The Extended Warranty

I was up at a Best Buy the other day because I had to get a new phone for my land line. It appears that the cordless phone I currently have (a 5.8 Ghz model from Uniden) is futzing up my line to the point where it makes my DSL not work at all and when that’s not working, you’re not going to get at all the goodness. Anyways, I found a nice cheapo model for $15, got it and checked out. As the cashier totaled everything up, he asked me if I wanted an extended warranty for it for “only five dollars!”
I do feel sorry for these guys as they have to shill all this garbage of their corporate employer these days just to make them a couple of extra bucks. In addition to the fact that I simply don’t believe in these warranties as they are a bad deal, this one was 33% of the total phone cost! It’s a really stupid deal considering this is a pretty non-important element to my overall existence. Needless to say, I passed on that “amazing” deal, but it made me remember an incident involving my dad and the extended warranty.
He and my mom had to buy a new washing machine, so they went to the local Sears and found a model that was something like $600. This was back around 1990, so that was a pretty darn expensive machine. The sales guy kept pushing an extended warranty for $100 extra dollars that would extend that washing machine’s basic warranty out to a full five years. Now, there isn’t that much complicated with a washing machine and in reality they don’t really fail. If they do fail, it’s well within their standard warranty time. So, after the third time the guy tried to pitch this to my dad, he looked at him with my most direct Croatian stare and said, “If this thing stops working in the next five years, I will drive back over here with it and throw it through the front window of the store. Now shut the hell up about your warranty.”
That was 15 years ago. The machine is still doing just fine and a heavy-handed toss was never needed. Brilliant approach, dad.