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An electro-political rant

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Jul 24, 2007.

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  1. Guest

    I don't really know where to start.

    I think I shall start with this - Since big business bought our
    government, it seems like it is open season on the American consumer.
    I mean that 100% and invite anyone to refute it.

    These people are not stupid either. Take the example of the Protron 30
    or 32" LCD. You can't get a power supply for it. The name Protron
    appears nowhere on the power supply. It's made by yHI and has a
    completely an independent model number.

    Now, if I were in charge of yHI I would make a bunch of extras and
    just stow them away. Unless the contract specifically prohibits me
    from doing so I would do it. Then just wait several months. Those
    power supplies that they jewed you down to $40 each on, people are
    willing to pay $150 now because they got this $800 TV that doesn't
    work. (no offense intended to Jews, that is a figure of speech)

    Why wouldn't yHI make some spares and just sell them later ? I can
    think of only one reason. They agreed not to.

    Does this cross the line into conspiracy ?

    How long will it be before nobody can repair anything ?

  2. Dani

    Dani Guest

    Your'e right! It's getting to be a bad business to be in! I dropped
    Prima, & all it's brands, & LG...mostly because, they
    just won't answer the phone! E-Mail, fax, or leave a message, they
    might be a month getting back to you...that is,
    if they ever do! Support is almost non-existant! Phillips wants you to
    buy boards for $ 1,100, for plazma TV's, just on a guess! If I get ten
    Phillips Plazma TV's in from a Hotel, that need this board, I need $
    11,000, in parts...all on a guess,
    to fix these units! One I had in lasted one time, then it wouldn't
    come on about reliability! I dropped them also! If you
    have this kind of money to spend on TV parts....your'e in the wrong
    business! Norcent LCD, parts are in Los
    Angeles...I'm in esstern Newfoundland! You can't get any further away!
    Acer LCD's have no support here, call eastern
    Canada, they will sell you boards for way too much, but will not help
    a fellow Tech in a different Province! So, I can get them to fix it
    for me, for say $ 400 - $ 600, & put $ 100 on it...not including
    freight, & tax, then give it to the customer for almost the price of
    the piece of junk new!! Landfill, will be one mile high in a few
    years! This "junk" should not be allowed to be sold in our Province,
    unless it has some sort of service support! The people who you get on
    the phone at some of these electronics manufacturers can hardly speak
    english, & only know customer tech support, like "unplug it, & plug it
    back in"!! Unreal! Glad I do other things, because I'd never eat in
    this business! It's sad that the average consumer would
    rather buy a "junk" name, & hope it lasts, then throw their hard
    earned money away, rather than get their "good quality"
    unit fixed! People throw away $ 600 - $ 4,000 on these units, & when
    they break, it may never get fixed! That's sad! Dani.
  3. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    So why do you buy cheap 'off-brand' shit and then whine ?

  4. Guest

    Hang on there EY, I did not buy the piece of shit.

    I am an independent service technician with about 31 years experience
    who is in this group sharing my thoughts about the unavailability of
    parts for something that has come across my bench.

    Something that cost more than some of my cars when new. I can get an
    alternator or starter. Why can't I get a chip for a power supply in a
    $2,000 TV. That is the point.


    And when the customer comes to me, like so many who bought expensive
    Sony XBRs and similarly CAN'T GET PARTS for a $2,000 TV I will tell
    them flat out : "I did not design it, I did not build it, I did not
    sell it and I certainly didn't fucking buy it".

    You take care of the whining, I don't know how. I drive a twenty year
    old car, I know not what an auto part store looks like almost. I
    remember taking a BEER in with me when the boneyards just couldn't get
    us the right part. I drive a car that old because it can be fixed. And
    MY TV is even older than that.

    Damn, now that I think of it you can't even smoke a cigarette in an
    autoparts store anymore.

    That is the closest to whining you will ever her from me. Hell, we
    used to smoke pot in the autoparts store !

    Shame you missed it.

  5. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    I don't think it crosses the line into conspiracy - I think it is just the
    way it is now. Our government in the UK struggles to know even what industry
    is any more, let alone control it - except by keeping it cowed under heavy
    tax and legislation. As far as spares go, such is the way it has been for
    years now here, so if it's only just starting to filter into your nation,
    you have indeed had it lucky. There was the time - here at least - when
    spares had to be kept for all products for a certain number of years. I've
    no idea if this is still the case, and if it is, how the manufacturers /
    importers get around it. Oh for the days when you could phone a
    manufacturer, and get someone in service, who knew the product, and better
    yet, sounded older than 18, and understood as much about electronics and
    service, as you did yourself, or a stores person who knew what they were
    talking about, and understood about spares.

