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".
I believe you, LarryM. Your 1984 Maytag appliances were purchased in Maytag's heyday. It's interesting to note that when I recently spoke to a gentleman who repairs appliances, he said that washers are expected to last no more than 10-12 years these days.
In general, I agree with you, but on big ticket appliances, I've been better off with the extended warranty. Bought an LG Front Loader washer and matching dryer in early '04. Expected good service from the pair, but with $1600+ sunk in the purchase, the mfr warranty seemed short. We bought the 4 year service agreement. When the initial service agreement expired 4 years later, I re-upped. We had enough problems in the first 4 years that we clearly saved money via the extended warranty And we made money off the second term of the agreement. I was disappointed that we couldn't renew it for a third term. For most of this time, the washer & dryer have served a 2-person household, not a family with 4 kids. One of the repair techs even complimented us for not using too much detergent and for not abusing the door seals. Still, we've replaced main drive motors, a dryer drum, circuit boards, and solenoid valves, among other parts in both machines. My superstitious side will slap me for writing this, but we're now a year past the last term of extended warranty and haven't had a problem. I'm actually very surprised. I do know that at the next significant problem we will probably be looking at replacement rather than repair.
My first washer lasted 20 years without repair -- and then the tub bolt holes corroded out, and we commended its spirit to the recycle yard. The dryer purchased at the same time was still running when we gave it away at almost 25 years of age, having had one belt replacement as the only repair that I can recall.
The new models seem to be throwaways. It's just a bit expensive to toss $1000 at a new washer every couple of years. I'll at least consider the extended warranty on any new washer we buy.
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