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'[OT] Attitudes to cheap products'
2008\08\30@213425 by Jinx

face picon face
Although this about a specific product, it's typical of the reaction I'm
getting from retailers. I appreciate that margins are slim, but some
lines need to be drawn in the sand

About 15 months ago my mother bought a floor lamp with two fittings,
and today I had the second run-in with the shop that sold it to her, but
got her a refund

The problem is that it's so flimsily made that IMHO it's not fit for its
intended purpose and could possibly be dangerous. Although there
are stickers inside that say 100W max bulb, even with a 60W bulb
the heat is too much. The plastic inside both fittings has become so
brittle that it falls apart when you try to remove the bulb

So she took it back today and I had a circular discussion with the
manager on the phone

She maintains that they aren't sub-standard, even though this is the
second visit back to the store. I say a light fitting should last longer
than 15 months with less-than-rated bulbs

She agrees that the screw metal (these are for ES bulbs) is too thin
and not held properly to the holder. My attempt to get a blown bulb
out ended up with what I thought was the socket going around and
around (as happened with the other fitting). And that's how I left it.
But she says the metal in the fitting and the metal of the bulb "weld"
together with the heat, and that it's the bulb glass going around and
around. She says she got the bulb out. Presumably in two pieces,
leaving the bulb's base behind in the socket

She says that they sell "a lot" at $50 and don't get any returns so
they must be OK. I say just because people don't return them is no
evidence that they're "OK". It's just as likely that they're cheap enough
to throw away. Which would explain why they sell "a lot"

Apparently Direct Lighting have a Compliance Officer. Who she
says is an ex-electrician that they hired. Hmmm. No conflict of
interest there eh ?

All in all, not a productive conversation, and they'll continue to sell
their cheap and dangerous tat. She's promised to put something
about the Compliance Officer's review of these lamps in the post,
so I'll see what that's all about. I'd like to take this further because
I think products and attitudes like this are a rip-off

2008\08\30@222235 by Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

picon face
Jinx wrote:
> I'd like to take this further because
> I think products and attitudes like this are a rip-off


Enjoy it, think of this as great opportunity to go on a mission. Paint
your face and make a fort! :-P

I bought a USB extension lead on eBay for less than $5 and I dragged it
out to the bitter end. I took the time to take photos of the item I
received and sent them to PayPal and eBay. I explained to eBay and
PayPal that I'm an electronic engineer, and I gave them a full technical
explanation of why the extension lead didn't work (it was supposed to
contain an active repeater but it turned out to be plain copper cable).

In the end I got a full refund and I got to leave negative feedback. Was
it a waste of time? Yes it certainly was, but god damn was it fun.

2008\08\30@223355 by Neil Cherry

flavicon
face
When I was younger my mother purchased a less expensive broom. After
about a week of use the bristles were worn out. Had my mother purchased
the more expensive broom, less than 1.5 the cost of the cheaper model,
she would have saved on time, travel and the cost of replacing the
broom. I learned that you get what you pay for. I now research my
purchased (actually after a few more lessons at cheap). People
question my purchasing habits but I do try to buy the best/appropriate
quality for my money. Of course I don't always avoid purchasing the
cheapest item. Sometimes it's exactly what's called for but for
longer term purchases I usually spend a little more and get the
appropriate quality.

--
Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       spam_OUTncherryTakeThisOuTspamlinuxha.com
http://www.linuxha.com/                         Main site
http://linuxha.blogspot.com/                    My HA Blog
Author of:            Linux Smart Homes For Dummies

2008\08\30@223521 by cdb

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face
Do these lamps have the AU/NZ electrical compliance number stamped on
them anywhere?

Colin
--
cdb, .....colinKILLspamspam@spam@btech-online.co.uk on 31/08/2008

Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

Hosted by:  http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=7988359







2008\08\30@230854 by Jinx

face picon face
> Do these lamps have the AU/NZ electrical compliance number
> stamped on them anywhere?

