The continuously declining quality of consumer goods [rant!]

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posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 12:23 PM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


Don't you just long for the days when, if you purchased a higher priced item, you knew with absolute certainty that it was a higher quality and meant to last as opposed to simply being branded with some trendy name?

I spend too much time looking for old items like this... knife sets, kitchen tools, appliances, original push mower, hand tools etc. It's a serious pain but well worth it when I know this stuff can be included in my will (if desired) because it will outlast my lifetime! I suppose it's worth mentioning that keeping up with the times/Joneses does not make the radar as it is a fools game to enter into.

As for clothing, I still have a few 20+yr old T-Shirts that haven't lost their colour or frayed... yes I wear them regularly. On the other hand, I haven't a single one left over 18mths old that was purchased this millennium because they self destruct after 12-18 months. If anyone has a pair kicking about, compare the denim quality in Levi's from the early 90's to today... it's not work-wear any more, folks.

On the bright side, there are still high quality manufacturers in North America for some things... if you are willing to pay the price for i)decent quality and ii)ensuring you are contributing to the standard of living of your neighbours instead of some foreigners.

The problem, as I see it, is that people are cheap. They prefer to spend less despite obvious quality differences without a single thought as to how those 'savings' contribute to declining wages at home, rising unemployment at home, as well as a decreased standard of living. (never mind that they have to replace the cheap product repeatedly because it wears out or breaks) If people paid for the better quality products, manufacturers would keep pumping them out. People don't so "quality" merchandise has essentially become a niche market.

Damn I feel old writing this




posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 12:42 PM
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If you had the last 5 or 6 apples on Earth, you'd sell them at higher prices than you used to.

Once you get down to 1 apple, it's worth a lot more.




This is what I see happening to our world and the economy.



The proverbial apples are running out faster than ever, and are being spread thin at higher cost to the consumer.



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 12:45 PM
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I hear you brother, been ranting about it for some time already.

Cheaper and cheaper components, golden equasion of corporations involving cost of components, cost of repair broken units and probability they will broke in time of warranty (1-2 years usually). Basically to make MAXIMUM profit with obvious loss for customer.

2 years passes by, and then bam. Friend's of mine PS3 broke 2 days after warranty expiration. My HP Pavillon broke (major hardware failure of CPU) 15 days before, guess I was lucky.

Disgusting practice, wish they had to disclose those sort of calculations to the public.

I want go back to the times when japanese VCR was working for 20 years, german radio 30 and american amplifiers with seemly unlimited lifetime.

I guess Im a dreamer.
But Im not the only one, appearently.
edit on 28-7-2012 by stainlesssteelrat because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by Unrealised
The proverbial apples are running out faster than ever, and are being spread thin at higher cost to the consumer.


Not really, it's the increasing chase for profit in every possible and conceivable place. Its well possible to make high quality items in the same price. But they would cut their profits on repairs and replacements of broken units. If you would have electric kettle that lasts 20 years, that would be no good for corporation making kettles. Simple.

Its the same chapter of our economical slavery as feeble interests in renewable energy market. Thats why we dont have solar panels on every roof and wind-turbines on every farm. Because it would be BAD FOR BUSINESS.

Gap between General Population and Beneficients is rising to the sky and we have to feed it more and more vigorously.



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 01:08 PM
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Movies/tv, video games, electronics/foods, etc... all that # has been degraded to make us dumb, poor and sick. As long as we have brainless buyers, they'll keep producing low-quality # and keep getting bigger in power/control.



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 01:08 PM
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I've noticed that the plastic being used lately is a few millimeters thinner on certain things. Some conduit fittings I've tried using on some fire systems have straight snapped or exploded into tiny fragments, which I have never seen before in the industry.
Yet when I go to buy something it has to wrapped up in the toughest plastic on earth, makes me wonder how many years it will take the tough ass plastic to breakdown in the environment?
I would like to comment on the Japanese vehicles I have owned. While owning a couple they have actually fixed themselves after something had went out before. So much Kudos for Japanese vehicles!



