By Mark Magnan
Have you ever wondered how and why there are time limits set for repairing something that is made that you buy? Obviously there are certain things that are not going to last long, so there should be a short warranty on those items. However there are a lot of things that are made and should last much longer than they seem to, and certainly should carry a better guarantee.
I mean if you buy a bag of grapes you should consume them within a few days, or they shrivel up and go bad. On the contrary, you can get raisins and those seem to last forever, and they are nothing more than dried up grapes. Why do your grapes go bad and not turn into raisins? I mean if you don’t eat the grapes within a period of time then they should just convert to raisins and then you will have another fruit for the next several months. If you could search the back of your pantry you might find a box of raisins that you didn’t know were there, and you could eat them as they are just as fresh as the day you bought them. (sorry… rabbit trail)
What I am really talking about this week is perhaps automobiles or other expensive items such as that. Now we all have the “Uncle Albert” that had an old pickup truck that lasted for twenty plus years and a few hundred thousand miles. Just a few years ago cars were made of solid metal, yet they were only good for a few years, at 100,000 miles they were about shot and ready for the junk yard. Now they have computers and the engineering is so much better they are lasting quite a bit longer. Of course when cars were basic, any shade-tree mechanic could fix a vehicle that wasn’t running. If you had a problem on the road chances are that some “red neck” in a pickup truck would stop upon seeing that your hood was up, a twist here and a poke there and the engine was running again. Worst case was that you had to limp into an old gas station with a hand painted sign that said, “mechanic on duty”, and with $29 and an hour in a smoke filled lobby and you were back on the road.
Thankfully the auto makers have stepped up and offered longer warranties. However I think they should go further. They all claim to have the best built and longest lasting vehicles on the market, in some form or other. So why don’t they back that up with better warranties, how about we set the benchmark at 100,000 miles. Of course I would fully expect the owners to take care of their own autos by keeping up the maintenance and such. My thought is if a part fails in a couple of years, why should we have to pay the automaker three times the going rate to fix it when other people with the same vehicle haven’t had to replace their “widgets”. If my “widget” lasts for twenty years, then they all should last at least that long, obviously if one fails on another car then it was defective. And making us pay for extra warranty is like saying; “hey, our automobile is going to break and when it does we want you to pay for it so we aren’t actually responsible for not doing a good job”.
The same should go for refrigerators and other household appliances. I think this is one area where they have been getting worse the past several years. I can remember family members that had a fridge from long before I was born, probably my parents as well, and it was still going strong. Every once in a while you see someone with a really old refrigerator in their garage that is still working. Now it seems like every few years these new ones stop cooling for some reason. You have to replace all the guts in them which is just a few bucks shy of getting a cheap new one. Of course what they really want is for you to buy a really expensive one with all the extra options. No thank you, the only real option I want is for it to keep my stuff cold and do it for a long time. I don’t care if it does fancy things and has a video screen letting me know what is happening inside, if I want that I will just open the door and while I am getting something cold I will look around and see for myself.
Perhaps I am a bit old fashioned. Show me how well you do by backing up your claims with something substantial. Make a car or truck that lasts for many years and then show me that you you have faith in your work. Lets be honest for the arm and leg you have to pay for a new vehicle these days, you shouldn’t have to repair them as well.