Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Failures of the Capitalist System

I'm a big fan of capitalism -- my travels in communist countries showed that they just can't deliver the goods. That's why I get particularly frustrated when capitalism doesn't deliver the goods either.

I'm redoing my kitchen. The new appliances arrived, and I tested them all out excitedly, and get this -- whenever you switch on the oven in my new range, a fan comes on. No, it's not the convection fan. It's a separate fan that exists solely to cool the electronic control panel. And it's very noisy. I mean really noisy. It makes more noise than the dishwasher.

What's up with that? I'm sensitive to noise. I investigated in great detail how much noise the refrigerator and dishwasher would make. And they're great. But it didn't occur to me that an oven would make noise. My old oven was silent. Not quiet, silent.

The new design is so dumb. First of all, there's no need for the electronic control panel. I was happy with knobs. So first they put in this souped-up control panel that you don't need, and then they add a fan to cool it, so it doesn't overheat.

And here's the real problem. My dealer offered to take back the range and exchange it for another, but it turns out all ranges have this fan nowadays! Because they all have the control panel!

And as if that weren't bad enough, you can't even find out which ranges are quieter than others! Because you can't turn them on in a store! Stores don't have them connected up, because they run on a different power supply than a normal outlet.

So pretty much all new ranges have this problem, but you can't discover how bad it is until you've shelled out $1000-$2000 bucks for one and gotten it home. And believe me, I've tried everything to find out.

What's up with these manufacturers? Do they think no one cares? They know we care about noise from the dishwasher -- the new dishwasher is so quiet you can't even tell that you've turned it on. But are we not supposed to care about noise from the oven? That's even worse. You can at least run the dishwasher when you're asleep or not home. But you're definitely there for the oven.

C'mon, capitalists! Doesn't anyone want to exploit the market advantage of making the quiet range? I can't be the only customer who cares. There's money to be made!


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