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The Bleeding of the American Consumer

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  • The Bleeding of the American Consumer

    Not sure how to title this thread so bare with me. Seven years ago we bought a top of the line Maytag/Neptune top loading washer $1000.00. A lot of money for us but we figured buy quality and have it longer(15 or more years?). Started getting trouble codes on the digital display, and the machine would not go through a spin cycle to empty the basket.I called a few service places and was told $70 for the call, $125 an hour for labor, plus parts. Ball park $400 to repair if nothing major.
    One guy said not worth fixing since they don't last much longer these days. I hurt my back pulling it out of our crawlspace and spent an hour or so opening it up. Figured it was the clutch assembly, $200 for the part, and if it turns out to be the motor thats another $250. Makes no sense to risk all that time, money and effort and still be at risk for electronics to crap out.
    When the wife got home we went to Sears and bought a $650.00 LG, direct drive motor, no belt.
    Even the salesman said 8 to 10 years is average lifespan. Gone are the days these appliances would last 20 years and be reasonable serviced. We are losing more and more of our wealth on junk and filling our land fills. If I lived alone, I'd go to a laundromat, or use a washboard

  • #2
    Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

    If I didn't have to go to work so often and lived alone I think I wouldn't have to change my clothes nearly as often. No need for a laundromat that way.

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    • #3
      Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

      Pretty sure that machine was in a class action law suit.

      The service companies know as long as they stay less than 50% of a new replacement, they will still repair the machine.

      Rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

        Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
        ...
        One guy said not worth fixing since they don't last much longer these days. ....
        .... Even the salesman said 8 to 10 years is average lifespan. Gone are the days these appliances would last 20 years and be reasonable serviced. We are losing more and more of our wealth on junk and filling our land fills. If I lived alone, I'd go to a laundromat, or use a washboard
        Same thing with water heaters, dishwashers and almost any appliance. Up to 5, 10 years ago I would still occasionally replace a W/H from the 1980's, but now they're usually just past warranty when they go.

        This is one of the problems when an industry becomes monopolized by just a few large corporations, vs the old days when numerous smaller mfg's fought to maintain their reputations.
        Last edited by DuckButter; 08-05-2013, 11:48 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

          Thanks Rick. There was a class action in 2005 for problems with mildew. The problem with my machine is defective clutch assembly which prevents spinning and water discharge. The agitator discs in place of a real agitator tend to twist towel into a tangled mess but we were willing to live with that situation. I went onto YouTube and found folks with machines only 2 or three years old with similar problems. I feel they should recall, but not sure If I'm going to hold onto this paper weight. This may not seem like much of a problem, but I thought I was doing the smart thing buying what I beleived was a better product. Now I felt it would be risky to invest $200 and possibly have more trouble. The part sure does not appear to be worth more than $50 and at that price I would give it a try. Got 15 years out of our current GE fridge, and that's with me replacing door and freezer mouldings. Door molding alone was $90, old one which we kept clean literally fell apart. My neighbor is on his third top of the line GE dishwasher in 8yrs. We don't have hard water, we use whole house filters, and surge protectors. Both families don't have little kids abusing these appliances. I do my best but so much of this stuff is just garbage, compared to the appliances that used to last 20 yrs or more. I sure think this is taking a toll on families who cannot afford these expensive replacment costs so frequently.

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          • #6
            Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

            Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
            Same thing with water heaters, dishwashers and almost any appliance. Up to 5, 10 years ago I would still occasionally replace a W/H from the 1980's, but now they're usually just past warranty when they go.

            This is one of the problems when an industry becomes monopolized by just a few large corporations, vs the old days when numerous smaller mfg's fought to maintain their reputations.
            Agree. Salesman said whirpool tookover maytag, and makes some of the kenmores and others. There is no competition to offer a better product. I hope the LG I just brought lasts ten years, that's the warranty on the direct drive motor but not on the electronic, etc.

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            • #7
              Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

              Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
              Agree. Salesman said whirpool tookover maytag, and makes some of the kenmores and others. There is no competition to offer a better product. I hope the LG I just brought lasts ten years, that's the warranty on the direct drive motor but not on the electronic, etc.
              Wait till someone figures out how to make 'em with 3d printers,. (if/when they work w/metals)

              The next decade is going to be really, really interesting.