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 01:28 PM
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When i started working on mainframes in the late 80's virtually everything was repaired on site if possible short of broken circuit boards or those wierd faults that the engineer couldnt fix but they'd be able to fix everything from a tape drive to a disk motor etc and even down to fixing keyboard faults due to some of the data entry girls typing with hammers
but by the mid 1990's pretty much everything was in sealed units or swapable cards so the engineer who a few years had spent a hour testing to find the fault now spent the same time playing whack-a-mole with a van full of spares he carried while on the phone to one of probably 3 people in the country who actually knew what the hell that part was supposed to do

so looking back i miss the good old days but at the same time i doubt someone will pay £30/per hour to fix a £10 mp3 player unless the data on it is worth more than the item



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 03:13 PM
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I have to join in on this rant:
I have a collection of tracing wheels. (A tool for sewing, composed of a notched wheel attached to a handle, used for tracing pattern markings onto fabric.) One is very old. It has a wooden handle with a steel wheel. The steel runs down through the handle. This thing was made to last forever. I have a second one from the 70's made of thick, solid plastic. The wheel is a thinner metal. It's pretty sturdy, but nothing like the vintage version. The third one, made in the early part of the 00's is a piece of junk. Its made of thin molded plastic with a very flimsy piece of metal for the wheel. It looks as if it will fall apart after a few uses. I have in in my mind to mount and frame them as a group.

Toilet paper rolls keep getting shorter and shorter. For a while, I was collecting them, (just a few) and keeping them stacked like Russian nesting dolls. Did they think we wouldn't notice that extra inch of bare spindle? "More sheets per roll!" Yeah, whatever. How about a roll that fits the holder that is attached permanently to my home??!!

Even sweet Betty Crocker is screwing us! Brownie mixes that used to fill a 9x13 pan are now made to fit a 9" square or 7 x 11" pan. Two boxes combined together are too much for the 9x13. The next step will probably be the new and improved 9x13 pan, (that is really only 7x11.... but now 10% taller!!!)

I have learned to read the fine print on products before I make a choice. They short us in ways they don't think we will notice. Mascara for instance - the container is opaque, so we cant see how much is in there. This used to last forever, but the last few years, I have noticed it runs out much more quickly. I bought some the other day, and compared the weight of the products. Don't be fooled by the packaging! The big fat tubes with the big chunky, wasteful brushes actually have less in them than the smaller tubes, at least with L'Oreal. If I could find an old one to compare, I imagine they all have less product contained within than they do now.

On top of the product downsizing, there's this - things like anit-itch cream. It relieves the itch, but when it wears off, you itch much worse than you did to begin with. You need more. You cant quit. You buy more, more often.
Ditto for nasal spray. It makes you more stuffed up. You need it worse than ever.

It's all very sad and depressing how they continually cheat us on consumer products, while raising prices. I would go take an anti-depressant or something. But I would probably wind up curled into a fetal position in a dark corner when it wore off.



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 03:16 PM
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People are stupid and buy new stuff every year. Case study: Apple. iPhone 4s. Basically all Apple added was voice command and a bunch of dummies lined up for it, just like good little sheep.

As consumers, we ultimately determine and are also responsible for what is produced by making choices via purchases. The problem is 90% of folks have no idea what a logical fallacy is; this alone makes advertising possible.

Basically economies of scale = lower quality at a given point because after the producers get used to a higher revenue (TR) [Total Revenue] and lowering costs (TC) [Total Costs] quality is scarified for profits. {When TR is at its highest point above TC} This is also why GM and Chrysler went bankrupt, because people refused to purchase sub-par products.
edit on 28-7-2012 by ConspiracyBuff because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 04:42 PM
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Just a tip my friend told me about, I tried it and it worked for me too.

For the cordless phone, that won't take a charge - seems like the battery is dead (this may work for cell phones, too, but I mean cordless land line phones here.)

Try this - disconnect the entire thing, from phone and electric. Take the battery out. Leave it this way for at least a half an hour.

Then put it all back together again and plug it back in.

Battery now taking charge again.

My friend told me this and she said she did it twice with a cordless phone that seemed like it wouldn't take a charge.

I've done it once so far - and it worked.

Makes you wonder if there's not some kind of 'programming' in the phones - to make it appear that the battery won't take a charge.

Worth a try anyway, instead of spending more money on replacement battery or new phone.

I did it - and it worked.



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 05:09 PM
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Logged in just to give you an S&F. This is what makes me crazy. Every time I get some "new & improved" carp, I rant & rave for weeks. Sometimes, I completely blow off stuff I really loved.
The latest is Behr paint. Some "brilliant" [body part...no, the other side] decided to discontinue the old paint (which was perfect in every way & I've been using for years) & add "primer". Now it doesn't match, streaks like crazy, & stinks (so much for "low VOC").
Somebody's *always* doing this.



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 05:13 PM
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reply to post by ConspiracyBuff
 


Oh yeah and Apple.
don't get me started



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 07:10 PM
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Apple hardware is pretty solid, not speaking to their thin laptop products as I don't own any. An iPad or iPod touch is a pretty solid black box product though... and no moving parts to wear out.

