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#139555 - 11/28/03 08:11 PM Not Worth Repairing?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
We may have been over this subject before here.
Have you ever had complaints from customers when they send in a $10 toaster and expect you to repair it for less than what they originally paid for the thing?.
I'm not talking about a small fault, but something like a broken element in a toaster or a $15 kettle with a burnt out element.
A lot of people can't get thier heads around the idea that thier cheap appliance isn't worth repairing.
The parts themselves required to effect a repair(If you can get them) can often cost more than a new appliance and then you have frieght and labour to fit the pieces.
Have you guys ever had to explain this in detail to customers?.
It really annoys me when they say "Just fix it!" and then having to eplain why the repair cost so much.
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#139556 - 11/29/03 08:02 AM Re: Not Worth Repairing?
Hutch Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 383
Loc: South Oxfordshire, UK
Been there, done it but only to myself . Faithful old B&D electric screwdriver gives up the ghost when the internal batteries will no longer accept any more charge. I suspect being off-charge for 3 months in a shipping container didn’t do it any good! So starts my dilemma – chuck it and get a new one or order replacement parts from B&D? Truth be known, the latter was slightly more expensive, but that screwdriver and I had been places! Would the new one have been as strong or as reliable? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I hate waste or is it I’m just a sentimentalist!?

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#139557 - 11/29/03 09:43 AM Re: Not Worth Repairing?
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Oh boy, is this a familiar scenario!

I've lost count of the times I've tried to explain the economics of the situation, that replacement parts cost me 50 times what they cost the manufacturer, etc.

The problem with so many dsomestic appliances nowadays is that they're not really built with servicing in mind in any case. How many times have seen a cheap sandwich toaster or something similar where the only way to get into it would be to practically destroy the casing?

Sadly, more and more complex pieces of equipment are gradually falling into the "uneconomic to repair" category.

Remember when a VCR cost hundreds? A repair bill of £20 or £30 was accepted then. Now that people can go buy a VCR for £49.95 in the supermarket, many of them will do that and get a new warranty rather than repair an existing unit.

It's only the high-end stuff now that's worth repair to most people, plus more specialist items, such as vintage equipment enthusiasts (of which, as you know, I am one!).

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#139558 - 11/29/03 04:10 PM Re: Not Worth Repairing?
GeneSF Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 39
Loc: Berkeley, California, US
I attended an electronics class in 1986, and someone brought over a $11 calculator and asked the instructor to repair it. He just dropped it in the wastecan and explained that a technician's pay is $35/hr.

One time I made the mistake of buying old PCs at garage (or should I say "garbage") sales. I got a 1984 128k MacIntosh for $5.

I soon learned the meaning of "doorstop".
There's really no software, hardware or support for a machine that has less memory than an average cellphone.

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#139559 - 11/29/03 05:03 PM Re: Not Worth Repairing?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
In a way, I'm not sad that these appliances are too expensive to fix.
As Paul said above, the darn things are too hard to dis-assemble in the first place.
I had a Grill unit last week that had 3 different types of Security screws on the same appliance.
It had a blown Microtemp in it, and it took about a 1/4 hour to get to bits and 2-3 minutes to replace the M/Temp.
This Grill retails for just short of NZ$100, but if it was any cheaper, I wouldn't have even bothered.
A lot the blame for this can be put down to how people look after their appliances these days too, 20 years ago, these types of things cost real money (and I suppose to a certain extent, they were better built) and to buy a new one, cost a small fortune.
People these days don't even bother to clean thier appliances, let alone care for them.
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#139560 - 11/29/03 05:12 PM Re: Not Worth Repairing?
wa2ise Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 771
Loc: Oradell NJ USA
Hutch, your screwdriver most likely only needs new ni-cad batteries. If the old ones have white crusty stuff on the ends, they are likely shot. Be sure to get ones with solder tabs welded on, as trying to solder to a ni-cad is no fun and likely damages it anyway.


As for the broken toaster repair job, you could just "replace everything", AKA, buy a new one and tell the customer you had to change out everything. Of course, will she pay $20 for a $10 toester?

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#139561 - 11/29/03 05:27 PM Re: Not Worth Repairing?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
'ise,
I can't say that I'm that ken on the replace everything theory.
We had a Washing machine "Technician" at work a few years back, that used to get all sorts of complaints, about the cost of the jobs he done.
It turned out that he would replace various parts of the W/M until it worked properly, piece by piece, he was fired after he replaced ALL of the parts in a 2 month old W/Machine that had a faulty power cord, this must have been the last part that he replaced and charged the customer NZ$700 + Labour!.
Even so, the thing was still under warranty,
servicing by trial and error is just not my style.
Good riddance to bad rubbish, eh?.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#139562 - 11/29/03 06:30 PM Re: Not Worth Repairing?
Hutch Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 383
Loc: South Oxfordshire, UK
Wa2ise, Those new batteries went in some time ago and I have not regretted the slight extra expense. Turning and burning - had a darn good 'turn' with it today!

Your "Alladin-esque" technique did come to mind - new lamps for old and a nice mark-up to boot!

[This message has been edited by Hutch (edited 11-29-2003).]

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#139563 - 11/29/03 06:38 PM Re: Not Worth Repairing?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
wa2ise, Hutch,
I've heard around that some Ni-Cad cells can actually explode if overheated during soldering, if you are going to solder these batteries, just be sure not to overheat the terminals.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#139564 - 11/30/03 07:37 PM Re: Not Worth Repairing?
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
In that case, Trumpy, just clip a small heat-sink (essentially a small pair of normally closed tweezers) on the terminal post of the battery that you're going to be soldering to.

Work quickly, use thin gauge solder wire...that stuff melts real fast with a small 30 watt pencil iron.

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