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Wash Day Blues Prompts a Return to Blogging

February 9, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

It’s been an age since I last logged in and submitted a blog post. My enthusiasm for blogging had waned, partly due to the normal demands of a busy family and working life, but also because I wasn’t really enjoying it any more.

Blogging, for me, has been a release. My colleagues in the Sussex Amateur Brain Surgery club know that I like to climb onto a pedestal to admonish those who I think are doing wrong. But lately I’ve had nothing that I really wanted to moan about – until today!

washing machineJust before Christmas Mrs Surgeon decided that we needed a new washing machine. I don’t know why as the one we had appeared to be working OK and had done so for the past 7 years. But Mrs Surgeon always knows best so my role was simply to come along to the appliance show room and nod in agreement when she finally selected a new replacement.

The new washer dryer arrived quickly and was efficiently installed by the delivery men. They even took our old washing machine away with them, which impressed me.

Mrs Surgeon immediately loaded up the new machine with a pile of dirty laundry and pressed the button to start a basic wash cycle. Nothing happened. Our brand new Neff washing machine wasn’t cooperating.

So we contacted our suppliers who couldn’t replace it for a week. Luckily it was swapped for another one just before the busy Christmas holidays and Mrs Surgeon was happy again, until the day after boxing day.

She’d loaded up the new machine with a full load and gone out to walk the dog. When she returned she found the kitchen awash with water and suds as the washing machine door seal appeared to have broken.
Again, we contacted the suppliers and had to wait until January for a replacement. The third machine that was supplied worked well for about a week but then it simple stopped working completely.

This prompted Mrs Surgeon to reconsider her choice and she had our suppliers deliver and alternative model, this time from Bosch. This one has been working reliably for nearly 3 weeks which is good as I’d run out of clean socks…

Is there a moral to this tale? My view is – if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. But I have to agree with Mrs Surgeon that the old machine that we had was far from efficient and was probably due for replacement.

This experience has reinforced my view that production quality has been falling for years. Products are no longer made to last, they are made to attract sales and that is all. They are designed to be attractive and offer all sorts of facilities that people didn’t know they wanted, but they aren’t designed to work reliably.

These days everything is about the bottom line – money. Businesses will not improve their customer service if there is no financial benefit and they will not improve their product quality control processes unless doing so will make them more profitable. Gone are the days when manufacturers were proud of the fact that their products would provide reliable service for many years.