Really? Convenient?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

The first thing I learned about quality in general manufacturing products, in the good old USA, was that management had a rule. What they have today is unknown.

After working in manufacturing for well over 40 years, and having worked in five divisions of those in various fabrication fields, "aircraft structural fabrication", "the lock and hardware industry", "fastener manufacturing", and "food processing and storage sector". Oh, in four of those I worked as a Tool & Die Maker.

After almost all manufacturing went to China and Mexico I switched jobs again and became an inspector for an Oil Well Tool Company; it was less money, but hay, I was working.

The first thing I learned about quality in general manufacturing products, in the good old 1950's USA, was that management had a rule, "Don't build it too good cause it will last too long. And if it lasts too long then who are we going to sell the next model to? Ford Motor Company called it, "Planned Obsolescence".

So some Bean-Counter, we called them that back in the 1960's, used their slide-rules, few computers then, and came up with a 10% acceptable return rate.

If a customer returned less than 10% of any given product in the first month of use, then that was perfectly acceptable; anything over 10% was a real quality problem and had to be discussed at the next board meeting.

In other words, if eight out of every 100 customers had brand new door handles fell off in their hands, wouldn't lock or unlock, or had the wrong key in the set-box, well, that was seen as a quality product and nothing need be done.

But then came the 1960's, and with that came the Japanese product invasion. Japanese companies like Sony, Honda, Nikon, etc., makers of products with less than a 5% fail rate.

Well, Motorola, RCA Victor, GE, and other makers of American TV's and radios fell by the wayside, or they bought a Japanese company and had their stuff made over there.


The wave of smaller European motorcycles and motor scooters that had done well in the USA, in the 1950's, also fell to the less costly, higher quality Honda's.

The BSA's and Triumphs that had taken sales away from Harley Davidson started loosing sales to Honda. And so did the Italian Motor Scooters.

Why buy a funky looking motor scooter when you could buy a Honda Hawk, a real cool looking motorcycle for about the same money? Two-toned paint jobs and tear-drop gas tanks helped seal the deals with the younger guys. And they even had electric starters. WOW!

I'll admit that some of the draw was cost, but quality was a big factor.

Cars from Europe started flooding into the US in the 1960's, there was the Mini Cooper and it's slightly larger cousin, the MG-1100 from England.

Chrysler Sunbeam, also branded as the Hillman Imp. It was a small economy car made by the Rootes Group, and it was England's first mass-produced car.

It's successor was Chrysler, Europe, and was built from 1963 through 1976.

This little four seater with a back seat that folded down for a flat space for carrying stuff; the back window opened up so you could get stuff in the seat and it had a lock on it so the kids couldn't crawl out while you were driving.

Yes sir, it's rear transverse mounted water cooled aluminum engine was new, and quality wise, it failed miserably.

Now the Italians sent the Isabella, the Isetta, and the Fiat, all considered to be "Throw-away Cars", you by them, drive them until the engine went out, then you junked the car.

But Honda and Datsun lasted longer, were low cost, so they soon took sales away from many other car makers, including US car manufacturers. Even the VW-Bug had a run for their money.

(Note: Datsun was the American name used on Nissan products sold in the USA, until 1981.).

Yes sir, it was always about improving quality from the 1960's until now, the age of buying online.


It is scary reading the reviews of many products purchased online today.

If a purchased product arrives undamaged you are lucky, at best. If it arrives slightly damaged then it is another matter. Do you try to fix it or send it back? If you need it right away, what then?

And others are saying that what they received was only part of what they saw in the advertisement, and paid for. Their purchased Widget was supposed to have two Waggles and some wire stuff, with six bolts and six nuts.

Well, the customer said that they got the Widget, the wire stuff, and 12 bolts, but they received no Waggles and no nuts for the bolts (?).


Motors came to customers that don't work, valves came damaged and leaking, something needing 3 feet of wire had only 3 inches instead. Connectors didn't fit, and bolts were too big for bracket holes.

Sellers were saying that there was nothing wrong with their products. They were saying that the Customer's Expectations of the product's capabilities were too high.

I saw one review that said that things that spin are not balanced, so they vibrate and wobble; which causes lots of noise.

Who sends a spinning product to a customer without checking if it is balanced?


People receiving what they think they are ordering doesn't seem to be the norm, now days; customer's are just being jerked around.

And who is it that send all these things to unsuspecting people who just want an enjoyable shopping experience? The 10% is OK people, that's who.

Yes sir, we are right back to the quality thought form of the 1950's.

The online buyers of today do not know that customers returning less than 10% of any given product is perfectly acceptable quality.

But how would anyone know? Because a NPR/Marist Poll said that 91% of online buyers say that they seldom, if ever, return online purchased products.

Me thinks buyers are worse off than they were back in the 50's; I'm just say-in.


But they just don't seem to care about that, they say shopping online is convenient.

So, it is Convenient to not get what they ordered at the price they said was advertised? And it is convenient for the number of parts that were supposed to come with the purchase, not to be in the box? And it is convenient that the product doesn't work like it was supposed to? --- Really? Convenient?


JE Falcon



Submitted: July 04, 2021

© Copyright 2021 JE Falcon aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



An entertaining history of cars in America, and overseas.

Sun, July 4th, 2021 9:58pm


Thanks Rob73. Have a great day.

Mon, July 5th, 2021 12:27pm

Serge Wlodarski

Yup. I bought the Sears top of the line garage door opener, and an expensive Maytag dryer. Both failed because a moving part subject to friction was made from plastic instead of metal. Both companies lost a customer over a few dollars worth of steel.

Wed, July 7th, 2021 3:57pm


It doesn't stop there Serge, there are moving plastic parts in almost everything, even automobile automatic transmissions. Go figure (?).

Wed, July 7th, 2021 4:21pm

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