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Thread: They just don't build 'em like they used to.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    They just don't build 'em like they used to.

    I always thought that seeing things break down the day after the warranty expires was something reserved for comic strips, stand-up comedians, and Andy Rooney-esque ranting that appeals to geriatrics. But I am beginning to see this trend in my own life, with the things I purchase and it is getting very frustrating.

    Just last night, I am watching some TV in my office area (as I do on Sunday nights) when the GF calls me in from the kitchen. The microwave is on the fritz, you put the food in (in a microwave-safe dish mind you) and start it-- about 4 seconds into the cooking cycle, you get a bad smell of fresh, hot plastic and a loud noise coming from it. This microwave was bought a couple months ago and already it seems to be falling apart.
    Then, as the GF is at home with a migraine today, it seems the NEW garage door opener is not closing now. I tell her to check the child-proof sensors and they arre clear, the thing is just not working.
    Also, we have gone through 2 ceiling fans in our living room. At first I thought I was wiring it wrong, but no... I tested the wires, the fan, and its lighting component and all work. I tried messing with the remote, at which point the easy to work with and remove components shattered in my needlenose pliers...

    This is beginning to make me crazy.

    So what is the deal, Cyburbia? Are manufacturers just getting lazy? Or are they reacting to a consumerist public, that'll just buy something new when it breaks, rather than spend time tracking down someone to make the warranty accountable?

    Anyone with me here?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Our micro went out last week as well. It filled the kitchen with smoke and quickly got flung into the rear yard and I went office space on it. Needless to say, it took me about 20 minutes to pick up all the parts (the glass in the door does shatter!) and in hindsight I should have just tossed into the garbage. it wasn't under warranty though. It also cost $50 and lasted about 2 years.

  3. #3
         
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    Quote Originally posted by cololi
    Our micro went out last week as well. It filled the kitchen with smoke and quickly got flung into the rear yard and I went office space on it. Needless to say, it took me about 20 minutes to pick up all the parts (the glass in the door does shatter!) and in hindsight I should have just tossed into the garbage. it wasn't under warranty though. It also cost $50 and lasted about 2 years.
    LOL!! How funny...
    My microwave is one that is over the stove top. A few years ago it broke and I wanted to have it repaired rather than spend 300$ to buy a new one (they have gone down in price but were that much at that time)...so I spent 50$ on repairs and it worked again. I went to put it back over the stove top (by myself, no one was around to help and I am an idiot that tried to lift the heavy thing AND screw in the bolts all while holding it up) needless to say I dropped it, on what you ask?? On top of the glass stove top!! The 50$ repair ended up costing me 300$...
    And the thing blew out again this Thanksgiving, I bought a new one this time AND got help installing it

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    I went to put it back over the stove top (by myself, no one was around to help and I am an idiot that tried to lift the heavy thing AND screw in the bolts all while holding it up) needless to say I dropped it, on what you ask?? On top of the glass stove top!! The 50$ repair ended up costing me 300$...
    Hey, I've done that too! (I missed the hook on the pot rack, the pot fell down, and whamo)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    My parents bought a microwave over a decade ago... they still have it.
    I bought one when I went away to college, and I still have it. When it breaks, I will replace it.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  6. #6
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    My parents bought a microwave over a decade ago... they still have it.
    I bought one when I went away to college, and I still have it. When it breaks, I will replace it.
    Thanks for the perspective, MSkis. I still have the beer fridge from college and man, those beers are COLD.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    I had the same coffee pot for 12 years. The one I replaced it with lasted 12 months. My old microwave had a dial it was so old. It worked fine, but we got a new one for our wedding so we got rid of it. The new one lasted 4 years.

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I made toast this morning with a GE toaster given as a wedding present.... to my parents in 1961!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  9. #9
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    My parents have a tv they got over 22 years ago (i think its older than me!)

    Anyway the only time it ever broke down was when the 'on' switch broke- which was easily fixed.

    Admitedly the picture quality is not very good anymore and the tube is going, but it still works!

    The manufacturer isnt around anymore which is a shame....
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  10. #10
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Funny that this topic is coming up...
    This weekend, I stopped at an estate sale and came face to face with the twin of my parents' original microwave (from like 1980), and I seriously stood there for 10 minutes trying to decide if I should buy it or not! It was one of those monster jobs that was 2' high and had a shelf in the middle of it. It lasted a good 15 years and was going strong when it got dropped, accidentally, onto the floor. Since then, they've replaced it twice (in 12 years) and their microwave is now actually RUSTING!
    ps - called mom and dad; they said to let it go! sad
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    Thanks for the perspective, MSkis. I still have the beer fridge from college and man, those beers are COLD.
    I don't see why more people don't buy dorm furniture and appliances. If they can survive all of that, you know that they will be around for years longer! More so... they are cheep!

    Maybe GE, Whirlpool, Kenmore, and the other companies should set up a college testing station. If it survives, it is good enough for everyday use.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  12. #12
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Plastics suck. End of story.

