| The wisdom of Ric Romero: "Salespeople are pushing those warranties and service plans. There's a real dollars-and-cents reason for this. Stores make a lot more profit on these than on the actual product you're buying"
|Showing 1-50 of 149 comments|
| coco ebert
I dunno. I've always wondered about those warranties. That was kind of helpful.
Salespeople are overly pushy this year. The boy and I went to the mall yesterday. I have this thing with one of my sisters where we send each other crazy cards and try to win who has the most ridiculous one, so we went into Hallmark. Two people were trying to sell me on God knows what, explaining these crazy schemes that had explanation sheets, even. But then we went into more stores that had sheets like that - their deals were so confusing, they had hand-outs and people were forced to explain them to customers just browsing.
My best experience was the "as seen on TV" store, where I found an honestly perfect gift for my friend in the gift friend's gift exchange. Dude was pissed at me for disturbing his Chinese food lunch trying to pay for it.
The worst was jewelry stores, as the boy was simply trying to gauge my tastes, and the sales people literally would have crawled up one or both of our asses to make a sale, even after we said "no thanks, just looking".
serpent_sky: Salespeople are overly pushy this year
Amen, Saturday me and the apprentice went to a new music store that opened in a nearby town, they were advertising Rogue mandolins (cheap Chinese A style mando) for 39 bucks, even after I explained to the saleslady that I was just buying it to show my padawan how to do a set up on a mando and after she was done practicing I was planning on using it to show her how to do surgery on it the saleslady still insisted I needed the store warranty on it "just in case something happens to it" well considering that I am going to rip the back off, break the bracing, have a first year woodworker remove and try to replace the neck (among other things) I do believe the warranty will be good and voided before the week is out....
If I win the Powerball, I'm going to start a real Institute for Obvious Studies and try to hire Rick. Then the fun will start.
serpent_sky: Salespeople are overly pushy this year.
Every time I stopped at Lowes, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, World Market, and PetsMart they were all pushing either service plans and/or rewards/credit/tracking cards.
No thank you.
A Ric Romero headline linked to an article by . . . Ric Romero? Unpossible!
/FTA: "The one possible exception to the "no extended warranty rule" is when buying a laptop computer. "
//Yep - I have found these useful on more than one occasion
Pribar: I do believe the warranty will be good and voided before the week is out....
I had a store clerk on auto-pilot ask if I wanted the extended warranty on some microwave popcorn and batteries. She laughed at herself at least once she realized how stupid that would be.
coco ebert: I dunno. I've always wondered about those warranties. That was kind of helpful.
I used to sell them at both EB Games and Circuit City, and at least back in those days they were actually sometimes good to have - I swapped out a PS2 and an Xbox under those. At EB they were fairly reasonably priced though, good for two years, and the salespeople (me) got a small commission as well. The Circuit City ones were not as good a deal, but I did get a hard drive replaced under one. The secret was always always ALWAYS keep your paperwork, and if possible the packaging which I am just compulsive about anyway.
About the time CC and other retailers started getting super pushy about them, was about the time it became a lot more scam and a lot less protection.
ladyfortuna: I used to sell them at both EB Games and Circuit City
Speaking of which, what happens to your extended warranty when the retailer you bought it from goes out of business?
I actually had to tell someone to fark off and leave me alone. I had to physically run from that person and consequently left the store without buying what I had intended. Kept following me and hounding me.
Here's one of my favorites, "No shiat, Sherlock"
I just got finished buying a new car. Nearly walked out of the dealership at the finance office because they were rabidly hard-selling their third-party warranty/service plan to me. Jesus Christ, just take "no" for an answer.
Allen Peacock? Is Ric just making this stuff up?
While the factors that go into buying the extended warranty/replacement plan/whatever need to be carefully considered every time, I don't agree with the "always say no" mentality towards them.
Stores making profit off the plans =! bad idea to buy them
That's as dumb as saying always say no to buying headphones because the stores profit.
If it's an item that's prone to breaking and breaking in a manner that's covered by the plan, and it's expensive enough to merit buying the signficantly cheaper plan, why not?
/saved many a dollar on headphones at Best Buy
//coverage plan included everything except really overt physical abuse
Goto radio shack where they Warranty a 99 cent Wire for 99 cents..
EVERYTHING in radioshack can be warrantied, however I actually admit its a good idea - I bought some stereo cables for my guitar, my dog chewed em up, that dollar got me a new one free.
