The problem with today's consumer electronics

Instead of becoming reliable, they are becoming unreliable. This rant post is not specific to any particular item I have purchased. It has become a general phenomenon. Any electronic item we purchase today comes with a warranty of a particular time period that can range from 6 months to 2 years. You are rather safe for this period as you know that the company would fix the item if it goes bad during this time period. And it usually does. And after that time period is over... You have to choose from two options. Pay for every repair (very costly). Or pay for an annual maintenance contract (not that expensive). But paying for an AMC is well a sham considering the company is indirectly admitting that their products are not good enough to survive another couple of months or years. I mean... when I was a kid... We never worried about warranties on products like television sets, tape recorders or refrigerators. Things are a lot different now. LCDs have a limited shelf life. You cannot really expect them to work fine for more than 5-6 years. I am rather sure that a couple of you would have CRT television sets which are more than 10-15 years old. And they are probably working fine even after such a long time. Here are a couple of items I have purchased in the recent times which would probably require an AMC to prevent any major expenses on repairs... Whirlpool RO System: Came with a one year warranty. One part was found damaged within one month of ownership. Replaced for free. The dude who came to repair tried selling me the AMC for next year. There were two options... One that included complete coverage. Other one that only accounted for a limited number of parts. IFB Washing Machine: I took the extended warranty on this one. And it has saved me some money I am sure. The dude who arrived last time to fix a problem tried selling me an AMC package. Which I would indeed buy because IFB charges shit load of money for repairs. Philips DVD Player: Came with a one year warranty. Went bad after around 1.5 years. I would now have to pay 950 rupees for getting the lens changed. The service center suggested I buy an AMC for Rs. 450 that comes with home service. I am not sure if I would buy this one. This player cost me around 3500 rupees. I can probably buy a new one for 2000-2500 rupees. I am not sure getting it repaired was a better option than getting a new one. Google Nexus One: I am pretty screwed on this one. Google has a 12 month warranty in USA. 6 months warranty in other markets. It is not on sale in India, so I believe it is not covered around here. I might get the shorter 6 month warranty from the local HTC service center. But the phone is not likely to face issues in that time period. From what I have seen, mobile phones do not generally have AMC features. And if they do, they do not of course cover physical damage. And a smartphone device is likely to suffer from that kind of a damage. I remember going with my friend to the HTC service center in Gurgaon for his Windows Mobile smartphone. It was covered under warranty. But he was still required to pay because the service center people said that the malfunctioning button was caused by hard usage and it was not covered by the warranty. Costing for fixing a button? Close to around Rs. 1000. The basic concept today is that you pay for a hardware and get around one year of peaceful ownership experience. After that you might end up paying half to full cost of the device if you want it to last for a couple of years.
 

viralbug

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One of the reasons consumer electronics has become so cheap now-a-days is because they use pretty inferior components in making them than what they used in earlier times.I'm sure everyone has had an old TV set or old refrigerator that worked for years and years, but their new ones hardly last a few years.I suppose these consumer electronics manufacturers must be profiting big time with the repairs and replacing the parts after the warranty period is over, especially in cases of appliances like washing machines, refrigerators, AC, etc. When you buy such an expensive appliance and it goes bad, you aren't very keen on buying a new one, even if it means spending ridiculous amounts for repair.I wouldn't be surprised if these buggers purposely try to decrease the shelf life of their products. By using cheap components, they bring the price down and thus sell larger quantities. As a result of using cheap components, people end up having to pay for repairs when things go bad. The cash registers keep ringing.
 

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practically speaking they just have to ensure that the product lasts for one year (warranty period). after that the customer is pretty much dependent upon the charges levied by the authorized service center... this is becoming insane... i mean i avoided going for an LCD TV for the same reason. but in a couple of years, CRT television sets would pretty much be part of history and you would have no choice but to go for the chinese LCDs...
 

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Hello friends,

I agree with you. Last year I had bought a LCD Monitor for my desktop. Now there is a line on the upper part of the monitor. When I taken it to the service centre, their behaviour disappointed me, they taken much time to receive it and they didnt provided me an exact date for the resolution, they are behaving as if they are unwilling to give service. And hence I searched on the web and found a consumer complaint website ( Consumerdaddy ) for free and I registered there and lodged a complaint there. It confirmed me to get the resolution within 30 days.

i'm eager to know that brand?
 

mehrotra.akash

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A reason behind this is that the prices have gone down as well. Cant say about the other stuff, but for computers, compare a Dell Inspiron to a Dell Vostro, or an Ideapad to a Thinkpad.
You pay a significant premium for the Vostro/Thinkpad, but they come with standard 3 year warranties, extendible upto 7 years for Thinkpads.
Same applies for AC's as well, have a 7 year old Samsung AC thats running perfectly well, while a 2 year old one is causing some (minor) problems. Though the newer one came with a remote and was still cheaper than the older one.
Value of money goes down with time, electronics prices go down as well, so its basically a double decrease in price which shows in the quality.

---------- Post added at 09:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:25 PM ----------

And btw, whats up with the 4 billion notifications?
 

BB3G

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Operamaniac, 100% agreed. The quality of products now days has gone down drastically. I read an article some days back which said "Companies across the board are manufacturing products with low shelf life so that consumers have to buy/purchase time & again, thus bringing more profits to them".
Taks the case of any prosduct, Computers, Mobiles, electronics, the tech. or products themselves become obsolete before they go caput & latest updates are not cpmpatible. This is a deliberate attempt to force consumers to buy newer items. Apple is an classic eg.

