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Diatribe: New Washing Machines And Extended Warranty Programs.

08/10/2013

WhenTheWhitesAreDoneMy household encountered an unanticipated expense yesterday.  We had to buy a new washing machine.  Although we new the time was approaching for us to buy a new washer (the old machine was essentially held together with paperclips and string), it’s never easy to part with savings.  This purchase, however, was unavoidable.

I hate to do laundry and usually put it off for as long as I can.  It’s not until I find myself using paper-thin bath towel or wearing socks that may or may not be a perfect match that I relent to the task of sorting and carrying and folding.  Not surprisingly, when I finally force myself to do laundry, it feels like an enormous project.  While others may have obsessively made laundry day into an art form, I wash everything (Everything!) exactly the same.  I’m a cold water “Large Load/Normal/Timed Dry” sort of person.

Needless to say, washing machine technology has made incredible advancements in the ten-plus years that it’s been since Old Faithful of the Basement was purchased when we bought our house.  Washing machines for sale today use computer based technology and focus on environmental friendliness.  They offer so many features I almost found it overwhelming.  Sadly, one can no longer purchase a cold water Large Load/Normal/Timed Dry washing machine.  Fortunately, we found a knowledgeable salesperson in the appliance department of a major retail chain who was able to help us select a name brand washer to suit our needs.

The unit that we purchased was of an average price ($600) and offers a plethora of electronic features.  It knows how much detergent to add, when to add it, how long to soak before agitating, when to add fabric softener or bleach alternatives, and displays each step of the process on a monitor of sorts.  I’ve played arcade games with less bells and whistles.

“Like a new car,” I said “It seems like there are just SO many things that can go wrong with this!”

“That’s why we suggest you purchase our extended warranty program!” was the clerk’s reply.

Apparently, new state of the art washing machines come with only a limited manufacturer’s warranty.  Basically, if the new washer explodes I might be able to get it fixed.  The extended warranty, however, would enroll me in a “program” that would “allow” me to have a “maintenance technician” visit my new washer twice each year for tune-ups and reprogramming.

The cost of the extended warranty program was $289 … almost half the actual purchase price of the washing machine!  As far as I can tell, we purchase a washing machine that offers literally dozens of features (that I more than likely will not use) that will, undoubtedly, cease to function and require maintenance in the not so distant future.  Rather than spend the extra money for the luxury of wasting vacation days to sit at home waiting for a “maintenance technician” to arrive twice each year, we decided to risk it and hope for the best.

Why not just charge us $889 for a washing machine that comes with a maintenance program, tell us we’ll probably never need it but it’s a great program with trained technicians and send us on our way instead of selling us a $600 product under the impression that it very soon will no longer function?

I just want to be able to wash a bunch of “cold water large load/normal/timed dry” clothes when I finally run out of socks every month.  I don’t want to have to go to a special school to learn how to do it.

Do extended warranty programs get on your nerves, too?

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9 Comments
  1. I HATE THOSE WARRANTY PROGRAMS! Sorry for shouting, but you touched a raw nerve. How about if manufacturers make products that don’t malfunction? We spend a fortune on stuff and it is all so complex that it breaks. Why do you need a computer to wash socks and underwear?

    I hate the new machines, too. They don’t clean as well and take twice as long. What a deal!

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  2. Extended warranties are a cash cow for companies. You are better off saying no. By the way, I am looking for a washer and dryer that will fold clothes and put them away.

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  3. Lene permalink

    Boy, you touched a nerve with me. I bought a new washing machine a couple of years ago. It was supposed to be eco-friendly and so, so wonderful. I HATED it. I lost all control of what I wanted to do and the darn locked lid drove me to the edge. I tried and tried to find something I liked about it,, but only grew to hate it more and more with every load. Some of the sheets actually came out with a large dry circle on them where the water never covered them. It caused me such aggravation that I finally just gave it away (after a little over a year) and bought another new one which I can actually open the lid if I need to add another sock or something. The extended warranty is another story. I can’t go there now.

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    • Wow! We bought one with a “pause” feature designed specifically to allow for the lid to be opened during the cycle. I hope we like it more than you did yours!

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  4. Rick permalink

    Hate the new washers. I have my old standard. My mom had to purchase a new one & after a few weeks wanted to exchange her “brand new improved washer” for my old 2003 model…..they just don’t work as well or clean as well.

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  5. Yes, extended warranty does drive me up the wall. But when hubby & I bought our Liberty in 2006 I caved & bought the extended warranty – mainly because we lived in the bush when we bought it & I knew the mileage would remain very low while time was passing by & I wanted more time for the bugs to work themselves out. It turned out to be a good thing because we had to use the extended warranty once we moved to Alberta.

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    • It’s just so sad that manufacturers expect us to have problems with their products. Maybe I’m old fashioned but I’d much rather pay a higher price for a product that comes with a free lifetime warranty.

      Thanks for reading!

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