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How do you do....it? Thread, Damage: laptop/power supplies in Technical; I was wondering if you guys could give me some feedback on how you handle laptops and their power supplies. ...
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    Crispin's Avatar
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    Damage: laptop/power supplies

    I was wondering if you guys could give me some feedback on how you handle laptops and their power supplies.
    At my school, every teacher is issued with a laptop and we usually get a new batch in every summer.
    The teachers seem to have no accountability for what happens to the equipment. Most of my time is taken up repairing laptops or calling Ergo (our supplier) for repair work because a screen has smashed or a dc sockets been damaged.
    Power supplies are even worse, I now have two power units which I have to hide to make sure I can use them for testing/imaging, and we have no spares. We have faulty supplies come back we have to bin, always on a weekly basis.

    Is this normal? Im starting to think perhaps the equipment itself isn't robust enough but maybe im grabbing at straws.

    How do you guys handle these issues?

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    DrPerceptron's Avatar
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    I would think that if staff can't look after it, then they don't deserve to have it. We make staff sign a form which states they are responsible for most damages and oddly enough, nothing is deliberately broken. Accidents always happen of course and parts die by themselves, which we cover because we're nice... I think...

    At the moment, we don't keep any spare power supplies, but we need some, because I don't have any and one or two have gone bye bye... Don't know what it is about Dell PA12 Chargers, but they like to die...

    As soon as you imply any monetary costs to a teacher, they will take care of it and guard it with their life... (maybe not... but you know what I mean :P)

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Is this normal? Im starting to think perhaps the equipment itself isn't robust enough but maybe im grabbing at straws.
    In my opinion that isn't the problem. I think it's just how equipment is treated; if you treat it right it'll last but if you don't then it won't.

    Just out of interest, who pays for such repairs? ICT or the subject departments? Perhaps you should start shifting the costs onto the departments if it's a regular occurrence.

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    Crispin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    Just out of interest, who pays for such repairs? ICT or the subject departments? Perhaps you should start shifting the costs onto the departments if it's a regular occurrence.
    All laptop repairs are billed to our department. We buy all the power supplies aswell. Some do have warranty though.
    Our head has a very teacher focused attitude and wouldn't charge them or their dept for damage.
    If someone drops a laptop and totals it, we simply have to buy a new one, oh and don't get me started on the price of the laptops themselves!

    I wish I had the power to change the system thats in place but I think financially speaking, the burden will always be on us.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    In my school, ANY laptop breakage is billed to the teacher / department, unless it is a proven fault with the laptop / battery / charger etc, and the staff generally tend to take care of the equipment.

    Before I came everything IT related was billed to the ICT department and I looked over the figures and it came to 23000 just in repairs. As soon as I put the policy in place that any damages are charged to the relevant departments, the damages soon stopped and the staff look after there laptops.

    Obviously if a Battery or Charger goes on the fritz my dept will happily buy a new one as that is a known issue with ALL batteries and chargers, but other items such as the laptop being dropped or liquid being spilt on it is subject to the departments shelling out for it.

    I love being in my position as nobody dares to argue with me!

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    contink's Avatar
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    It always comes down to the SMT and how important they feel.

    If nothing else I'd be sure to keep a lot of costs and the various problems you're seeing and then when someone asks you for ways to cut your costs you suggest making staff accountable for their laptops or at least the departments. I'm pretty sure your bursar and governors would be horrified if they realised just how much it's costing the school each year.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Never really had much of a problem with teachers and laptops, most of them look after them responsibly.

    I agree that it comes down to the attitude of SMT. We did have a blip of a few incidents do we introduced an AUP that clearly states that their laptop can be taken away. The first time this happened, well it was the last!

    As contink said, money is the key and has a powerful way of changing SMT's opinion, keep a track of ongoing costs and present them a report, say at the end of the year to show just how much this is costing, throwing in a few comparisons about what the money could be spent on is also a good idea.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crispin View Post
    All laptop repairs are billed to our department. We buy all the power supplies aswell. Some do have warranty though.
    Our head has a very teacher focused attitude and wouldn't charge them or their dept for damage.
    If someone drops a laptop and totals it, we simply have to buy a new one, oh and don't get me started on the price of the laptops themselves!

    I wish I had the power to change the system thats in place but I think financially speaking, the burden will always be on us.
    Which in turn reduces the amount you have to spend on moving your department forward.

    I think a common problem is "Oh I didn't pay for it so if it breaks I'll get it fixed/replaced" and unfortunately it's the truth sometimes. Things are replaced too easy when damage is caused.

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    steve's Avatar
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    Over the last 3 years we have had about 75 broken PSUs for laptops (out of 110).

    We bill the departments for them. Just issued half the staff with new laptops and warned them about looking after them.

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    BaccyNet's Avatar
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    Wow, I cant believe how many chargers people have to replace!
    The maximum I've seen so far here is about 3 in a year and that was after a bit of an accident in a DT lab. Of course now I've said it, I'll have a queue of people with broken chargers tomorrow

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    danrhodes's Avatar
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    Cool

    [QUOTE=nephilim;260422]In my school, ANY laptop breakage is billed to the teacher / department, unless it is a proven fault with the laptop / battery / charger etc, and the staff generally tend to take care of the equipment.
    QUOTE]

    I agree with this method as it will deter them in the future and make them realise that they need to look after the kit they are supplied with, huh, teachers ey!!

    Dan

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Any fault that can't be repaired under warranty is billed to the department. Lost or physically damaged power supplies are treated the same way.

    With power supplies we often hear "Oh, it's not mine, someone took mine and left their damaged one" as an excuse for why the department shouldn't be billed. We point out that they should be keeping a closer eye on them than that.

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    We tend to pay for repairs ourselves, although the initial laptop purchase is by the department

    Generally the only problems we have are hardware failures and the rare 'lost' power supply. Otherwise they seem to take pretty good care of them here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenWonder View Post
    Generally the only problems we have are hardware failures and the rare 'lost' power supply. Otherwise they seem to take pretty good care of them here.
    Wow, can I come and work in your school? It sounds like bliss!

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    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    We only have the odd 1...I have a Vaio here that's got a shredded keyboard and broken jack. Plus 2 Ensis (ex LFT P4/2Ghz) that were classes as "gash" and "doorstops", but are in pretty good nick.

    Apart from that, I've had a personal one come in full of suncream (yes, you heard) - full disassembly, distilled water board/case wash, soft brush scrub and dry under the hand dryer..that was fun.

    That really is it...99% of the laptops we hand out/purchase come back in for maintenance, with nothing more than crumbs/thumbprints/dribble on them.

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