Monday, April 18, 2011

I can't get no satisfaction guaranteed

I spent Saturday replacing my 1970s Maytag dishwasher with a new Whirlpool. Apart from the nightmare that is installing anything remotely related to plumbing, I'm largely satisfied with the product.

What frustrates me is the purchase.

I bought the dishwasher from Lowe's, and all in it was about $400. I'm okay with that. What I wasn't okay with was the offer to extend my one year limited warranty to cover me for an additional 2 years. These maniacs wanted another $200 for that privilege.

I was angry for two reasons. First, at that price I'm better off rolling the dice. The added warranty was half the cost of the appliance, which is a ridiculous mark up. What are the odds I'll have repairs totaling more than $200 in the next three years? Slight I would say, especially considering that the average lifespan of a dishwasher is about 10 years.

That brings me to my second point: Why should I have to pay you to stand behind your product? If dishwashers are expected to last a decade, shouldn't some sense of integrity drive you to guarantee my product for at least three years? Apparently not. Instead I have to pay you to be a responsible manufacturer.

And where does Lowe's factor into this equation? Shouldn't you, as a retailer, stock your shelves with products in which you have confidence? I wouldn't want to sell junk to my customers. In fact, many of the local stores that I frequent refuse to stock certain brands because they know them to be shoddy.

I guess I'm just offended by the disrespect manufacturers and retailers routinely show their customers, who are the very people they should respect most. Still, regardless of whether you stand behind your products, your products inevitably stand for you. If this dishwasher falls apart within the next few years, I won't be buying Whirlpool again, and I won't be buying appliances from Lowe's again either.

1 comment:

  1. Most of the time those warranties aren't even from the manufacturer, they're from the retailer. And in the case of consumer electronics, often requires the un-installation and transportation of said device back to the retailer and ultimately to some other service facility (case-in-point, Geeksquad and HDTVs). Not that you don't already know this. I think it's pretty much bullshit as well.