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              • #8
                Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

                I've given up on domestic appliance manufacturers. As a kid, I recall our family having a Maytag washer and dryer(gas) for some 25 years or better. Never a service call for either until the dryer finally needed an igniter months before both were replaced with new GE units. Not four months in, both GE units had problems. Dryer blew a belt and the washer a clutch and transmission fault-all on light loads. The on/off switch on the washer needed to be replaced-but it was permanently attached to a panel that housed other switches and relays! Sad to say, but the American corporation of today is so far removed from the original ethos and values of their founders, workers and investors.

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                • #9
                  Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

                  I looked at the Maytag/Neptune for a house we had in Las Vegas. Everything we read said they were junk. Once Whirlpool acquired them they just went downhill.

                  @Rick, the class action won the Plaintiff's $130,000,000.

                  Mark
                  "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                  I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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                  • #10
                    Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

                    But if you want job creation, money movement, i.e. "The Engine of Economy" to have higher RPM's- things breaking sooner makes it happen. No?

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                    • #11
                      Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

                      We live in a disposable society.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

                        Think Speed Queen, they're made right here in the good ole USA! If you don't think that they make a quality product, just look at the brand of washers used in almost every single Laundromat.
                        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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                        • #13
                          Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

                          I'd bet that about 70% of the boilers and furnaces we service are over 40 years old.

                          It wasn't that long ago that 15 years was about as long as you could expect to get from a car around here. They'd either rot from the bottom up or the engine would start blowing oil at around 80,0000 miles. I'm daily driving a 96 Honda with 330,000 on it. Zero rust, runs just fine. My dad drives an 85 celica that looks brand new.

                          Appliances however do suck, I can't get more than two years out of a microwave oven.
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

                            Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                            I'd bet that about 70% of the boilers and furnaces we service are over 40 years old.

                            It wasn't that long ago that 15 years was about as long as you could expect to get from a car around here. They'd either rot from the bottom up or the engine would start blowing oil at around 80,0000 miles. I'm daily driving a 96 Honda with 330,000 on it. Zero rust, runs just fine. My dad drives an 85 celica that looks brand new.

                            Appliances however do suck, I can't get more than two years out of a microwave oven.
                            I have a 30 year old full size GE microwave oven, with combination convection, amazing. The cars are another issue. I think they are made to last ten years, and 120k or so at bet, Hondas excluded.

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                            • #15
                              Re: The Bleeding of the American Consumer

                              My wife and I bought our first set of kitchen appliances in 1970... a Kenmore (Sears) refrigerator and a matching stove. They both lasted a very long time and we finally replaced them about four years ago!

                              The frig was so quiet that you could stand right next to it and not know it was on, only really telling when you opened the door; but it was small at only 18 cu ft. So, back in 1995 we wanted a new one and after a lot of shopping around we bought a rather expensive GE double door. Let me tell you, that thing was frightfully noisey. It was delivered in the morning around 9:00 and when I came home at lunch and stepped out of the car into the driveway I could hear the damn thing. We called the appliance store and the manager told us it take up to 24 hours to acclimate and would then quiet down. Well, three days later it was still noisey and I called the store again.... that time the manager was really nasty, telling me that things 'weren't insulated' the way they used to be and that I had to expect "some noise... so live with it" and then he hung up on me. Well, I called the owner of the store with that. Bottom line they removed that GE POS and we went back to our old Kenmore.

                              In the last few years we had it, we had to replace the defrost timer twice and both of those switches were simply junk and we finally bought a frig from Home Depot (the only appliance store left in town. Well that thing didn't last three months before it just crapped out. The store replaced that with a Hotpoint which though rather cheap looking is both quiet and efficient. We also replaced the old stove with a Hotpoint and though it works rather well, there are more sharp-edged corners and sheet metal edges than desired. I spent a lot of time finishing those with a file and sanding away the burrs. BTW, the GE/Hotpoint customer service is practically non-existant when it comes to such quality matters.

                              At the newer home, we bought a GE hotwater heater and that didn't last four years. Fortunately we replaced it under warranty.

                              We're now looking for a new washing machine. Over the years it's proven to be a real PIA, and frankly if you can find a CLEAN laudramat it it almost less troublesome to go there. The machines we've bought in the past have either been 'shakers' or 'clothes destroyers' which is the case for the machine we have now... you can throw in a new shirt and it comes out so worn looking. T-shirts are almost disintegrated in the damn thing, even on the gentle-cycle.

                              CWS

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