Computer service contracts are agreements by which one party provides computer-related services to another party for a certain amount of compensation. The services often involve repairs to a customer’s computer. Compensation rates vary, and the customer may pay the repair service an hourly rate,or a flat rate for a specified job or repair. Another type of computer service contract involves purchasing repair services for a certain period of time, such as one or two years. The customers pay a certain amount of money to purchase the computer services contracts, and in return the repair service provides all specified repairs and services during the timeframe set forth in the agreement.
Sometimes, computer service contracts do not just provide for repairs, but also provide for routine maintenance and even installation of software updates as needed. Many computer retailers provide options to purchase computer service contracts at the time that a customer buys a new computer. There is usually a charge for the computer services contract separate from the cost of the computer, software packages, and any other additional computer accessories.
Computer service contracts tend to be specific about the types of repairs and services covered and those that the contracts exclude. For instance, there are some major repairs, such as replacement of a major component of the computer, which the contract may not cover. The contract may also provide for the allowance of additional charges for certain services or repairs that the contract does not automatically cover.
Other typical provisions of computer services contracts include waivers of liability for any damages caused to the computer or its parts during the servicing process. The contract also may disclaim liability for any other damages caused to elements independent of the computer, such as computer networks or attached printers. In some cases, the computer services contract may provide for the safeguarding of confidential information disclosed during the servicing or repairs.
Computer services contracts may include terms related to any breach or violation of the contracts. For instance, the service contract may provide for the payment of attorney fees in the event of a contract violation. The contract also may designate the forum or jurisdiction in which one party or the other may file a lawsuit if there is a breach of contract. Alternatively, computer service contracts may specify that the parties must resolve all contract disputes through mediation or another form of alternate dispute resolution, such as arbitration.