So, isn't it about time the rights of a consumer were upgraded in law?

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morqthana

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To me the practice of selling substandard items is largely created by the consumer who always wants a cheaper item.
"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that man's lawful prey."

Uk makers were put on a back foot with cheap Chinese imports years ago so they began making it thinner, shorter or anything that made it cheaper to make and sell at the same price to make enough profit to survive. But when the largest cost is the wages bill and you are competing with makers in Hungary, Mexico, India, China, the writing was on the wall so manufacturing basically slowed and stopped here.
I wonder why the same thing didn't happen in Germany?
 

toolsntat

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Some great input here from you all.
My main point is that on top of relevant laws we as a consumer are generally left out of pocket in one way or another.
For example, order 13 expensive doors and find that neither the wholesalers or suppliers had found manufacturing faults (inside the wrapper) with 5 of them.
"No problems we will replace them"
But who's paying for my time to unload and check them again.
Now, tell them that If the customer finds the faults they have to refund AND replace, the suppliers would dare not operate like this.

It's not just a case of you want cheap you get cheap as that cheap thing should still work, fit and be all there.
As mentioned above everyone thinks it's wonderful service when they get a problem resolved with after sales departments but it is often at the inconvenience of the consumer who cannot claim anything for it.
Cheers, Andy
 

Blackswanwood

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Some great input here from you all.
My main point is that on top of relevant laws we as a consumer are generally left out of pocket in one way or another.
For example, order 13 expensive doors and find that neither the wholesalers or suppliers had found manufacturing faults (inside the wrapper) with 5 of them.
"No problems we will replace them"
But who's paying for my time to unload and check them again.
Now, tell them that If the customer finds the faults they have to refund AND replace, the suppliers would dare not operate like this.

It's not just a case of you want cheap you get cheap as that cheap thing should still work, fit and be all there.
As mentioned above everyone thinks it's wonderful service when they get a problem resolved with after sales departments but it is often at the inconvenience of the consumer who cannot claim anything for it.
Cheers, Andy
As a retail consumer if you buy something on a credit card (between the values of £100 and £30k section 75 of the consumer credit act applies. This includes consequential loss which would include payment for your time.

Consumer rights in the UK are really strong. The problem is not enough people realise and use them.

The best guide is imho the MSE link that I posted earlier.
 

johna.clements

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A calculation which does not include the environmental costs of more frequent replacements.

Cheap but short-lived machines may cost you less in the long run, but what about the rest of us?
You could add in something for the environmental capital cost of the different machines. I would assume that generally the amount of steel, plastics etc would be similar no matter what the cost of the machine, maybe a little bit more for a bigger capacity machine. You could take that the environmental capital cost of an average washing machine is £200, the rest of the cost is machining and intellectual property. The £500 machine with 10% of £200 added, £20; and the £300 machine gets £40 added.

£500 washing machine that breaks down 10% of the time within 5 years. £500 plus £50 plus £10 (assume £100 per day "pay") gives £560 "cost". This now becomes £580.

£300 washing machine that breaks down 20% of the time within 5 years. £300 pus £60 plus £20 gives £380 "cost". This now becomes £420 taking into account the environmental capital cost.


How would you add the environmental capital cost.
 

Spectric

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In manufacture there is a design/engineering term - bathtub curve. It relates to the failure rate of everything that is made. The shape of the curve resembles a bath, steep at start indicating that a lot of failures occur in the items' early period. Then follows a period of relatively few failures for the main part of its designed life and then, as the item's reach their end, the failure rates increase.
Just don't mention that word to Japanese engineers because it is like swearing, the very thought of something failing is taken as an insult to their abilities as I found out once when asking them about their MTBF figures for batches of 10,000 units.
 

Spectric

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Absolutely nothing wrong with horse meat.

If you eat meat then what is wrong with eating horse, dog or donkey as they are all meat, as a vegetarian we eat alll vegetables and don't differentiate between a carrot and a sweet potatoe so really carnivores should eat anything that can be classed as meat.
 

Terry - Somerset

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The common denominator is money. It is a means of exchange, a store of wealth (future buying capacity), a way of allocating resource.

