One of the computers in my house came to the end of its useful life recently. In my house, that means ordering a new computer from Dell. Since I’m a tech guy and have techie friends, I’ve heard time and again how I can save money by buying cheap components and putting the PC together myself. But I’d rather leave it to Dell to put the system together and pay a little extra, but not too much extra.
I prefer to buy online, but the Dell web site didn’t allow me to make all the choices I wanted. This meant having to make a call to Dell. This also meant having to turn down all the high-margin items available as add-ons.
I was pleasantly surprised when the salesperson didn’t press me on an extended warranty after I turned it down; she just went on with the list of other choices. However, when we came to the end, she began a script: “You know sir, you’re buying an expensive computer...”.
For a mere $119 I could extend the standard warranty from 1 year to 2 years. After I turned down this offer a miracle happened and the extra year of warranty dropped to $79 in 10 seconds. After I refused again, it took only 10 more seconds for it to drop to $60. Yet another refusal by me didn’t create any further drops in price.
I don’t know what an extra year of warranty costs Dell, but I’m guessing that it’s much less than $60. This makes the original price of $119 seem like a big gouge.