GUEST POST from Don: Extended Warranties

A few weeks ago I purchased a tool.  First, I do not buy junk.  I research, decide what I NEED, and buy what I believe is a quality item.  Second, I expect retail stores to research and VET the items they are willing to sell.  In other words, it is on THEIR shoulders to offer quality items.  It is on MY shoulders to research to find which item best serves my needs.  I am not ignorant, but I believe that it is the retailer’s JOB to keep me as a long-time customer by providing quality items.

 So, when I received this notice from a nearby retailer I was dismayed:

“Thank you for purchasing your XXXXXXXXX String Trimmer from YYYYYY.
Want to enhance your recent purchase to make it even better?
Let YYYYYY worry about the repairs if it ever breaks!

A YYYYYY Protection Plus new-product plan
is a premium 3-year protection plan that includes parts and labor repair coverage
and provides a list of additional money-saving benefits. We’re here to help keep your equipment running long after the limited manufacturer’s warranty ends.”

They were basically telling me that THEY did not do their job and that they wanted ME to pay for their mistake.  I know this is a common sales tactic to increase revenue, but I believe it is wrong-headed and irrational.  This was my response to their “offer”:

“I only need a warranty if you do not care about the products you sell. However, if you properly vet those products I do not need a warranty.
Therefore, if I need a warranty I do not need YOU. I can go somewhere else to buy quality products, I guess??”

If I had money to pay for extended warranties it would have to come out of my “buy quality items” budget.  I prefer buying quality items to purchasing bloated extended warranties.  In my decades as an adult this preference has served me exceedingly well.  I purchased a quality couch which lasted nearly 35 years from BC (before children) until the last one left home, and numerous items from clock radios to musical instruments.  I cannot think of a single item from which I would have benefitted had I purchased an extended warranty.

Looking at what some other people purchase with their money I know there are some who NEED extended warranties.  They buy the NEWEST and basically untested products.  They buy stuff they do not really need, but which costs plenty…they have to protect their foolishness.  Or they buy from online stores which do not vet anything.  And, of course, when smartphones came out they were junk.  They broke any time they were dropped.  I did not buy any of the early models, but when I did I also bought protection (a hard case).  I have never broken one even though I have dropped many.

So, what is your opinion?  I see extended warranties as bad business.  How do you see them?

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