App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Doubtless we’ve all had one of those moments where we’ve watched a beloved electronic gadget or appliance bite the dust. What follows moments such as that depends largely on one thing: the warranty. If one is absent, such an event becomes an ordeal, complete with a dip into the ol’ savings or a swipe of the credit card. If one is present and still applicable, it’s a mere inconvenience. Warranty Hotel aims to make those scenarios where coverage is still viable as smooth and convenient as possible, but a great deal of its success relies on outside factors.
Warranty Hotel acts as a kind of digital rolodex for warranties. The desired documentation can be entered in manually or by scanning a QR if one is available, then it’s tucked nice and safe in the app with no need to go digging through various filing cabinets or stacks of long forgotten papers. Should the worst happen the app can also be used to locate nearby stores and can even provide the phone number. Transferring warranties to a new owner is also an option and can be done from within the app using a person’s email or contact information.
For someone who wants to protect their valuable hardware Warranty Hotel can be a huge boon. Potentially losing the documentation or forgetting it at home isn’t all that likely when all the pertinent info is saved to their iPhone. It’s also a very easy app to use, featuring some very large and descriptive buttons and a very self-explanatory interface.
Problem is, some companies might require the physical receipt anyway, and won’t accept it in digital form. I know in this day and age it seems silly but there are still places that require it. And if they aren’t on-board then saving everything in the app is pointless. Of course this depends largely on the retailer and I doubt there are too many out there who would make it a problem, but it’s sill a possible problem. Then there’s the way the store locator seems to consist solely of stores that are a part of the Warranty Hotel program. Stores that don’t actually exist in the US; a fact that will hopefully change in Q4 according to the developers. The info can still be entered manually, but it takes a lot of the convenience out of the convenience.
Warranty Hotel is a very clever idea with some good execution but much of its potential varies greatly from situation to situation. It’s still a great way to organize all those pieces of paper we almost never use, though, and in the grand scheme of things it’s unlikely that the lack of physical documentation will end up being a hindrance. Everyone who hates hanging on to warranties needs to check this out.