James Moore: D'oh! they're still buying extended warranties

Outlook The writers of the Simpsons once used a fondness for extended warranties to illustrate their anti-hero Homer's stupidity. And yet despite the things being about as useful a car without wheels, people are still buying. To such an extent that the Office of Fair Trading takes a close interest.

That must be some sort of testament to the salesmanship of staff at Dixons, Comet and Argos. If they spent as much time and effort extolling the virtues of the electronic gizmos to which those warranties are attached, their employers mightn't be struggling so much.

To keep the OFT quiet the companies under the spotlight will now put a few leaflets in their shops suggesting that there might be alternatives, do a bit of mystery shopping to check on their own staff, and set up – drum roll please – an extended warranty price comparison website. Perhaps they could persuade Fox to let Homer front the ad campaign for it?

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