Would You Like Fries with That

Published 12:30 pm Sunday, May 19, 2024

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Wow! Lots of rain these past two days. You may not be dry, but I hope you’re safe.

            I had to make two purchases recently. One was a printer for my work. I like to have a back-up, just in case, but one slung a rod, if you know what I mean. I never buy the expensive printers and, since no one works on cheap printers, I simply went to Office Depot and bought another one for less than $200.

            Also, my gasoline-powered lawn mower, also a cheap model, went on the “blink” and I wanted to try an electric push mower. I don’t have a lot of grass to cut so a small mower is fine and I went to our local Home Depot for the purchase.

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            I bought a printer and a lawn mower, two very different items, but the question at the checkout was the same. “Would you like to buy the extended warranty?” I don’t like to hear that when I buy something.

            Extended warranties are on everything. I would not be surprised if I bought a Big Mac and the person who is taking my money asked me, “Would you like to buy the extended warranty?” It used to be, “Would you like fries with that?”

            It’s almost as if the item that I am buying will tear up before I can get it home. Wasn’t it not too long ago that companies stood behind their products? And without extended warranties.

I guess that was in the days when stores were owned and operated by people who lived in the town and knew that, if they sold shoddy products and they tore up in a short period of time, they had better be able to fix it or they would soon be out of business.

            These days, with the big box stores like Home Depot and Walmart, the products are cheaper because they come from China. There is no salesperson that you see face to face and there is no such thing as a “fix-it” department. Just buy another cheap “whatever” and don’t forget the extended warranty.

            Here’s another thing. Say you buy the extended warranty. You pay $29.99 for a guarantee that you have to go online and register. That’s not an easy task, plus do you actually think that, if the printer or lawn mower has a glitch in six months, you are going to be able to find someone to do anything? If you do, let me sell you some oceanfront property in Arizona.

            So, I guess you know what I think about extended warranties. I think they are money-makers for some insurance company that has set up a department within their companies to make an easy profit. The stores, like Home Depot and others, get a big percentage of those profits. It’s possible that the store can make more bottom line profit from the extended warranty than they do from the product that is being sold!

            I liked the good old days when products were made in the USA and companies stood behind what they made with just their good name and reputation. There were appliances and other goods that were sold by people that you knew and, if the machine tore up within a reasonable period of time, no questions asked. They would send someone you knew to fix it.

            Sure, there was a repair bill, but it, too, was reasonable. But I guess I might as well imagine the musical theme from Gone with the Wind. And by the way