Planned obsolescence - a global shell game

Time to Buy a New Stove. Again.


Planned obsolescence, a diabolical manufacturing strategy that took root with the rise of mass production in the 1920s and ’30s, has now escalated from disposable lighters to major appliances. Its evil genius is this: make the cost of repairs close to the item’s replacement price and entice us to buy new. Again. “A repair of $700 is more than the stove cost,” I whined. The repairman shrugged and counseled me that I could get the same thing for about $1,200 now.

“This one’s headed for scrap,” he said. He predicted it would end up on a fast boat to China, where apparently they can’t get enough of the stuff.

Planned obsolescence is now a global shell game; someday our atomized stove might come back at us in the form of a fireplace screen, an air-conditioner, a gas grill! I vowed to hold out as long as I could. With the flinty resolve of my favorite Beverly Hillbilly, Granny Clampett, I cooked on the remaining three burners — until the thing tried to gas us.

Comment: How about P.C.'s ... wasted in 3 years! Cell phones - worn out in 2.

1 comment:

  1. My wife and I bought a new oven last year, and I'm already seeing issues with the ignition due to a couple of things that ought to be readily obvious to just about any first year EE student; they're trying to spark five different burners at once instead of switching the voltage to spark only one burner at a time, and they're not providing a decent return path for the current.

    Cost to fix them? Probably less than $20 on a $700 oven. If you could get around the big box stores, I wonder if you could make a new "Maytag" quality appliance vendor work.



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