D'oh ! The shop has it now. As it's right next door to Dick Smith
Electronics, sorry, Dick Smith Phone And Big TV Shop, I could
drop in and have a look. They don't know me

Quality aside, what really annoyed me was the manager's (a young
slip of a girl who just doesn't understand electricals) attitude. It
seemed to me, and the person who was with mum, that all she cared
about was sales. There was no concern at all about our feelings on
the product's safety or durability

In fact she said to the person with mum that "she was aware of a
problem" yet would keep selling them

I wonder what Lighting Direct's Compliance Officer has to say

2008\08\30@230855 by Jinx

face picon face
> longer term purchases I usually spend a little more and get the
> appropriate quality.

Me too, although with the flood of imports it's getting hard to find
quality alternatives. I can understand that - people are being
indoctrinated/forced/deceived into accepting lower standards and
a couple of extra $$ is enough to lose a sale. I've seen it happen,
and tried my best, in vain, to convince the buyer that cheap is often
false economy

2008\08\30@232456 by SM Ling

picon face
> All in all, not a productive conversation, and they'll continue to sell
> their cheap and dangerous tat. She's promised to put something
> about the Compliance Officer's review of these lamps in the post,
> so I'll see what that's all about. I'd like to take this further because
> I think products and attitudes like this are a rip-off

It is comprehensible and also incomprehensible.

Some people refuse to make a living if they think is not right and
there is no pride in gaining a single cent.  I always wonder if there
should be at least a minimum test done by these people if they want to
make just a quick dollar they could do it easier in other line of
business.

But many just will do anything to achieve an illusion of well being
and certain status.  With the present day media which is most
influential educational and propaganda institution of the value, the
number can only increase.

Ling SM

2008\08\31@034449 by Richard Prosser

picon face
Jinx,
Jinx,

Did you mention the magic phrase "Consumer guarantees act?"
It can work wonders.


If you have safety concerns you could contact the dept of commerce

Richard P



2008/8/31 SM Ling <sm.ling11spamKILLspamgmail.com>:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\08\31@045504 by Dario Greggio

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Jinx wrote:

>>longer term purchases I usually spend a little more and get the
>>appropriate quality.
>
>
> Me too, although with the flood of imports it's getting hard to find
> quality alternatives.

I've come to thinking that we have a broader choice. We can spend a lot
for "more robust" products, or a little for "last-one-year" products.

It depends on the final use.

For example, I bought a 21" Sony TV in 1987, for 1.600.000 L (about
1000$ in 1987), it has been working for 21 years...
Now, I've bought a Samsung LCD 22", for 250 EUR... considering the time
that has passed, this costs about 1/20 of that one (but this is another
topic).

In any case, I could have possibly spent 700-800 EUR for a Sony
nowadays... but I'm happy like this and I won't mind spending another
250 if this Samsung (not bad firm at all, of course) would break in 2 years.

Same goes with other goods, I can say.

--
Ciao, Dario

2008\08\31@112341 by Justin Richards

face picon face
Drives me nuts.

Apparently plastic bags last 100 years, but I just cant find clothes
pegs to last more than a couple of months.

I know, built in obsolescence and all but if we cant build descent
pegs instead of producing piles of landfill we dont have a chance.



On Sun, Aug 31, 2008 at 4:54 PM, Dario Greggio <.....adpm.toKILLspamspam.....inwind.it> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\08\31@124356 by \Grif\ w. keith griffith

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face

Gotta love retail markets.   The best one I found was a very nice
hydraulic ball valve with a really nice seal and all.  Not the top of
the line, but perfect for what I needed.  HomeDespot carries them by
the bucket.  OK So Far?  Then the stock folks use those price tag
things that are connected to the product with what looks like fishing
line.  Yep, thru the valve body.  Add JohnQPublick and his kids
playing with the valves and presto.  Every valve in stock has a cut
seal.  Called the manager, called the distro point.

Gave up.



