Gransnet forums


Throw away society

(65 Posts)
petra Fri 13-Feb-15 16:54:31

Aibu to think that a TV we bought 6 weeks ago is 'beyond economic repair'
Those are the words from Lg.
We have exchanged several emails, with them telling us how to fix the problem. When I asked for an engineer to call, that is what I was told.
They have sent a letter to take to Curry's to get my money back!

J52 Fri 13-Feb-15 16:58:55

DS was given a very good flat screen with a small problem because the original owner was told the same and he got a new one, under the guarantee.

So they both benefitted. x

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 13-Feb-15 16:59:58

I guess it's got nothing to do with environmental concerns. Just, strangely, cheaper to scrap the tv than try to repair it. It's probably down to these "circuit boards". hmm

tanith Fri 13-Feb-15 17:00:45

Seems rather odd Petra not sure what else you can do though

granjura Fri 13-Feb-15 17:13:19

Seems mad indeed. On another tack, over 60% of hoovers are thrown away in perfect working order- because the efficiency has dropped due to not emptying/cleaning the filter!!!

harrigran Fri 13-Feb-15 17:34:54

I think we assume now that when we buy a TV that it is an item which will be binned when it develops a fault. Technology moves on that fast that the item becomes outdated anyway. I have never had a TV repaired and I once had a fridge/freezer that lasted 2 weeks and could not be repaired. Yes I think we live in a throw away society now.

soontobe Fri 13-Feb-15 17:39:59

I think we have become a throwaway society, but some of is not down to us as the general public.

crun Fri 13-Feb-15 17:44:20

This is usually the cue for somebody to start muttering something about built-in obsolescence, but it's just the inevitable consequence of economic growth.

Growth is made possible by the use of automation to produce more output with the same amount of labour (contrary to the protestations of the Luddites). However, some functions are able to be automated, and others aren't. Production is easily automated because it consists of a series of repetitive predictable tasks in a controlled environment, repair however, is less repetitive and predictable so it can't easily be automated.

Since one person's growth in living standards is another person's increased labour cost, growth makes labour intensive work progressively more expensive relative to the automated tasks. Eventually you reach the point where manufacturing a new product is cheaper than repairing the old one.

The automation and cost reduction of electronic equipment has been achieved by integration on a massive scale. Electronic circuits that were once built from components soldered into a circuit board are now fabricated directly onto a slice of silicon using lithographic techniques. Even in the 18 years since I was designing radio there has been a revolution, the circuit boards that once contained hundreds of components are now little more than a mechanical structure to mount a handful integrated circuits on. Very cheap, very small, very high tech, and very unrepairable.

Six weeks does sound a bit extreme, though. When my telly kicked the bucket, Currys sent a man out to plug in a new circuit board a few times before giving up and replacing it, but there was no fault finding process or wielding of test equipment and soldering irons as there would have been in the past. In the days when someone came out to your living room and spent an hour swapping valves, a telly cost many week's wages, not just one week's.

The same argument applies elsewhere too. The private sector of the economy tends to be biased toward functions that can easily be automated (manufacturing TVs, cars, washing machines, etc.), whereas the public sector has many functions that are a whole lot less amenable to employing robots (policing, nursing, social services etc.). So contrary to some opinion, it's not a left wing conspiracy causing a progressive increase in the public sector, just economic growth.

Soutra Fri 13-Feb-15 17:45:51

Shortest lived appliance I ever had was my first dishwasher. I had saved up about 3days worth of washing up, loaded it as soon as the nice JL men had gone and the machine went "Whirr, clunk!" and died. sadThey sent me a new one but I had to wait 3days until they next delivered in this village. And I still had to do all that washing up. sad

crun Fri 13-Feb-15 17:52:56

The other point I forgot to mention is fashion.

If manufacturers know that a product is likely to be thrown away when people get bored with it, then it can be an uncompetitive waste of money to design it to last any longer than it takes the fashion to wear off. In the case of electronic equipment though, many of the developments that have led to miniaturisation and an increase in power have also improved reliability.

NanaDenise Fri 13-Feb-15 17:55:07

I don't like the throw away society, so I was delighted when the engineer came to look at my 11 year old LG washing machine (which had smoke coming from it) and said he could repair it. So far, it has only needed the pump replaced. It now needs a replacement board and a new drive. 5 of my 6 grandchildren have lived with us over the last 15 years, so it has been well used.
I also had my Kenwood mixer rebuilt when the motor burned out (it was more than 20 years old), and it was made to look like new.
Things just aren't built to last or be repaired these days.

soontobe Fri 13-Feb-15 18:17:30

Is the planet running out of anything it needs, crun?
It seems able to keep up with the needs of technology no matter how much is demanded of it.
[I could google I suppose, but I like asking you instead!]

