All In The Marketing


I needed new earbuds to use on my various devices. The ones I bought a few months back at a dollar store in Ottawa were showing signs of impending death.

The still worked, or at least one ear did. And while no-one had complained about my microphone, my computer kept sending me messages that my sound was static-y.

I’ve been known to pay a fair sum for a set of headphones, a hangover from my radio days. When you are wearing them for four hours or more at a time, you want something comfortable.

Earbuds on the other hand I see as ephemeral. They are easy to lose, so, though I have seen some priced in the hundred-dollar range, I tend to look for something relatively cheap.

Admittedly the sound quality might not be quite as good, but it is usually acceptable. And when they break, as inevitably seems to happen, I can just toss them out and buy another cheap set.

Given that Sulzburg has no stores, I usually make all my purchases online. However, this time I knew what earbuds I wanted and that I could buy them at an electronics store in downtown Freiburg. I figured I’d grab them the next time I was in town.

Before that though, I went online to the store’s website, just to check the specifications and to see if the Freiburg store did indeed have them in stock. They did. I also noticed  that there was an extended warranty available, for a price.

I have generally avoided such warranties, as they usually don’t add much in terms of protection and just provide extra revenue for the vendor. This was a classic example.

There were two warranties available. One covered all the usual manufacturing defects, water damage, even wear and tear. The second also included theft insurance. Very comprehensive.

The cost was only 19.90 Euros for two years, or 34,90 if you wanted the theft protection. The cost of the ear buds? 4.99. Even funnier, when I opened the package I discovered the manufacturer already includes a two-year warranty against all defects.

I’m wondering if anyone has ever bought the store warranty on this product. If so, I want to meet them, just to see what sort of person they are.


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