More than 3,000 students purchased a CCI laptop package in 2018.
“Our goal every year is to put together a laptop package and provide the value that just makes it attractive enough for students to opt in,” said David Eckert, interim executive director of support services. “There is nothing that says they have to or that you can't do your work with whatever you might bring.”
Included in the package is a laptop with a four-year, all-inclusive package of warranty, accidental damage and insurance coverage.
Senior Kathryn Kelly, who majors in advertising, has benefited from the extensive protection plan that came with her CCI laptop after hot chocolate and water spills. Despite replacing multiple parts, each incident cost the flat rate of $100, which she said would have cost more elsewhere.
“I’m clumsy and accident-prone, and dealing with the Apple store or an overpriced tech service would’ve been a hassle — especially not having a car,” Kelly said in an email.
Additionally, the CCI laptop packages are backed by a support staff that offers 24/7 IT help and an on-campus ITS Computer Repair Center that can fix laptops on-site.
“I remember my mom being very adamant in saying that she wanted me to get it because even though it was a little more expensive, she wanted me to have access to an entire building, an entire service desk," David Garcia, a senior majoring in exercise and sport science, said.
If a CCI laptop needs repairs, individuals can get a loaner laptop to use for the duration of their issue. This way, they are not left without a working laptop.
“As someone who typically might need that coverage, it’s definitely been very beneficial to me," Hannah Ratcliff, a sophomore majoring in biology and global studies, said. "Especially knowing that I can be put at ease that if something were to happen, I can be covered in that capacity, and I don't have to worry about my education failing because of it."
Because CCI selects a limited number of computer models, it stocks numerous parts on campus so that it is available to cut down on the wait time of repairs, Eckert said.
“We are University employees," Eckert said. "We are doing work on behalf of manufacturers, but we don't work for them. We work for the students, faculty and staff here. The reason the computer repair center exists is to make sure that our students, faculty and staff have as little disruption from computer problems as possible.”
Sophomore Madi Radford has had a lengthy and frustrating experience waiting for her CCI laptop to be repaired. She has been using a loaner laptop for about a month and has had to go to ITS three separate times.
“This year, I feel like they did not listen to me, which is why I’ve had to go several times," Radford said. "The first time I went in they recorded the problem wrong."
Despite this, she said it is beneficial to have accessible service. She said she would buy through UNC again.
“I’ve never heard anyone regret getting a school computer because there is that safety net and opportunity for an unlimited amount of support,” Garcia said.
Eckert said he acknowledges that the computer models can be found for a cheaper price on other online vendors, like Amazon.
"They want you to click on their computer and take a look at it," Eckert said. "We want to make sure that you get the best value and that your experience here on campus is a good one that is interrupted as little as possible.”