There are a pile of things we could rip Apple for, but quality of their products really isn't one (and that's what this thread is about).



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 09:37 PM
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Yes I know we are to blame too, you get a star from me because you make an important point. But I don't think us buying all their new models does anything which would force them to keep raising prices, and your argument certainly doesn't hold when it comes to food. It is the endless greed of these companies which is the main reason, they simply don't know when enough is enough, and it freakin pisses me off.


I am glad that people are noticing this trend of packages getting smaller (or at least the contents getting smaller), while the prices stay the same. It's like "it's the same product", same price, same everything - except that it's not the same anymore, it's worse - much, much worse.

I have a lot to say about this topic, so my brain gets a bit messy - too many thoughts wanting to occupy the same area at once. But I am trying to get some of it through.

One point I have is that this all might have to do with limited Earth resources, with continuously exploding population growth. 7 billion people consume exponentially more stuff than 3 billion people (this was the number only a few decades ago - I think in the 60's and 70's), especially with so, oh, so many "new" products in existence. Back then it was a little more humble compared to the maniac 'consumer hysteria' we have now.

Then there are the corporate tricks not to lose money, and to keep the prices up, no matter what - which I totally hate of course. Let me tell you an example.

There used to be digital cameras in 2007 that cost about 100 € (EUR). That seemed reasonable for a pocket-camera to me, so I bought one. Well, of course those cameras are built so cheaply that their battery door locking mechanism will break pretty quickly, and eventually the whole door mechanism breaks - meaning that you would have to spend about 100 € just to fix it, so you might as well buy a new camera. Consumerism indeed.

(I don't identify myself as CONSUMER - that's a pretty insulting word to call a creative, thinking, multi-capable human beings, whose origins are somewhere in Cosmos! - Being reduced to just one, most simplistic function.. man, that's an insult!)

Now, I spent some time without a camera, pondering my options - and then a couple years later (from the moment that I bought the camera), I thought that perhaps those cameras are now CHEAPER, because technology improves, and better models come to 'market', and so these older models might cost half the price they used to! So I might be able to easily and cheaply replace the old camera with an identical one, yay! Though I would have to be really careful with the battery door.

Of course.. you can guess the rest. They didn't sell that same exact camera anymore. They had a 'new' version of a 100 € camera! Basically the same thing as the old camera, but with some new 'improvements' and superficial changes (and probably just as weak battery door). So in effect, the customer has to pay the SAME AMOUNT of money for basically the same technology, no matter how many years he waits! There's no "cheapening of prices"!

And there's of course no competition... the corporations won't let competition affect their prices. What do they do? They create a confusing, messy hell for the customers, so that basically all the profits are split relatively evenly anyway. Remember the cell phone system? If you buy your phone service from corporation F, you can call cheaper during 17-18, but text messages will be more expensive, unless you send them between 12-14. If you buy from corporation D, your calls will be cheaper during 16:30-17:30, but only if you send more than 10 text messages per week. And .. so .. on. Who the heck could figure out, which corporation actually sell the cheapest alternative, and how can anyone be so precise in predicting when he'll use the phone and what amount of messages they will send? They don't lower prices, EVER - they simply create all kinds of tricks so they can keep the prices HIGH.

The "new" version of the 100 € camera probably cost even LESS to manufacture than the previous camera, and yet they have the nerve to charge the same exact price. So there will always be a 100 € camera, which will never become a 50 € camera..unless you buy it used, which of course means that the battery door is probably already half-broken.

Corporations are demons.. they love it when people pour their money and soul into them, and feel helpless in their grasp. And we are all dependent on these huge giants, who have the rights of a living, human being, but not the obligations. A corporation cannot be imprisoned, and any fine will be a slap on the wrist. It can't be effectively punished, and the corporations practically own all governments anyway, in all signifigant ways. They get tax cuts, but people never do.

It's a rotten world, with a really rotten system. And yet, we ALLOW it to be this way... we are the guilty ones for this situation. We were duped, but we didn't have to let them dupe us.
edit on 28-7-2012 by Shoujikina because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 10:46 PM
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I totally agree with the OP.

Generally speaking, when I buy something, I buy the best quality I can afford, sometimes the best quality I can't afford. Sometimes I have to buy it as a superseded model, like new old stock. Usually I have no complaints about these high end goods.

