Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Vacuum cleaners at their worst...
Written By: Dan Flatten
Have you ever noticed how ineffective, and useless your standard vacuum cleaner is after sometimes only a month of use? Well I sure have, I just recently purchased my 4th vacuum in the last 3 years. Granted, vacuums endure lots of use and abuse, however, not enough use to last less than a year for me. The most recent vacuum I purchased was over a hundred dollars and was a name brand, Dirt Devil. This vacuum, much like the others I've purchase in the past, worked great at first! Soon there after using it for about a month, I noticed the suction went way down. I took it apart, didn't notice any broken or missing parts, yet it seemed to not work nearly as well.
I'm a single male, living by myself in a relatively small house, and only vacuum at most 3 times a month. How is it that this nearly brand new vacuum works at roughly 50% capacity after only a few times of use? I would argue that this is planned obsolescence at it's worst!
Now, I may come off as some vacuum salesman here, but I assure you I have no affiliation to any vacuum cleaner company. Having been fed up with my current vacuum cleaner, I was complaining to my boss about it in a casual conversation and she mentioned that she just recently bought a Kirby vacuum cleaner from Goodwill, only paying $20. Some of these vacuums are nearly $3000 new, but according to her are well worth it. She stated that the 15 year old Kirby vacuum works better than any other store brand vacuum she had ever used and she could still purchase parts for it even though it's so old. This tells me that if Kirby can do that, there's really no reason other companies don't have similar life expectancies other than planned obsolescence.
Not only do Kirby vacuums work better and last longer, they come with those spare parts and parts that you can order from the company to get the vacuum in working order again instead of throwing it away and purchasing a new one. Have you ever known a company like Dirt Devil to sell parts for their $100 to $200 dollar vacuums you see so commonly displayed at retail stores such as Wal-Mart? Of course not, and that's because these companies want to build vacuums at a low cost, keeping profit margins high, and keeping you coming back to by a new every so often.
The next time you consider buying a vacuum, try and weigh these pros and cons. Just think, if you have to by a vacuum every couple months for $100, that's about $600 a year, or $3000 in just five years. Money is one thing, but also think about the usability. These cheap vacuums hardly work, more or less pushing dirt around your house, versus sucking it up. So when you're in the market for a new vacuum, which is likely pretty soon given the facts, consider buying a product that is well made, has spare parts or parts you can order, and cut your cleaning time in half with just a larger initial purchase.