    But what really hacks me off in all of this, is the way that spares, when
    available, are prohibitively priced. We keep getting told all manner of
    hysterical eco-nonsense about pollution and global warming and whatever new
    fad that they can come up with this week, and are also told that we've got
    to become much less of a 'throw-away' society, and become a lot more aware
    of recycling, and the damage done by dumping stuff in landfill.

    Fair enough on some of that, but if it's the government-sponsored case that
    we need to do this, why are they not addressing the problem of spares
    availability, and pricing ? Quite 'reasonable' home cinema systems can, for
    example, be had from the local supermarket, for a very sensible price. And
    I'm not talking 'no-names' here. Often well known brand names, although what
    you are getting is not, of course, actually manufactured by them. Now what
    happens when its laser fails just out of warranty ? Well, first off, it's
    probably not even available as a spare part. If it is, the cost of it is
    nearly as much, if not more, than the player cost in the first place. Result
    ? An otherwise perfectly good player goes at worst to landfill, and at best,
    to be recycled, which uses yet more energy.

    It seems to me that if these items can be built cheap enough to sell at that
    price in the first place, then the component cost of the laser must only be
    a few pence / cents. So, if governments really want to make a difference,
    then this kit should be forced to have a 5 year lifetime, by making
    manufacturers supply spare parts for that period of time, and by making them
    sell them out at cost plus handling, plus a sensible storage cost. Profit on
    spares should be secondary, only if the final cost allows for it.

    There. That's *my* electro-political rant .... !! d;~}

  6. b

    b Guest

    I agree with what Arfa says. We urgently need a system of spares and
    suppport to keep usable stuff from the landfill. I would even go
    further and propose that with the annual multi-million pound budget
    for implanting extensive recycling schemes, including the cost of
    sorting, transporting, storing waste electronic materials and the
    energy use all that entails, we could subsidise every repair shop in
    the country and SAVE money and do far more for the environment!

    And don't get me started on new TVs and their power consumption -
    you'd have to go back to the early 70s colour sets to find one with
    such a ridiculous power consumption. So you have a double whammy -
    people chucking out working CRT sets which used less than 90w, into
    the landfill AND replacing them with more-contaminating plasma and
    LCDs using many hundreds more watts. And here's everyone going on
    about F$%&ing light bulbs??!! The only explanation I can find for
    this farcical situation is a) public ignorance and b) the businesses
    in whose interests it is to keep things that way.

    It's a sad part of living in a world where big business and
    deregulated multinationals can do what they want, and are seemingly
    untouchable, whilst the ordinary citizen is forced to pay for the
    costs of this environmental folly and suffer endless recyling
    campaigns, not to mention having often little choice but to throw
    equipment away. It's a perverse form of socialism for the rich IMO.
    Still, as long as people are stupid enough to keep BUYING instead of
    thinking about the consequences, or just for a second questioning this
    state of affairs, there'll be more of the same.

    (drags soapbox away ;-))
  7. Meat Plow

    Meat Plow Guest

    A lot of off brand LCD/Plasma etc is basically like buying a disposable
  8. Gary Tait

    Gary Tait Guest

    wrote in
    That would be it. YHI is a contract manucaturer for those subassemblies and
    only make what they are contracted to.

    Now, if those parts were "off the shelf" stock parts that Protron elected
    to use in their sets, that would be a differenct story.
  9. Guest

    Not so sure "cheap off-brand shit" applies in this case as the
    amalgamation of the industry in general has the same supplier making
    assemblies for all the brands whether 'off' or otherwise.

    Custom parts are made-to-order, and paid upon acceptance (which is
    distinct from 'delivery' - a very important issue). Which means that
    the supplier will be loath to make any extras, nor even as many as may
    have been ordered initially as there is no guarantee that they will be
    paid until that unit actually goes into a production item - that is
    "accepted". Extras are either sent back to the supplier (at the
    supplier's cost) or dumped, as no-one wants to either pay for or store
    them... which requires tracking, storing and handling.