By comparison regard for the environment is trivial. At present there are some limited efforts to make folk aware of environmental impacts (eg: EPC for property), a small amount of taxation (eg: fuel duty) etc. Mostly fork can ignore it if they want with very limited consequences.

Attempts to quantify environmental impacts in ££ is fundamentally flawed. Like measuring the height of a tree with a temperature gauge.

Environmental units as the means of exchange, store of wealth etc would make major changes to behaviours. The "unit" may not be solely greenhouse gasses but reflect other environmental impacts - eg: river and coastal pollutants, chemical residue, domestic waste etc.

Taxation would be based on the types of consumption, and very much less on income.
  • pay would be in "environmental credits" (ECs)
  • foreign travel and holidays would be very expensive
  • new car taxes would reflect emissions in manufacture
  • imported food would need to be differentiated from local
  • fertiliser and pesticides taxed increasing the cost of food
  • domestic energy costs taxed, not subsidised
  • re-use and repair would become the norm again (IMHO a good thing)
  • much larger subsidies of train and bus - high taxes on cars and fuel
Assuming it is all balanced, arguably an average individual consuming averagely may be no worse (or better )off. They would have a higher disposable income denominated in ECs and face higher costs if they maintained existing consumption patterns.
 

johna.clements

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The common denominator is money. It is a means of exchange, a store of wealth (future buying capacity), a way of allocating resource.

By comparison regard for the environment is trivial. At present there are some limited efforts to make folk aware of environmental impacts (eg: EPC for property), a small amount of taxation (eg: fuel duty) etc. Mostly fork can ignore it if they want with very limited consequences.

Attempts to quantify environmental impacts in ££ is fundamentally flawed. Like measuring the height of a tree with a temperature gauge.

If you want people to make judgements you have to give them a means of evaluating the options.

There are no measures that combine all the different impacts and what is published often measures things in different ways so things can not be compared on the back of an envelope.

People currently buy stuff with money rather than with environmental units.

If you do not give a proxy for the environmental cost in ££ terms that people could use when looking at washing machines in the shop or online they will just not include it in a rational way.
 

MJP

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A friend of ours had a very small assembly business and they were doing an order for extension leads, the lead came with one of those 4 port multi sockets pre wired, anyway our chums being conscientious types checked each one as they fitted plugs and started to discover ones where wires in the socket were not fitted, but they still had the little “Tested” sticker on them, so they contacted the company who litterally laughed and said “oh we don't test any of them, we just stick the sticker on, the customer tests them for us, and if they tell us one is faulty we apologise and without question send out another, the customer being treated so well with great customer service is always extremely happy” Our chum, and ex RAF pilot, was astounded by this attitude,,I wonder how common this type of thing is?
Steve.
Alan Sugar built his business in the early days by this principle - he never checked anything, said that it was far far cheaper to just send stuff out and replace duds without question than pay for the extra labour to 100% check items before despatch.
Martin.
 

Sideways

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I have no sympathy with the OP.
If you're sick of this situation then you have clearly been repeating it time and again. Learn your lesson and start paying more attention to what you buy, where from and how.
We have more than enough legislation in this world, we don't need more of it. Take responsibility, learn what is there and use it. You buy something mail order and it fails, you demand a refund and "the defective goods are at the original delivery address ready for your courier to collect at any time subject to 24 hours notice".
 

Sideways

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If you eat meat then what is wrong with eating horse, dog or donkey as they are all meat, as a vegetarian we eat alll vegetables and don't differentiate between a carrot and a sweet potatoe so really carnivores should eat anything that can be classed as meat.
But a carnivore eats according to what tastes good :) and that depends on your dinner's diet.
Horse tastes fine, personally I enjoy pork, but have you seen what dogs eat ? No wonder they taste a bit strong for most folk !
 

