In November of 2006 (on Black Friday specifically) I bought an APC Back-UPS ES 500 (model be500r.) It came with a three year factory warranty (with connected equipment protection) and a good reputation for only ~$50. The thing had loyally served me without any incident for over a year. It came with four outlets that were backed-up, and four with only surge protection, along with a phone line protector and a nice USB interface (although the connector was a little strange. The weird part was that I had extra cables for it and I didn’t know where they came from or what they were for…) It also had a designated adapter-friendly outlet on each side. With a three hundred watt output and a battery that could last over an hour sometimes, I quickly made it into my power strip.
However, it’s loyal service died the other day when it did too. I noticed that it had started drastically overheating. I immediately unplugged it from the wall. It made a loud bang and let out a scent distinctive of a capacitor explosion. Even so, it didn’t hurt any of the things it was powering, and all I lost was a few outlets and my unsaved game status.The only visible damage on the unit was a melted wire coat and a bit of black. I was amazed the cap didn’t blow through the side of the unit. I knew it was tough, but I didn’t expect that tough.
I immediately looked up my warranty status online, only to find APC said it was out of warranty. Knowing that I had bought it less than two years ago, I started a search for the receipt. (Please note that the online warranty status is based on when the unit was made, they have no way to tell when it was sold. This is normal and most companies correct with the presentation of the receipt.) I also emailed APC to check to make sure it would do me any good. I was AMAZED by APC’s response. They quickly asked for some of my information, and a picture of my broken unit. They upgraded me to an ARMA, and the new unit is on it’s way. The speed and courtesy that they handled the situation with I didn’t think anyone had anymore. I was actually expecting a long wait, and a bit of a hassle trying to get it repaired or replaced. I am seriously thinking about getting another one.
I’ll post back when I get the replacement, but I’ve been so far VERY satisfied with APC.