    It's not a real appliance unless you could kill someone with it sheerly by virtue of its weight.

    Yeah but dorm furniture doesn't survive dorm use. Trust me on that one. Neither does dorm drywall, incidentally. Or dorm window screens. Or dorm toilet tanks. Or...

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RandomPlanner...
    Funny that this topic is coming up...
    This weekend, I stopped at an estate sale and came face to face with the twin of my parents' original microwave (from like 1980), and I seriously stood there for 10 minutes trying to decide if I should buy it or not! It was one of those monster jobs that was 2' high and had a shelf in the middle of it. (
    I had one of those (a Litton) for over 20 years and it worked great. Finally tossed it a couple years ago because it was so big and my kitchen is so small.

    My clothes dryer is 20 and going strong with one minor repair. And I have an electric skillet I've been using for almost 30 years. Some things do last. Not too many, though.

    The things that always crap out on me quickly are toasters, blow dryers, "10,000-hour" floodlights (hah!), cordless phones, and X-mas lighting.

  14. #14

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    Still have my original furnace and air conditioner (circa 1980). I probably should replace them for energy efficiency reasons, but $10K is a lot of money (because California now requires potentially extensive ductwork to meet new energy efficiency rules). The water heater is new.

    I just replaced my microwave. For no reason, it turns out. Microwave doesn;t work, doesn't work, etc. Drive to Best Buy, get a new one, come home, the old one works., and the new one's packaging was already ripped up into the rececyling bin.

    Oh well. The new one's nicer.

  15. #15
         
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Still have my original furnace and air conditioner (circa 1980). I probably should replace them for energy efficiency reasons, but $10K is a lot of money (because California now requires potentially extensive ductwork to meet new energy efficiency rules). The water heater is new.

    I just replaced my microwave. For no reason, it turns out. Microwave doesn;t work, doesn't work, etc. Drive to Best Buy, get a new one, come home, the old one works., and the new one's packaging was already ripped up into the rececyling bin.

    Oh well. The new one's nicer.
    Just to make you feel better the old one will probably go out permanently soon anyway just keep it for when the new one shoots craps!!

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    The reason is simple.... MADE IN CHINA (sorry China!) I guess that 7 year olds just can't make good appliances like older guys...

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Otoh

    OTOH.....in the 1950's and 1960's an automobile was "really something" if it was driven more than 75,000 miles. Rubber tires (before fiberglass-belted and before steel-belted) lasted about 25,000 miles.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    The reason is simple.... MADE IN CHINA (sorry China!) I guess that 7 year olds just can't make good appliances like older guys...
    Do you really think, given modern capital and technical infrastructure, that an eager, (desperate) rural (Chinese) immigrant can't produce a quality problem-compared to a bored aging westerner? Not sure that's true.

    It's the design and materials.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    This is why my grandparents furniture is still around after about 70 years. Although it did have to be reupholstered at least is still functions. My mom still uses this great mixer she got as a wedding present in 1975. Amazing the crap they have created and the shortened life expectancies they have given these items. No wonder the landfills are filling up.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Update

    TV is going out too. We already have a bad one in the office, and the main one is starting go (after 2 farking years!)


    I kind of see this as a good thing. I told the GF last night that we should just move to the woods and live naturally. See said it would be too cold to be naked though...
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  21. #21
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    . I went to put it back over the stove top (by myself, no one was around to help and I am an idiot that tried to lift the heavy thing AND screw in the bolts all while holding it up) needless to say I dropped it, on what you ask??
    I installed my over the stove microwave myself. Not the smartest idea but I didn't want to go through the trouble of calling someone over to help. I got it up ok but I was sore for days because of the weird angles at which I was using some muscles. Supporting a heavy microwave on your back while reaching into a cabinet above to screw in bolts isn't something that the cardio classes at the gym prepare you for.

    I general I don't expect appliances to last as long as they use to. Too many people shop only on price and as a result, manufacturers cut corners everywhere they can. There are just too many easy failure points for anything to last long. I've started paying the extra money for Kitchenaide appliances since they tend to be well built and have a great warrenty and replacement policy. In the long run, I think it's cheaper to spend more money up front rather than replace stuff every couple of years.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  22. #22
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    MADE IN CHINA means "cheap" because that is what Wal-Mart wants.
    Last edited by TOFB; 09 Feb 2006 at 11:43 AM.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally posted by TOFB
    MADE IN CHINA means "cheap" because that is what Wal-Mart wants.
    That is what AMERICA wants. Especially our ownership class. Even though said ownsership class will soon be replaced by our NEW overlords.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yup...

    I just got a new clothes drier! Cost me $188 installed and delivered. We live in a disposable society and big business loves it, build more, sell more

    http://www.cartoonstock.com/director...le_society.asp
    Skilled Adoxographer

  25. #25
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    It can't go on forever. It's just a matter of which generation is going to be left holding the flaming bag of poo.

    http://angryflower.com/buyeve.html
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

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