Btw, we had a poor experience with IFB washing machine too. Does not mean other products functioned fine, no.

Here's a similar article: Autocar India Forum: Gadgets; Built to NOT Last

P.S: Voted 5*'s
 


sean1880

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I m also fed up of such unreliable tech nowadays...and i hav had many anger bursts due to this in the past...but now while choosing A product reliability is the key feature i keep in mind.......btw i thought thad lcd tvs should never malfunction as they have no movable parts...but here u r saying that lcds have less life than crts???

---------- Post added at 11:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:48 PM ----------

and cd/dvd drives or players r the most unreliable piece of equipment in my life(own experience with several nonworking cd/dvd drives and players...and always d lens caused d problm)

---------- Post added at 11:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:49 PM ----------

i want electronics of military grade quality ...
 

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This has more to do with how we are changing as a society... Actually the more accurate interpretation would be how capitalism is shaping our society... If a product works flawlessly for say 15 years the company got a sale for just the 1st year & then for the rest of the 14 yrs it got no addition to its balance sheet from u... This is totally unacceptable for companies... This has also shaped the consumer expectations too as a consumer expects newer tech & products almost by the day... Remember time time we would buy a fiat & then drive it for 15-20 years... Do u think its acceptable to u now??? would u prefer driving a car for the next 15 yrs if it keeps on working??? I no for a fact that I wouldnt... Not if I can afford to...I have a SE P800 lieing around in my house & its working too but still I would not think of using it(even thought its a smartphone but its not smart enough for my taste :p )... Welcome to Capitalism boys & girls... Its gonna be a Bumpy ride :D :D :D ....PS the degradation of quality of products is also the result of shifting Manufacturing facilities to cut down cost... Namely to places like India,China& other smaller economies from south east asia... My 21 in Sony TV made in japan bought in 1986(its older than my younger brother) still works almost perfectly & is used as my bedroom TV while my 3 yr old Sony LCD made in China has started giving me probs :( [email protected] I too bought a front loading washing machine a few months back for my Mumbai flat...I went with Seimens rather than IFB. even though its a little bit costly... Initially both Simens & IFB front loaders were manufactured in Turkey with research being done in Germany... Now only seimens does it & IFB manufactures its WMs in its Goa plant hence the drop in product quality...
 

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Remember time time we would buy a fiat & then drive it for 15-20 years... Do u think its acceptable to u now???

why would i not like my car to work fine for 20 years if it can? if it does, it is good for me. i have the option to keep it if i cannot splurge on buying a new car. if i can splurge, i can always sell it and move on.

second hand car market is huge in america. almost everyone starts with buying a second hand car. in india, it is largely a taboo.
 

rajadeep

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why would i not like my car to work fine for 20 years if it can? if it does, it is good for me. i have the option to keep it if i cannot splurge on buying a new car. if i can splurge, i can always sell it and move on.

second hand car market is huge in america. almost everyone starts with buying a second hand car. in india, it is largely a taboo.

Ya I no but its got more to do with the road conditions in America vs India... My Bro bought a 4 year old Honda Accord in toronto when he was there for about $8k(approx 3.5 lacs)... It had a reading of 1,50,000 Kms on it & still was in fantastic condition... Imagine wht shape that car would have been if it had been driven on Indian roads :p ...

Anyway my point is what we buy is not part of who we are now... Almost all of us want the latest cars, the latest phones, tablets PCs, laptops & what not.... This in turn has its positive effect & its negative effect... The positives??? Faster progress of tech & more access of that tech to the common man... It also means more rotation of money hence as the companies are earning more they are paying their employees more & the employees are earning more so they are spending more resulting in higher profits for companies... & so starts the viscous circle :) ... The negatives??? Companies dont want to make long lasting products has it tends to hurt the companies balance sheets in the long run...
 

Sushubh

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well yeah. thats true too. i have owned three cars and all of them started rattling by the time they touched 10K on the odo. it sucks to pay for repairs for shockers etc when the government is to be blamed for the problems in the first place. its like government damaging your owned private property. :D
 

rajadeep

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An interview of one of my fav standup comedians Louis CK
- Everythings Amazing & Nobodys Happy[/URL]
:p:p:p:p:p:p:p ...
 
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D

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why would i not like my car to work fine for 20 years if it can? if it does, it is good for me. i have the option to keep it if i cannot splurge on buying a new car. if i can splurge, i can always sell it and move on.

second hand car market is huge in america. almost everyone starts with buying a second hand car. in india, it is largely a taboo.

u probly own hyundai then... :D

---------- Post added at 08:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:56 PM ----------

Problem with todays consumer electronics is that its all made by these guys Izismile.com - Slaves at Chinese Factory That Produces for Microsoft (17 pics)

gd thing I only have Microsoft software running then no other products otherwise this would have made me feel really guilty..

---------- Post added at 08:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:01 PM ----------

yup consumer electoronic arnt the best now...I baught SE phone 4 yrs back it broke like piece of junk after one fall had to go in service center every week as every time there was some problem coming in it..the guy replaced the whole board in it my IMEI no also got changed however the phone never worked gd at all...nd did I mention the glass broke too nd I had to pay arnd 4k to get it repaired..total crap !!