Thursday, January 7th, 2010 | Author: OWC Grant
Several events have occurred over the past few weeks that got me and other OWC’ers wondering:
when did quality and reliability stop being important to both consumers and those entrusted with creating consumer electronics?
I’m using that CE term here very broadly to group tech gadgets, general everyday electronic gear (digital cameras for example), and even home appliances as many now have UIs (User Interfaces), and to some degree, an OS (Operating System). It takes awhile for my insights to go full circle, but it’s worth the read as you might be as surprised as we are to some of the observations/conclusions.
What first perhaps got this idea rolling about quality not being found in modern CE products was a 16 month video review/update of the NewerTech miniStack v3 by Michael Manna of the T4 Show. Michael brings a really nice user perspective to all his reviews and drops the vernacular so it’s really easy to understand what’s important and how things work. What took me and OWC Larry aback were the reader comments to Michael’s video. Several of them seemed genuinely amazed that a CE product could last longer than a year.
I was out with my wife this past weekend looking at a variety of kitchen appliances for a variety of reasons. The constant though is that they are all just four years old and while working correctly, they do so with some limitation and/or irritation. Not to mention the occasional odd sound and/or appearance that gives one the incentive to be proactive and replace it before a major problem ensues. What I was taken aback by was the sparse warranty coverage offered by manufacturers on new appliances. A paltry one year…and it didn’t matter whether you were looking at a $499 dishwasher or a $1,800+ refrigerator. Which, I might add, are pretty average prices for those kinds of appliances lest any of you think of me as Rich Uncle Pennybags. And even more dismaying was hearing from several sources that appliances warranties are starting to go to just 90 days!