Wed, Jun 04, 2014 - Page 10 News List

Why washing machines are no longer built to last
為什麼洗衣機不再製造得耐用

Washing machines stand on display at an electronics store in London on May 15.
這張五月十五日攝於倫敦一家電器用品店的照片,是展示於店內的洗衣機。

Photo: Bloomberg
照片:彭博社

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)

還記得一九八零年代你買回家的老洗衣機嗎?似乎永遠不會壞的那台?

然而倒是你前幾年才買的那台,壞掉的速度似乎比一次超快速脫水行程還快。

製造商不把洗衣機做得像以前那樣耐用。就連這個產業的業者都承認,家電用品的壽命已經縮短。不過,這些產品的售價也降低了。

那麼電冰箱或冷藏庫的壽命應該多長,值得多花一點錢買好一點的嗎?

我們對於便宜家電用品的無止境需求,在我們購買這類產品的耐用度上付出代價。

「白色商品貿易協會」在其網站上公開承認,產品平均壽命已隨價格下降。

以洗衣機為例。過去十年來,洗衣機的壽命縮短整整三年,也就是說許多這類產品很快就會壞掉。

該網站坦承:「逾百分之四十價格不到三百英鎊(五百零五美元)。很明顯地,這些更便宜的產品不再有相同的製造品質、性能或壽命,因此它們的平均壽命從超過十年縮短為七年以下。」

(自由時報/翻譯:管淑平)

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

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.

(那台老電視機終於壞了。)

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.

(污染與全球暖化使經濟成長付出代價。)

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.

(這台洗衣機壞了,需要修理。)


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