Built In Obsolescence In Consumer Goods
Date: 11/4/2005
Recently in our household we have had a rash of devices have their interfaces, mostly buttons, fail on us. Firstly one of our Doro cordless landline phones stopped responding to some of the numbers making it useless to call anyone. When we bought it 2 odd years ago I was expecting good things from it, partly because it wasn't the cheapest off the rack and partly because it seemed european and maybe better quality. So far we're pretty disappointed with it, firstly the answering machine doesn't have a mode whereby you can screen calls and secondly you can't force it to not ring. A useful feature if your trying to sleep and you want the answering machine to take the call without it ringing. And now the other handset is showing signs of dying. Don't get a Doro phone if your in the market, they suck. Their only saving grace is that being digital the sound quality is very good.

Then there is the pair of Nokia 3105 phones we got from Orange when we moved to a cheaper plan. And after just bit less than a year one of the handsets is not responding to some numbers and hanging every now and then. It hasn't been abused at all, but it's had fairly regular use. Pretty disappointing that it didn't even last a year. A black mark for Nokia.

Now the remote for the VHS recorder is failing as well, the play button is non-functional and the device spits tapes out that it doesn't like, which is highly annoying. The player is now at least 5 years old, so it has lasted a little longer than the others I've mentioned.

It seems I'm in the market for a new cordless phone and I'm a bit hesitant to buy any old device off the shelf. I want something that will last, not some flimsy throwaway appliance. But how do I know something will be still working in 5, or even 10 years? Is it unfair to expect a phone to still work after that long? I would have kept our cordless phones in operation for many years yet if they hadn't up and died on us. So I really only got half or less value out of the A$300 we spent on them. It's no surprise that most companies warrent their product for only a year. It seems consumer goods manufactures are taking us for a ride.

Anyone had some good experiences with a cordless phone?
Craig Rettig
11/04/2005 1:00pm
I got the GE 26928GE2 900MHz phone 3-4 years ago at Target for $10. I did have to replace the battery last year, but otherwise it works just as good as it ever did, and I have no complaints about it whatsoever. It's an analog phone, though, which I'n not necessarily sure if you're in the market for or not.

Link on Amazon:

12/04/2005 11:35am
No good experiences, I'm afraid. I had a Philips that lasted for about 3 years. In hot weather it just wouldn't let you pick up. It was one of the first cordless/answering machine phones on the market, though. I also had another cheaper one that had a lovely hum to it (can't remember brands though). If you can get a listen to how it sounds in the shop, it would be to your advantage.
17/04/2005 3:50pm
I've had good success with the VTech line of phones...

I have one going on 7 years strong...
07/05/2005 4:11am
Panasonic ones are good, and cheap from the goodguys, sydney aust.
08/05/2005 10:32am
I have a theory that any given person can only have a given number of home appliances according to their income and/or free time and ability to make repairs.
Since appliances _are_ designed to fail, eventually you cannot afford to repair or replace, thus limiting the number of said appliances that you can cope with at any one time. I'm at my limit now and having to buy a new jug for the coffee maker that cracked of it's own accord.
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