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[Everyday Life]

Planned obsolescence, myth or reality?

My laptop broke a few weeks after the expiration of the warranty.

My washing machine broke less than three months after the expiration of the warranty.

My microwave oven broke one week after the expiration of the warranty.


By breaking, I mean, to stop working, all of a sudden, without warning at all! And by stopping, I mean, nothing works at all, and nothing can be fixed or repair.

It is coincidence? Bad luck? A spell? Or do manufactures really practice a built-in obsolescence?

It's been a while that I hear about this word, without really knowing what it meant. So I've been researching, and I am beginning to believe that manufacturers are really deceitful, and design their products so that they stop working after a given length of time.

Of course, they argue this is not true. If products are breaking more often than in the past, this is only because they are more sophisticated, which makes them more fragile. In a way, this is understandable, but, why does a washing machine in 2016 needs to be more sophisticated than one purchased in the 90's?! Also, with time, aren't we supposed to improve the quality of things? Aren't we supposed to always come with better materials, better process of building? What's the point of the Research and Development department, if this is only to lay more and more fragile products? Oh, may be this is why they are paid for in fact!

Back to the washing machine syndrome. I don't know if this is true, but I read that, manufacturers are adding a little screw, which thickness is made to make it break progressively under the vibrations of the machine!!! Is that true? ... Or another Conspiracy theory?

Another example, Smartphones without removal batteries. Everybody knows that, with the time, a rechargeable battery will keep its load less and less. Since you can't replace these batteries, then, to me it's a trick to simply push you to buy a new Smartphone every couple of years, just because you can no longer recharge it!

I am sure we can find plenty of examples of this kind.

I would understand it, if products were more and more cheap, but this is not even the case! Everything is more expensive, and everything lasts less! There is something wrong!

Isn't it sneaky?

by: OldTimer


August 17, 2016 (3 years ago)

2 Replies & Comments

capitalism, bro!

by: G-1024

Message #1

August 17, 2016 (3 years ago)

I don't know if it's on purpose, or if this is because manufacturers are trying to cut prices as much as possible. But it's sure that when you try to lower the cost of production, you also lower the quality of the materials. So this is not surprising things are less resistant nowadays. Now, I can't tell how this is pleasing manufacturers. Because, in one hand, this allows manufacturers to sell us their products more often, in the other hand, if you get a product which broke , you might get the next one from another brand ...

by: G-1247

Message #2

April 01, 2017 (2 years ago)

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