Archive for January 22nd, 2008

Extended Warranties–Don’t Buy ‘Em

Big daddy’s fired up! That rarely happens–unless I’ve offended him somehow (but I think that’s cuz he cares). After we finally managed to dig up the warranty info on the treadmill he bought me for my birthday 2 years ago, I called Sears to ask for a service call. Son #3 noticed some slippage on the belt when he was using it (I run but he FLIES on the thing so I hadn’t really noticed anything amiss). Now we NEVER buy extended warranties for many reasons. #1–Big daddy can fix anything! He’s the king of handy. Plumbing, electrical, major construction–if it needs built or repaired, he can do it or finds out how to do it. #2–We take care of things and usually by the time something breaks, it’s cheaper just to replace the obsolete thing and #3–Consumer Reports said they usually aren’t a good deal and it’s just not in my DNA to waste anything, including our hard-earned cash. So anyways, I was mildly surprised when BD said he bought a 3-year warranty but I certainly understood since he had never worked on one, it was a nice machine, and a lot of things could go wrong with it.

OK. So yesterday, for the first time in two years, I call to get some use out of the very overpriced warranty on this treadmill. And the guy says to just get the manual, and get my husband to get an Allen wrench and give this thing a quarter turn to the right, then turn something to the left and I’m writing this down but thinking I thought that’s why we paid for that in-home warranty. So THEY would do their job and fix the thing themselves! I wasn’t even too annoyed that they just assumed my “husband” would be the fixer because in this instance, they would be oh-so-right. But, God bless him, my husband felt the same way I did. And what if he wasn’t handy at all? What if we didn’t have an Allen wrench? And why should he spend his time when we more than paid for at least one service call?

Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated warranty woe. A couple of years ago, a co-worker had major trouble with her refrigerator. I believe it, too, was purchased at Sears. We were on our way to an audit halfway across the state when her husband called to say they could not get a repair person for TWO WEEKS! It’s a fridge, for God’s sake! And they had paid for the super deluxe warranty, like they always do, because they are NOT handy at fixing things and they don’t have to be. They’re pretty much loaded and they buy nice things. And they trust the salesperson when they’re told the warranty will cover any repairs in a timely manner.

So today, big daddy’s gonna rant. He’s headed to the store now. Go get ’em, hon.

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January 2008

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