Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Thing #251--Assurance

My manual can opener stopped working a couple of weeks ago. The gears no longer meshed, and the handle wouldn't turn. Although I didn't think it was that old, I just went to the store and bought a new one. As I was taking the new one out of the package, I noticed that it had a "lifetime" warranty. It made me stop and think about all the inexpensive doodads I buy that have a guarantee-until you read the fine print and discover it's not worth doing anything but tossing them.

I'm sure the companies who offer doo-dad warranties don't expect many people to cash in--what are the chances that someone would keep the receipt and documentation, and jump through all the hoops to mail something away for replacement? I usually just toss the packaging and receipts for things I buy, unless it's a big-ticket item, but I randomly keep receipts for small things. We have a bulging file cabinet downstairs that's become the repository of all types of paperwork. That worked to my advantage today when I was able to find a warranty and receipt and return an inexpensive gadget to the manufacturer that was under warranty.

I decided to wade through the warranty file in the cabinet. It was a mish-mash of paperwork for big-ticket items and little devices. I tossed several sets of papers associated with long-gone electronics and household gadgets. However, close to the bottom of the file, I found the packaging (more like a hang tag) for the old can opener with the receipt attached to it. The receipt indicated I bought it less than a year ago. The opener had a "one year hassle-free replacement" warranty, WHICH HAD NOT EXPIRED! What are the chances of that?

I put the broken can opener in a box with the receipt and took it to the post office. I declined to insure my broken can opener. If it makes it there, fine; if it doesn't I'm ok with that too.

Note--On October 10th we got a package from the UPS man. Inside the package was a replacement can opener. It's good to know that the company stands behind its guarantee.


  1. That rocks! Way to fight planned obsolescence.

  2. I'm amazed that you actually had the tag and receipt. I'm familiar with the bulging file folder of manuals and warranties. I've got a couple of those myself.