I owned a Sears Hometown Store in Canada and these were a major push for the company. I personally think that they are a great idea especially seeing most of the major companies offer some kind of in store credit for the full price of the warranty if you never have to use it. I bought all new appliances in the last couple years and have extended warranties on all of them. Usually Sears and the other major companies offer a free three year warranty at least twice per year.
My coworker once worked at Best Buy. He said that he would get written up if he sold a computer without going through a 9-step deal that promoted the warranty.
Once, a man asked him to skip the sales pitch, and he had to tell him that he had to do it or he would get fired.
He said he was once encouraged to "un-sell" the computer if the warranty wasn't purchased.
jdamaral: //coverage plan included everything except really overt physical abuse
So, as long as you masturbated covertly, all was good?
I think there may be a psychological benefit to having accidental coverage on something like an electronics item. If you don't have coverage, you may be worried/overly concerned with how you handle the item; you might drop it, break it, etc. And just knowing you're covered for a few years is reassuring, even if you never end up using it.
If you have the coverage, you can be more relaxed with it perhaps even that lack of physical tension in your muscles when handling the product may cause less incidents such as clumsiness/dropping it.
Seriously? There are people who didn't know this? It's selling AIR, people. Like insurance.
I used to work at RadioShack and you get a small commission for selling extended warranties. If the clerk's being pushy about buying it, now you know why.
If you buy an extended warranty, you are a moron. If you sell extended warranties because you honestly think they are a good idea you are a moron (I fully understand that people often have to work in crappy jobs where they are forced to sell them--this doesn't necessarily include you). Save your personal anecdote about the time it saved you some money, or how you've seen them save people "tons" of money before: it's all lies, self-delusion, or pure idiocy.
MrEricSir: ladyfortuna: I used to sell them at both EB Games and Circuit City
You are SOL unfortunately.
Hyppy: I just got finished buying a new car. Nearly walked out of the dealership at the finance office because they were rabidly hard-selling their third-party warranty/service plan to me. Jesus Christ, just take "no" for an answer.
Wanna piss off the finance officer? Tell them when they start pushing their garbage that you'll take the works. All of it... with a catch. The total package price will remain the same. If they can lower the price of the vehicle enough to fit in some of those third-party deals, then you'll take as many as you can.
One of two things will happen: 1. The sales pitch ends and the deal can be finalized. 2. The finance officer implies that you're taking him for a fool if you think that he'd do that because that would be money coming out of their pocket directly to pay for the plans... then you turn the 'fool' bit back on him, and Goto 1.
I've had it go both ways, but usually they just quit the pitch and finish the deal. Most of them are smart enough to tell where that conversation is headed.
phalamir: jdamaral: //coverage plan included everything except really overt physical abuse
ElLoco: Hyppy: I just got finished buying a new car. Nearly walked out of the dealership at the finance office because they were rabidly hard-selling their third-party warranty/service plan to me. Jesus Christ, just take "no" for an answer.
Hmm, that would have been a fun way to go about it. I just simply said "I'm about to walk away from this deal completely," and stood up. They got a lot less pushy after that.
HoFChaos: If you buy an extended warranty, you are a moron. If you sell extended warranties because you honestly think they are a good idea you are a moron (I fully understand that people often have to work in crappy jobs where they are forced to sell them--this doesn't necessarily include you). Save your personal anecdote about the time it saved you some money, or how you've seen them save people "tons" of money before: it's all lies, self-delusion, or pure idiocy.
Hon, when the PS2 came out, Sony said something like 2% were defective iirc. From what I saw in the store with defective returns, it was more like 8-10%. We had a LOT of pissed off customers. No this isn't true for *most* electronics and they are a lot better about it now, but I will never buy a new game system at launch at this point - I wait for a few model redesigns so they can work out all the kinks. I worked at that store for five years, and the PS2 was hands down the worst for that.
Yes the warranties are mostly so the retailer can make money - but the retailer actually loses money on the game consoles when they are new, which is why so many of them push the bundles now. Is it 'right?' Not really, but at least back in my early days of working there (before their new public stock holders forced them into a tailspin of suck), EB was not nearly so dickish about addons. Every person who worked at that store bought them though, and ended up replacing at least one system under store warranty instead of paying to ship things to the manufacturers.
Take that as you will.
