Entitlement, Warranty, Software Licensing and Refurbishment

A network that is supported correctly provides your business with a crucial competitive edge. Find out why it is important to have your network covered by a service contract with either your partner or Cisco.

Information At a Glance

What is Entitlement?

Entitlement is a set of privileges customers and partners receive when purchasing a Cisco service agreement. These privileges include software updates, hardware replacement (RMAs), global technical assistance, and Cisco.com access. These resources are readily available to you so that you can get the answers and help you need quickly and easily.

Cisco requires every service request (by phone, e-mail, or through our website) to include a service contract number and valid serial number(s) for the equipment in question. Without valid serial numbers, Cisco may not be able to process a service request.

Entitlement At-A-Glance

Entitlement FAQ

Ensure you are entitled
Ensure you continue to be entitled to receive support when you need it - ensure you have your Cisco equipment under contract with your partner or Cisco.

Having a valid service contract with Cisco helps provide faster, more accurate support allowing you to maintain optimal operation of your Cisco network.

Ask your partner or Cisco to conduct an installed base discovery on your network. This will identify what products you have, what is covered by a service contract, what versions of IOS are running and what product is at or nearing end of life. All valuable information to help you maintain a healthy network.

Software Licensing
With over 36 million images downloaded globally each year from the Cisco Software Center, protecting Cisco's Software intellectual property and providing support only to customers and partners who are entitled, is a major focus for Cisco.

Software is either publically available or via a Cisco service contract. All contracts must be associated to your Cisco.com profile ID to gain access to download software.

Software licensing refers to the ability to download IOS software from the Software Centre Tool.

What does this Mean to You and Your Organisation?
It is important to ensure that you have a valid license and/or a valid service contract when you download Cisco software. Here's how you benefit:

  • Enables you to obtain seamless and timely access to Cisco's software support resources
  • Helps protect your organisation from potential fraud and abuse
  • Assists you in software licensing compliance by avoiding violation of copyright

How to ensure entitlement:

  • Either you or your partner must associate your appropriate service contract(s) to your profile.
    Click here for instructions
  • Ensure the device for which you are downloading software is covered under a Cisco service contract
  • Contact your Cisco authorised partner, account manager, service account manager or customer service representative for information about your current service agreement(s), or to learn more about purchasing service agreements, licensing Cisco's software and purchasing feature set upgrade licenses.

Cisco Capital

Cisco Capital is uniquely positioned to be your strategic financing partner. Their understanding of Cisco products, services and customer business requirements, coupled with best-in-class financial products, provide you with a significant value-added proposition.

Important Links:

Important Support Management Tools:
Ensure you have ALL your service contracts associated with your Cisco.com profile.

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Information At a Glance

All Cisco hardware and software products are covered for a minimum of 90 days. Some product warranties may vary. All Cisco warranties apply to the Customer or Original Owner (the individual who purchased the product for their own use) also referred to as the End User; and these are not transferable.

Warranty Finder tool

To find the appropriate support service for a Cisco product visit Service Finder

What is the role of Cisco warranty?
Warranty is to remedy manufacturing defects, not issues relating to the proper operation of devices or systems. 90 days is typically a sufficient amount of customer burn in time to uncover manufacturing defects not found during the robust quality assurance processes.

What is included in Cisco warranty?
Warranties provide short-term limited liability for Cisco to repair and/or replace defects in Cisco products. They are limited in both the duration and the support they provide. Most importantly, warranties do not include Cisco TAC support, software updates, or any of the additional benefits obtained under a service contract. It is the responsibility of Cisco to repair and/or replace the Cisco product within the time frame identified on the warranty card that accompanied the product at original purchase.

Elements covered under Cisco warranty are:

  • Hardware: This guarantees that the piece of hardware will be free of defects in material and workmanship under normal use, or it will be replaced by Cisco.
  • Software: This guarantees that the physical media are free from defects, or they will be replaced by Cisco. Also, the warranty guarantees that the software generally conforms to the published specifications for the product. The warranty is explicitly "as is," and no new releases are included.

What is the role of Services?

Cisco's service strategy is to provide services that can help customers improve business agility, network availability and network total cost of ownership, whilst increasing the networks' business value and return on investment.

As Cisco customers move from point-product buying decisions to architectural buying decisions, the role of software has changed. Software is providing more services over the network and the level of support needed to ensure the software investment is protected is greater as well. Service deployment tactics need to be planned and designed to scale and to provide the flexibility to adapt to new needs. This system-wide approach means customers need to be engaged more closely with Cisco experts and warranty support does not provide that.

Cisco Services detailed information
Comparison chart - Warranty and Cisco Service comparison

Cisco product warranty is not transferable
Cisco product warranty is non-transferable. A warranty is provided solely to the original end user of the equipment.

