Thursday, December 1, 2005


The end of August we got Dawn a new refrigerator for her apartment from Fry's Electronics. We got the extended warranty. A few weeks ago a puddle was seen on the floor. The repair man was called and couldn't do anything on the first visit because we had wiped up the leaked water. A couple of days later he was called back and found that the defrost heat strip had failed. He didn't have the part. The part couldn't be located so Fry's requested we return the refrigerator for a credit. They didn't have that model for a replacement. Through all this, Dawn needed a refrigerator so it was left in service until we returned it this afternoon. We returned it and checked for a replacement. They had one almost identical except for the model number. It cost $10 more, of course. We bought the replacement, ask for and got a $10 discount to match our original price, but, we had to buy a new warranty. No pro-ration of the remaining 2 years 9 months left on the warranty. This was a little upsetting, but still cheaper than having to replace the refrigerator at our cost. The warranty couldn't be credited because the service man had come out to repair it. He couldn't repair it, but he came out. I'm not sure I understand it but it all makes me wonder if extended warrantys are worth it. Each repair visit involved waiting at Dawn's place for the repairman in a 4 hour window of time, two visits. Each visit was toward the end of the window. Add the time it took to return the refrigerator and the cost is significant. If I was billing my time for this at $75/hour (what I'd like to bill) I wasted more than $600 in time plus the $50 warranty plus the original price of $300 for a total of $950 plus tax. The replacement refrigerator would have been $310 for a total of $610 (300 + 310) plus tax. Not having a warrantee would have saved $340 (950-610)? It's a good thing I actually have a lot of time to waste anyway.

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