    Put simply: Most "small electronics" (about anything made for the
    consumer at any level from flash memory cards through computers
    through plasma TVs) are commodities these days. That is, purchased
    based on price and feature only. A pork-belly is a pork-belly is a
    pork-belly. And if one looks at the Big Box retailers and the warranty
    statements that come with the sale, it will say "IN CASE OF DEFECT, DO
    NOT RETURN TO THE POINT OF SALE".... and then give elaborate
    instruction for returning the item to the Manufacturer (or
    distributor). And there, it will be replaced with no attempt at repair
    other than the most basic stuff... often not even then.

    At this level, there is no need for support, schematics, spares or any
    other infrastucture of that nature. If that Plasma TV that one
    purchase at say.... US$2500 cost US$600 to make and transport, I would
    be shocked. So, consider the cost of a warehouse, techs and support
    staff to do warranty work. Assume one (1) tech cost US$50,000 to keep
    employed, the space for him/her costs $10,000/year to lease, $10,000
    year to maintain (heat, light, phone, taxes, insurance), and then
    maybe a receptionist, accounts receivable & payable, shipping &
    receiving, equipment.... so even a single modest warranty service
    station (that actually does service) will cost something on the order
    of $350,000 - $500,000 per year to maintain. That comes to 1000
    defective very high-end television sets in cost + shipping and
    receiving them. And that is before it has repaired its first warranty

    So, why not put it all on the distributor where the shipping &
    handling infrastructure already exists, chalk it up to the cost of
    business and move on. Oh, and perhaps spend a little on the front-end
    in QC to reduce the call-backs anyway.

    And then, if a Tech is worth $25 (~$50,000/year) an hour (not what the
    time is charged at, but what the tech gets paid), repairing that $39
    DVD player becomes a futile gesture, so those items will get trashed
    fixable or not.

    It is the way of the world. Now that robots can crank out this crap
    faster than the rest of the world can buy it, the race for the bottom
    is in full swing. Consumer Goods repair shops are dinosaurs, servicing
    those few functioning dinosaurs that have sentimental value to their
    owners, not much else.

    Peter Wieck
    Wyncote, PA
  10. sparky

    sparky Guest

    Please advise us as to which brands you believe are NOT off-brands
    with unavailable parts. I can't really think of any which are
    affordable by the average consumer, only government offices.
  11. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Whilst all of what you say is true, it does not address the out-of-warranty
    situation, nor the utter waste of scrapping this stuff into landfill or
    recycling it, with all of the energy budget implications of those actions,
    plus building and shipping replacement units for the consumers to buy. The
    point to this whole discussion is that it is no good governments bleating
    about landfill and recycling, if all they are going to do is attack the
    symptoms, not the cause. The DVD player should actually not be $39 in the
    first place. It should be $69, which would still a perfectly acceptable
    price, but would do away with all of this cut-throat competition between
    manufacturers, that leads to the nonsense situation of a perfectly otherwise
    functional piece of equipment, being written off for the sake of a 5c
    component that isn't available. From my experience of consumer service, I
    think that most people would be quite happy to spend out $30 getting
    something repaired that they paid $70 for originally, rather than having to
    go out and spend another $70 just to get back to what they had when it was

    If the situation is to improve, this entire scenario of pricing and spares
    provision needs to be seriously looked at by governments and manufacturers
    together, and if necessary, legislated for. After all, the governments don't
    seem to have any problem placing bans on stuff like leaded solder, despite
    the dubious science that caused them to arrive at solder being a 'hazardous'
    material, so why should legislating to prevent premature scrapping of
    otherwise servicable equipment, be a problem for them ?

  12. z

    z Guest

    Years ago, I was a repairman for Sony on summer college vacations.
    They stocked parts for like everything they ever made, going back to
    the first transistor radios. Rows and rows of bins. Sigh. A few months
    ago, I couldn't even find anybody to do warranty repair work on a RCA
    DVD recorder that was dead out of the box, ended up taking it back for
    refund. Terrific machine, if it had worked.

    Irreparable damageBy Bryce Baschuk
    January 9, 2007
    Bill Jones, after 42 years, is finally closing the Procter Appliance
    Service shop in Silver Spring.
    "You can't make a good salary to survive on the way you could
    ago," said the 61-year-old owner of the oven, refrigerator and
    washer-dryer repair shop. "Everything has changed in the appliance
    Mr. Jones recently sold his home in Laurel and is in the process
    moving to Bluffton, S.C., with his wife, Jeannette.
    Mr. Jones is one of the many Washington-area repairmen who have
    struggled to stay afloat as residents replace, not repair, old
    "It's a dying trade," said Scott Brown, Webmaster of and self-proclaimed "Samurai Appliance Repairman."
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