Sunday, July 31, 2011



I’m firmly convinced that ESP exists.  I’m not altogether positive that human beings have this esoteric power, but I would be willing to swear that machines have it.  Otherwise, how would they know when the warranty was up so that they could have a nervous breakdown?
This week I awoke to the sounds of our refrigerator gasping as if it had just jogged ten miles up hill with a full freezer.  When the repairman arrived and told me what was wrong, I told him to go ahead and fix it.  He reminded me that I would have to pay cash as they didn’t extend credit. “No sweat,” I replied and handed him the warranty.  He had difficulty holding back the smirk as he handed me a bill for $375.00 along with the warranty that had expired the day before.
Two days later our washing machine tried to duplicate the deluge in our laundry room.  If there is a water shortage this summer, I’m afraid that I will have to take responsibility.  Since we got our refrigerator and the washer at the same store, we were unfortunate enough to get the same repairman as before.  As he sloshed through the garage and into the laundry room, I told him how glad I was that I had taken the extended warranty offered on the washing machine.  “Hmmmm,” was all he said.  Later I was stunned when he gave me a bill for $235.92.
“Extended warranty is only good for the motor,” he grinned, “You lost the pump.  Ain’t that funny?”
I’d have hit him, but I learned early in life that when you’re my size and a 6’5”, 300 pound person makes a joke – no matter how feeble – you at least smile.
After he left I went to my file cabinet and pulled out the WARRANTIES file.  Since it hasn’t been cleaned out for nine or ten years, it provided a glut of information about when we had purchased appliances and the length of time they were under warranty.  When I compared this to checks to repair shops, a pattern began to evolve.
The computer chipped out one week after the warranty; the printer printed its last three days after expiration and the plasma television managed to hang on for nearly a month after the guarantee lapsed before it blacked out.  The microwave nuked itself three weeks after the warranty  and the dishwasher wiped out six weeks after any chance of financial aid from its manufacturer.  I don’t think that American industry is clever enough to have planned obsolescence this well programmed.  I do think it’s the machines’ way of getting back at us for making them do all of our work.
One major exception to this is my car.  The warranty expired a year ago and the car continued to operate just fine.  My last payment was yesterday and today, on my way home from the grocery store, the transmission fell out.

1 comment:

  1. LOL!! I'm sorry, I know it's not proper to laugh at the misfortunes of others but in many ways I think we're all in the same boat.

    Can totally relate to the car story indirectly. My older brother had paid off his car and like everyone it was a weight off his shoulders. I was at his place for a weekend getaway and we had stopped at the gas station. He was done and was about to pull out, when a 16 year old kid in a brand new BMW reversed at high speed and rammed into the side of his car. Needless to say he was shaken up and once it had all sunk in he got pissed! In the hour that had passed where the police reports were filled out, tow trucks called etc etc, we started joking about how the final payment always spells doom on any item. I think maybe that's why my wife and I have started leasing instead of buying cars. We get to drive a new car every three years and the payments are lower than if we would've bought it right out. Plus since there's no last payment per say, things will never break down. Well, that's the theory anyway.

    I do like the story about the repairman. They are "unique" in their ways and I'm sure he was glad he was dealing with people as sweet natured as yourselves. The majority of people would have probably not held back in popping him one LOL!

    I agree about the American industry not being smart enough to plan all this timely destruction. I do however believe the companies that sell these items know enough to give us just the right amount of a useless warranties.

    Our water heater crapped out after many, many years of joyous use. I called up a company to come change it out and made sure they put in the model we had before since it lasted almost a decade. Once the work was all completed and I got the breakdown and warranty information, I started to laugh myself. It was nothing surprising, just the fact that a heater that lasts close to 12 years has a 6 year warranty. Unless someone takes a hammer to it, it's a certainty that it'll last just as long as the last one did and the one before that.

    It's just the way things are I guess. In the spice of life, Warranties are definitely a double sprinkle of aggravation!