The Great Debate

When you are making a relatively pricey purchase, do you ever have that great debate with yourself; do you buy that extended warranty or do you already have a decision conviction?

For me, it used to be a no-brainer – never get the extended warranty. My wife, Lori, felt the same. She would be taken aback when the salesperson asked about the warranty. She would indignantly ask if there was some reason the salesperson didn’t believe their product would last much longer than the factory warranty. And typically, our purchases lasted without any problems well past the extended warranty term.

And Then Something Changed

About 10 years ago, we bought a sectional for the family room. The salesman, on cue, asked about the extended warranty. “If anything happens to the mechanics or the fabric of the sectional, for any reason, that piece will be replaced.” And given our conviction of passing on the extended warranty, we dutifully passed again this time.

The sectional was delivered and installed. It looked good, and I had a great view of the television, with my feet propped up, head laid back, and a drink in the center console cup holder. After a few minutes of trying it out, we decided it was a great purchase and we went into the kitchen to work on supper.

Within 15 minutes of my recognition of such a great purchase and my self-back patting, I walked back into the family room and saw that our 2 year old dog, Tanner, had picked up a ball point pen and had written all over footrest and seat of that great purchase.

We worked and worked to minimize the damage, but had little success in getting the ink out. We still have this sectional and it still has evidence of that event. With the extended warranty, we would have received a replacement piece and not had to live with the ink damage all these years.

A New Me?

A couple of weeks ago, we purchased two new pieces of furniture for the sitting area of our kitchen. The salesman, on cue, asked about the extended warranty. Trying to push down my knee-jerk reaction about the warrant, I remember that we still have the same dog. He still likes to get on the furniture. And his handwriting has not improved.

I opted to purchase the warranty, although it still pained me greatly.

Bottom Line

I’ll keep you updated should anything of interest happen to the new furniture. It’s almost like traditional long-term care insurance. If you don’t use it, you feel like you have made an expensive a mistake.

Maybe I’ll get Tanner a box of Sharpies and lock him in the kitchen from time to time……

To sum up my thinking today, I’m still leery of buying the extended warranty. However, there are probably times when it makes good sense. Like when someone experiences a long-term care problem, they are more likely to desire insurance coverage. Like when someone has an artistic wannabe dog with writing utensils, it might be a good idea to get coverage for that as well.

Anyway, I hope I don’t have regrets about this subject in the future.