Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Me Ma were right, they really don't make em like they used too

Have you ever gone back to your old primary school as an adult? I have several times since my Nephews go there. There's a very strange sensation when you realise all the stuff you used to look up at is actually really tiny. Desks, tables, chairs and everything all look about three inches off the floor yet I can remember smacking my face into a table when running around on several occasions. Its a symptom of growing up just like suspecting Wagon Wheels and Cream Eggs have been shrinking a little each year.

I get a similar if not the same feeling when I go into the kitchen and look at all the gadgets. Growing up most of are appliances including the Teasmade where from the late Seventies and early eighties. And everything apart from the Betamax lasted us well into the early 2000's. And the only reason the Betamax didn't survive is because I'm the one who broke it aged eight. The other thing to go early was the Microwave not because it didn't work but because it was so big and heavy we needed more space in the Kitchen.

So on average that's a lifespan somewhere between 20-30 years, not counting the black and white dial telly from the sixties we also chucked early because it was so difficult to change channels. And yet we replaced there replacements several times. I thought this was either my imagination or just us buying from crap brands but it seems to be a pretty common occurrence with everyone else I know. Well it turns out that it isn't my imagination or the fault of cheap bargain brands. 

From BBC News:

On its website, the Whitegoods Trade Association (WTA) openly acknowledges that the average lifespan has dropped in relation to prices.
Take the example of a washing machine.
Its life expectancy has dropped by a full three years over the last decade or so, meaning many will conk out pretty quickly.
"Over 40% cost under £300*. Obviously these cheaper products do not have the same build quality, performance or longevity and therefore the average lifespan has dropped from over 10 years to under seven years," the website confesses.
It is not unusual for cheaper appliances to only last a few years.

So there we have it, the quality of manufacturing has gone down across the board. And its all the fault of increased competition and- hang on a second I thought competition was supposed to lead to better products fro consumers to choose from not inferior products across the board. Why it's almost as if manufacturers don't really care about quality so long as they can maximise profit margins by other easier (for them) means.

* I can actually remember the prices of some of our older kit, that's not that much difference, the Teasmade and telly cost much less and the Microwave just under that so this is really just an excuse to cover up an attempt to make us pay more. And its shifting the blame onto the consumers.

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