I would really like to find a way for this kind of feedback to be presented to the manufacturer. It does little in the way of helping them if we only gripe about their designs. Here we have a large and varied collection of Engineers, Designers and Users that are willing to offer good and potentially actionable feedback on the design work of some of the largest and most important firms in the world.
Perhaps we can start collecting an email address or some contact information so that these posts and the responses can be forwarded to the manufacturer for comment and or action.
Ivan: You're right. Public discussion is more likely to get a meaningful response (even though it hasn't worked on this site yet). My experience has been that if you write to them directly, you get a form letter in return. "Thank you for your correspondence..."
Historically I think manufacturers have given a great deal of focus to magazines and other groups that have "ranked" there products because they saw a great deal of consumers that were using these tools to determine what to buy. As more and more consumers move to using blogs and internet sites for communicating about the quality of products and which products to buy, it will not be long before comanies will start to review this material just as much if not more than traditional print. Just look at the struggle traditional new media is having as more and more people get their news on the internet instead of the newspaper.
I have a GE French-door bottom-freezer refrigerator - and the ice has been jamming. I never thought of the night light - thanks for the posting!! Here's another design issue with GE - a standard size cup does not fit in the water dispensor (seriously) - only a kid's half cup.
Great idea Ivan but, in my experience, it's like trying to teach a pig to sing: it doesn't work and it annoys the heck out of the pig! A great example is an Amana gas range I bought a few years ago (primarily because it was a slide-in model with no upright rear control panel). After only a few months of use some trim vents (for the oven) at the back crumbled away. Did they not think the vent would get very hot - enough to seriously embrittle the plastic - with an oven running at 400 degrees? Even worse, the first time I cleaned the stainless steel range-top, with some 409 spray for degreasing (as I routinely use after frying anything), wiping the surface not only removed the grease but all the silkscreen legends for the burner controls! How much extra could it have cost to use a good epoxy paint? As others have said, it not a reliability issue, it's just plain stupid design. Letters of complaint to Amana were never responded to. I've found that manufacturers seem to have an immense amount of (largely undeserved) ego ... as well as a "not invented here" attitude about anything that hints of an improvement. Based on my experience with this range, and equally annoying design flaws in an Amana bottom-freezer refrigerator, I'll NEVER even consider buying an Amana product again. Even the marketing weasels should be concerned about this! But most consumers are as apathetic about bad products as they are with their politics, so I guess they largely deserve what they get. But I for one believe everyone should be a complainer ... and at every opportunity!
DON'T waste your collective breaths and/or the electrons to get messages to the "manufacturers". The e-mails will be directed to the "bean counters' offices, wherein they will be summarily dismissed into the electron circular file!!!!! It's ALL about profits, NOT quality or functionality or reliability!
I checked, and found this: http://www.measuredup.com/ It might be that there are many more, this was only what I found with a quick search.
It seems this site is dedicated to collecting consumer complaints, letting the companies know about and responding to it. The site claims that some companies are using it.
With the internet providing more useful and ready access to information it is helpful I think in the long run to formalize these kinds of experience. It provides a way for consumers to get product information and gauge a companies support efforts before making a purchase if the consumers are smart enough. It also provides a way for manufacturers to obtain feedback and act on it in a way to prevent or at least mitigate to some degree any negative feedback from the consumers.
Oh to have a manufacturer that wiil build something to last and give you a 5 or even 10 yr warranty !!, as many of you have said you still have the fridges and washers that you first bought when you got married etc. I woul dgladly pay x2 for soemthing that gave me 10yr warranty... the saving of your time and energy having to continually contact and have fixed and even in some cases remodel a kitchen due to differnt sizes etc.
Oh pls can a company do this... even the top end Wolf, Miele etc do not have these sorts of warranties but they still charge x2 !!. Oh please can some one create a company that can actually use "old" technology to make things last !!.
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