Nothing manufactured lasts these days…
Whatever happened to quality control in the manufacturing world? These days, consumer items have often reached their sell by date long before you buy them. Take my recliner chair for instance. My suite of two chairs and two seater sofa were bought second hand. They were old when I bought them. But they still have many years good use left in them. My new recliner chair however, is a different kettle of fish.

While it is sturdily constructed, probably somewhere in China or the like, it has one serious flaw in its construction. I refer to the mechanism for lifting your legs up and allowing you to push back to totally recline. Behind the lever is a wire contraption firmly attached to the operating lever hidden beneath my seat. But, at the business end directly behind the lever, its other end is, or was until recently, glued to the back of the lever!

Why in god’s name didn’t they repeat the sturdy attachment at this end to I hear you ask? Who knows? Perhaps after constructing the whole armchair it was getting close to the end of the working day and they couldn’t be bothered doing the job properly.

I’m not sending the damned thing back for repair or replacement – why, because it would simply be binned and an identical replacement would be sent to me with exactly the same problem.

So now whenever I wish to recline I simply rock my very comfortable recliner back on its haunches and reach underneath for the mechanism, release it and then climb aboard in time to watch my favourite television programme, or to write in comfort on my laptop.

Apropos of modern day so-called quality control; a few months back I bought myself a new DVD player with all the bells and whistles – 5.1 surround sound et al. I won’t mention the brand, but suffice it to say the damned thing has finally died. I am now ‘surrounded’ by five mute speakers. The contraption’s DVD player ceased to operate within three months of purchase. I didn’t mind that so much as I could still make use of its sound system while watching my favourite DVD’s via my PS3 which I had connected to my sound system. But yesterday the sound system went the way of all things modern and died to. Will I be sending my deceased sound system back for replacement? No, for exactly the same reason as for my recliner armchair; why go to all the trouble involved only to receive a replacement with exactly the same inbuilt faults!

Designed obsolescence is one thing, but there is no excuse for shoddy workmanship, nor the use of inferior components, merely to work to a price. Bring back pride in manufacture; get rid of accountants running businesses in favour of the old style family run companies of yesteryear who took pride in never ever allowing a product that fell woefully beneath their high standards to leave their factory.
Oh well, never mind, at least my television is still working – touch wood…
PS       My mobile phone decided all by itself to stop receiving text messages a few weeks back – doh!

Jack Eason – author of Onet’s Tale


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