Expired warranty: Do you buy expensive cheap junk?

kitchenAid-food-processor

Nothing Lasts Forever These Days

I’m sorry sir, your product is not covered, the one-year warranty is expired. It’s often said that you get what you pay for but even then I question the validity in that statement sometimes when I say it because it’s not always true. I’m not one to get a product warranty when I buy something because generally if something is going to go wrong it tends to happen after the first year and that means that anything more that you pay for is worth peanuts.

I agree, not always but like anything it’s your call to assess the risk vs cost of the extended warranty. Reminds me when Katrina wished she had cell phone insurance when her phone was damaged. Some people say sod that I’m not paying for insurance and others have to have it. A $100 stainless steel kettle we bought lasted us a few months where the $12 cousin lasted us years. So, do you go with matching appliances or products that work and can stand the test of time?

Product warranty definition: It means that if a product you buy fails to live up to the quality standards we set out we will replace it at no cost to you as long as it is in the time frame specified. Don’t worry though, most often we’ve timed it so that it breaks after the warranty so you have to spend more money.

Some of these warranties don’t come cheap either but I’m one of those people who think, if the product is made exceptionally well and a company stands behind their product they won’t need a warranty. At Home Outfitters if your product doesn’t come with a warranty or if it does they offer their own extended warranty program for a small price. To solve the problem any top-notch company should just have a lifetime warranty on the product like most MasterCraft tools at Canadian Tire which is a great bonus to purchasing them.

The situation

I’m not whining about this either, I’m simply saying I’m going to do a bit more research when I buy products for our home from now on instead of shopping name brand.

At the end of 2011 just after Christmas we went boxing day shopping to see if we can find any great deals. My wife really wanted to buy a food processor since we didn’t own one and she wanted to start creating some new recipes, as did I. It just so happens that Zellers had a great sale on just as they were ramping up to sell off their inventory due to Target buying them out.

If you were smart you got in on the action while it was 50% off any one item in the store. Well it wasn’t long before the shelves got looted by smart shoppers who took advantage of the generous offer by Zellers with no real provisions that I remember. That didn’t last long once they realized the mistake they had made, but it’s up to a company to make sure they put the rules down in black and white or expect it to get nutty.

We picked up the KitchenAid 7 cup food processor reg $129.99 plus tax on sale for $100.00 -50% = $56.50 (inc tax). I still thought it was expensive for plastic with a motor but she wanted it. We never used it until the following summer when we grew our herbs and made the basil garlic cubes. When we first started to use it we found it was a bit of a struggle to lock it but never thought too much of it as we really didn’t use it much at all.

Fast forward to July 2013 and that locking mechanism is giving us more trouble and decides to bust off into pieces. Oh neat, our expensive cheap junk made of plastic broke. Are we shocked? Not really, it’s plastic and you get what you pay for. I tried to Jimmy-rig it and it worked but I had to tape it all together and feed the basil through the top which was a pain in the arse.

Expired warranty 

I talked about our KitchenAid food processor breaking down on my Facebook page and how we hardly used it at all. Since KitchenAid stands behind their quality with a one year warranty. I already knew they wouldn’t give a toss about it because my warranty expired but it was the principle behind the quality of a rarely used product that concerned me the most.

My fans told me to call anyways to let them know so they could look into it even though I knew I would be offered no warranty repair. I’m sure they likely had loads of people with plastic parts busting up and were fully aware of the potential defects in their product. I decided to call on the advice of my fans to let them know. I wrote a post last year titled, Does it pay to complain? and even though I thought all companies would want to know if there is a product concern, that may not be the case. There was no surprise on the other end all she told me there was no way she could replace it if it was over one year old from the time of receipt and she would put me through to the parts order department.

What a waste of time that was. Not even a thanks for bringing it to our attention but I can assume it was nothing they already didn’t know about. It was plastic, so what did I expect as I should have known better. When the parts person came on the phone I gave him the model number and he told me to replace the bowl would cost me $58 plus tax. OMG! Not only is it more than what we paid for it but who in their right mind would want to invest in a product that was hardly used, cost a small fortune when not on sale, that breaks so easily? Lots of people because KitchenAid is a reputable company and they do make some decent products.

There was no way I was going to spend another penny on the product even to replace a bowl. One fan told me she does things the old-fashioned way using a cutting board and knife or masher and I was tempted to say sod it, so will I. We already know that the KitchenAid brand has a flaw so spending another $58 plus tax is an investment risk which calculated by my opinion would be moronic to do.

Let’s just say for a moment we paid the full price of $146.88 and the unit is hardly used, breaks and they want a further $65.64 to keep it running. No thanks. Lemon or no lemon that part is not worth it and I had no intentions of spending another penny on the kitchen tool. My intention was to make them aware of the issue and if they wanted to give me a free one I’d give it a go but they weren’t getting another penny out of me. We do own two KitchenAid Stand mixers an Artisan and Classic and they are amazing but they are built to last, no cheap junk plastic mechanisms. This is the product quality I would expect from KitchenAid.

