Imaginary conversations with people who are only doing what their boss told them to
SALESPERSON: This TV is covered by a 12 month warranty, but for only $30 more you can buy an extended two year warranty and return it to any of our stores in the country if you have any problems.
ME: Do you think that's a good deal? I mean the TV only cost $168 so the extended warranty would only be worth it if there was a greater than 15% chance of the TV breaking down somewhere between 12 and 24 months from now. In fact, when you consider that in one to two years new TVs are likely to have dropped in price and improved in quality and the original TV will have depreciated in value it would only be worth it if the chance of breakdown was greater than 15%. Is your store in the habit of selling such shoddy goods?
SALESPERSON: Of course not sir. We try to sell only the best quality products. But the extended warranty does offer peace of mind.
ME: I'm trying to pick a nerdy fight based on the mathematics of probability with a complete stranger in the middle of a crowded department store, so I'm kind of wondering why on earth you think I care about peace of mind.