 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @11:13AM (#25908753)

    Li-ion batteries with cobalt oxide cathode (the most popular type in laptops now) are known for losing their capacity over a few years, even when unused.
    But there are some other chemistries the laptop vendors could use, at the expense of somewhat less capacity.

  • LiFE batteries? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Comboman ( 895500 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @11:30AM (#25908867)

    we use LiFE, batteries as well, which are much safer than LiIon

    I'm assuming you mean lithium iron sulfide (LiFeS) or lithium iron disulfide (LiFeS2)? I had a hell of a time finding any information on them, since Googling "LiFE" & "battery" gets you hundreds of hits about "battery life", even with quotes around "LiFE". Does anyone know a way to force Google to respect mixed upper/lower case search terms?

  • Re:I have to agree (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @11:45AM (#25908987)

    A lot of it depends on temperature

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery#Storage_temperature_and_charge [wikipedia.org]

    Assuming you keep your laptop plugged in so it is charged 100%

    When you use a laptop it warms up so it dies at 35-40% per year, when it is off and at room temperature maybe 20%. A 40% charged battery in the fridge will only lose 2% per year.

  • Edit: Nevermind. (Score:3, Informative)

    by aywwts4 ( 610966 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @12:15PM (#25909259)

    Edit: Sorry for the snarkyness. Apparently "a302b" was full of crap, and after I RTFA it looks like those exclusions he listed are for a different program.

    My mistake, wish there was an edit button.

  • Making money (Score:3, Informative)

    by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @12:15PM (#25909261)

    Deals like this are designed to make money. Fujitsu is banking on warranty sales to make their additional profit; essentially tuning this into a laptop lease deal. If you decide to go off lease you keep the laptop you bought; if you stay on you get 100% of your payment down on the next model. It's like a lease with a 0 buyout; plus they get cash upfront instead of over 3 years. If you turn it in they get the resale / scrap value plus a new warranty - want to bet it won't be cheap and probably a significant percentage of the laptop's cost?

    Look at dell - an $820 laptop 3 year warranty is $190 - about 25%. After 3 years you get $820 towards a laptop; but that $820 laptop retailed for about $1100 - Dell had an $320 special deal going. So, if they don't offer a similar deal you could wind up getting $820 off of a full priced machine (assuming the 10% fine print will let you), plus paying for a new warranty. As a result, that new machine would cost you $560. (190 plus 190 plus 1000 minus 820)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 27, 2008 @12:15PM (#25909265)

    It's not a scam when the business presents it's intentions up front.

    You purchase a laptop for X amount of dollars. Your receipt for that laptop sets the value. It does not depreciate. 3 years later, about the time most regular laptop users are ready for a new laptop, Fujitsu will give you a brand new laptop for free. Yes, free. You do not have to pay for it. It's FREE.

    HOWEVER, if you would like ANOTHER free laptop in 3 years time, you will need to purchase ANOTHER 3 year warranty for the new laptop.

    How much more straightforward do you need? It's a great plan. The company locks in loyal customers who will then need to spend more money on the products the company profits off of, accessories. Selling the laptop at a fraction of the retail value, the cost of the new 3 year warranty, in order to sell more accessories is not only NOT unheard of but business as usual. You get a free laptop, they sell more accessories to potentially lifetime customers.

  • Re:LiFE batteries? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 27, 2008 @03:08PM (#25910441)

    How about lithium iron phosphate? (LiFePO4)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_iron_phosphate_battery [wikipedia.org]

    See section on Usage: "This type of battery is used on the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project"

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