Why Appliances Don’t Last Anymore?

Why Appliances Don’t Last Anymore?

Three years back Pushpa bought a new 55 inch TV for about Rs. 60,000. The entire family was delighted at the outstanding display and vibrant sound quality. But two years later, one fine day, the display just went blank. The technician who came to check said it was a complaint with the panel and gave a quote of close to Rs. 20,000 to replace it. Needless to say, they were stunned.

This is not an isolated incident. Consumer complaint forums and reviews section of leading e-commerce portals are filled with many such incidents where home appliances and electronics break down within a few years.

Appliances bought in the 80s and 90s used to last for 15-20 years without major complaints. But nowadays, if you are lucky enough, your refrigerator or washing machine will last for 10-15 years before having to spend a major amount on its repair.

One of the main reasons that affect durability is the cost-cutting approach taken by many manufacturers. The production of individual components of large appliances is often outsourced to the cheapest third party manufacturers. Unlike older appliances, the ones found today are lighter and more compact to save on transportation costs. Moreover, instead of mechanical controls, we now have electronic ones which are more sensitive to moisture, temperature, mechanical shock, stress and impact.

So, it isn’t wrong to say that appliances are not being made the way it used to be. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be all grim and gloomy, because newer appliances have their own advantages.

Newer Appliances: Better Efficiency

A 2008 model double door refrigerator with 4-star energy efficiency used to consume around 500 units of electricity annually. But a 2020 model with 4-star energy rating consumes just around 200 units. Similarly, newer washing machines consume lesser water. In fact, many of the front load models use less than 50-60 litres of water for a washing full load of clothes.

So, changing your appliance every decade is not exactly a complete negative in your personal balance sheet, because you do save on energy and water costs.

Newer appliances are not only more environmentally friendly but also offers superior features that make people’s life easier. Washing machines nowadays have a time delay, medic rinse, wi-fi connectivity, auto detergent dispenser and so on. Refrigerators come with sophisticated compressors that reduce temperature variation; has anti-bacterial coating; moisture controller; convertibility feature and so on.

Change With The Changing Times

 Majority of the consumers want to have the latest appliances with most modern features. Unfortunately, durability comes as a trade-off. So, rather than ruing about the durability, it is better to change to adapt to the new consumer trend.

Opt for products from reputed brands rather than relying on fly-by-night operators. Once the warranty period is over, it is better to resort to local repairmen who may be able to pin-point the exact problem and replace smaller components rather than changing a much larger and more expensive part. Finally, learn to let go and replace the appliance when the repair costs more than half the cost of a new appliance.
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