I love Homer Simpson, but this is one quote I just can’t get behind. Am I the only one, or are there others out there that start to carve shivs from salesperson writing utensils when they hear the words “would you like to purchase the extended warranty with that?”
I’ve tried everything as a remedy to the extended warranty. I have tried buying cheep pieces of crap that can be replaced a dozen times before the expense adds up to the warranty. I have tried buying top of the line appliances that I figure shouldn’t need an extended warranty. I’ve tried bribing repairmen, making fake threats and even begging. None of these has worked, with one notable exception. (I begged a genius at the Apple Genius Bar to have mercy on me and my two year old imac that needed a new logic board. He looked suspiciously around to see if this was a Steve Jobs orchestrated sting operation and then kindly agreed to fix it for free!)
Frick! People. I just want something made without the intent of braking or malfunctioning within the next few years. I want a product that the company is so confident about that they include any possible hassle in the future into the original price tag. For the love of God! Am I the only one!?
Aside: Why, you may ask, am I even discussing this on a blog to do with sustainability. Well, thanks for asking, but it is simple. I naturally find my values for longevity and sustainability caring over into my consumerism. When I buy stuff I at least hope that the raw materials and energy that went into the item’s construction and shipping will at least have served some useful function. Beyond that even, I hope that the useful function will continue as long as possible so that I don’t have to play my patriotic consumer role again for quite some time. It goes back to the issue of craftsmanship.
Apparently there are others out there that have made themselves heard, because I have finally had a consumeristic experience that has left me pleasantly numb instead of tooth splintering angry. In this scenario praise must go out for Costco and Vizio. I’ll tell the world. Last year I bought an Vizio LDC TV from Costco. Within the sticker price I received the Costco Concierge Service for six months and a one year warranty for the TV. This might not sound like much, but it’s a TV. One year is long enough to work out most of the kinks. About five months after buying the TV it started to freeze. Nothing would wake it up short of unplugging it and plugging it back in. I called the Concierge number and a kind respresentative picked up after only a short wait. They called Vizio for me and helped set up an appointment for a repairman to come out. The repairman came out as promised. He replaced the A/V board and left. The TV continued with it’s ailment. I called the Concierge again. A representative again called Vizio for me. Here is the kicker — Vizio immediately offered to send out a new TV with a return packing slip for the old one.
I nearly shat myself. I bought the cheapest TV from the most affordable place I could find, AND I got good service. Damn. Next thing you know I will finally find a product that doesn’t break…