JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2008/01/not-way-i-wanted-to-start-year.html (8 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1199250433-585687  Drew458 at Wed, 02 Jan 2008 05:07:13 +0000

Glad nobody got hurt. But, these things happen. Our New Year's gift was a broken fridge. Went to get some ice and found water in the tray. Grrr. This one barely lasted 20 years.

jsid-1199278805-585690  Mike at Wed, 02 Jan 2008 13:00:05 +0000

Years back, a fellow engineer used to spend time figuring stuff out, such as how often the cost of a DIY oil change paid for itself due to an increase in fuel mileage (around 2500 for his Ford Escord diesel), or how often to replace a bare-bones refrigerator and have it's increased efficiency paying for itself (about three years). He was a cheapskate, but a very smart cheapskate.

I don't know what the current Moore's Law is for refrigerator efficiency, but if your refrigerator is more than a few years old, it'd be worth running some numbers through a spreadsheet to find out.

jsid-1199288540-585694  Kevin at Wed, 02 Jan 2008 15:42:20 +0000

Bummer. Had a similar event happen with my son several weeks ago.

jsid-1199289394-585697  DJ at Wed, 02 Jan 2008 15:56:34 +0000

Well, this might elevate the mood a bit:


jsid-1199307239-585710  Ride Fast at Wed, 02 Jan 2008 20:53:59 +0000

Thank goodness no one was hurt. Bummer of a way to start the new year, tho.

jsid-1199309896-585712  Russell at Wed, 02 Jan 2008 21:38:16 +0000

Glad to hear your wife is okay.

jsid-1199417937-585793  Regolith at Fri, 04 Jan 2008 03:38:57 +0000

"This one barely lasted 20 years."

My parents have a GE refrigerator in the basement that's been running for more than 60 years.

Their main refrigerator, which was located in the kitchen upstairs, died around 5 or 6 years ago, after lasting approx. 20 years. The one they replaced THAT one with lasted 3 years. There's bets being placed on how long the new one will last.

Methinks I see a pattern here.

They just don't make em like the used to, and I have to wonder if that isn't on purpose. Hard to make money if your products last 60 years, especially if its something that generally people only buy one of. Sales start to drop off after your product as saturated the market. Can't have that. :/

jsid-1199729701-585960  Unix-Jedi at Mon, 07 Jan 2008 18:15:01 +0000


They just don't make em like the used to, and I have to wonder if that isn't on purpose.

Yup, it's on purpose.

Hard to make money if your products last 60 years, especially if its something that generally people only buy one of.

Certainly, that's part of the thinking.

People would rather pay less up front for an item - demonstrated time and again. And often, people tend to want to upgrade well within the product's lifespan, so why make things too good?

Add to that the constant pressure from (Especially Wal-Mart) chain stores for the lowest, best price, and the costs associated with whatever "environmental" fad is latest, and there's an obvious effect.

Appliances are pushed to be lighter - reducing shipping costs. Use more plastic - cheaper, faster to make. The push is for production costs to drop, since maintenance has become less and less of an issue. For all of a certain political party's pandering, things are a lot better now. Even hand-me-down appliances (the ones that survive) are good, safe products, and that means that people usually "repair by replace." That being the case no matter if your appliance is "built to last" and costs $100 more - it just means you're less likely to make the sale, or the resale.

Buddy of mine worked at Circuit City for a long time, and he sneered that people weren't "willing to buy quality". I told him he was wrong - but we've all learned the hard way that all-too-often, "quality" is a marketing term that's meaningless, and the "cheaper" product may well be better and last longer.

At the time, we were discussing SVHS tape decks. I bought the expensive Panasonic one. It died 4.5 months later. My super el-cheapo JVC, bought open-box years before? I think it's still working, but I've upgraded to DVDs and haven't tried it in a long while.

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