Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Junkification of Everything...

One of my favorite quotes from Fight Club seems to be even more relevant in today's climate of badly designed products sold by corporations that value profit over quality at every turn. 

You take the population of vehicles in the field (A) and multiply it by the probable rate of failure (B), then multiply the result by the average cost of an out-of-court settlement (C).

A times B times C equals X. This is what it will cost if we don't initiate a recall.

If X is greater than the cost of a recall, we recall the cars and no one gets hurt.

If X is less than the cost of a recall, then we don't recall.

Toyota and Dell used to represent the pinnacle of quality and reliability for me. They were great brands. Respected brands. Brands that you would tell your friends, family, and co-workers to buy. And you would proudly stake your reputation on that recommendation. Too bad those days are gone. Long gone...

Do a Google News search and you will find case after case of companies like Toyota, Dell, and BP demonstrating a complete disregard for their customers.

The recent revelation about Dell (http://nyti.ms/bXKh9r) made me sick. However, I really wasn't that surprised. The once battleship-solid Dell PC's that I remembered from the 90's had transformed into poorly made, defect-ridden, battery-exploding junk heaps! In fact, I have a Dell laptop on my desk right now. I would love to write about all the things that have gone wrong with it, but my fingers would probably cramp up and I would be unable to continue this brilliant prose.

It seems you can't go a single day without hearing more troubling news about Toyota. From multiple recalls (http://usat.me/?98047), to irresponsible delays (http://usat.me/?38862988), to a precipitous drop in the latest J.D. Power survey (http://nyti.ms/ToyotaTumble), Toyota continues to disappoint and falter.

As for BP, I don't think there's anything I can say to adequately describe their miserable conduct... A quote from a BP executive regarding the woefully insufficient safety measures taken by BP to safeguard the Deepwater Horizon pretty much sums it up, "Who cares, it's done, end of story, will probably be fine."  I will be very surprised if BP is still in business by this time next year. If by any miracle it is, I bet you it will have a new name!

Will people continue to tolerate this flood of disposable, inferior, and in many cases unsafe products? A trend that I refer to as "The Junkification of Everything". Or will there be a major consumer revolt?

If you are dissatisfied with something, let the manufacturer know about it. Same thing goes if you are pleased with a product. Don't be afraid to tell people within your social and professional circles about your experiences with products and services - both good and bad. Word of mouth is a very powerful tool and today "word of mouth" can be devastatingly effective with social networking tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter at our disposal.

[Update] A few hours after writing this post, the following story broke, "Toyota accused of withholding info in acceleration probe." Unbelievable... http://usat.me?39076966 [/Update]

8 comments:

Wrecking Machine said...

And yet you still think Steve Jobs is the greatest person in the world and Apple the greatest company. But I guess you could just be holding your phone the wrong way.

OAR said...

Glad to "see" you again Machine! Hope all is well... The difference is that Steve Jobs, unlike Dell and Hayward, will have the problem fixed and the responsible parties flogged and fired. Or fired and then flogged...

OAR said...

This just in... Game. Set. Match. Me.... Every day they do something terrible.

Toyota accused of withholding info in acceleration probe. http://usat.me?39076966

Wrecking Machine said...

The game is never over, Dolf, and you should know by now that you never win:

The vast majority of the Toyota acceleration problems were caused by the drivers

Dolf Muccillo said...

Of course I won... What does your article prove? Some people are morons? Yes... Some people are scammers? Perhaps... Whatever the case, there are real defects. Real problems. And Toyota officially fessed up! http://nyti.ms/ckJE7H now if they would just do a recall of their deplorable power door locks!!!

Dolf Muccillo said...

Alright! Actually I don't win! I'm the one who owns a piece of crap Toyota with defective (and deadly) power door locks. As well as a piece of crap Dell XPS M1530 (an expensive machine) that has had multiple breakdowns. Just yesterday I had to have the optical drive replaced for the SECOND time... I won't mention the recall for the massively overheating & defective GPU which resulted in replacement of the entire motherboard and heat sink. Are you happy now?!?!?!?!?!?

Dolf Muccillo said...

"Subpoena for Toyota Over Defects in Steering"

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/21/business/global/21toyota.html?src=busln

Nikon coolpix p100 review said...

Its difficult to always be perfect, and to keep consistant level of quality over decades...That's why brands come and go... What we (a society) want, we will get - cheaper cars, cheaper computers, and something will then suffer...a quality maybe?