Author Topic: Is it time to kill The Consumer?  (Read 963 times)

Dave

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Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« on: May 11, 2018, 12:51:31 PM »
Or the consumer attitude at least. I feel this is enough of a thinking, moral thing to find its place here.

Today's BBC "Four Thought" was on our consumer culture. I think it generalised a bit and left out many facets of the problem because it is such a brief slot - but it invoked thought (as intended). Being a consumer myself (did I really need new photographic kit or was I allowing myself to be led by desire, envy and greed, do I really need three new shirts . . . .) but also the poessessor of a fine guilt complex I am a bit torn.

We are bombarded by adverts, some with audio, some flashing, almost everytime we go on line - thankfully HAF is a haven free from advertising madness. Though I do see the occasional Tappatalk banner do I not? Luckily I am mostly "advert blind", can ignore them. (Except for the occasional outburst of, "NO! I do not want to buy a frigging whatsit, I have just frigging-well bought one!" But even that is a silent outburst and occurs less often with time.)

I do not feel that I am a truly conspicuous consumer, well maybe except a bit for tech gadgets and bits, and will mostly tailor my spends as a compromise with my perceived needs.

What say you on this subject?
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Davin

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2018, 03:16:12 PM »
I think we should kill the advertising. It's become way too aggressive with all the data farming and personal tracking that only works a bit of the time. At least tone it down a lot. I wouldn't mind watching a commercial if it was only 30 seconds long and the only one per commercial break (unless they make the commercial breaks more frequent).

I'm already tired of the "this new version of the thing, is the best version!" Like it's supposed to be? If it were equal or less, then they shouldn't sell it. "Most advanced..." come on, man, just tell me what it is. We know that new things are usually improvements on old things. The phones look almost the same, work about as well as each other, so stop pretending that your thing is much better than another company's thing.

I don't think that will happen, I'm sure that there is no one saying that being more honest and less aggressive will improve sales. I'm sure that everyone will tell them that it won't, but badgering and misleading consumers will.

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Dave

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2018, 04:19:47 PM »
Not disagreeing at all there, Davin.
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Tom62

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2018, 06:16:33 PM »
I fully agree with you, Davin. Sometimes the only product improvements are that they reduce the contents; increased the price;  replaced more expensive items or ingredients by cheaper substitutes; make it non-repairable and non-upgradeable; have only limited lifetime support or ensure that it cannot use the accessories of the previous version(s).   
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Dave

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2018, 06:28:02 PM »
I fully agree with you, Davin. Sometimes the only product improvements are that they reduce the contents; increased the price;  replaced more expensive items or ingredients by cheaper substitutes; make it non-repairable and non-upgradeable; have only limited lifetime support or ensure that it cannot use the accessories of the previous version(s).

Yup, there were some good utilities in Windows that are now pay-for add-ons on 10 whilst Microshit fills your hard drive. The actual dimensions of the pack of a favourite cereal bar stayed the same size, as did the price, whilst the bars inside shrunk. I do without it now. My waistline appreciates it.
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Bad Penny II

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2018, 03:39:30 PM »
I'm a consumer and though I reserve the right I'm not quite ready.
I'm ripe for being roused for violence on the the marketers though.

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Dave

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2018, 04:23:36 PM »
Re-listening to the prog I realised now why I capitalised, "The Consumer."  It is not the buying public that is the target but the concept as a marketting strategy.

We have to acquire and consume goods to live - whether that is at the "subsistence/barter" level or the mass (sometimes over) produced stuff of tge "civilsed and developed world."

Yes, much of it due to marketing strategy and hype, but that started probably a couple of hundred years ago when industrialisation got a real grip. Greed, on the part of both suppliercand consumer, was bound to escalate the situation, positive feed-back. I got hit buy the "buy more, save more" ploy in Tesco. I wanted a piece of lamb, really like leg steaks well grilled, with garlic and rosemary . . . Where was I, oh yes, choice of minimum three pack, with a "Use by" date (even if home frozen it says) that mean me having lamb three days running. Looked on the butcher's counter - no leg steaks but I could have a slice of rump. Just cost me twice as much/kilo than the packaged stuff.

The single consumer is not well catered for in terms of fresh food in supermarkets.

Anyway, that's for tomorrow, tonight it is take-away Thai red curry (chicken) and spiced rice.
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Arturo

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2018, 02:01:46 AM »
It's okay. In 10 years we will all be dead due to the current course of world politics and robots taking all the jobs while the rich people get fat(er).

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Icarus

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2018, 10:56:53 PM »
Planned obsolescence is a reality.  Sure enough there are products that are more practical to replace than to repair.

At the risk of partially derailing this thread, I have a story for which I'd like your opinion. It is about customer abuse....or not.

I have a close friend who lives in Kaunas Lithuania. He is not a conspiracy theorist but he is swearing to me that all automobiles sold in Lithuania are "seconds". That is the autos that are sent there to be sold are rejects or are inferior examples of the manufacturers standard product.  These autos are to be unloaded on the unwary or the helpless.

My friend gives me countless verifiable examples of that practice in his country.  I call bullshit on this notion but he is very convincing.  It is inconceivable to me that Toyota, Mazda, Ford or any other manufacturer would deliberately foist off an inferior vehicle on a consumer.   For example, no new auto can have a warranty that lasts past two years. Here in the US we have ordinary warranties on power trains for a hundred thousand miles or five years whichever is first.  I have 2004 Honda Element that has given me no expensive trouble since new. In Lithuania that car would have been consigned to the junk yard long ago. because it was a cull for sale only in Lithuania.

