Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Today, a report came out from a consumer confidence research board that consumer confidence was at an all time low of 37.7 (whatever that is). I didn’t know there was such a board but I could have saved them a lot of trouble in their research if they would have ask me. The confidence level was down even more than they had projected. DA!!!

My spouse spent the morning talking to GE and a service company about our broken GE washing machine. The machine is one year old and is now broken for the third time. We used to be Maytag users but we were told, by the people at Home Depot, that Maytag sold out and that GE was now the best. We never had trouble with our old Maytag. Maytag was even my mother’s first washer and was the type where you turned a hand wringer and the clothes were rinsed in three tubs of water with one containing bluing. The Maytag man lived next door. He sold us the machine and if we ever had a problem he would come over and fixed it for a cup of coffee. He was especially nice to us because I feed his chickens. Those were the good old days.

Now we have to fight to get anything fixed on the inferior products made by people like GE. The service folks never have anything in stock. They charge you a service charge and then order a part that takes several days to come from the factory. They then return for instillation and have a giant charge for labor. Meanwhile, you have a mountain of dirty clothes. Or course, the place where we bought the unit, Home Depot, has nothing to do with any of this. Once you buy something from them, it’s your responsibility baby. The customer is on their own in getting a faulty piece of merchandise repaired.

Is it any wonder that places like Home Depot are having massive layoffs and closing stores? Also, is it any wonder that GE and other American companies are in trouble? Consumer confidence is down. What a surprise!!

The main thing that surprises me is that, at my advanced age, I haven’t learned these lessons and keep making the same mistake by buying stuff from places like Home Depot and buying products like GE. One reason is that I have no choice. It just isn’t like it was when I was a kid when people and companies seemed to care.

I guess even the bad stuff and troubles are better than the rub board my mother used when I was a kid. We hung all our washing on clotheslines outside in the sun to dry. Boy, the clothes sure smelled good and it was nothing like those fresh sheets to ensure a good nights sleep. I wouldn’t mind a clothesline in the back yard now and have those hanging clothes block the sight of the deer. However, I don’t think my spouse would go for this idea. She would probably prefer to argue with GE and the service people on the phone rather than hang clothes. She has had a lot of experience with the latter and it has become much easier.


Blogger jeff ludwick said...

We all feel your pain, Doc. It seems like every time one makes a purchase these days the immediate question is "Would you like the one, two or three year warranty?" I have given up on asking what type warranty COMES with products these days because they all carry the same warranty.......30 days or 30 steps, whichever comes first. And you are correct, if there IS a problem don't dare bring the product back to us...go directly to 1-800 hell.

I knew we were doomed when I read that Toyota was re-thinking their production and warranty philosophy recently. It seems that compared to their rival U.S. autos the Toyotas last longer and rarely have prblems that outlive their warranties. What a novel idea. Now the high thinkers have decided to put out a more inferior product, one that lasts less than three years, so that the public will buy more of them. Am I missing something or just getting old? I sure hope that Crow's Burgers don't take that approach and start selling me crappy burgers so I will buy more of them....

6:04 AM  

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