Remember the old days when appliances and electronic devices actually lasted?
These days, you couldn’t be blamed for presuming that appliances and electronic devices in general are specifically designed to just outlast the warranty period. I’ve lost count of the number times I’ve purchased one of these types of products only for it to go kaput just after the warranty has expired. A few years ago I paid a small fortune for a big screen Panasonic TV which broke down exactly 14 months later… you guessed it, 2 months out of warranty. Coincidence? Methinks not.
They just don’t make ’em like they used to
Considering volume equals profit, it’s certainly in manufacturers’ best interests to force consumers into purchasing new products more often. So, the logical conclusion then is to design products in a way that will predictably shorten their lifespan. Using inferior quality components not only lowers a manufacturer’s costs but is also almost certain to shorten the product’s lifespan. However, not all premature breakdowns can be attributed to lower quality. Consider this for example; capacitors can be positioned in such a way that makes overheating (and subsequent breakdowns) less likely OR they can be placed in close proximity to heat sources thereby drastically shortening the lifespan of the product. Calculated failure.
There used to be a time when purchasing a brand-name product was an almost certain guarantee of longevity – steer clear of generic names and stick with reputable brands being the common cry. These days however, that theory appears to be down the drain with calculated failure and planned obsolescence systemic throughout the industry.
Overall, I’m thinking it’s just another symptom of changing values – reputation having given way to the chase for the almighty dollar. Regardless of cause, deliberate or not; is there anything more frustrating than when that nice expensive appliance or device breaks down and you rush to locate the receipt only to discover that it’s just run out of warranty – <expletive, expletive, expletive>
Footnote: I’ll never understand how a $20.00 electric kettle and a $4000.00 big screen TV can both come with the exact same 12 month warranty period. It does not compute!