Making Things Last
I (N.) don’t know if anyone would argue that products made today are the same quality of products made in the past. Nothing today seems built to last a lifetime. And while I understand it from a manufacturer’s profit perspective I really hate it from a consumer perspective.
There are basically three reasons we purchase things: it’s a new product to us that we need or want to try, we are replacing a product that is no longer working or we want to upgrade to a newer “better” version of a product we already own. Right now J. and I aren’t buying anything new, even if we need something we try to find it used. We also aren’t trying to upgrade anything but we can’t avoid buying replacements for broken products. So it’s really frustrating to me that my eyeglasses keep falling apart and J.’s cell phone keeps randomly turning off.
Twice, in the middle of doing something, one of my lenses has fallen out of my frames. By some stroke of fortune I’ve been able to find the screw and replace it. The first time I had to go out and find a repair kit and though they used to be easy to find I had to trek to three different stores before I found one that was $10! I remember when they were $2-$3 and I’m only in my twenties. I also remember the repair kits would come with replacement screws and this one did not. What’s particularly frustrating is that this is the second frame of this kind I’ve purchased. The first one lasted years with zero issues and this one is barely six months old. But there is a very easy and frugal fix- super glue. Generally you don’t want to glue screws in place but I don’t plan on replacing the lenses in these frames and I can’t afford to have them keep popping out. A dab of super glue and the problem is gone.
J.’s cell phone is a harder fix. We thought it might be a battery issue so he used my cell phone battery (we have the same model) and it still died. I can only imagine it’s something to do with the internal electronics and that’s above our ability to fix. We could have them reactivate my cell phone with J.’s number but we would have to pay the activation fee of $30-$50. The obvious solution is to get a new phone but we want to switch service providers when our contract ends in August. For now J. is just living with it. He has a work phone so I can still get ahold of him whenever and he can use our home phone to call friends and family. I really don’t think there is a better solution but I wish the phone had at least lasted the two years of our contract, funny how that happens…
Have you noticed anything breaking more frequently? Are you fixing it, replacing it, or simply doing without?