The first house i bought had a Maytag stacked washer/dryer unit. the dryer leaked gas out of one of its components. Had the component replaced 3 times and finally just got in the habit of turning the gas off and on when using the dryer. The leak was slow enough not to be a hazard when doing this, but over time one could smell it.
I just remodeled a new house and asked a friend who "collects" washers what he would buy if he was going to buy new. (yes there are people who collect washers. they have websites and even post videos of the wash cycles on Youtube. Don't ask me.) He pointed me to Speed Queen. You may recognize the name from the quarter operated ones in dorms and apartments.
Made in the USA, heavy duty components and steel, and minimal electronics to go bad. And they come in white, white and I think, white. I asked the owner of the appliance store where i bought the washer and dryer if i should get the extended warranty. he laughed and said i bought the only brand in his store that he recommended against buying the extended warranty as it was unneeded.
But buy before 2014 when the government's green requirements will force them to change the mechanical systems. They are working on designing reliable replacements that will operate as well, but why take a chance?
My girlfriend wasn't happy with the white exterior versus the sexy red sparkly finish on the Samsungs, but I told her to go look at the cars to see nice paint jobs.
Fourteen dollars for my Wenger with one-knife, a nail cleaner. It is their basic knife. No frills unless one counts a pull-out tweezer and toothpick as frills. It is reliable, affordable, and well made. As washers and dryers should be.
I don't agree. Rolls Royce has outlived Studebaker, Packard, and a hundred other brands by emphasizing quality. At the other end of the price scale, Victorinex and its allied Wenger brand stay in business while building very high quality knives at modest prices. It can be done, where leaders and managers respect their customers.
I completely endorse Mr. Murray's comments. We built our house in the 80's and bought our Maytag washer and Maytag dryer about 1985, +/- a year. We still have the same units. They have served very well, required little maintenance, and perform well today. That was the old Maytag company, which took pride in their products' durability. Today's Whirlpool management is incompetent/incapable/unmotivated (take your pick) to turn out long-life, reliable, Maytag washers and dryers. With more than a quarter century to research, develop, and manufacture even more reliable and longer lived products than we have enjoyed, they have instead resolutely gone backward. But not because the top leaders are now lower paid than long ago. Far from it.
The saddest part of reading this, as well as other previous blogs devoted to modern home appliance woes, is that EVEN IF the upper management of WHIRLPOOL, etal. read these on a daily/weekly/as-published basis, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING would be done to change the status quo. I believe that many bloggers have hit the "nail on the head" in their analysis of the quality problems we all face when purchasing these items. The competition IS fierce! The drive for POSITIVE investor returns is immense, and we've become a "gadget" society in that whatever was "really cool" on Monday is passe by Friday. Look at the iPhone for example ...... It was first introduced less than 10 years ago, but now we're on the 5th iteration. Or, look at digital SLR cameras. CANON, NIKON, & now SONY are trotting new models out w/ breathtaking speed! Do we really need to advance capability at the breakneck speed that it is being forced down our throats.
In conclusion, it is VERY ironic to read about NASA engineers' latest investigations into "advanced" rocketry for the new effort at space travel. It seems that they are re-looking at the rocket technology from the APOLLO era. So, we are going BACK 50 years in advanced propulsion. I, for one, find that very interesting, IF NOT humorous!!!!
I bought my last furnace, but I now see companies renting them as fully serviced units. If it fails they fix it, or replace it. The price seemed steep, but probably matches an extended warranty and personal loan. Maybe leasing appliances, like cars, will be the next market? I would work for those consumers wanting something new every few years, and probably those who want a lifetime warrant as well.
It just isn't what we grew up with, but as I type this on a smart phone I just realized it will only last a few years before it is obsolete, and ready to be replaced. It's like an appliance that I'm leasing!
Tom-R, I agree completely with you on this one. I retired from a Fortune 500 appliance company in 2005 and can tell you with no hesitation: "they don't make 'em like they use to". I was personally told that 'excellents is very expensive--good enough is good enough'. (Hate to put it this way but that's a direct quote.) I saw over my 20 years with this company a degradation in quality as a result of two things; 1.) a demand for significant cost reductions and 2.) using components from LCCs (low cost countries). When my youngest son was born, we bought a washer/dryer set. When he graduated from college at the age of 25, I decided to replace both. Error on my part. In the past five years, I have had problems with the new models (now Whirlpool). The days of obtaining long-lasting performance are definitely over. It's a throw-away society, even for "white goods".
Wal-Mart will hold its second Made in the USA Open Call July 7-8, at its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. The event will be a repeat effort by the world’s biggest seller of consumer goods to increase the amount of US-made products it sells in Wal-Mart stores, in Sam’s Club members-only wholesale outlets, and on walmart.com.
From design feasibility, to development, to production, having the right information to make good decisions can ultimately keep a product from failing validation. The key is highly focused information that doesn’t come from conventional, statistics-based tests but from accelerated stress testing.
There’s a good chance that a few of the things mentioned here won't fully come to fruition in 2015 but rather much later down the line. However, as Malcolm X once said, "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
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