IntroductionThere was a time many years back when people used any product they brought to its last breath till it became old and non-repairable. It was this time when people considered buying a new one. Otherwise, people kept on repairing them and using them. But now the trend has changed tremendously. Whether it is TV, laptop, mobile or home and kitchen appliances or bathroom hardware people nowadays seldom prefer to keep on repairing the things and using them. Once the gadget gets few years old and they face a problem with it they prefer to replace it with a new one. For things like mobile phones, this period is even less. What can be reasons behind this trend? Lets us try to list down the reasons.
Factors due to which repair has become outdated
ConclusionHence we see that there can be different factors involved in making repair less popular nowadays. While some reasons make sense and it is wiser to replace the product than repair, there are other reasons which are secondary and depend on taste and mindset of people. If some people can afford they simply want to go for a new product rather than repair while for a poor person it is not the same case. My take on this is that we should make a sensible, rational and logical decision as far as deciding between repair and replacement is concerned balancing all the factors together. If we do it it can save us money and prevent hardships.
It is true these days people want to update themselves with the latest products in the market. Everyone will be waiting for a chance for this. So any small problem with the gadget, it will be replaced. The latest model of a cell phone looks more attractive and TV adds will make us feel that the model what we are using is inferior and we will think of ways and means to change the handset. A small problem with the existing piece. Take the advantage and replace it.
Another reason for this trend is the manpower cost. These days the cost of repairs are so high making people think of going for a new one.
A great practical question. I still remember taking my shirts and pants while in college for darning (to close the small holes and tears neatly). I also remember mother fixing plastic bucket holes with the traveling plastic repairman who would stick a piece of plastic and heat seal it all around. It's all gone now, at least from the cities.
Wonder what happened, with time things have changed. Along with the increasing affordability, I think the value for hard earned money which we had those days is not seen now. Now its easy come, easy go.
I agree with the author, the quality has come down a lot, in those days, if one where to buy a prestige cooker, the rubber, and the safety gasket device would come for years, now every few months we have to replace the cooker lid rubber as the quality is inferior. My first college entry gift was Raymonds Sapphire pant length and Arvind mills shirt piece, I remember those clothes lasting for many years, such as the quality.
Competition and continued advances have made the gadgets and items being sold at a cheaper price. Now, there are very few items over which one seller has a monopoly. I think purposefully, many spare parts are difficult to get and the cost of repairs is high that people feel, it's better to give off the old ones and get a new one.
Many companies have exchange offers for kitchen utensils and electrical appliances. They give a small amount in return and a discount on the new purchase. This exchange offer is also one of the reasons for not trying to repair old items.
Lastly, has anyone seen a child buying a refill for a ballpen. No, but most of us would have bought refills for our jotter or Reynolds ballpens.
Yes what the author has said is true. People are now opting for fresh things or gadgets instead of going for repair. For example if a ceiling fan is not functioning well the minimum repair charges would be 400 to 600 rupees. And it is the fact that for 800 rupees new ceiling fan is available in the market. So no one would go for the repairs as hardly for two hundred rupees more, the new fan comes with guarantee and warranty. Likewise many products are available in affordable rates rather than spending on old one Like wise second hand two wheeler tyres are also waste as the life expectancy is not guaranteed and costs almost the half the price of branded one. So going for new products is the best way option available to us.
Use and throw culture has set in. This has caused a great problem of 'what to do with the waste'?
Now in every home, we can see heaps of used electronic gadgets. Some simply throw them wherever they find it possible. But those with some conscience keep them accumulated in some corner of their homes with the hope of disposing to some 'radhiwala'.
In my home, I have resisted my temptation to upgrade my gadgets and 'pulling on' with the obsolete models as far as they are working. The main reason is 'where will I dispose the old ones?"
Recently I wanted to exchange my window AC with a split AC. But the shopkeeper was ready to give me the exchange discount but did not take the old window AC. I could not get anyone to install my old window AC in my new residence. All advised me to go for a new split AC. Hence I have suppressed my intention to buy a new TV also.
An excellent article showing the paradigm shift in the area of repairs of the gadgets.
In earlier times, many gadgets were having discreet parts and even a technically aware person was able to do some basic repairs. No one went for the original parts at that time but managed to use a similar part with some modification and the thing was set working.
With time, the situation has drastically changed as the concept of AMC has come in picture. People are ready to pay AMC cost annually which is generally 10-15% of gadget price. From old viewpoint it is a big money and if nothing goes wrong we feel that this money is just going out like that.
Due to computerisation and software-driven machines, the ordinary technicians are not able to repair a variety of the gadgets and we are forced to call the authorised engineer from the branded company who will definitely be charging more than the old time mechanics and technicians who used to do small things for us even free of charge sometimes.