From time to time, I seem to have heard that the world is running out of this or that, but then I dont hear about it again, so I presume a way was found around the problem, or some more of something was found.

Deedaa Fri 13-Feb-15 20:43:47

For many years we used a hoover that FIL had found thrown out on the street - nothing wrong with it at all. We had a slimline dishwasher that had several bits replaced over the years before it gave up altogether.

Marmight Fri 13-Feb-15 21:16:21

I realise that using a tumble dryer is not very 'green', however, I bought my first and only dryer in 1987 and it is still going strong. The door seal is no longer available so when it split I superglued it together and Bob's yer Uncle, job done wink. I may throw a party for its 30th birthday.....

Ana Fri 13-Feb-15 21:22:16

My tumble dryer is circa 1979 - I only bought it because I was pregnant and panicked about drying nappies! It's had to have a new element, but is still going strong.

I suspect it's not as energy-efficient as the newer models, but I don't actually use it that often except in an emergency.

petra Fri 13-Feb-15 21:44:38

I suppose it was my own fault. I didn't read up on it before we bought it.
After we started having problems I looked on line to see what people were saying. And there it was: the same problems that we were experiencing.
This forum was from people all round the world, and I have to say that a lot of people (not in the uk) were getting no joy from Lg. At least we got our money back.

Charleygirl Fri 13-Feb-15 21:45:01

I have recently bought a new computer to be told by Currys that they do not expect it to last more than 2 years. My previous one was nearly 8 years old. Getting parts is the main problem for appliances I find.

I am certain that Gordon my computer man will manage to keep my computer running for many more years.

My stairlift managed to run for a whole week before breaking down and needing a replacement part.

Penstemmon Fri 13-Feb-15 21:52:42

I bought a wine cooler because my fridge is not huge and I thought I could release shelf space if I moved the fruit juice and sparkling water into a wine cooler wink
However it arrived in time for our New Year Eve party but failed to reach the recommended temperature so we did not use it. I contacted the company and they sent an engineer (two week wait), he did not have the part so he would return when he had one (three week wait) He returned with part but it was something else wrong after all and probably not repairable. I contacted the company again who said, if I supplied proof of purchase confused they would deliver a new cooler but not remove the 'old' one. I pointed out it was NOT an old one and that they would be taking it away. DH packed it back into its original box and put it by the door to be collected when the new cooler was delivered.

New cooler is working well, not sure of the fate of the old new cooler but probably on the scrap heap. sad

Eloethan Sat 14-Feb-15 09:05:39

My mobile phone was deemed beyond repair the other week and I expressed surprise. I was asked how long I'd had it - no more than two years I said. "Oh well", the people at Carphone Warehouse said "that's about how long they last" - what!!

Penstemmon What a cheek expecting you to dispose of their faulty appliance.

PRINTMISS Sat 14-Feb-15 09:46:33

I think that quite a lot of large electrical appliances now come with a 5 year insurance cover (for which you can pay when purchasing, if you like). We had all new appliances when we moved house, and yes, after five years they started to give us trouble, and were eventually replaced. So I have a feeling that things are built to fall apart after a time - it does keep the workers employed though.

petra Sat 14-Feb-15 11:07:20

What shocked me was: this TV was £2,500. And Lg deemed it unrepairable !!

soontobe Sat 14-Feb-15 11:22:30

I would presume that since others around the world have had the same problem, that Lg know that they have to write some off.

FlicketyB Sat 14-Feb-15 15:39:28

The heating element in my dishwasher packed in at Christmas. The new element cost £80. Fitting would cost at least as much a again. Total cost a minimum of £175. I bought a new dishwasher.

Knowing that there is no good reason for a heating element to cost so much I did some research. A replacement 2kw heating element for a kettle costs £6 - a new kettle costs approx. £20. A replacement 3kw heating element for a hot water boiler (popular with Church hall kitchens) costs £30. A new water boiler costs £90. A new 1.4kw element for a dishwasher costs £80 and a new dishwasher costs £200 upwards. Plus of course the cost of fitting.

Do I see a pattern here? Elements priced so that with fitting you might as well just buy a new appliance?

I am sure this applies to the pricing of a lot of spare parts.

Ana Sat 14-Feb-15 15:45:19

You spent £2,500 on a tv? [faints clean away...]

petra Sat 14-Feb-15 18:09:52

Ana. Yes we did. The picture quality is outstanding, the 3d is absolutely amazing.