Warranties - Are They Worth It?

In the past week, we have had two situations where things broke under warranty. We have always religiously saved all our receipts and warranty information for just this purpose. However, things didn't work out this time.

The fork on our son's 4 month-old mountain bike broke and was covered under warranty. The terms of using the warranty were not convenient, and our son didn't want another fork from that company that might just break. Thus, he chose to buy a good one that will be reliable (even though it costs half the price of the bike.)

Our car battery was going and when tested at a local auto store, registered as a bad battery when resistance was put on it. We drove to the store we purchased it at, and since it still started the car they wouldn't honor the warranty.  Despite our disagreement, they would not honor it and were very rude about it. By this point, it was only a partial replacement, and we had no idea how much we would get in return making it possibly not worth the "fight". We also agreed that their customer service was so poor, we were not going to do business with them despite the possibility of a discount on a new battery once this one finally died.

In the past, we have had much success with warranties. For example, our treadmill has been fixed multiple times and finally replaced for free under warranty, as were my son's cell phones. However, sometimes it just isn't worth it. Some warranties require you to mail the product to them, or a have a large deductible. This cost can almost be as much as replacing the item. Other warranties have stipulations on them that you can't meet, like taking it to their dealer who is so far on the other side of a big city, it isn't worth the time or gas money.

Lately, I have become disillusioned by warranties and am more concerned with convenience, and saving time and aggravation. I don't usually purchase a product based on the warranty. However, I do look out for things that have a high breakage rate or are very expensive to fix, like laptop computers. Then I will weigh the costs and benefits to see if the warranty is advantageous. Creating a simple life helps me decide how much effort I want to spend on certain tasks. Also, owning less is also a great way to not have to worry about warranties at all!


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