ABI real time PCR instrument fail rate - Wondering whether we need the (expensive) service contract (Oct/28/2008 )
Our lab has an ABI 7300 real-time PCR instrument. I have to decide whether we need the ABI service contract or not.
To those of you who have similar instruments, what kind of problems do you have with them and how often? About how much does it cost to fix when they break? Do you think paying ~10% of the purchase price every year is reasonable for a service contract?
so I can tell you our ABI machines are working as a charm. I love them. I haven't had bigger problems yet and if so, customer service is pretty fast. I worked with different ABI Sequencing machines and a ABI Real Time PCR machine. No problems with them.
Same here, no problems.
The machines in my department get heavy use and we've had them go on the fritz a few times. I don't know if we've been unlucky, but I think the department has gotten it's money's worth out of the service contract. Repairs have been fixed promptly, and people have never had to wait more than a day or two to continue with their experiments.
That being said, I do agree that stuff from ABI is expensive. Their staff are great, but I get a bit tired of having to hand over so much money to them. How long are you expected to sign the contract for, and can you opt into it later on, or opt out? If your machine isn't getting heavy use, it might not break as much, and you can go for a few years without any major problems...
YES, the service contract is worth it. you'll spend more in the long run if you don't get it, especially if it's a multi-user machine
it's usually as simple as a corrupt data cord or a burned out bulb when your machine suddenly stops working in the middle of a run...but if you aren't familiar with the machine, you won't be able to fix it yourself
yes it is a really good idea to have a service contract. Those machine are pretty expensive so is better to mantein them in good shape. i have an older version of the ABI QPCR and they come 2x a year and calibrate the machine and replace the parts. Never had a huge problem with it. Just the replace of the bulb and a replace of the filters because some molds build their home on it. After 6 years it still going and going and will not be replace in the near future.