We rarely make a claim against the warranty of products that we buy. Certainly if we had a failure of a major item, such as a car or refrigerator we would try to get it fixed under warranty, but for smaller items I rarely even think about whether or not its still covered by the manufacturer's warranty. We recently had a situation come up, however, where the item was covered under warranty, and using it saved us enough to cause me to re-think this habit of forgetting about warranties.
Andrea had been using a Cuisinart Blender/Chopper
for the past several months to blend my breakfast smoothies. It was working out well, especially since the smoothie could be consumed from the same cup it was mixed in. Unfortunately, though, the blender died while she was making pesto with it one day a few weeks back. Our assumption is that the pesto was too thick, and caused the motor to overheat. I expected that we would be buying a new one soon, but before doing that Andrea decided to contact the manufacturer.
They didn't even ask her when the item was purchased, although it would have been easy to look up since it was purchased online. They gave her instructions on how to ship the item to the service center. We had to cover the cost of shipping, which came to around $9. A couple of weeks after shipping the old blender out, we received a package from Cuisinart. Inside was a complete 15 piece set. We assume the old one was either going to be too difficult or too expensive to repair, so they sent us a new one. Since we had only shipped them the blender itself, we now have 2 sets the cups, lids, and blades, which is fantastic.
Had we not checked on the warranty situation, we would likely have spent $70 to buy a new blender. Its possible that Andrea would have gone with a different model, but since this one was working so well, and since we had cups and blades for it, I think she would have chosen the same one. By making a claim under the warranty, we ended up with a brand new item anyway, at a $60 savings over buying a new one.
To be honest, though, my preference would have been for them to repair the old one. One benefit of repairing instead of replacing broken items is that it results in less resources being used. I hope that they refurbish the old unit, instead of just throwing it into the trash. Unfortunately, however, it seems that our consumer-oriented culture would, in most cases, prefer a new item to repairing a broken one.