How come there are so many old but still functional Toyota pickup trucks in god forsaken places like Afghanistan, Sudan, and other poor countries?  Could or would papa Toyotasan  send their rejects to such places?  So alright,  the climate in Lithuania is not kind to machinery. Does that matter enough to make a big difference in manufacturer warranties?


 

jumbojak

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2018, 01:30:48 AM »
I imagine the climate does. Frame rot from salt has killed most of the older Toyota pickups. They used to be a dime a dozen but now a four wheel drive Toyota pickup from the early 90s is a highly valued truck, if it's safe to drive.
 

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Arturo

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2018, 01:54:32 AM »
It is inconceivable to me that Toyota, Mazda, Ford or any other manufacturer would deliberately foist off an inferior vehicle on a consumer.



They will do whatever they want when they have that much money. A lot of those companies are "hand me downs" from older generations after they were already established. And something a good friend once told me is very relevant here and it will tell you the problem with the power they are using here "it didn't require any discipline to attain it". They took what others have done and took the next step. They didn't earn the knowledge themselves. They stood on the shoulders of others to accomplish something. So they don't take any responsibility for it.

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Davin

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2018, 02:53:32 PM »
Planned obsolescence is a reality.  Sure enough there are products that are more practical to replace than to repair.
That is a big issue, also the right to repair is also an issue. Apple in a big way is trying to prevent people from repairing their phones at third party repair shops. Shops that will repair phones longer than Apple will.

This is a long video from this guy Louis Rossman who runs his own repair shop and runs live streams showing him repair various devices. I'm sorry, he tends to ramble a little and the video is long, but I think he makes his point better than most.

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2018, 04:09:30 PM »
Planned obsolescence is a reality.  Sure enough there are products that are more practical to replace than to repair.
That is a big issue, also the right to repair is also an issue. Apple in a big way is trying to prevent people from repairing their phones at third party repair shops. Shops that will repair phones longer than Apple will.

This is a long video from this guy Louis Rossman who runs his own repair shop and runs live streams showing him repair various devices. I'm sorry, he tends to ramble a little and the video is long, but I think he makes his point better than most.

I know that their build quality is usually excellent but I would not buy an Apple product if they halved their prices but maintained the same attitude towards their customers. I accept non-authorised 3rd party repairs voiding warrantees all manufacturers have that attitude. But their recent battery con trick was enough to put me off the brand. Then I am not a pro user, just this guy with a phone, not bothered which brand so long as it does what I want for a few years. Current Samsung four years old and still serving me well.

I have changed batteries and/or USB jacks in five older tablets, for other people, so far. But not all newer tablets offer spares. So I have a battery and jack already on hand for this, my main use one, another of 2014 vintage.
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Davin

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2018, 04:34:19 PM »
Planned obsolescence is a reality.  Sure enough there are products that are more practical to replace than to repair.
That is a big issue, also the right to repair is also an issue. Apple in a big way is trying to prevent people from repairing their phones at third party repair shops. Shops that will repair phones longer than Apple will.

This is a long video from this guy Louis Rossman who runs his own repair shop and runs live streams showing him repair various devices. I'm sorry, he tends to ramble a little and the video is long, but I think he makes his point better than most.

I know that their build quality is usually excellent but I would not buy an Apple product if they halved their prices but maintained the same attitude towards their customers. I accept non-authorised 3rd party repairs voiding warrantees all manufacturers have that attitude. But their recent battery con trick was enough to put me off the brand. Then I am not a pro user, just this guy with a phone, not bothered which brand so long as it does what I want for a few years. Current Samsung four years old and still serving me well.

I have changed batteries and/or USB jacks in five older tablets, for other people, so far. But not all newer tablets offer spares. So I have a battery and jack already on hand for this, my main use one, another of 2014 vintage.
My GF had an iPhone, it was a few years old because she doesn't really see a need to upgrade her phone when hers still works fine, then the battery ruptured and she had to replace it, but they don't replace the battery, and since it was a few months past their support time they could only offer up a replacement with a fee. They're not bad phones in general, but I don't think any phone is tested for lasting longer than a few years.

Apple also has been caught a few times intentionally slowing down older phones in the software. Not that the old phones couldn't handle the newer software, they intentionally made them run slower.

I agree with third party repairs voiding the warranty too. that's fine. What I'm against though is Apple suing third party repair shops for selling counterfeit iPhones simply for repairing them.

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Dave

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Re: Is it time to kill The Consumer?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2018, 04:55:29 PM »
Yes, it was the "slow down" matter that wiped out all respect I had for Apple as a company. If they are, dort if, claiming that non-Apple repaired iPhones are, somehow,  now counterfeit iPhones . . . Just hope car manufacturers do not adopt this attitude and sue every non-approved repairer.

I understand that the "everlasting lightbulb" scenario is almost a death sentence for lightbulb manufacturers but this sort of thing is death to the planet taken to its limit.

I took delight spending about an hour repairing a throw away car component. Mainly involved a small drill, a 3mm brass screw+nut and a bit of soldering. Swapping the unit would have taken 15 minutes. Lasted another five years until the rear springs went and the car was scrapped.
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