Reviews need to be taken with (several) grains of salt. Before I bought my first Jeep Cherokee I read the reviews. The Isuzu Trooper was recommended over the Cherokee. The Trooper was under-powered, had the same cargo space, did not have an established dealer network, did not have a production history. The reviewer obviously was prejudiced against the Cherokee = I bought a Cherokee.
I also am unimpressed with the current aggrandization of Toyota and Honda. When a dealer tells you a car is worth more because of better 'quality', are you getting more or less 'quality' per dollar spent ?
The cost of good design should be minimal over a big production run. Hotpoint Aquarius is a major product range and is (or was) GEC top of the range. Since Hotpoint has been going for many decades, their designers should have plenty of experience of faults and issues.
As an engineer, I know that I would recognise a weak design, and I maintain the cost of maybe 2% extra plastic and I think 0% extra machining to make a stronger part would save a much greater cost in guarantee claims, never mind reputation.
I'm not sure how GE/Hotpoint works but it seems reasonable to me that in companies like this that the engineers designing the Hotpoint brand are just as capable as the engineers designing the GE brand. Who knows, they may be the same people. Anyway, the point is you can't hold products of all price ranges to the same standards. Obviously less time and money went into a product that is less expensive - that is why it costs less.
People often beg the question of how much more would it have cost to do X versus Y. This is assuming that every logical design was put on a table and the accountants got to pick solely on cost. In reality, it may be much simpler in that the design was poor to begin with. A design was created that "worked" and that was enough. If it worked well or even saved money may have never been addressed. I have certainly seen products that were no cheaper just because they were poorly designed.
I couldn't agree more, Jon. If you look at Consumer Reports annual reliability ratings, Honda Accord gets better ratings than most of the Cadillacs, Mercedes, and BMWs, year after year. Even if you don't trust Consumer Reports, it's still fair to say that Accord buyers are happy with their cars. If a low-priced appliance is a piece of junk, maybe the manufacturer should think twice about building and selling it.
Just because something has a low price doesn't mean it should break in normal use. My Toyota cost about $17k new and I expect it to provide good transportation. Just because it costs less than a Cadillac, it shouldn't break down more often. Unfortunately many manufacturers don't really give a damn about quality.
As to the dishwasher utensil baskets, cut some 1/8th-inch plastic sheet, drill a few holes in it for drainage and put it in the bottom of the basket compartments. I have a GE washer and the baskets are OK, but eventually a sharp knife will take its toll on the bottom plastic webbing, no matter the quality of the plastic or design.
This is first 'Made by Monkeys' post I've read, and I'm surprised to see them on this site. It largely seems like folks saying 'wah, wah, wah, my cheap product is cheap!'. As a product design engineer, I see first-hand the impact of choices that companies make to cust costs. This article in particular shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the difficulty and cost of good design. Making the mesh basket stronger may only cost 'pennies' per part - but the design, testing and validation to know when the basket is 'good enough' will cost far more than that. There are better quality dishwashers on the market. Unsurprisingly, they are more expensive than poor quality dishwashers.
I have never designed a dishwasher, but this seems to me to be a classic case of 'getting what you pay for'. In the U.S., Hotpoint is a 'value' (aka low-cost) brand of GE. GE won't even put the GE brand on these appliances, because it would sully GE's good name. They have no impetus to design quality, long-lasting products because Hotpoint customers are typically focused on one thing when they walk into the store - cost. Cheap, cheap, cheap. So GE is willing to cut everything they can to achieve that. They don't care about good reviews, because the average Hotpoint customer isn't even reading reviews - they just know their dishwasher broke, and it's time to head to the home store and get a new one. A cheap one.
If you care about good design, be willing to pay for it. I.e., before you criticize something as 'Made by Monkeys', be sure you understand how your own actions (priortization of cost over quality) impacted the design.
It drives you crazy to see these bad design choices that with a little ingenuity and a couple of "extra pennies," as you say, towards the BOM, could have been easily avoided. Those mesh baskets are a royal pain whatever the sizing of the mesh. They inevitably get nicked, ripped, or whatever and cost you an arm and a leg to replace (The self fix of piecing together with wiring wouldn't cut it in my house, sorry!)
Fifty-six-year-old Pasquale Russo has been doing metalwork for more than 30 years in a tiny southern Italy village. Many craftsmen like him brought with them fabrication skills when they came from the Old World to America.
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