Droogs

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As long as the leg quotient is >0 and <6, I'll probably eat it. As for veg, I absolutely have to differentiate as many have a high iron and heavy metal ratio which I have to avoid, meat doesn't. In fact I am off to see the dietician on Thursday to sort out a new palate of foods I can safely eat due to conflicts between the aforementioned and sugar levels in foods. Seem what's good for one condition is terrible for the other. So trying to get a balance that will allow my pancreas and liver to recover and to try to get my blood letting down to once a month rather than weekly pint donation to the NHS.
 

johna.clements

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As long as the leg quotient is >0 and <6,

The specification for flour has a maximum % of things with a leg quotient >6.

I worked with some people once whose previous job was in Libya. The meat there had a leg quotient <1. They washed the meat in fairy liquid to get them to come out. I think I would have starved.
 

morqthana

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You could add in something for the environmental capital cost of the different machines. I would assume that generally the amount of steel, plastics etc would be similar no matter what the cost of the machine, maybe a little bit more for a bigger capacity machine. You could take that the environmental capital cost of an average washing machine is £200, the rest of the cost is machining and intellectual property. The £500 machine with 10% of £200 added, £20; and the £300 machine gets £40 added.
Machining has an environmental cost.

As does transporting new and oldmachines and disposing of the latter.

And I really don't understand your calculations.
£500 washing machine that breaks down 10% of the time within 5 years. £500 plus £50 plus £10 (assume £100 per day "pay") gives £560 "cost". This now becomes £580.

£300 washing machine that breaks down 20% of the time within 5 years. £300 pus £60 plus £20 gives £380 "cost". This now becomes £420 taking into account the environmental capital cost.
I see nothing about the headline cost to you, or the environmental costs, of buying 2 or 3 £300 machines plus 2 or 3 times 5-years of breakdowns vs one at £500 plus 10 or 15 years of breakdowns.

How would you add the environmental capital cost.
It's not easy.
 

johna.clements

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Machining has an environmental cost.

As does transporting new and oldmachines and disposing of the latter.

And I really don't understand your calculations.

I see nothing about the headline cost to you, or the environmental costs, of buying 2 or 3 £300 machines plus 2 or 3 times 5-years of breakdowns vs one at £500 plus 10 or 15 years of breakdowns.


It's not easy.

You are correct that machining has an environmental cost. But is it significant for this back of an envelope calculation.
Good joinery isn't cheap, cheap joinery isn't good. Does a skillful joiner, who will be paid more, use more materials than a bad one.

The cost of transporting a £300 machine and a £500 machine are the same. What matters is how often they break down which I have allowed for in the nominal environmental capital cost of all washing machines of £200 multiplied by the breakdown rate.

The headline cost of a £300 washing machine is £300. That is what you pay in the shop.

To this I have added the replacement cost if it breaks down. If 20% of the machines breakdown 20% of the buyers will have to spend another £300 (ignoring inflation). A person will have to pay £60 on average to replace the machine over the next five years.

I then added a hassle factor for the break down. You decide how much that is worth (cost of a day off work, trips to launderette etc) and again multiply by the breakdown rate. A machine that does not break down much will be better as you are less likely to have to take a day off work or use fuel to drive to the launderette.

The environment cost is included in the nominal £200 environmental capital cost for washing machines. which is again multiplied by the breakdown rate for that machine.




If you started to compare breakdown rates over different time periods and replacements breaking then the calculation would start to get far more complicated and could no longer be calculated on the back of an envelope. I do not think it will be too bad to assume that the 20% and 10% failure rate machine will continue to fail at a similar but increasing rate and not swap positions at 15 years. If you wanted to more heavily penalise breakdowns you could add a factor to the break down rate.


This is a back of an envelope calculation that most people could do if they know how reliable different machines over a reasonable period of time.
 

Cocon

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We bought a dish washer at Argus the other day and was informed that it came with 12 months warrenty.
When arranging the delivery I was put through to the Hotpoint/indesit etc warrenty team who informed me that any claims made during warrenty carried a £150.00 call out charge. It is a pity that these conditions are not made clear at the point of sale. The Tories do not have much interest in honest trading and have allowed or even encouraged these sharp dishonest practices. As I only have a basic pension of which nearly half goes on electricity charges is it little wonder that people are discontent.
 

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