AliceBToklasLives: A Ric Romero headline linked to an article by . . . Ric Romero? Unpossible!
http://www.247laptoplcd.com If you crack your screen they are super cheap to replace with the parts this site sells. I've recommended them numerous times.
Now if you're prone to water spills maybe the warranty is worth it.
Try calling HP Support, they have a quota to make an average of 8 dollars per call. This is even if your calling to replace a defective dvd drive or simply change your password. Ask them if they are required to make try to sell you something - you'll be surprised what they tell you.
FatherChaos: [www.7641.com image 300x404]
I worked at an electronics store like Radio Shack that also gave a commission for selling warranties. They were the only thing we got commission for selling actually and they ranged from $1 (minimum for any warranty) up to $17 (I think that is right, it's been awhile) for the top end five-year tv warranties. Not only that buy every month we also got "treasure" in the form of $1 coins, one for every warranty sold, during the first employee meeting of the month. So there was quite a bit of money to be made pushing them.
Misconduc: Goto radio shack where they Warranty a 99 cent Wire for 99 cents..
No, it's never a good idea. You broke even if you paid 99 cents for warranty on a 99 cent cable, and if not for your do you'd be out the buck.
Worst case I ever had to deal with on a service plan/warranty add-on.
Summer of 2000. I was moving from an apartment that had cable (splitting it with a roommate), to living with a roommate who didn't want cable (and wouldn't split the bill with me).
I decided to go get a pair of "rabbit ears". I walked to a K-Mart that was a couple miles down the road (no car). I found a fairly nice, deluxe TV antenna. It was big and elaborate, and had this part that plugged in to the wall. It cost $40.
When I went to checkout, the clerk tried to sell me on the product replacement plan. If within the next 2 years it broke, they'd replace it. The cost. . .$40. Yeah, as much as the item itself, for a replacement offer only valid for 2 years.
I've always avoided them, figuring that they wouldn't want to sell them if they didn't make money on them.
I do make an exception for my wife's phone. She uses the heck out of the keyboard, and we've used it a number of times to get a replacement. The downside is that Verizon's plan lets them give us a refurbished one, and sometimes they're in worse condition that hers was, generally (aside from the not working part).
Oh, and I think I've going to make an exception for the HVAC unit I got earlier this year. Their warranty includes servicing the unit twice a year and replacing the filter. The heater is in the attic. I'm lazy enough that I like the idea.
| L.D. Ablo
The warranty pitches are fun. I decline and point out that it already has a warranty.
When they start getting insistent, I say, 'are you trying to tell me that this product is defective? Why are you selling a defective product? Maybe I shouldn't buy it.'
Their reactions are priceless.
"Extended warranty? How can I lose?!?"
| The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men
That's right, just as a confirmed constomer goes to hand over their cash, go out of your way to piss them off as they walk out the door. I'm sure that won't motivate people to shop online in even greater numbers.
stonent: AliceBToklasLives: A Ric Romero headline linked to an article by . . . Ric Romero? Unpossible!
Depends on the terms; most warranties these days don't cover things like dropping it or something on it, stepping on a screen, water, etc. Always ask about that kind of thing.
KarmicDisaster: If I win the Powerball, I'm going to start a real Institute for Obvious Studies and try to hire Rick.
No, you're not. Liar. ;-)
I recall getting a product replacement plan on a camera at Best Buy ~3 years ago. It was sold to me as an instant exchange warranty, which i later found out they hadn't sold in years. The idea was if your product broke for any reason they would hand you a new one or one of equivalent value, no questions asked, no testing needed. Well, apparently there was a clause that first they would try fixing it themselves (with in-house un-certified repair people), or barring that, send it to the manufacturer for 6 weeks--the entirety of which i would have no camera. I explained what i thought i bought to the managers at two different BB stores, and that i was going on vacation in a month so the huge replacement time was unacceptable.
My problem: 50% of the time, the lens would not deploy properly and give an error.
Camera cost: ~$250
Plan cost: ~$100
Camera i bought to replace it that was twice as good as the old one: ~$150
Next camera i bought when i gave that one away (again 2x as good): ~$120
AliceBToklasLives: A Ric Romero headline linked to an article by . . . Ric Romero? Unpossible!
Except an extended warranty is not "accident insurance."
DoomPaul: serpent_sky: Salespeople are overly pushy this year.
Oh. My. God.
