This is a rather recent term used to describe why your appliances no longer boast of lasting for many years.
When I was a kid, all the appliance manufacturers bragged that their machines, whether for dishes, clothes both washing and drying, etc. were built to last. Remember the ad with Jesse White where he was the lonely Maytag repairman? He was called so infrequently he was lonesome.
This may be the way it is again, but for different reasons. Years ago, if an appliance needed repairs, a repairman would come to your home with the parts necessary to get your machine working. Today, everything is made to stop working within the first few years, and when one part goes, it’s usually connected to the other parts so everything must be replaced. Not only is that ridiculous, but here’s a good example of how I was taken advantage of.
I had purchased a dishwasher, and was encouraged to get a warranty. I did so, but of course, had to pay every year to ensure my dishwasher was covered. Well, after a few years, the day came when I needed repairs to be effected to said machine.
The repairman came and said the company no longer made those parts. I asked why I wasn’t alerted rather than the company continuing to deceive me while happily taking my money. Of course, he had no answer. So that meant that while my dishwasher may have only needed a couple of parts to ensure it lasted a few more years, I had to instead purchase a new one. Did I get a warranty? Helllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll, No!!!!!!
We watched an episode of, I believe, Marketplace and they told how salesman make a lot of money selling these (rather useless) warranties. The truth is, if anything is going to go wrong, it will in the first year. I just read, however, that now these machines are made to need repairs in the 4th or 5th year. Well, if you have a five year warranty, and it breaks down in year four, no problem. But if it breaks down just after the warranty expires, you’ve been duped and ripped off. Besides, say it does break down in year four; how likely in this day of continual upgrading, that there will be parts for your now deemed old machine? And if there aren’t any, what do you do then? They of course want you to get rid of it (in which case it ends up in the land fill) and purchase another machine from the same manufacturer and the same store from which you purchased your original machine.
When my husband and I moved into our home 22 years ago, there was a washing machine and dryer. They both worked well, and I’d say 22 years is a whole lot longer than had they been built today. Now we’re left wondering if the manufacturer’s warranty of 1 year, which we’ve doubled using a particular credit card, is enough. Of course, the salesman said better safe than sorry, but then, what does he really care about; the customer being satisfied, the money he gets from selling a likely useless warranty or the knowledge that these machines won’t be repairable in five years, so he’s made a handsome profit on having sold us an unnecessary warranty and by blaming the manufacturer, he hopes we’ll come back to his place of business when these machines are ready for the used appliance grave yard.
Of course, I’m expected to believe this salesman had only my husband’s and my best interests at heart. That’s hard to believe when the store ad boasted of better in-store savings, which in our case worked out to (ready?) $8.00, that being $4.00 on the washing machine and $4.00 on the dryer. Wow, that should cover the time and petrol it took to drive across the city, eh? Heck, that won’t even buy two regular priced meals at Burger King. We were at a disadvantage as we have little space in the doorway which leads to our basement, so we were forced to find small enough machines to fit. Not that a salesman would ever exploit that…much!