Do you know you can use your money to buy trouble? Millions of people do just that every day. I’m sure at some one point or the other; you must have brought something that you ended up spending so much on without getting any value in return for your money. I will tell you about some contraptions I bought or used that… rather than make life easier for me, they made me suffer.
Chief among them is Nokia E66. In those days, if you own a Symbian phone, you’re a big boy. I had the option of going for other Symbian phones within same range like the E63 but I chose the E66 because I wasn’t familiar with QWERTY keyboard at the time. I also assumed E63 would be more battery efficient since it’s a slide phone. If I’m not typing, the keypad lights would be off as I slide down thereby conserving battery life.
So I bought the phone. I was very right about the slider saving battery life. I used the phone to browse so much that people were begging me to let the phone have some rest. If I went anywhere, brought the phone out of my pocket and slide the screen up, the people around would nod in respect. All that was cut short about three months after purchase when one morning, I picked up the phone, slide it up and the screen was white, though the underneath keyboard was lighted.
I rushed the phone to a repair guy who dismantled it and told me that the flex is bad; I should give him money to buy another flex. I paid him, he fixed the phone and I went home. The next month, the phone’s screen went black. I went to the repair guy. He put another flex into the phone. it worked so my screen had gone bad. I paid for another screen. When the repair guy was coupling the phone after fixing it, he didn’t align the lower speaker well so when I got home, and tried to make calls… the person I’m calling could hear me but if I reply, it seemed like I’m talking to the air. I took the phone to another technician and that was fixed.
Then the E66’s casing started going bad and keypad color faded. To bring it out in the public became shame to me. I went to a major phone accessories shop and bought another case. The new case, after being mounted on the phone didn’t fit too well but it made the phone glow so I decided to manage it like that. A few weeks later, the screen blacked out again. When I changed the screen, a few weeks later the flex got angry and spoil too.
I thought the repair guys didn’t fit the stuffs well which is the reason why they spoil so quickly. So I went to the shop where they sell phone spare parts, bought the flex, opened the phone and installed a new flex myself. All went well till the end of the next month when the screen went black again. I thought of buying another phone but my budget at the time could only get a Java phone. Who would ever used return to Java phones after using Symbian? I repaired the phone and begged it not to spoil again. About two months later, the flex went bad. I wanted to smash the phone on the floor and hammer it with my feet but I was determined to make something out of it so that all the money I spent on it will not be in vain.
I repaired the phone again and swapped it with a bro’s E5. The bros complained that all his pictures would randomly break or become corrupted without cause so I was lucky to get it so cheap. At the time, Android was just introduced and was very expensive too so the E5 was my best option. The next month when I went to the bros I swapped phone with, I saw my E66 lying so dismantled and battered on his shelf. I couldn’t help bursting into laughter. The E5 however wasn’t without its fault though. If the phone fell by one centimeter from my hand to the ground or table, its screen would total. After changing its screen the seventh time, I ‘used anger’ to fling the phone into the bush and got myself HTC Rider.
How can I forget Dad’s Peugeot 504Station Wagon? He bought the wagon from his in-laws after his father in-law’s burial. I think I was in primary four at the time. From day one, the car was problem. If you start the car in the morning, the engine would blatantly refuse to wake until we have pushed it through almost all the streets in the estate.
Dad would open the hood, suck petrol from one pipe like that, pump the petrol from his mouth into the engine and rush back into the car to start it; the engine would cough… cough and go back to sleep. The shame of pushing it around was much. When dad eventually saved enough money and bought a W124 Mercedes Benz, we were so happy. Dad swore that he would never touch a Peugeot again. He didn’t even bother to sell the 504. He returned it to his in-laws as a “gift”.
Dad drove the Benz madly like a demon. On the highway, nobody could overtake him. After about two years, the Benz began to cry. If anything spoils in the car, the replacement parts were so expensive. He later sold it to a jolly friend for a token and brought a 1999 Toyota Avalon. I guess he wanted a Toyota that can match the Benz in terms of performance.
The Avalon was sweet in its first year. Later on the car became a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You will be driving it gently one cool afternoon and the engine would suddenly knock. If you repair the engine, a few months later, it’ll knock again. Dad got a replacement engine but the same thing happened to it. If the engine knocked today and you repair it, next month it would knock again. We would hold prayer vigils anytime Dad wants to travel and pray that the engine should not knock on the highway. Apart from that, it also drank oil regularly. Dad changed the engine about four times before he got fed up and upgraded to Toyota Sienna. He begged people to buy the Avalon for chicken change but people were offering chicken shit. He finally parked the car, removed its tires and covered it with tarpaulin.
Some time ago, I saw some neat and beautiful Nissan Muranos and Range Rovers parked at an auto garage. Out of curiosity, I pretended I wanted to buy one of the cars and asked the mechanic what is wrong with them. The mechanic said the Muranos have some electrical and gear problem while the Range Rovers had air suspension issues. When I enquired how much it would costs to get a replacement gear for Murano, the cost of the gear is literally more than the cost of the car. I didn’t bother to ask anything about the Range Rovers. I removed my shoes, touched my toes and ran away with speed.
Do manufacturers deliberately make stuffs and program them to go bad after about a year or two? I can’t understand how companies that have been producing the same products for over half a century would still make and churn out products that have hidden defects despite of all the expertise, wealth of experience and technical know-how at their disposal. Though in some cases, the users are to be blamed for servicing the products wrongly; it’s still not enough excuse for them to make products that fall apart even in the hands of experienced users.
In my country where you can’t drive for one mile without having to swerve left or right to avoid potholes, to drive a car with air suspension every day is the most stupid thing to do. I don’t know if auto makers actually manufacture their suspension components or they outsource it but if I were Range Rover, I’ll insert a soft spring suspension into the air suspension and seal them both up so that if the air suspension goes bad, the car can temporarily have the soft spring in the bad suspension to lean on. I’m sure that’s going to spoil market for the people who manufacture plain air suspension but customer satisfaction is what ultimately matters. I can’t spend big money on a Range Rover only to park it at a mechanic shop because of one busted balloon.
The list will not be complete without including HP laptops. What exactly is inside the laptops HP manufactures that makes people patronize them so much, I don’t know. They source electronic parts from different component makers, jam them together and brand it HP. The result is that half of their products often go bad within few months of usage.
If it is not heat/fan problem, it is keyboard problem. You will be typing an important document and the computer would suddenly hang without warning. HP chargers are so small and get incredibly hot when in use. HP is aware of this problem but they have refused to rectify it. If you go to any laptop repair tech shop, out of every ten scrap laptop, six would most likely be HP, two Toshiba, one Dell and one Sony. Let me also add that most batteries manufactured for HP (since HP doesn’t actually manufacture anything) are also whack.
Photo Credit: http://www.bgr.in/news/plagued-by-a-broken-screen-take-survey-for-a-better-smartphone-future/