I walked into Staples and got nearly mugged by an associate wanting to help me find something. "That's OKAY!" Someone needs to tell these places they're driving people--or at least me--away with this predatory assistance. I'd really rather not be stalked when I go shopping, thanks.
davidphogan: Pribar: I do believe the warranty will be good and voided before the week is out....
Asked a cute and busy barmaid what kind of beer she had in a bottle.
"Lowenbrau and Heineken."
"How much for your Lowe?"
"$2.50 during the day, $2.00 during happy hour, $3.00 at night."
"How much for your Heinie?"
"$2.50 during the day, $2.00 during..."
And then she threw a wet rag at me.
Podmore: I've always avoided them, figuring that they wouldn't want to sell them if they didn't make money on them.
Isn't absolutely anything you'd buy ever something that the seller is making money off of?
Well, not "everything". I guess stuff being sold second-hand wouldn't qualify.
| Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom
"Would you like to save 10% today by signing up for an Old Best Bath and Co. credit card? Well would you like to purchase a protection plan for your iBox 360 Minimicro, for only $79.99? Also, here's your receipt, there's a survey on the back, you can go to www.Oldbestbath-"
"Can I just buy my shiat!? What the fark!"
| St. Celery
Where do I buy accident insurance and does anyone sell it to cover wine glasses?
| TV's Vinnie
Once I had an expensive VCR that I decided to splurge a little extra for the warranty (it was the mid 80's and Super-VHS VCRs cost a lot back then). Near the end period of the warranty the thing broke down without any warning. I called up the dealer to have it repaired under warranty and the asshead actually had the stones to try to weasel out out of the contract. He even tried to make an accusation that I broke it on purpose just so I can get a brand new one and vaguely threatened me with prison time for committing fraud. I wasn't about to let this scamming prick get away with it and eventually the guy realized that I wasn't some ignorant yokel that could be intimidated. He knew that I knew I had him by a binding contract, so he finally relented & made the arrangements to have it repaired by the authorized repair center. Since I now knew that courtesy was wasted on such a "man" and that all he knew was dominance, I reminded him that while it was away the proverbial warranty clock was on pause so he better not try to get back at me by deliberately sabotaging the VCR at the repair shop, otherwise it'll go back again and again and again (on his dime, as the contract stated) till it stayed fixed.
I never went back to that store ever again and even if I wanted I couldn't because he went Out Of Business around six months later. And to this day I still have that VCR stored away in the back of one of my closets, still functional.
/Tonight's CSB Theater was brought to you by the makers of ZigZig Papers.
| Mawson of the Antarctic
I worked in retail so I know how it is-we were told by management that we had to great every customer as it was "customer service" and a loss prevention measure. But I wish it were if I walk in a place, leave me the Fark alone, I'll find you if I need help. Too bad most of the public wishes to be buttled.
Best Buy asks if you would like a warranty on CDs and DVDs. Sorry chum, if it doesn't work, it's getting returned/exchanged
More often than not, the extended warranties are a total rip off. This is because most big dollar items you buy already have a manufacturers warranty and ultimately, if that item is defective, it's going to break down within the 1 or 2 (maybe more) years covered by the manufacturers warranty. You might think that these extended warranties are faster or more convenient -- you'd be wrong. In many cases, the item you purchased will be sent off and/or out of commission for just as long as if you had to deal directly with the manufacturer. There was a time when the extended warranties *might* have been 1/2 worth it because they'd offer protection against more than just defects, but as time goes on, these kinds of extra protections have been stripped from the warranties all the while the cost of the extended warranties go up.
The only time I ever purchased an extended warranty (despite my better judgement) totally ruined me as a customer for extended warranties. It was my first laptop. Sure enough, after less than a year, the power button broke -- note that this is a repair that would've been covered by the manufacturers warranty anyway. Instead, I redeemed the extended warranty and took it in for repair. Instead of fixing it on site, they send the machine off to a third party facility. When it came back the first time, after several weeks of not having a computer, the button was still broken AND the lid hinge was now broken. So, they had to send it back immediately. Three more weeks go by, and I finally had my laptop back.
And the reason I bring this anecdote up is because this is about the average level of "service" you get from these kinds of warranties. I've heard these kinds of stories from too many people, read too many articles and watched too many news stories to know that this isn't an isolated event. This is the status quo.
Fark needs a 'Duh' tag.
/also, a D'oh! tag
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