#496 – Extend

Why do things insist on breaking so close to when the warranty expires? It wouldn’t be so bad if there was a huge gap of time. It’s always close enough that you think there’s a chance and you spend half the day researching receipts and warranty documentation only to end up disappointed. I missed one by less than a week. That really stings when it will cost you over $1000 to replace.


48 thoughts on “#496 – Extend”

  1. trevor says:

    Yet another theme week?
    I really like this comic, you’ve done well Chris.

  2. Schulzy says:

    I venture a guess as to the week’s theme…technology?

  3. SpriteMeister says:

    Have you been inspired to make the theme expired?

  4. Seraphine says:

    LOL I have the same fear.
    That my computer is going
    to explode or something.
    I can relate. :-:

  5. J says:

    ah, good ‘ol planned obsolescence. these days of course it’s apple that’s really known for it, but i remember my dad telling me about this old datsun he used to have.

    one day this strange light flicks on on the dash. he has no idea what it means, so he consults the manual, which tells him that when that light goes on, he must Immediately get his ass to a dealer mechanic. he does so, and upon inquiry, they inform him what the light means.

    seems the unknown light was intended to indicate that the truck has traveled a certain, preset number of miles, and was about to lose it’s factory warranty. by lighting up and telling him that there was something wrong with the vehicle, it was meant to persuade him to get a full checkup at the dealer, followed by a warranty renewal. i tend to believe that he declined, and proceeded to unplug that particular light.

    amusingly enough, to the best of my recollection that old yellow truck never did actually end up needing any major repairs. he never took any sort of care of it, left it out in the rain all the time, never really cleaned out the cab. it’s the first car i can remember my parents owning, and i cannot even begin to picture it without great big rust holes in the body, but god damn, that thing just never died. he sold it, many years later when he had no further need for a pickup and it had been just sitting around for a long time. engine still ran.

    i never saw it again, and i still kind of miss it, but i do see a few driving around the city where i live now from time to time. same model, same make, approximately the same year, though obviously taken better care of. those trucks just seem to run forever. i guess obsolescence does not always go as planned.

  6. Two words…Planned Obsolescence.

    Perhaps you’ve seen the movie, The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars?

  7. blaz42 says:

    I think that most manufacturers implement some parts into the device, which only function is to fail causing greatest damage possible when warranty period expires.

    In Acer notebooks these were definitely invertors (LCD backlight power module) and some unidentified part on system board, which virtually destroyed the thing (repair cost was around 500$, replacement SB up to 1500$).

    This one make me laugh as I once encountered similarly charred notebook (failed battery module)…great work, Chris ­čÖé

  8. insertnamehere says:

    on the computer screen: “WARNING! this computer’s warranty is about to expire in 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…”. The remains of the victim have still not been located.

  9. That’s one reason I avoid laptops. With a desktop, I can just replace the DVD burner when it wears out just after the warranty runs out. (I burn a lot of DVDs)

  10. Tina says:

    Always the first sign that the warrenty is done for: massive amounts of problems. Utterly amazing. Learning to buy that stupid extended warrenty up front.

  11. Psymon says:

    Ah, the theme this week is what happens to Biff when various stuff expires, hmm?
    Of course, it could also still be somewhat about explosions; sudden large flames sort of resemble explosions.
    Well, unless he has a replacement computer, whether his antivirus software has expired or not would seem to have become a moot point. *has obviously forgotten that the Biff comics are by no means in chronological order with respect to Biff*

  12. SEA says:

    *Looks at my laptop while typing this*

    I think i should extend my warranty.

  13. Micah says:

    I didn’t know Biff used Macs.

  14. MaskedMan says:

    Warranty periods are carefully gamed by industry – Set to cover the period of maiximum reliability, and not much beyond. They know that they’re unlikely to cost them much money,

  15. blaz42 says:

    @MaskedMan: I know well enough but want to believe in the self-destruct-thingy…

  16. Chris says:

    @Micah, he has a Mac at home and a PC at work. ­čÖé

  17. Micah says:

    @Chris, that makes sense, actually, remembering the older comics.

  18. JFargo says:

    I remember when one of my laptops broke, a week after warranty. I called them up and asked what they could do. Apparently, this company was having a LOT of calls about laptops breaking ~just~ after warranty, and were forced to fix them out of warranty.

    The fact that so many of them broke just after warranty makes me wonder if this was somehow planned, but that’s the paranoid guy in me getting out a little.

  19. caffiend says:

    <_< wonder if he remembered to back up his data

  20. MaskedMan says:

    No, I’m quite sure he didn’t. No one ever does. >.>

    In regard to the flamin’ laptop, I’m flashing back to the day when I was a sysadmin for the Navy Recruiting Command. They bought a *huge* bunch of ‘generic’ laptops from Joe’s Laptop and Arson Supply. These things were the ugliest, clunkiest, worst-designed pieces of carp you ever did see. And they burst into flames with depressing regularity. We had several recruiting stations go up in smoke when unattended laptops flamed out. See, they had horrible, unreliable batteries, prone to internal shorts, and resultant run-away discharge.

    Battery fails, laptop goes “poof,” recruiting station goes “flame on!”

  21. Imaginary says:

    This weeks theme I believe would be explosions. The waterballoon, the jam, now the computer.

  22. DJ says:

    I remember Men’s Health once having a short article in their issue about laptop batteries causing so much heat that over a period of time they could make your “manhood” impotent. If that’s the case, then could this affect Biff’s fertility? And is that a good or a bad thing?


    This article was a good while back, laptops have come a long way in the past couple years.

