Today I had a look on several blogs, simply searching for “planned obsolescence” on Google Blog search. I found 2 interesting blogs about the subject:
Low Quality for a good cause
On the blog Vermont Commons, I found an article describing the origin of planned obsolescence.
It says that Bernard London, a rich American real estate promoter, wrote an 8 pages essay about a new way of building economy: Every product will have a determined lifespan and, when legally supposed “dead”, should be sent to a governmental agency which will destroy it.
This was supposed to permit full-employment and to permit to the economy to enjoy a new start.
The writer of this article, even if he can understand the good-will of Bernard London due to the date of publishing, states that a similar state of mind cannot be applied today, when we know our planet only owns limited resources…
He concludes his article by a really good example of involvement of governments in products lifespan:
“Before Germany was reunified a law was imposed that every refrigerator had to be made so it could work for at least 25 years.”
A specific case: Washing machines
On the blog Washerhelp.co.uk, the case of washing machines is studied: it states that a washing machine would normally be supposed to last 15 to 20 years. However, they last actually 7 years on average…
Nevertheless, the author does not only blame the constructors, but also implies the customers are on their wrong :
Everybody is looking for the lower price, and if a constructor doesn’t break its cost (and so the quality) to diminish the final price of its product, the customer will buy to its competitors.
Fortunately, the author writes, it is still possible to buy quality machines if we are not afraid of paying the price it worth.
“Top quality, extremely well built washing machines are still available and they are every bit as reliable as they used to be – if not more so. They just usually cost between £500 and can reach over £1000.”
Source : Washerhelp