how long should technology last

Tomorrow, our new oven arrives, less than three years after our current one was installed. The old one could have been repaired, if the manufacturer, Nobel, didn’t go bust. Unfortunately for the Mercer’s they did and we have shelled out some unexpected cash for a new one.

Do you buy European, or “Aussie made”? It seems Aussie made is a misnomer as all these modern whitegoods are manufactured in Europe, with their cheaper, more price sensitive cousins made in South East Asia. Buying Aussie no longer guarantees accessibility to parts in the future. Price, likewise doesn’t promise long-life and customer support as the demise of Kleenmaid proved.

Therefore are we being greedy or unrealistic to expect major household appliances to last upwards of ten years? I don’t think so. My parents’ generation were used to changing the fridges, stoves, ovens etc after 15 or 20 years – not barely 2.5 years. Are we so used to purchasing extended warranties that tacitly we expect our new purchases to break down within five years?

It feels like we now have accepted mediocrity as a standard to aspire towards, rather than excellence. As consumers we have lost our voice, but do we have any power to convince the manufacturers to build better. Have we confused the rapid technological advances in some areas as the reason why all products need to be constantly upgraded?

To me, certain appliances that don’t evolve rapidly still should have a long life – at least ten years.

Here’s hoping our new oven exceeds my hopes.