Monday, November 1, 2010

You Get What You Pay For?

Once upon a time a person paid for something and they got what they paid for. If you bought an appliance it would last half of your lifetime. If you paid for your utilities, you got a full 30 days of service. If someone came to do work on your home, whether carpenter, electrician or plumber, it stayed fixed. Those days are gone.

Today, whenever you buy an appliance of any kind, the salesperson asks if you want to buy insurance. Do you want to buy it for one, two or three years? If so, and it breaks, you are entitled to the same or equivalent product that just broke down. The reason is “built-in obsolescence.” They make things not to last so that you can buy insurance and/or replace the product faster than you did years ago. They make things to break? It sounds like a scam to me, but all the manufacturers are doing it so I guess it’s ok. I think when you buy something brand new and pay a lot of money for it, you should be entitled to expect it to last a reasonable number of years. Instead, I now find myself analyzing the situation. If I spend a certain amount for something I will pay for an extra year of insurance. I arbitrarily set this amount at about $300 or so. If it’s less than that I roll the dice and take my chances.

I remember when I could pay my phone bill every month and never went a day without service. I got what I paid for. Not today. Our Verizon cables are so old that a couple of days of rain will take out your phone and DSL with one blow. Of course, when I call about it, several other customers also have the same problem and it takes longer and longer for the repairmen to come fix it. But, don’t worry, they will take a few cents off my bill for the inconvenience! One customer service person I spoke to actually replied to my lack of service and static on the line with, “Well, it has been raining.” As though, now, I should expect the phone and DSL to go out when it rains. Well, I don’t!

Last week I hired a guy to install a new ceiling in the closed in porch of my house. The next day I noticed one of the seams was opening ever so slightly. So I make my husband call him about it, because men listen to men. Well, it’s been a week and so far he hasn’t called my husband back. So what am I supposed to do, call a repairman to fix what the other repairman did? My husband will call him today and try again. I am not holding out much hope that the guy will come back.

I noticed too, that when we buy new clothes, very often the buttons will fall off soon after the first couple of wearings. Not so years ago, a button stayed put for as long as you owned the garment. Now they must put them on with spit. Thank God I know how to sew buttons back on.

It’s the way of the world today. No one expects much from the goods and services we pay good money for, and it’s a good thing too, because we are not getting what we pay for.

1 comment:

  1. I agree about the appliances. I bought a GE dish washer a few years ago and as soon as the warranty ran out, the motor when out on it. I had already had the motor repaired when the warranty was still good. I wasn't going to buy another motor and keep replacing it so I bought a Maytag and have not had a single problem. I have had it about 5 or 6 years. It also does a much better job than the GE did.