Cisco Hardware Inspection and Software Re-Licensing Program

Used and secondary-market equipment is not covered under the Cisco standard warranty and may not be covered by a Cisco service contract unless it is re-licensed and has passed an inspection.

Cisco hardware may be freely resold or leased, however the embedded Cisco software that runs on the hardware-as well as Cisco standalone software-is not transferable. Purchasers of used or secondary-market equipment must acquire a new license before any Cisco software can be legitimately used. With limited exceptions, this requirement applies to embedded software on hardware that is resold, as well as to software on equipment that is re-leased to a new customer after the original lease term has expired.

Cisco Limited Lifetime Hardware Warranty
A Cisco product hardware warranty is supported for as long as the original end user continues to own or use the product, provided that the fan and power supply warranty is limited to 5 years. In the event of a discontinuance of product manufacture, the Cisco warranty support is limited to 5 years from the announcement of the discontinuance.

Replacement, Repair, or Refund Policy for Hardware
Cisco or its service center will use commercially reasonable efforts to ship a replacement part within 10 working days after receipt of the Return Materials Authorisation (RMA) request. Actual delivery times can vary depending on the customer location. Cisco reserves the right to refund the purchase price as its exclusive warranty remedy.

Your formal Warranty Statement, including the warranty applicable to Cisco software, appears in the Cisco Information Packet that accompanies your Cisco product.

To Receive a Return Materials Authorisation (RMA) Number: Please contact the party from whom you purchased the product. If you purchased the product directly from Cisco, contact your Cisco Sales and Service Representative.

Important links for more information:

Limited Lifetime Warranty Recent Changes

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Information At a Glance

Important facts to know

When purchasing Cisco equipment, you have a number of options.

  • You can purchase equipment directly from Cisco or from Cisco Certified Resellers.
  • You can also choose to buy equipment new or used.

Cisco hardware may be freely resold or leased, however there are issues to consider before you make a buying decision involving used equipment or "secondary-market" equipment (i.e., any equipment purchased from a seller that is not a Cisco Certified Reseller).

1. The embedded Cisco software that runs on the hardware-as well as Cisco standalone software-is not transferable. If you purchase used or secondary-market Cisco equipment, you must acquire a new license from Cisco before the software can be used.
2. Used and secondary-market equipment is not covered under the Cisco standard warranty, and you cannot place it under a Cisco service and support contract unless it is re-licensed by Cisco and has passed an inspection by Cisco

Cisco offers a program to re-license Cisco software and inspect used and secondary-market Cisco equipment. The program applies to both purchasers of used and secondary-market equipment and leasing companies that wish to re-lease a Cisco product to another customer after the original lease term has expired.

This process protects Cisco intellectual property, but it also protects your network. By re-licensing and inspecting used or secondary-market equipment, you can ensure that the equipment is in proper condition, is running the safest and most appropriate software, and can deliver the full value you expect.

Under Cisco's standard policies and contracts, products procured from sources other than Cisco's authorised systems integrators, distributors and resellers (Authorised Channels) are not (and have never been) eligible for Cisco support, until the owner first (1) submits the products for Cisco inspection to confirm appropriate functionality, and pays the appropriate per component inspection fee, and (2) purchases appropriate software licenses.

Hardware Inspection
Cisco's standard warranties and support contracts are not transferable. Thus, any used or secondary-market Cisco products purchased outside of Cisco's Authorised Channels are not covered by Cisco's standard warranties and are not covered by any Cisco service contract. Before used or secondary-market equipment can be placed under a new service contract, the requestor must show proof of a valid software license from Cisco and must have the equipment inspected by Cisco to confirm that it is in proper working order and has been maintained appropriately.

Software Re-licensing
While Cisco hardware may be freely resold or leased, the embedded Cisco IOS software that runs on the hardware-as well as Cisco standalone software-is not transferable to a new owner. Thus, purchasers of used or secondary-market equipment must acquire a new license before any Cisco software can be legitimately used. With limited exceptions, this requirement applies to embedded software on hardware that is resold, as well as to software on equipment that is re-leased to a new customer after the original lease term has expired.

To take advantage of the Cisco Hardware Inspection and Re-licensing Program, purchasers of used and secondary equipment should contact their Cisco Account Manager, Service Account Manager or email the request to tss-inspections@cisco.com.

Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment

Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment - VOD

For customers who are interested in used or secondary-market Cisco equipment but do not wish to go through the process of re-licensing and inspection, Cisco offers refurbished products for sale through the Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment Program.

Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment is remanufactured to a standard that only Cisco can achieve. Each unit undergoes a rigorous and comprehensive ISO 9001/14001 certified remanufacturing and testing process. The end result is peace of mind knowing you are getting genuine Cisco performance, quality, support and value

Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment is backed by the same maintenance and support options that equivalent new Cisco products are. Support is available through the Cisco Technical Assistance Center.

Refurbished products carry the same warranty terms that new Cisco products do.

Important Links for more information

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