June 26, 2010
Consumers Don't Demand Standards so Crap is What We Should ExpectA couple of days ago, the charger for my Lenovo T61 stopped working. Blame it on wear and tear - after all, my rough beating, hard bashing, aggressive wearing lifestyle as a consultant and writer should justify my 'second' back-up charger from no longer working after 9 tough months right? Product obsolescence girl, just deal with it. It's just yet another cost to add to the list because product quality continues to go down. We have become so accustomed to deteriorating quality as the norm, that it becomes less justified to raise a red flag, which is exactly what manufacturers want.
Think about it. I use my laptop for email, blogging and communications mostly in an office environment, not writing from a war zone. Poor machine, I shouldn't expect you to handle such abuse should I? Nor am I learning can I ask you to perform for longer than about nine months.
This is reality for so many and yet manufacturer after manufacture gets away with it. Since I clearly needed another back-up power chord, rather than order yet another $50-75 accessory, I looked through my pile and wouldn't ya know, none of the power chords worked with my top-of-the-line Lenovo, a whole YEAR and a bit old, not even my previous IBM laptop chargers.
Charger after charger in a pile ready for the wasteland, I couldn't help but think: what a disgraceful and sad exercise. From former Compaq and HP to Toshiba, MSI, IBM and eMachines, none of them worked. Why are we not up in arms over standards? We write about it, talk about it, raise it on panels at conferences, but we don't DEMAND change.
Let's revisit that picture, shall we?
And don't write and say, Renee, get a Mac. It's a cop out Mac lover. I love Macs and have even admitted to having a crush on Jobs over the years. As a design snob, the UI and experience doesn't get much better in a laptop environment, but that's not the point. By being a Mac snob and simply resorting to the cop out response: "get a mac" is merely an easy 'industry out'.
Macs as beautiful as they are (and in many cases resiliant), don't flawlessly work with the apps that I need to test out early on (without a customized set up which I don't have the time or expertise to do). And, please don't tell me that it's dead simple because it very rarely is and even when something is set up properly, that personalization doesn't always last without necessary updates and tweaks on an going basis.
My point is that we need to step up and DEMAND simplicity. We need to DEMAND better quality products. Shall we show this picture again? Martha Stewart (and we are not in the same camp trust me), raised this very issue at the D Conference (All Things Digital) in 2006 and well.......how have we evolved since then? I'm just curious.
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I ran into the same issue last week. I left my cord in a hotel, and the other three at home did not fit. I refused to by another one so I had to wait for mine to get shipped by the hotel. So frustrating!
Posted by: Pablo Edwards | Jun 26, 2010 8:00:32 PM
We shouldn't stand for it - the fact that NONE of these chargers worked is crazy.
Posted by: Renee Blodgett | Jun 27, 2010 1:17:22 AM
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