Thursday, January 03, 2013

Wastefulness!


A couple of months ago my beloved blue fridge died.  We had bought it just after we got married so it was over 10 years old, but it was perfect.  It was the perfect colour, perfect size and in perfect (well almost!) condition.  It was fine one day and then it just stopped.  I cleaned it out in preparation for the repairman to come and change a little switch and make it all better.. but... apparently Japan does not design things to last.  Fridge parts are only manufactured for 9 years after the last of a given model is produced, meaning that all the repairman did was walk into the kitchen, look inside the door and say - sorry, you need to hold a funeral for your wonderful fridge.  I asked if he was even going to bother fiddling in the back or anything to check if something would work, but went into great detail about the fact that Japan is not like Europe where things are made to last or at least be repaired.  He was actually very nice and apologised profusely and told me that he would "cancel" the callout so we didn't end up paying him a single yen for driving one and a half hours one way to pronounce our fridge dead.
It took me a couple of days to completely give up on it, but the novelty of living out of chillybins wore off quickly and I went to find a new fridge which was as close to our old fridge as possible.  We have a cabinet which it fits into so the same size as last time was an essential feature.  The only problem is that since we bought our old fridge the design of fridges has changed and all fridges are now taller and slimmer to fit into kitchens better.  Unless you have a built-in cabinet where you can't actually go any taller.  
So we ended up having to get the only fridge that would fit.  It is smaller than the old one.  It is not blue.  I am not happy.  I hate the fact that there is so much waste in this country.  There are piles and piles of "broken" fridges, tvs, washing machines being shipped to other countries to be used as scrap, which could easily be repaired if they simply manufactured the parts a little longer.  I realise that this might not make the economy revolve as well as the electronic companies might like, but when you find something that suits you perfectly it would be nice to be able to keep it for more than 10 years.

6 comments:

  1. I agree with you, Jo, but I don't think it's just a Japan thing. Unless you can afford the outrageous prices of the fancy European models, it's the same with white goods here in Australia too. And with the fancy European models, the repairman usually has to send away for parts so it can take forever to get repaired.

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  2. Megan9:25 AM

    Noooooooo! I loved that fridge!! It was blue!!! What does the electronic panel on the front do?

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  3. I understand your pain. We have a lovely pale YELLOW fridge and I know that when it dies (and it's now 10 years old and making ominous noises) that I will have to have a crappy steel thing. Sigh.

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  4. Anonymous2:07 PM

    new japanese model is considerably more energy efficient, environmentally friendly. so, it may not be such a bad thing.

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  5. Ahhhhh just been through this with my washing machine. AND, when buying a new one the salesman had a lot of trouble with the fact that I wanted a straight washer not some ridiculous 5 hour (!!) wash + dryer model. We dry clothes in the room with the fire on and it just seems the more complicated the machine the more chance of something going wrong right? There were only three models out of close to 20 that didn't do washing and drying.....what happened to simple is best?

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  6. I like both of your fridges. Your blue one and the new one. But I also understand what you mean too. Why don't they carry replacements parts etc.

    And Heather. I have just a straight washing machine too. And a seperate dryer. That way I can do 2 at once. One load in the dryer while one is in the washer. I wouldn't want the washer/dryer 2 in 1 combo either. I know it's fancier but ehhh. I'll take a regular washing machine anyday. ; )

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