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Know what I hate? Stepping in a fresh land-mine my dog just left in the yard. Know what I hate even more? When I try to make a purchase at a local store and they try to pressure me into some extended warranty.

Drives me insane. Makes me want to order everything online.

You know the story. You’re trying to buy an expensive this or that, you’ve finally made the decision, and then they drop the bomb on you:

Clerk: “So, I’m sure you want the extended warranty with that, right?”

Me: “No, really I don’t.”

Clerk: “Well, you know this is a pretty expensive TV you’re getting here. Service calls for a set like this are going to be a minimum of $400. You never know when something is going to go wrong, lots of complicated electronics in that baby.”

Me: “Hmm, I thought this was a pretty reliable brand of TV, but with all this talk of imminent breakage you’ve got me worried now. I mean, a year from now will I be sitting on the couch, corrupting what’s left of my intellect with yet another episode of The Simpsons, only to have the set burst into flames – effectively sentencing poor Homer to a fiery death?”

Clerk: “No, no, that’s not it at all. It is a good set, we haven’t seen any problems, it just”

Me: (interrupting) “Huh, maybe I should switch to SpongBob, since that all takes place underwater. Do you think that would be safer in case of some kind of spontaneous plasma TV combustion event on my wall?”

Clerk: “What the?  Umm… Sir, all I’m saying is that it’s an expensive set and this is cheap insurance. I’d sure get one if it were mine.”

Me: “Well, looks like PT Barnum was right after all.”

Me: Clerk: “Huh?”

Me: “You know, a sucker being born every day and all.”

Clerk: Dumb stare

Me: “Look, think of it this way. You want me to pay 1/3 of what the TV is worth for the warranty. Next time I buy another cool something or other, that guy will want me to pay 1/3 of the price for an extended warranty – and on and on.

Now, to my way of thinking, instead of buying all these extended warranties just “in case” something breaks, why not keep all that extra money for myself. Sure, maybe one day something will die, but hey, I won’t care. Know why?”

Clerk: “Umm why?”

Me: “Cuz I’ve saved so much money by NOT buying any of these silly warranties I can easily afford to just replace whatever it is that broke and still be money ahead on the deal. Plus, I don’t feel quite so violated when I walk out the door with the set, ya know?”

Clerk: “But, ummm, this is an expensive TV…”

Poor guy never did understand.

~ Steve

(The people and appliances in the above example are purely fictitious and any resemblance to obnoxious customers, sleazy ignorant clerks, or expensive TVs is purely incidental. No TVs or extended warranties were purchased during the writing of this article.)


PS – You know, your comments are always welcome, so don’t be a stranger!

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21 Responses to “I Make My Own Extended Warranties”

  1. Sgt Mike (retired) says:

    Most manufacturers do provide an initial LIMITED warranty. I have found that to be sufficient to see if the item was any good or not. I know that most sales people are compensated more for the sale of the warranty than for the actual item.

  2. Cherie Fruge says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. I never buy them either…

  3. Michael says:

    Extended warranties are not insurance policies and are not regulated. They make tons of money for the company selling them because most people forget about them or do not understand what exactly they are buying. The likelihood that you will ever get satisfaction when you utilize one is slim and none. The reason I know this is I worked for a large insurance company that dabble in them, but because the customer satisfaction regarding these products was so poor they felt it would affect their other product lines and sold the book.

  4. Lee says:

    I feel the sameway. The worst part is if you buy it,and they need to replace your TV under it, you have to buy another warranty all over again even though the existing warranty may still have 3 years left on it.
    The Bitterness of Poor Quality Lingers Long Afetr the Cheapness of Price is Soon Forgotten!

  5. Sharon G. says:

    Oh yesssss. All any of us have to lean is… “No thank You” Wow… it really is liberating to find we do not get a big pain in our side from saying it..:) We bought a TV from Circuit City… sorry about naming a Store… Good thing we said no thank you, they went out of business! And yep our TV is still doing fine 3 year later. ;)

  6. HGB says:

    If it lasts six months, it will almost certainly last six years. If it breaks down in the first six months, then it was faulty and you have a right to a replacement.

  7. Larry says:

    Walmart took back my computer despite their policy on open electronics and Kmart exchanged my pool despite their return to manufacturer policy. Yet I HAD NO extended warranty. Why!! Because they found a loop hole when I simply asked them why they sold it faulty or why it broke so fast. Too bad this doesn’t work on my used car purchases. Must be because the big Marts don’t sell used cars or used appliances.

    • Larry says:

      P.S. I even took a car battery back for a brand new full exchange with cash back change despite the manufacturer return and pro rate notice all over it.

  8. Kitty says:

    Purchase at Costco with their credit card. You automatically extend the manufacturers warranty and you get a 2% credit at the end of the year to use at the store, or take the cash. Another option is to check your credit card included warranty programs. Most of the automatically extend the manufacturers warranty. So you have rally made your own extended warranty for FREE!

  9. Chuck says:

    In Nov of 2008 I bought a new Dell with no extended warranty. One Year an one month later I had to replace the CD/DVD unit. Sic months after the modem went out. in June of 2009 I switched to satelite internet. In Jan of 2010 the hard drive went out. I had a Gateway for 4 years with no trouble. I will not buy another Dell if it lasts only 2 years and 2 months. So I built my own and it is doing just fine and no extended warranty. I spent 26 years in retail and I will tell you I made more money selling extended warranties than selling the product.

    • Chuck says:

      Oh yes I did tell Dell about it and they said they ;would get back to me. That was in January and I am still waiting to hear from them.

