Remember the days when you purchased a product or service and the company actually stood behind its wares? Well, looks like those days are waning. Unless, of course, you buy the product insurance! Now, there’s a great money-making rip-off.
It seems like more and more retail outlets are getting wise to the concept of marketing their own product insurance. And is this because they are thinking about you, the customer? Doubt it. This additional revenue must add decent profit to the bottom line because many stores have incentive programs for their employees. The more insurance they sell, the more bonuses they make.
I can somewhat understand this concept when it comes to electronic, electric, and other goods with microchips or moving parts. It seems that appliances, computers, and other big ticket items just don’t last as long as they did in years past. But, my friends, get this. Have you ever heard of insurance on shoes?
When Sports Authority sold me a pair of New Balance tennis shoes in December of 2009, I declined to purchase the added insurance, which can run up to $16, depending on the cost of the shoes. That’s supposed to cover usual wear and tear for up to one year. Do they think I’m nuts?
Well, two months later, the shoelaces completely fell apart, so I went back to the store to ask for new laces. The manager took a look at my bill and reminded me that I hadn’t purchased the insurance and that the warranty was only good for 30 days without it. But … this time only, he’ll let me have a pair of new shoelaces (worth $2.49 in his store). Gee, what a pal. After exploring the Sports Authority website, I discovered that shoelaces are not even included in the warranty, so I’d be out of luck anyway. Besides, the floor sales rep handed me the wrong lace length after I showed him the shoes, so the replacement laces were useless.
But, the bigger picture here is … what happened to standing behind the products they sell? Has manufacturing gotten so bad that retailers need to add this insurance to protect themselves from the multitudes of returns? Shouldn’t retail buyers ensure that the products they buy match quality for price? The guy in front of me at the store spent $155 on Nike runners and declined the insurance. If his shoes fall apart after 30 days, does that mean the store will tell him he’s out of luck for $155 shoes?
Why aren’t these retailers standing behind the products they sell and then dealing with their distributors or manufacturers after they look after their customers? If consumers continue to accept this practice and it becomes more commonplace, wouldn’t it make sense that more and more retailers will jump on the bandwagon?
So, what do you say? If you’ve paid for product insurance, do you think you got ripped off or was it worth it? If you didn’t, is it because you think it’s a rip-off or did you prefer to take your chances? Share, please!