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July 3rd, 2000

Shoddy Electronics

Is it just me or are consumer electronics built more and more cheaply as time goes on?

A few PITA electronic components I’ve had to deal with recently:

  • A brand new 2.4 GHz phone — within a week it would randomly get hit with lots of static, to the point I had switch phones
  • When my old CD player broke, I decided to get a new one of the same brand since my original one was refurbished and had lasted me 10 years. After less than a month, it would only play the first few tracks off a disc before crapping out.
  • Our smoke detector randomly goes on beeping spurts. Once every few weeks in the morning, it’ll beep every 30 seconds or so even though the battery is a 10-year battery.
  • In four years I went through three cassette decks.
  • My first VCR gave me so many problems (I had it repaired five times to no avail) I ended up just going out and buying another, which has performed wonderfully from the day I bought it.
At the inexpensive consumer level, it doesn’t really matter which brand — pretty much every major brand has both performed well and poorly for me with different pieces of equipment (my Magnavox TV has worked fine for a number of years, but the aforementioned VCR had problems from the get-go). It’s really aggrivating not knowing what brand is safe to buy. -ram

Posted in Technology

FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday July 3, 2000 -- 2:26:03PM
Ryan, I hear you.

Back when I had my garbage Aiwa stereo, and mentioned it on my Best Buy Sucks page, I got mail from both sides of the issue but the bad outweighed the good. Lots of people had similar problems: the things just wouldn't read regular CDs, after a while.

Knock on wood, I've had great experience with Sony in general (900MHz phone, stereo, Walkman, et al) although I know a good number of people who have had problems. I haven't stuck to one brand in the past but I do intend on going Sony as much as possible when it comes time to buy things.

DATE: Monday July 3, 2000 -- 5:11:45PM
Yeah, we've got a crappy Aiwa stereo. The thing breaks annually in exactly the same way and the repair guy even said it was a common problem. Lovely. Otherwise, it's fairly nice. :P

I've got a Panasonic TV, Panasonic 900mhz phone, Sony DVD player, Magnavox VCR... and none of them have given me huge problems yet.

Oh... and Ryan? Get a new TV. You're going to go blind.

FROM: Kristy
DATE: Tuesday July 4, 2000 -- 12:09:15AM
I always stuck faithfully to Sony until I bought a Sony Vaio laptop a year ago and since then it has crashed twice and recently one of the hinges completely snapped apart. Their stuff is great until it breaks, and their customer service sucks.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Tuesday July 4, 2000 -- 12:18:14AM
I've had the same Aiwa shelf system for 6 or 7 years. It screws up frequently but after a while it just starts working normally again. One complaint I had was that would not ever play Korn's "Follow the Leader" CD (my little bro had the same issue with the same system). I don't complain about that anymore because I've given up on Korn. Yipes!

However, I must give credit to the thing considering that it has so many years worse of dust in it and hasn't malfunctioned worse.

FROM: Tony
DATE: Tuesday July 4, 2000 -- 11:21:02AM
I had a Magnavox portable cd player, that played faithfully for 4 years (1996-2000) it played every type of cd, (including some really cheap cd-r's)It was one of the first players with anti-skip. It also took 4 AA batteries so it lasted forever.($150 new) Then a month or so ago, the spindle stopped spinning...It was dead. The next week, I bought a aiwa portable,($70 new) it will only play the most expensive cd-r's, eats the 2 AA batteries it has, and the bass boost is like crap.

DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 2:32:32 pm

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