  10. Carol says:

    If you use certain charge cards for credit (not debit)purchase, your manufacturer’s warranty is doubled. You can still pay off the item in 30 days (same as cash) using bank’s money, double your warranty for 0% interest and $0 for the warranty. Don’t buy until you can afford things. Ask 4 questions of yourself when about to buy something. If you get a ‘no’ to any one of them, DON’T BUY! (1) Do I want it; (2) Will iit enhance my enjoyment of life; (3) Can I pay cash for it and (4) DO I NEED IT. You’ll save a heap of money!

  11. Jeffrey says:

    I do the support of those extended warranties for more companies than you can imagine. We do several companies, both current and gone out of business. We are in the US and we know more than anyone, the kind of scam that is running. If anyone reads the fine print of the warranty when the get it home they um, cancel. on most laptop warranties, good luck getting a repair if you drop it. Staples won’t tell you that the warranty they just sold you doesn’t have accidental damage coverage. Also, for all but 1 of the businesses we support, if the OEM warranty covers it, we don’t. The number of service denials because of those 2 things makes us want to pull our hair out. “Why?” you ask. Because we got into the biz because we are techs and want to help people with thier technology, and the warranties we are working with do not allow us to do so, and then we have to deal with the person who sat a 65 inch TV on top of the milk crate and the 8 year old pulled it down and the LCD screen is now cracked and it isn’t covered and the company that sold the warranty is out of business and why did they tell him that it covered accidents when it doesn’t, etc, etc, etc. Be aware….The only warranty that is worth anything is an accidental damage warranty on a laptop, if you have kids using it (up to age 25) or are a klutz. it doesn’t matter if it is from your credit card, the OEM or the vendor, read the fine print before you can’t return it anymore.

    • JAS says:

      Too bad techies were not told how to use spell checkers.

      Bought a DELL Inspiron E1705 a couple of years ago. Works fine….except the right side enter key, fell off, was replaced…not by DELL, 2 letters W and less than/dash came off. Now use a separate wireless kepboard bt BELKIN, Have NEVER had a problem with it. The batteries do last years longer than the BELKIN wireless mouse that came with it.


  12. radioman says:

    Great story, that reminds me of the old adage that it will break right after the mfr. warranty expires!

    I really liked your part about questioning the quality of the item to begin with, maybe you should cancel
    your sale if it really needs an extended warranty, telling them in that case just put it back on the shelf
    and cancelling your entire transaction. Won’t they just love that one! I always say “No, thank you as the
    other commenter Sharon G. says to do. I never buy extended warranties myself because I buy quality
    products in the first place, reasonably assured the big name mfr. will honor it to keep satisfied customers
    who then promote good-will in the rare event a warranty situation ever arises in case of premature MTBF.

  13. Michael Cantone says:

    No Warranty Please!

    I believe in buying top to middle of the line quality products which in case you did not realize it is that they sell warranties the same way which is part of the buy something you do NOT need because if it is electronics it will DIE within the one year MANUFACTURE’S warranty.

  14. Irenkè says:

    I too have purchased extended warranties many times in the past. Now I buy service/maintenance contracts for certain things such as my new heat pump/air conditioner unit. I also have insurance and repair services for my cell phone, my land phone, home alarm system, major appliances, termites insurance, etc.. I have to admit I rarely had to use those services but when I did it worked out pretty well. I really can’t afford to waste my money on all this stuff and I hope I’m doing the right thing.

  15. Bill says:

    On most electronics I agree, no need for an extra warranty. But if it has moving parts (cd/dvd player) or it is for a child then I would and do get them. I gought a gameboy from Bestbuy for my son. He removed the battery cover and lost it and the battery. I brought it back and they exchanged it,no questions asked. I waited to re-gift it to my son after we talked about it. No problems with it since. Same with a portable dvd player. He didn’t do anything I could see, it just stopped working after 2 years. With 3 yr warranty I brought it back to Target, but had to jump through one hoop, but got a new one (with better battery life). But for TV’s,pc’s no. Maybe for a $200+ laser printer.

  16. Ed Hanus says:

    I never get the extended warranty! It is just another scam to get my money into their pockets. If the product is made by a good, established brand you should not have a problem.
    A major appliance should last 8 to 10 years. if it goes bad around that time it is not worth the money for a service call.


  17. Jack Worgan says:

    Hi guys I totally agree with you on the extended waranty with one exception. Laptop computers. I bought six Toshiba laptops at $600 each for six of my grand children. One year warranty. The first one went one day after the warranty. Three more failed after about 3 or 4 months. Seems Toshiba builds a guaranteed income into the main boards. The power connector. The connector is made with a very thin metal sleeve in the socket. If you move the laptop around on the table or any where else with the power cord attached, their is a high probability of cracking this sleeve.

    I took the first one to a computer repair shop. The technician took one look and said, $400 labor plus parts running from $45 to $85 dollars. I ask how he could tell with looking at the computer. He said, Easy, there are four more Toshiba’s sitting there on the table waiting for new connectors.

    I have found, during the years, that by turning any electronic equipment on and letting it run continuously for six weeks, it solves the warranty problem. If the unit doesn’t fail in the first six weeks, it probably will not fail for a long time.

  18. richard lewis says:

    been receiving steves tips a long time- i am a member of the moose lodge here and the stick i bought from steves yrs a go not big enough- i take tips to lodge and share i also have got a lot to join steves tips- at 73 this may be my last stick and my ss check want buy a good one- thanks for all you guys do richard

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