At 08:03 PM 8/30/2008, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

W. Keith 'Grif'  Griffith
N7IVS

2008\08\31@133416 by John Ferrell

face picon face
Plastic trash bags that I tucked away in an emergency kit disintegrated
after less than 10 years.

John Ferrell    W8CCW

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing." -- Edmund Burke
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2008\08\31@134753 by Paul Anderson

face picon face
On Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 11:08 PM, Jinx <EraseMEjoecolquittspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTclear.net.nz> wrote:
> I've seen it happen,
> and tried my best, in vain, to convince the buyer that cheap is often
> false economy
>
I had a friend at one point who bought himself a pair of vise-grips at
a dollar store.  The first time he used it, the serrations stripped
right off the jaws.

--
Paul Anderson
VE3HOP
wackyvorlonspamspam_OUTgmail.com
http://www.oldschoolhacker.com
QRP ARCI #13228, GQRP #12447

2008\08\31@144510 by \Grif\ w. keith griffith

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face

I thought that was a designed in feature now on plastic bags?


At 10:37 AM 8/31/2008, you wrote:
>Plastic trash bags that I tucked away in an emergency kit disintegrated
>after less than 10 years.
>
>John Ferrell    W8CCW
>
>"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
>nothing." -- Edmund Burke
>http://DixieNC.US
>
>{Original Message removed}

2008\08\31@165528 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On Sun, Aug 31, 2008 at 4:54 AM, Dario Greggio <@spam@adpm.toKILLspamspaminwind.it> wrote:
> I've come to thinking that we have a broader choice. We can spend a lot
> for "more robust" products, or a little for "last-one-year" products.
>
> It depends on the final use.

In some cases, it still makes more sense to go cheap - You can get 18V
cordless drills from Harbor Freight for $20, or you can get a nice
brand name durable cordless for $80 on the cheap end.

At the end of the day, I can buy 4 cheap drills for the cost of a good
one, and I don't worry about really beating them up, or tearing them
apart for use in a project.

The key, however, is recognizing the trade-off and making decisions
with full knowledge.  Price and quality have a very good relationship,
though, so I would have expected the consumer to assume the lamp is
inexpensive because it's cheap, not because the store is simply giving
them a good deal.

About the only thing I've ever complained about at length was the
cordless anti static wrist strap from Spark Fun.  Fortunately they
took action and discontinued that line - I can understand best buy
selling them next to the other snake oil products, but it surprised me
that a supposed electronics place would even consider selling such an
obvious rip off.

The mean course of action would be to buy expensive parts from them,
wear the strap and charge myself up before working on them and
repeatedly returning the expensive damaged items stating, "I'm wearing
the ESD control solutions you sell..."

Generally, however, it's just not worth my time.  Caveat emptor.

-Adam


--
EARTH DAY 2008
Tuesday April 22
Save Money * Save Oil * Save Lives * Save the Planet
http://www.driveslowly.org


'[OT] Attitudes to cheap products'
2008\09\04@140411 by piclist
flavicon
face
On Sun, 31 Aug 2008, Justin Richards wrote:
> Drives me nuts.
>
> Apparently plastic bags last 100 years, but I just cant find clothes
> pegs to last more than a couple of months.
>
> I know, built in obsolescence and all but if we cant build descent
> pegs instead of producing piles of landfill we dont have a chance.

Well the plastic bag material may endure for 100 years, but try and
actually carry anything around in it for 100 years and see how long before
it's just a collection of holes held together by stretched plastic.

The pegs certainly still exist, just in a shape that no longer serves it's
purpose.

Not that your point is incorrect, I'm just being picky as I wait for
friday. :-)

--
Ian Smith
http://www.ian.org

2008\09\04@195219 by Jinx

face picon face
> Well the plastic bag material may endure for 100 years, but try and
> actually carry anything around in it for 100 years

Saw a piece on TV the other night about the garbage dump in the
mid-Pacific

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch

The plastic just devolves into smaller and smaller pieces, often without
the polymer itself breaking down, and becomes an unavoidable part of
the marine life diet




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