Wed, Jun 04, 2014 - Page 10 News List

Why washing machines are no longer built to last

Washing machines stand on display at an electronics store in London on May 15.

Photo: Bloomberg

Remember that old washing machine you bought back in the 1980s? The one that seemed to go on forever?

Then there was the one you bought only a couple of years back, which seemed to give up the ghost more quickly than an ultra-fast spin cycle.

They don’t build them like they used to. Even the industry admits that the lifespan of white goods has fallen, as have their prices.

So how long should a fridge or a freezer last, and is it worth spending a bit more on a better model?

Our relentless demand for cheap household appliances is taking its toll on the durability of the products we buy.

On its Web site, the Whitegoods Trade Association openly acknowledges that the average lifespan has dropped in relation to prices.

Take the example of a washing machine. Its life expectancy has dropped by a full three years over the last decade or so, meaning many will conk out pretty quickly.

“Over 40 percent cost under 300 pounds (US$505). Obviously these cheaper products do not have the same build quality, performance or longevity; therefore the average lifespan has dropped from over 10 years to under seven years,” the Web site confesses.

(Liberty Times)











1. give up the ghost idiom

死亡;壞掉;放棄 (si3 wang2; huai4 diao4; fang4 qi4)

例: That old television finally gave up the ghost.


2. take its toll idiom

造成負面影響;付出代價 (zao4 cheng2 fu4 mian4 ying2 xiang3; fu4 chu1 dai4 jia4)

例: Pollution and global warming are taking a toll on economic growth.


3. conk out v .phr.

故障;失靈;昏睡 (gu4 zhang4; shi1 ling2; hun1 shui4)

例: The washing machine has conked out and needs to be repaired.


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