“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, October 22, 2010

Junk Products

Since building our home in 2007, I have been very disappointed in some of the kitchen appliances.  We did not buy cheap .. but middle of the road quality/price.  To date, my microwave, dishwasher, and fridge have all needed some repairs.  Even the range, which had an electronic starter go on the fritz has been worked on.  Our high efficiency washing machine purchased in 2004 was replaced in 2006 with a less high tech model that uses more water and has no electronic brain.  I'm not sure the dishwasher will get replaced anytime soon should it completely go kaput; I can envision a nice calico curtain on a rod with storage shelves for my cast iron pans in this space.  Product quality seems to have been replaced with customer no-service ..  or at the least ... expensive repair bills (or extra insurance policies) that are about half the original cost of the product.  We need to re-invent quality USA made products instead of importing junk.  How did our country come so far as to send a man to the moon ... and yet have such poorly made foreign products for sale .. and a HUGE percent of the population out of work?  Government manipulation, big unions, and a less than united front in the workforce have contributed to this demise.  My pocketbook has been emptied .. but no more.  This same trend has not been just for large ticket items.  I have had countless small appliances (shall I mention coffee makers) that have stopped working just as the warranty expired.  Next up will be my rant about dinner plates!

15 comments:

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Yes, things are not made to last anymore. Your stove sure looks like a nice one, though. I like it that your controls are on the top. We got all new appliances when we remodeled our kitchen. The last part of the ice jumps out onto the floor, missing your glass. Sometimes, more will come out up to a minute after one has gotten some ice out.

I don't like the front loading washer we bought a year or so ago, because it takes so long, and it doesn't have a setting for small loads.

Oh, and I went to the appliance store a number of times, trying to figure out which ones we wanted. I would hear the sales people try to steer customers to one product or another, as if they had their best interest in mind. I think it was more what they most wanted to get sold for whatever benefit it was to the store.

Sandy said...

I hear you. We've had to replace washer,
dryer, refrigerator and microwave after
only a few years use. Seems like when I
was a kid my parents had the same
appliances forever, furniture, too.
Everything was just good quality and
made to last.

Star said...

I agree, we need to make our own good quality products again. I'm in England at the moment and the same goes for over here. Everything seems to be made abroad these days and not for the better.
I've just read this post:
http://bymyfairhand.blogspot.com/2010/10/some-good-news-and-some-not-so-good.html
I recommend you read it too. It's so similar to yours today.
Blessings, Star

Konnie said...

Yes, your experience is the same as mine. We had a house fire 2004. rebuilt our home and bought all effecient appliances. Within the first two years our washing machine, dishwasher, and oven had to be worked on. Our fridges ice and water dispenser has never worked well. Very frustrating, isn't it?

LynnS said...

I sure can empathize, Mrs. Mac. We are lowering dependency on electronic equipment now so our microwave and dishwasher are unused/unplugged. Still, paying for an appliance from a reputable company, only to have service bills in a sort time is not only aggravating, it's dirty business tactics. Planned obsolescence and intentional short-lived products are a corporation's guarantee for future sales and that's what they're doing. I don't buy an appliance to finance unions or support products made outside of the USA, but it's getting harder and harder to stick to principles.

Electric coffee makers are disgusting -- first, they are a very high turnover appliance. Second, they are mostly plastic (remember BPA toxicity). Might you consider a drip coffee maker, Mrs. Mac? That's what we use -- you heat your water, pour into a 2-part drip system and the drip process will make coffee. Check Lehman's -- they probably still sell the one we have (stainless, non-electric).

Mrs. Mac said...

LOL Lynn ... I've purchased two classic glass Pyrex percolators that are now our main brewing option. I did buy an elect/stainless percolator (big brand name) and it lasted ten days past the warranty.

meemsnyc said...

They definitely don't make things to last anymore.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I still have my glass Pyrex coffee pot from the 70s. I don't remember why we quit using it, maybe because we kept getting electric ones. We had a flat cooktop for awhile, so couldn't use it then. I wonder if we could use it on our gas stove.

Rebecca said...

I can understand your frustration. I just remarked to my husband the other day how blessed we were with the "life" of our appliances...(I though afterwards maybe I shouldn't have mentioned it!) We bought our stackable washer/dryer at least 12 years ago. I has survived several months in storage and a move and still works fine - as do our stove and frig - both about the same age. I kind of wish the refrigerator would "die" since I think the new ones are more energy efficient. Like you, we didn't buy the cheapest but DID buy ones with few "bells and whistles" -- figuring that just means more possibilities for breakdowns. We don't buy the warranties, either.

Mr. H. said...

I think it is past time we also went with a coffee maker like you and Lynn are using...hmm. But yes, you are so right, it is all junk anymore and very frustrating. Our microwave died a few months back and we are not going to replace it, we have decided to start slowly weaning ourselves off of as many of these junk appliances as we can as they break.

Zucchinimom said...

We've got an old refrigerator in the garage that's probably almost as I am and still running strong, while the new stuff barely makes it past a few years. Here's what the problem is: instead of taking pride in their products, companies now make shoddy appliances so you have to buy a new one. Pride no longer matters...it's all about the almighty dollar! It's a very sad state of affairs!!!

Mrs. Mac said...

Weening is a good term, Mr. H. We did not replace our microwave (but brought up a portable spare one from the basement) .. we, too, are re-learning not to depend on it for re-heating.

Konnie .. wow, a house fire, how tragic. You sure must be familiar then with the newer 'junk';(

Rebecca .. I just knocked on wood that your appliances last many more years .. I wouldn't worry about how they look (any longer) .. and as far as efficiency (huh) .. how efficient is a new product that has to be hauled off prematurely to the dump or costs a fortune to repair? Sad state of affairs!

Sue .. I use my glass Pyrex on top of my gas burners with no problem. You just have to be ever so careful with the glass internal parts ;)

Starr .. I checked out the link .. wow! She had a rough week!

Sandy ... that's a shame you, too, had so many problems with newer appliances! I'm glad/sad to know I'm not alone :(

meemsnyc ... how bout shouting that loudly from top of one of the high rises in NYC!

Ruralrose said...

Concurring here from Canada. You always can say what others won't touch. Peace

Leigh said...

Hi. I found you by following links. Your writing what's on so many of our minds these days. And the keyword is - quality - you said it. When profit is the goal rather than meeting people's needs, quality, well, quality stinks. What really amazes me though, is how companies can care so little about their reputations. Don't they think consumers have caught on?

Out Back said...

We were only talking about this the other day at my parents.

My mum and dad have their original fridge and freezer that they bought back in 1972 when we finally got electricity on our farm. They are still using both and have had nothing done to the fridge but the freezer had to be re-gassed when they moved house and lost the gas. Although she is not using her washing machine anymore from back then, that lasted 25 years!

I have lost count of the fridges and washing machines and all the other stuff that I have been through in that time. We bought my parents a TV 3 years ago and they have had to replace it already!

We live in a throw away society these days. Where is all this stuff ending up when it is discarded??? Scary thought. Here is a clip from you tube about electronics and the problems they create, if you want to have a look.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW_7i6T_H78&feature=share

Have a great day,

Tania