Whenever I hear about nasty call center people, I'm amazed. I've got to believe that poor call center manners will eventually come back to bite the company, although it may take several years. I, for one, would be willing to pay extra for a product if I knew that the people on the help line were actually there to help.
Charles Murray wrote " believe you, LarryM. Your 1984 Maytag appliances..."
Charles, these were actually Whirlpool units, not Maytags, but Whirlpool also had a deservedly good reputation in those days. Their customer service line was called the "Cool Line" (not hotline), and they would advise you on owner repairs. They actually put an engineer on the line to talk my late wife through a dryer belt replacement because she didn't want to wait until I got home.
Whirlpool's policy was to send you the complete washer and dryer service manuals at no charge upon request prior to the 80s. They ceased doing that around the time we got this set, but the washer contained a booklet hidden in the control panel which included a block diagram of the electronic controller and a wiring diagram, as well as the timing chart pasted to the back of the machine. These pieces, taken together, were enough to solve a pretty arcane problem for 37 cents.
Sadly Whirlpool no longer has the Cool Line and no longer provides service manuals--I don't even think you can get them if you are willing to pay. The call center people are actually pretty nasty.
As a matter of fact Limericks are a recognized form of poetry just like a sonnet or hyko (sp) is. There is a prescribed beat pattern and rhyme scheme. An alert reader will find an occassional Limerick in Shakespeare. The poems acquired their name from a town in England, Limerick where they were first recorded in print as songs sung in the local taverns.
When I was still teaching English I used to utilize a lesson plan based on limericks to teach students to write with an economy of words. They enjoyed it and were usually proud of their efforts. All of them had to be "CLEAN" and it did help teach them how to eliminate unnecessary verbage.
All appliances should be white. When I first got married, 1967, we bought coppertone kitchen appliances and an avacado washer. By the time we could afford a dryer, avacado was no longer in style so we got harvest gold. When the refrigerator died after 20 or so years we could still buy wierd colors, but none to match anything we had. Guess what, white is still available. Hooray for Speed Queen.
Oh yeah machine shop equipment should be gray, wood burning stoves black, and Kennedy tool boxes brown crinkle paint. There are other standards that should not be fooled with, but that will do for a start.
bob: You are saying what I have been saying for years, we as consumers have repeatedly demonstrated that we want all the bells and whistles and the bottom line better not increase. Why then are we surprised when we get fancy cheap junk?
rickgtoc, I agree with you on extended warranties; my criteria is very much like yours. On one occasion, however, I bought the extended warranty on 2 used vehicles I purchased in 2000. I was glad I did-my wife's SUV battery gave out, the A/C went out, and finally the transmission. My vehicle did the same, usually within 2 weeks of her failures. Best investment I had made in a while on those warranties. This is not a knock against Dodge (Ram 1500 and Durango), but I knew these vehicles had been rentals until I bought them at 18K miles. . .rode hard and put up wet, I suppose. My truck is still running A-OK (fingers crossed).
rickgtoc, I agree with you on extended warranties; my criteria is very much like yours. On one occasion, however, I bought the extended warranty on 2 used vehicles I purchased in 2000. I was glad I did-my wife's SUV battery gave out, the A/C went out, and finally the transmission. My vehicle did the same, usually within 2 weeks of her failures. Best investment I had made in a while on those warranties. This is not a knock against Dodge (Ram 1500 and Durango), but I knew these vehicles had been rentals until I bought them at 18K miles. . .rode hard and put up wet, I suppose. My truckis still running A-OK (fingers crossed).
"it's amazing how the F-word translates across boundaries!"
Way off topic; I was at an airport in some foreign land, you know, I don't even remember where, other than a mixture of strange languages reverberated in the air. In a washroom stall I glanced at some graffiti on the wall, also is a strange language, it read something like this:
da dada da dada da da
da dada da dada da da
da dada da da
da dada da da
da dada da dada da da
Oh my lord, it was a limerick! I couldn't make out the word Nantucket anywhere in there, but it was a limerick, just the same. I had no idea it was an international art form.
Funny you mention sugar. My mom always bought ten pound bags. I don't bake nearly as much as she did, so I bought a five lb. bag. Just imagine my surprise to pull a 4 lb. bag out of my shopping bag when I got home.
Planned obsolescence is the cry of the modern manufacturer. Gone are the days of making a good product, then making it better... or is it? Someone so accurately mentioned Apple as having good quality products. Yea... that is the American way, right? Apparently, the American way of manufacturing and quality has 2 avenues to increase profits.
Make a good product, then when the public adopts it and you have a successful brand... you need to make MORE and MORE money, so...
1) To make more money you start using cheaper parts to make your product, effectively getting an inferior product, and try to fool the public as long as you can. Alternatively, you can make your product or quantity smaller and smaller in increments, maybe no one will notice. Similarly, you replace your natural ingredients (like sugar) with some manufacturing (and dirt cheap) waste product like HFCS.
2) You have cheaper slave labor build your product in another country (like APPLE), where you can pay you slaves almost nothing to build your product. Additionally, you won't have to worry about factory working conditions, worker safety, harmful emissions, or government regulations. Workers will never strike or sue you for the way they are treated or injured on the job. Then you can sell your quality product for 4 times the price of everyone else's product, as if it actually cost you more to build.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.