However, I needed new glasses some time ago and went to a very well known chain of stores in Toronto, specializing in glasses whose name does not begin with G and does not begin with I, but does begin with a letter adjacent to both.

I bought the special, which was two pairs of glasses, one with light sensitive coated lenses at a cost of $600.00.

Just thinking about it now makes my head spin.

Anyway to cut a long story short, within a month, the hinged arms on both pairs of glasses had broken off and been repaired and broken again and been repaired again and broken yet again and I was informed by this nationally known, shady outfit that they would no longer repair the glasses.

I'm wearing one of the pair right now with a very tastefully applied piece of scotch tape holding it together. I have worn them that way for a couple of years now.

During the stressful period when this disgraceful example of shysterism was playing itself out, episode after depressing episode, I spoke to one of my glasses wearing friends, who told me that I should know better than to fold the arms of the glasses closed. "Always keep them open," she said.

My jaw dropped on the floor, with molars clattering all over the place when I heard that!

Howard Stern is right. "It's insane. Insane. The world is insane."
edit on 28-7-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 11:01 AM
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'Made In China'



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 11:17 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 

I agree completely. But I believe this is by design. I have power tools I use in my garage that are 10-15 years old and still working. Anything newer than that lasts 5 years (if I'm lucky) and usually about 1 year. I have a refrigerator that is 2 years old and I had it serviced 3 times. I've started buying the extended warranty because I know the brand new piece of junk is going to break down quick! And what about our landfills full of crap that is broken. In many cases, just a small part, but to fix it costs more than buying a new one?!! So people throw it away and buy a new one. This is a way to suck the money out of your pocket.

I will pay more more for an item, if I know it is good quality and it will last me. The problem is when I spend more for an item and it still breaks down. Then I really feel taken. I have subscribed to consumer reports and so far they've done a pretty good job of weeding out most of the crap, at least for me.

Anecdote
I looked at a pair of jack stands in my garage, that has a plastic strip that holds the adjustment pin so it doesn't get lost from the jack stand itself. This pair of jack stands are about 25 years old. At various times, they've sat out in the sun and rain. That little plastic strip is still not brittle or broken. I ask myself, why is it that every NEW piece of plastic crap I buy, the plastic invariably breaks, particularly when its left out in sun.

I think way all the crap they make now, that breaks down by design. Is analogous to our government, and financial institutions, that are breaking down BY DESIGN.

Good post OP!!



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 11:27 AM
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Hit em hard, more will follow.

We can fix anything we try too.

We just have to actually try.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 12:07 PM
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Originally posted by ChaoticOrder
I just need to let off some steam because I'm quite pissed off right now. I am sick of these god damn corporations producing lower and lower quality products, made from crappier and crappier materials, which are designed to break faster and faster, while we are forced to pay more and more! Screw that, where is the logic in that?!? You tell me...

This especially pisses me off when it comes to food. For a long time I've been purchasing many of the same food products, but they are slowly reducing the amount of food in each package, yet they have the balls to charge me the same, or some times even more! Meanwhile the quality of the food is also getting lower. It's completely infuriating.

How the hell does this crap happen? Are your insane profits not enough?!? You have to continuously make the products lower in quality, contain less bang for your buck, yet you have the audacity to keep raising prices? Show some god damn morality you life sucking leeches!!! When is enough enough huh? Where is the line?

Your equipment gets faster and more efficient, your manufacturing techniques become more streamlined, your production costs are continuously going down as a result... yet you still raise prices as if it's costing you more and more to produce the goods which you are in fact getting better and better at producing, in terms of costs!

Screw you bastards! End rant.
edit on 27/7/2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)


It used to be that America was the Manufacturing Capitol of the world, but that all changed with NAFTA/GATT during the Clinton Administration. American businesses took their manufacturing elsewhere where the taxes and EPA rules didn't exist. In doing so, the "materials" created in manufacturing became inferior and not of the same quality as those here in the states. I know of a few US Companies here in Texas that tried taking their manufacturing to China and the Chinese would use inferior materials after they left and created inferior products that did not last or even meet spec.

Americans, Germans and a few others could make things that lasted forever, but there is NO PROFIT in doing so because there is NO REPLACEMENT for them. US Automobiles are a bright example. The Japanese are proud of what they create and make good quality products. Chinese manufacturers are good at copy cat items but lack the quality control and pride others do and still use inferior materials.

Price is a major concern here. It costs more to produce products here than in foreign countries like mexico and china. There are still import tariffs that get applied to bring those products into the UsA.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:08 PM
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A full day after installing a new water hose faucet I was turning it on and snap.






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