  23. Gobbledegook says:

    I notice that most of my stuff tends to follow the “law of the sunglasses”… The less you pay for an item, the more invincible it becomes. My Ipod lasted 4 days before it died of natural causes and had to be returned, but my $20 generic mp3 player has been stepped on, repeatedly dropped, chewed on by a cat, and yet still works fine.

    @J: I sold my Buick after 10 years of abuse and neglect, and the guy I sold it to says it’s the best car he’s ever driven.

  24. Zingeh says:

    Planned obsolescence… Ain’t it grand?..

    I miss the days when you’d buy a piece of electronics, and 10 years later it’s still running fine.. Like the circa 1990 computer sitting in my basement.

  25. J.R. says:

    Not impotence, I’m guessing, but infertility. Even body temperature causes temorary infertility, hence briefs making one less of a man than boxers. Why else would one’s ‘manhood’ be exterior and vulnerable? Also, the only reliable male contraception, afaik, involves hot water for a certain length of time, very regularly. The important thing to note, though, is that this warmth-based infertility is quite temporary.

  26. Jackson says:

    Biff realizes that his upcoming week will be an unabated litany of misfortune. First the evil Satan jam, and now his computer!

    I like these Biff comics that are just over-the-top disasters, but still within the range of things that could actually happen to you or me. Of course, I also like the impossible stuff like the spare heads and the giant-squid noodles. And the weird juxtaposed combinations of two normal things that really don’t go together, too.

    I…guess that means I pretty much like the whole thing.

  27. Micah says:

    @Imaginary, actually, it’s expiration week. The water balloon one was from last Friday. (It’s only Tuesday, so there are two comics.

  28. sakanagai says:

    I’ve had only one laptop fail on me, but it was destined from the beginning. I got the darned thing through my college (it was a required purchase) but it came with a warranty that lasted the duration of enrollment. I must have had something break on it every two weeks. What was worse was the battery. The laptop came with a P4 and this was before P4 laptops had reached the market (school had an agreement with Hp/Compaq). They never bothered to check to see if the immense power draw from the processor would cause any problems. In addition to immense heat that caused most internal components to have a very limited life span, the power draw was more than the batteries could handle. We eventually got a notice that said we should remove our batteries when not in use and that the warranty would not cover battery replacement. When mine finally went (sophomore year), it nearly exploded, bulging part of the battery casing up through the laptop casing above it. Shortly after I graduated, the screen went and a large portion of the hard drive became unreadable. And the optical drive would no longer write CDs. It currently spends it sunset years as a paperweight.

  29. Wizard says:

    @DJ: Darwin Award via laptop? On the downside, if Biff fails to reproduce, just think of the amusement that could be denied to future generations….

    @J.R.: Yep, the scrotum is nature’s climate control system.

    As far as warranties on electronics, I really don’t worry about them. Maybe my luck’s just better than average, but I usually find that by the time mine fail, there’s something better and cheaper available anyway. Well, that and I have a bad habit of tinkering. I don’t really consider something mine until I’ve voided the warranty.

  30. kAGEDVIPER says:

    my xbox 360 broke last month and ive yet to fix it b/c its a hardware failure which only has a year warrenty… and i bought it a year and 4 months ago…

    such a shame too, i havent had any problems with it untill now….

  31. Nugget says:

    I thought his firewall was acting up.

  32. Anton T says:

    Hehehe…i have the same thing happen with most of my stuff
    Usually though,if its only a little time over,you can talk the person into giving it in anyway so you can get it fixed

  33. ¡el pingüino bilingüe¿ says:

    Same here Nugget

  34. Adam says:

    See? This is why I regret buying a Dell…LITERALLY 20 minutes after midnight of the day my warranty expires? Motherboard goes POOF. Just like that.

    @Gobbledegook…had a new $22,000 2000 Oldsmobile Alero GLS. Nothing but problems, over and over again. Get rid of it, spend $2,500 on a 1998 Honda Accord with over 200,000 miles on it. Works like it’s brand new and haven’t had a problem since. Stupid technology…

  35. random person says:

    Hmmm . . . it seems like something always goes wrong with things after the warrenty expires, or you throw away the recite. Anyway, is the theme of the week, “What happens when things expire”

  36. random person says:

    Nugget was right. It would have been just as funny if it said ” Biff has a very protective firewall” or “biff shouldn’t have upgraded his firewall”

  37. Imaginary says:

    Micah@ You’re right, we startd with jam this week.. I forgot I resave links on fridays… Anyway, that still leaves explosive jam and a laptop bursting into flames (a kind of explosion). Tomorrow I guess will varify whether or not I’m just reaching.

  38. Chris says:

    Will tomorrow’s comic bring clarity or confusion? Stay tuned…

  39. Cthulcantspell says:

    im guessing its “things biff realizes week”

  40. MaskedMan says:

    @Cthulcantspell; Well, duh! But then, that’s *EVERY* week, for Biff!

  41. Haph says:

    This…this has actually happened to me. xD

  42. Shorty says:

    I once had an expensive item break 3 DAYS after the warranty expired. It REALLY sucked.

  43. amh says:

    they calculated my computer’s warranty time wrong, it broke one day before the warranty ended…

  44. M4 says:

    Double check you’re credit card if you put it on one originally. A lot of cards extend the manufactures warranty themselves.

  45. Zach Light says:

    thats what you call a fire wall =p

  46. Raven Gold says:

    Ain’t that the truth. It’s allways the very second that the item’s warrenty expires, that it breaks. THE VERY SECOND!!!

  47. Mewthicus says:

    This is why you should buy your computer parts from Newegg.com! They sell computer products with LIFETIME WARRANTIES.

    No kidding. Go check it out.

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