This may be my first Public Service Announcement post. Shows you’re never too old to learn. It so happens that two major items in our house came to early ends in ways that we never would have anticipated. It also so happens that both items were replaceable because their warranties were still valid. First time for us, and very welcome. So our story has a happy ending. But it may not have worked out that way for everyone.
We happen to live in a small place where people are pretty darn trusting. We hadn’t kept our receipts for either of these items, but the stores volunteered to look up when we had made our purchases and, lo and behold, they proclaimed that we were still under warranty. For those of you who live in bigger places or who move regularly, keeping your receipts is a small price to pay for the security.
To be clear, we never ever purchase extended warranty. This is simply about major items coming with a warranty assuring a certain length of time before something may – possibly – start to malfunction … which of course is why they try to sell you the extended warranty. In our first case, it was our very expensive, very thick, very heavy pillow-top mattress. I wrote a blog post about it way back 18 months ago, “Planned obsolescence” for appliances is bad enough, but mattresses too?! It turned out that this high-end mattress, with a deep, soft pillow top, was definitely not the ideal design for a sleeper who turns all night long (me). What I like to think is a smallish package (me again) managed to create an uncomfortably deep body depression that wouldn’t re-pillow itself, no matter what. And flipping over a pillow-top mattress is not an option (buyer beware). The result was an increasingly sore back. Not good.
I googled lots of info about pillow-top mattress when this first became an issue for me. It did say on the manufacturer’s website that this particular mattress had a 10-year warranty. It further stated that if a customer found that a “depression” of more than a certain depth was created by sleeping patterns, the mattress would be replaced. I tried measuring the depth of my crater, but it was a bit of a mug’s game. The mattress was 7 years old, we had no receipt, and I made do with other solutions. But sleeping in another bed in another room while my husband enjoyed his solitude in our king-size bed lost its appeal before long. Sleeping with a flat pillow stuck in the depression I had made in an effort to provide some support for my back helped, but since I turn all night the support pillow kept slipping to one side and I spent a lot of time repositioning the pillow under me in the middle of the night. Finally I decided that we’d have to bite the bullet and spring for a new mattress, one that was less pillow-toppy and more supportive of my back. Eighteen months was too long. Enough was enough.
So we went up to the same mattress store where we had made our initial purchase and looked around. I explained why we were looking, that the style we had now just didn’t work for me, and that I wanted to look for something much firmer. At one point, the sales clerk said, “Wait a minute, did you buy your mattress here?” When we said yes, she said that it may still be on warranty. She went and looked it up in their system and came back to say that we were indeed still under warranty. In the end, we were asked to submit a few pictures to illustrate the changes in the two sides of the mattress, and, sure enough, the manufacturer got back to the store to say that the warranty would be honoured. It took a few months (and one wrong delivery when they removed the over-the-top heavy king size mattress from our house, only to bring in a queen size that had been ordered by mistake, after which the queen had to be removed and the unsatisfactory king returned!), but our new mattress is now here and I am happily back in my own bed with my husband. No back pain, no pillow under me that keeps shifting. It’s like a miracle. At no additional cost. Because there was proof of purchase date and the warranty held.
At the same time, large double-pane windows we had installed maybe 8 years ago started looking streaky. Washing the windows didn’t help; these grey-brown streaks had materialized between the inner and outer pane. Needless to say, we didn’t have any proof of when these windows were installed, but our local window place had it in their system. They were also very aware of the problem. It turns out that this problem, which arises from a faulty seal between the two panes, shouldn’t happen. It also turns out that within the terms of the warranty, moisture shouldn’t appear between the panes either. So if your windows develop one of these problems, and you have proof that they are still under warranty – which is particularly simple if you’ve saved your receipts – then the vendor will replace them. You just need to know to ask and, if you are in a larger place where the store isn’t as likely to look for your records in their system, have saved your receipt.
There you have it, my public service announcement of the day. If you have a significant item in your home that isn’t living up to expectations, you just might be still covered under warranty. Keep receipts just in case. And don’t hesitate to ask. I could have been sleeping more comfortably nearly two years ago if I had!
Images: clker.com, windowdoctorservices.co.uk