Moving on…… shopping and checking out.

small-home-appliances

Shopping 

So the next day we needed to get a new food processor and we decided to go to Home Outfitters to check out the models and prices. Little did we know but all the models were made of cheap junk plastic so our pickings were, um…. slim. Some models were way too large for the both of us. The KitchenAid was already a big fat no so we were left with Cuisinart or Hamilton Beach. The Cuisinart was still pricey but the Hamilton Beach Dual Bowl Plus was reasonable at $89.99 and the safety switch was not in a stupid place. It just so happens that my sister-in-law has this food processor and says it works great. That was good enough review for me, sold!

The unit also has 2 bowls which I thought was great and the best part, a 5 year warranty comes with it. So even thought it’s also made of plastic at least I know I’ll get a guaranteed 5 years out of  my investment. That’s the kind of warranty I’m talking about. If they can give you more than a year you know they are confident in their product. So we put it in our shopping cart and away we went.

On our way up to the cash register we noticed a great deal on a Calphalon 5 quart sauté pan reg $259.00 plus tax reduced to $103.96 with a further 30% discount. Even though I think all frying pans and pot set prices are inflated to make us think we are getting a rocket of a deal I thought $70 for a decent frying pan was worth it. I bought my full professional pot set in the UK for around 600 pounds (at that time approximately $1350 Canadian) which is a pretty pricey set of cookware. It’s still in mint condition today and probably the best set I’ve ever owned so I was confident in this purchase through personal experience. Best part… you got it, lifetime warranty. Why? They know their product will last and if it doesn’t they will replace it. That is quality.

Checking out

At the counter my wife pulls out her HBC Rewards card that we had almost one million points on so we could redeem the points. Since Zellers had left we had not accumulated any more points so we figured we might as well use them up. The first item which was the food processor I had a coupon for 25% off any one regular priced item if you used your HBC MasterCard and the frying pan was already reduced. We redeemed a total of $120 in points and our total bill was $158.49-$120 HBC Rewards points left us paying $38.49 out-of-pocket for the two items that at regular price would have cost us $394.35.

What we learned from this experience was 8 things

  1. Do your product research first before buying
  2. Expensive doesn’t always mean quality
  3. Name brand doesn’t always mean quality
  4. Always read the warranty or extended warranty plan if you opt into it
  5. Always register your product online if it comes with a warranty otherwise it’s void
  6. Always keep the receipts for important products in a file folder that is clearly labelled
  7. Don’t be afraid to call and let the manufacturer know of a problem or concern
  8. Nothing is meant to last so be ready for cheap junk to fall apart since everything is built to break

Any time replacement

Another quick example that presented itself this morning was at Marks Work Wearhouse as we were cashing out. The cashier reminded us to hang on to our receipt because if we EVER had any problems, stretching of the product or we weren’t happy she said bring it back for a refund. I looked up at her and said, ‘ever’, “no expiry on guarantee”, she said, “no we stand by our product 100%”, which made me smile because this was exactly what I wrote about today. I’m just slipping this paragraph in after the fact. I quickly said upon exiting, and that’s why I don’t mind spending a  bit more money on a company that backs their product with a life-time warranty. I don’t know the in’s and out’s of their policy but it’s worth having a look at when a company takes pride in their product that way.

Overall, it was a great learning experience but the next time we plan on making any purchases we will make sure we do our homework as thoroughly as possible. Not all expensive items are cheap junk but be prepared that your hard-earned money might not stretch with some products that you buy. Money talks so why would a company want their product to last forever when they would rather sell you overpriced spare parts? That’s the gold for a company, replacement parts.

We’re also not going to make a reduced price, cheap price, blow-out price convince us that the product is the best product for us. There is no point in spending money twice so take your time when shopping and save money even if you have to buy plastic cheap junk like we did.

Did you buy something that ran out of warranty but was hardly used but broke? 

Money-quote

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Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB was born and raised in the United Kingdom who then moved to Canada where he is a permanent resident. He recently became a father to a very busy toddler who allows him to be a kid at heart. He bought his first house at the age of 21 after University and his second at the age of 24. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are Debt and Mortgage Free and they did it all in under 5 years using a Budget. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where he shares their financial experiences with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. Welcome to CBB!
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Mary F Campbell says:

    Glad to hear you got your issue solved Mr CBB. I have given lots of Hamilton Beach products as gifts over the years… for the price they are a good product. 😀

    • Thanks Mary! Even if it does go up the crapper at least I’ll have a good 5 years to watch it do what it needs to do. That was my theory. There were other units that were too big for us. We will see.

