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About RCI Products

Explore the details of RCI products

Refurbished Computer Initiative Logo 
TechSoup - August 03, 2014
Learn more about delivery, large requests, warranties, returns, recycling, quality standards, conditions, tier classifications, and administrative fees.

The RCI program at TechSoup offers high-quality refurbished desktops, laptops, and other hardware solutions. Not all systems have the same software and hardware configuration or system restore options, so TechSoup recommends that you review individual product pages to see the specifications of each product.

About the RCI Program

Read more about the recipient agreement, the refurbisher partners, donating to the program, case studies, and the program's environmental benefits.

Standard Warranties

Most products in the RCI program include one-year warranties. All refurbisher warranties cover hardware and component failure, including all parts and labor costs, shipping fees, and customer support. Warranties also cover whether laptop batteries will hold a charge for the first 90 days.

You may return any product from the RCI program within 14 days of receiving it for any reason to receive a full refund. You will be responsible for any shipping charges. TechSoup recommends adding insurance and tracking services to your return.

After the first 14 days, but before the end of the first year, you can contact the refurbisher partner to request a replacement product. The refurbisher partner will first attempt to troubleshoot the issue by telephone or remote desktop connection to determine whether the partner should replace the product. You will receive replacement hardware when the the refurbisher partner has approved it. Replacement units carry the remaining time of the original warranty.

Warranties do not protect products with problems that occur because of installing additional software or uninstalling existing software. Warranties are void if a third party evaluates or troubleshoots the product.

TechSoup recommends that you inspect your product and activate your software immediately when your hardware arrives. Please keep all packaging until you have confirmed that everything works properly.

The warranty period begins when TechSoup processes the request and communicates to the refurbisher partner to fulfill it. To find this date, visit the Donation Request History page (login required). Locate and click the Details link associated with your RCI request. You can find the shipped date under Product Status.

Extended Warranties

You can extend a CDI product's one-year warranty to a three-year warranty at additional cost after you request the product. Select CDI products also include a three-year manufacturer warranty in addition to the CDI refurbisher warranty.

You can also request a one-year extended warranty on any desktop product from InterConnection or PCRR. Check the warranty period before requesting an RCI product to ensure that it meets your needs.

Problems with a Request

Refurbisher partners are responsible for providing warranties and technical support for their products. Look for the refurbisher partner label before contacting the partner about a problem. Labels on desktops are typically on the side or rear of the hardware, and labels on laptops are typically on the bottom.

The refurbisher partner may be able to troubleshoot the problem or replace the product. Contact the refurbisher partner within 14 days if

  • The hardware is damaged or defective
  • There are problems with the preinstalled software
  • The shipment included the wrong hardware
  • The shipment is missing an entire product
  • One or more products are missing parts

Refurbisher partners can be reached with the following contact information.

  • CDI: (888) 226-5727, website
  • InterConnection: (206) 633-1517 x115, website
  • PCRR: (800) 939-6000, website

Shipping and Fulfillment

Since we have more than one refurbisher partner, your products may arrive from different locations and at different times.

We cannot ship to PO Boxes. If your organization's shipping address is a PO Box or is different from its physical location, we will ship your request to your organization's physical address.

After TechSoup approves your request, you will receive your hardware within 10 business days. The refurbisher partner will send your shipment tracking number via email. Additional charges may apply for shipments to Alaska or Hawaii.

Requesting More than 10 Products

If eligible, your organization may receive an unlimited number of products within a fiscal year (July 1 to June 30), but no more than 10 of any individual product in a single request. Contact rciprogram@techsoup.org to make special arrangements if you need more than 10 of an individual RCI product at one time. Arrangements are subject to inventory availability.


When RCI hardware finally reaches the end of its useful life or become obsolete, you have a no-cost, secure, and environmentally safe solution to dispose of it. All hardware received through the RCI program is eligible for free recycling services and pickup.

For information how to recycle RCI hardware, see Free RCI End-of-Life Recycling.

Quality Standards

Our partners refurbish hardware built to the high standards of corporations and designed for office applications. Its processors are generally of a higher capacity than those manufactured for home use. These refurbished systems usually last three to five years and experience fewer problems and failures than their consumer-oriented counterparts.

These partners must stand behind their products and adhere to strict quality standards. The hardware failure rate consistently remains below the industry standard for new products. These partners back their hardware with one-year and one-year extended warranties and guarantee it to be clean, free of major defects, and in working order upon arrival. They clean hardware inside and out, replace missing and broken parts, and rigorously test each product.

Product Condition

Like most refurbished computer programs, RCI categorizes hardware based on its condition.

  • Condition A: The product meets the highest functional and cosmetic standards of refurbished hardware.
  • Condition B: The product may have cosmetic defects that do not affect its operability. Typical cosmetic defects include wear on keyboards and hand-rest areas, minor screen blemishes, and scratches and nicks on the outer case.

All RCI hardware is Condition A unless we specify Condition B in the product name and description.

Windows Computer Categories

TechSoup categorizes each refurbished Windows computer as low-tier, mid-tier, or high-tier in order to help organizations choose the products that best fit their needs.

Tier Description
High-tier High-tier computers can handle resource-intensive tasks such as web publishing, advanced image editing, and video editing and are well suited for faster-paced working environments. They include fast processors and high storage capacities and have higher administrative fees.
Mid-tier Mid-tier computers can handle complex tasks like basic image editing and creating presentations. They include mid-range processors and storage capacities and have more affordable administrative fees.
Low-tier Low-tier computers can handle individual tasks like web browsing, word processing, creating basic spreadsheets, and writing emails. They include slow processors and small storage capacities and have the lowest administrative fees.

Administrative Fees

RCI program administrative fees include all shipping and handling. Sales tax may apply separately. Read more about administrative fees in the TechSoup Product Donation FAQ.

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