Sunday, September 16, 2007

Alarm Clocks that Break in a Week...

I always took it for granted that cheap alarm clocks would last for 2 years or so, because that's the standard in Japan. When they started manufacturing things in China for cheaper the lifespan of electronics became shorter and well....they started breaking after a few years.

Recently I had to buy an alarm clock at Carrefour. The only one they had that wasn't digital was made by Lexibook a UK company. There wasn't any other choice so I purchased it but it felt wrong the minute I took it out of the plastic case. It felt too light for its size - like it were a toy and not a real alarm clock. It had this bright shiny golden sticker on it that said: Made in China.

It broke after 2 weeks.

Now, I've heard some Spanish people complaining about things made in China and the reality is that they don't pay much attention to quality there. This is why you need someone manning the quality control from your company to ensure that they do maintain certain standards.

I know a bit about this because I used to work in a business where we managed the quality control of cigarette premiums - which meant we managed production of lighters and other items which were made in China!

A lot of things are made in China today because of the cheap labor cost there, but depending on who's doing the quality control, the percentage of defective products that hit the shelves is significantly different.

Leximark clearly fails to do this and I couldn't even be bothered to return the defective product anymore because I suspect they'll just give me another one that will break again in 2 weeks.

My sister asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year and sadly I think I'm going to ask her to give me a few cheap Japanese alarm clocks, which are also made in China but with stricter quality control.

*I just checked and the package does say it has a warranty for 2 years.

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