  2. Christine Weadick says:

    Glad to see you got things worked out…. My food processer was a gift back when they were a fairly new product on the market and I was expecting our first child. It still works but could never hold any liquid inthe little bitty bowl. It’s a very early model Moulinex from 1980. It worked great for baby food…One of these years I’d like to get a stand mixer but until then I have my little hand mixer from B&D…. All 200 watts worth. It’s a replacement for the Sears one we got as a wedding gift …. The bearings went on the first one.
    The only thing I’ve ever got the extended warenty on was our current gas stove, as it was replacing one that had problems with the igniter, so I got a display model and saved enough to pay for the extended warenty, delivery and installation and still save over the regular price. The igniter died on this stove about a month before the extended expired…. Free replacement there. It’s been fine since….

  3. Joanna C says:

    I have some experience with this. I had bought a Kobo e-reader with all intentions of getting back into reading. I used to be an avid reader until I became a mom and then just didn’t seem to be able to find the time. I thought the e-reader would help me get back into it but I didn’t end up using it much. One year and five days after purchase I wanted to load up a book onto it to take camping. I had used the thing maybe 15 times up til then, I had bought a hard protective case for it when I purchased it and had always been very careful the odd time I used it. I went to turn it on and just got a blank screen with lines running though it. After researching online saw that it was a common problem with them. Called up Kobo who said that unfortunately they were unable to help me because I was over the year, by just a few days. Luckily, because this was new technology to me I had decided to purchase a 2 year extended warranty on it from Futureshop. Normally I don’t but the extended warranty but in this case I decided to. It took a week or two to get reimbursed but they ended up sending me a gift card in the value of what I had originally paid for the Kobo.

  4. It seems that our office eye equipment always breaks about a month after the warranty runs out! It is super expensive to have repaired, so it seems they time it this way, but what can you do?

    With our new TV, I called the credit card company for the card we were using to buy it to see if they extended the warranty, and they do offer another year on top of the manufacturer’s warranty. I’ve never had to actually try and get the credit card to replace anything, but hopefully they would honor that if need be.

    • Yes some credit cards do that and it’s great if it works out that way. Our tv was covered only for the first 2 years but the TV itself was already covered so it didn’t really matter. Still, many people don’t know that. Cheers Kim

  5. I love Amazon customer reviews! If someone has a problem with a product, they seem to have no problem sounding off about it. I don’t spend my money on a large purchase without going there first…. Or even a smaller purchase for that matter. Recently I did that with manual can openers since I seem to tear one up every 6 months

  6. It seems like most kitchen electronics are junk these days. My juicer’s arms literally came off after only a few months of use! Fortunately it was under warranty so they sent me replacements….but still. It shouldn’t be falling apart that soon in the first place!

  7. I have been in a situation like this before,but with a blender. I called the company and they were pretty good with it. They repaired it, so it just cost me the cost of shipping to them. It was cheaper than buying a new blender!

  8. I’m sorry you had a bad experience with your KA processor. We bought our 11-cup back in ’05, and it’s still going strong. I used it to make baby food almost daily for 2 years when my boys were babies, and it still gets used at least twice a month.
    We had an issue with our TV a few years back, right around warranty expiry, I believe. It took phoning the head office in Asia to get a new one sent to us. I believe hubby’s words to the lady on the phone (the 4th customer rep he’d been passed to) were: “do you want me to yell at you, or your boss?” to which she replied “I will transfer you.”
    PS, just stumbled on your website, and am loving it. Thank you!

    • Hi Debbie!
      Welcome! That was great what your husband said lol.. loved that! I hope you can join us on Facebook as well, I’m very active on there and chat often. Does your KA processor have the safety feature at the front? You have an older model so you might be lucky and have one where they made them the right way before changing it to this newer model.

      • Debbie H. says:

        Thank you. Not on Facebook, unfortunately (or fortunately…I feel like I have all the time in the world!).
        Yes, our processor has the safety feature. Looks a lot like yours, except different styling around the controls, and more right-angles. Too bad about yours.

  9. It amazes me that companies still don’t get it when it comes to customer service. Simple courteous phone manners and a token discount on parts goes a long way to keeping customers. I will only buy Moen Kitchen and Bath products because the have a lifetime warranty on parts. I had a Kitchen faucet that broke twice in the span of 10 years. I called the 1-800 number and was able to tell them the part number since I kept the warranty documents. They shipped the new parts without any hassle.

  10. I sometimes wonder how many limitations those lifetime warranties really have. Or do they just put it on there, thinking the amount of people that will return it is a small price to pay, to slap a sticker on there and get more people to buy. I for one, never buy warranties anymore. I did in the past, but I’ve never used them once. And you’re right about pots/pan prices being inflated. My wife used to work in housewares and said never ever to buy pots and pans at regular price, they often go on for half price. And she was right. I often see half price sales on pot sets, regardless of the store, thinking it’s a deal, when really, that should be the regular price.

  11. donna pierce says:

    Oh Yes,!! Large 57 inch tv. Two months after waranty out it goes !!! Our other old 32 inch tv. Still going strong . Its 17 years old !!!! I paid a fortune on the large one for hubby when he particaly retired. Wasted a LOT of good money !!! 🙁

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