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Product Quality Worsening

There are various ways an enterprise can increase profits such as with clever marketing, innovation and selling superior products.

There is also the selling of inferior products at superior prices.

Delivering a poorer quality item for the previous regular price will result in a higher profit as long as sales remain steady. It seems that this is gaining popularity as dollar store quality creeps into mainstream merchandising in many areas.

Another concern is inferior design. This may occur because the item is already very well designed and a ‘Newly Designed Gizmo’ is required for marketing advantage. The result is often very unfavorable, to the consumer.

Small appliances in general have been a frustration for me in recent years. Not wanting high-end over complicated products I’ve opted for basic simplicity and ‘low-end’ models. They have not worked properly.

We have had 4 different coffee makers over the past two years. One conked out after only a few months of use. Another had a gap above the handle that spewed hot steam. Another’s auto shut-off worked on a first brew but when it auto shut off and a new brew started, it just kept on going and going. The latest works well but I wonder, what is the use of an appliance clock if directed to unplug the unit after using?

The newly designed water filter looks nicer with a sleek curved design but if filled level at the front water runs over the back. It is also more awkward to fill, the spout flap sometimes sticks, raises the lid slightly and forces water out the sides.

My clock radio was very difficult to program and I had to pull out the manual even to do a reset of the time. Worse still the numerous buttons on the top were very sensitive to the touch. A slight brush on one of them would set the alarm for 3 am and on one occasion I could not shut it off. I finally pulled the plug and then sat in the quiet living room to relax. For a while – when it started its loud beep again I ran back and yanked out the batteries! I have since trashed it as being hazardous to a person’s mental health.

Our can opener which operated very well quit one day so we replaced it with the same brand. It now spits all over the counter each time a cut is completed. I should next consider a manual opener, I could use the exercise.

Software! My personal experience is that more often than not when I have upgraded software it was a waste of time or money or both. It is often bloated with excessive features, more difficult to use, and buggy. I have sometimes reloaded the older version but generally will not upgrade if not necessary.

A pillbox purchased from a large supermarket chain’s drug department is so difficult to open it has chipped my fingernails. Recycled!

Clothes should work alright, especially higher brands, shouldn’t they? The last pair of shorts I bought had back pockets half normal depth – for half size wallets. My new pants’ pockets have buttonholes in small strips under the pocket flap. I can unbutton the pockets easily if I first take off the pants. My nice looking top brand winter coat has double side-by-side pockets on each side but at least I get my hand in the right pocket more than 50% of the time! My top brand slippers began disintegrating a month after purchase. Etc.

There’s much that is disappointing in so much of what we buy.

You may say, “Buy a high-end product anyway, you usually get what you pay for.” Well I don’t want a pile of junky features, I just want quality basics. They would stay with a solid, efficient and simple design but that isn’t ‘New’ and would not generate a new sale. Business survives and grows on profit and often that profit is our loss.

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