Product Quality Disappointing

Shortened life, bad design, high price - low quality, useless features.

Inferior products and services are not a rarity in the marketplace today and can bring disappointment, or much distress with high cost purchases.

Retail success is based on maximizing profit in the sale of goods and services. With several or more sellers competing in the same product category it takes ingenuity in the manufacturing and marketing of merchandise to stay ahead. We know quite well that the advertising can be very deceptive, and we are now also becoming quite aware of the substitution of cheap products for the price of quality.

There are a variety of shoddy ways of conducting business, from shrewd to annoying to nasty. Falling somewhere in there is the selling of lower-grade or defective products as quality grade and this can occur with well branded products. Many popular brands carry higher marketing costs to keep the brand in your face and this is included in the purchase price. Generally you expect and get a superior quality purchase for the extra cost but the sale price, as usual in the free enterprise system, is based on what that market will bear, i.e. what you are willing to pay. They can take advantage of your willingness to buy and so you need to be cautious more than ever.

I generally stay away from the higher priced clothing brands because I would rather pay $25 for an item that cost $4 to produce than pay $50 for an item that cost $5. However there is also a fair trade alternative to consider where there is the assurance that the production did not use unfair or inhumane labor practices.

New design features might be less than worthless.
In the NEW and IMPROVED department the introduction of extra features is touted in ads as a positive selling point. But if the item already had all necessary and practical features the NEW might not be improved, or even worse irritating and difficult to use.

Some software comes to mind. My personal experience is that often when I have upgraded software it was a waste of time or money or both. Some newer versions were bloated with excessive features, more difficult to use, and buggy. I have sometimes reloaded the older version but generally will not upgrade if not necessary.

My newly designed water filter looks prettier but if filled to the front, water runs over the back. It is also more awkward to fill, the spout flap sometimes sticks and raises the lid slightly forcing water out the sides.

The last pair of summer shorts I bought had back pockets half normal depth, for half size wallets I concluded. My new pants' pockets had buttonholes in small strips under the pocket flap and I can unbutton the pockets easily if I first take off the pants. My nice looking top brand winter coat has double side-by-side pockets but at least I get my hand in the correct pocket 50% of the time. I know, I must try harder to shop smarter.

What is the use of a clock on a coffee maker if directed to unplug the unit after using? How useful are slatted shoe racks if the dirt from the soles of the upper shoes falls into the lower shoes? My clock radio was such an irritating machine that I garbaged it not wanting to inflict torment on a fellow consumer.

"Buy high-end products, you usually get what you pay for", some say. Well I don't want a pile of junky features, I just want quality basics. Manufacturers would stay with a solid, efficient and simple design but that isn't 'NEW' and would not generate new sales. Business survives and grows on profit and so often that profit is a regrettable loss to the consumer.

Cheapened costs and poor quality.
Costs can be lowered for increased profit at the same price (or more) by substituting with cheap material or using lower-cost poorly qualified sub-contractors. The results are shortened life spans as noted with some appliances. At the office we had very old, rounded top refrigerator that worked very well. They decided to replace it with a better looking new one, which did not work very well and required servicing twice in just a few months.

Opting for basic simplicity, easy to operate 'low-end' small appliances has been a frustration for me in recent years. We had 4 different coffee makers over a two year span because they had not worked properly. One conked out after only a few months of use. Another had a gap above the handle that spewed hot steam. Another's auto shut-off worked on a first brew but when it auto shut off and a new brew was started, it just kept on going and going.

My popular top brand slippers began disintegrating a month after purchase. The last popular brand socks I bought spit black specks of material over the carpet and are also too tight fitting according to the indicated size.

A pillbox purchased from a large supermarket chain's drug department was so difficult to open it chipped my fingernails and was discarded. Alright it was cheap but it was also useless, and besides dollar store quality should be kept in the dollar stores. More recently we returned a flashlight to a popular drugstore because we could not open it to install batteries. And a set of special clothes hangers could not be assembled without drilling the holes bigger.

Food quality has taken a hit health wise as chemicals have fabricated better tastes. Increasing earnings with the use of additives such as growth hormones, insecticides, preservatives and taste enhancers has greatly diluted the health benefit of so many packaged foods. Lengthy transports and storage have sapped the natural tastes from fruits and vegetables as they are picked very unripe.

Delivering poor quality for rich prices will result in higher profits as long as sales remain steady. But as the other guys take the same path and it becomes even more popular in retailing, then disappointing products will continue to take up more shelf space in mainstream merchandising.

I try to be a wise consumer by being very careful with my purchases but I still get stung. How about you?

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