Thursday, February 16, 2006

There was a time when I thought the big international companies all shipped their junk to Africa because they thought we wouldn't know the difference.

Like the Miele dishwasher we bought. Fabulous reputation, very expensive. But it boiled the dishes, melted the plastic, and even after it was fixed under guarantee it never washed anything properly. Then I discovered some other people who owned the same dishwasher who had exactly the same complaints. And then I discovered it was a model that had already been withdrawn in Europe.

So I haven't bought a Miele anything again.

Then there was the General Electric fridge. Huge, double door American fridge with built in icemaker, dispensing iced water, and whole or crushed ice. Once again, very expensive. I can't remember what the initial problem was, but the local office sorted it out. It didn't last five years before breaking down and needing a major repair.

It turned out to be unrepairable in the end, but that is a different story.

It wasn't just big things. There was all those boxes of unformattable diskettes. That kind of thing.

Now, with more experience, and a couple of years in Europe, I have an entirely different view.
The large companies think the consumer is a fool, and push out junk everywhere.

The Indesit dishwasher we had in London didn't last for three years before dying completely. Not repairable. No wonder they always try and sell you those extended guarantees when you buy something, you need them.

Paul's iPod that I bought him for his birthday. Within a week it stopped working. Luckily we had the original packaging still, and the cash slip, and took it back. They exchanged it, and now, six months later, it won't hold a charge.

The AOpen DVD writer I bought in August. It wrote a few DVDs, then stopped. It would still write CDs, DVD+RW, and dual layer, but not the straightforward ordinary DVD for which I bought it. And it never ever authored a DVD for me, it always failed. Though it would author a SuperVCD.

I no longer have the packaging or cash slip, so I look on the support forums on the internet.
Wow. Seven pages of DON'T BUY THIS CRAP. Fine. I've taken it out and replaced it with an NEC, which is the one to have if you're only having one.

Hah. I have the cash slip inside the packaging safely stored in the attic. We'll see.