A common gripe that you will hear from people is that ‘they’ don’t build things like they used to. This goes for all types of products, from a pair of gardening sheers right through to cars and houses. And of course, washing machines fall into this bracket. In years gone by it wasn’t uncommon for washing machines to last for 10, 15 or even 20 years. Now it seems that the life expectancy tends to be more like 5 years and sometimes even less. So is it s case that the modern washing machines are not as well made as they used to be?
Change in buying trends
The simple answer to the question is no – modern models are not built as well as they used to be. Well, not all of them are anyway. The reality is that many products today, not only appliances, are built with a shorter life expectancy. We have become a throwaway society where we prefer to dispose of damaged items and purchase new ones, rather than go to the hassle of having them repaired. What would have been seen as considered purchases in the past that would have been made after considerable research and deliberation; is now made in a matter of minutes – often online.
Price over quality
In order to fulfil the requirements of current consumerism trends, manufacturers have been increasingly faced with the challenge of producing cheaper washing machines. In order to meet this challenge, the quality of the parts used has been reduced. As a result brands that were considered as manufacturers of quality appliances are now producing lower quality items, but at attractive prices. These washers tend to wear out relatively quickly, with the cost of repair making the option pointless.
Bucking the trend
Whilst the majority of the washing machines on the market are produced with price in mind; there are still manufacturers out there that put quality first. Or at least who cater for both ends of the market. Samsung, Miele, Panasonic, LG and Bosch washing machines tend to be in the mid to high end of the spectrum. Whilst you are paying two and sometimes three times as much as budget range models, the extra outlay can be worth it in the long run.
Long term return in investment
Firstly, the chances of anything going wrong with a more expensive machine are greatly reduced. And if something does go wrong then a repair man has a better chance of fixing the problem due to the fact that machines are designed with this in mind. With some cheaper models it isn’t even possible to fix certain problems due to the way the item is constructed. Secondly, many of the better quality washing machines will deliver greater efficiency through energy saving technology. The EcoDrive that is fitted in Bosch washing machines is a great example; requiring around 30% less energy than a typical A-rated model. Not only can you save money on bills, but also do your bit to help the environment.
The right fit for your needs
Deciding on whether to go for a cheaper or expensive washing machine is really down to personal circumstance. Whilst we would all ideally go for the more expensive model which will deliver better value for money over the long term; available budget will often be the determining factor. If for example you are moving into your first home, you will have many other items to purchase, meaning a top end washer is out of your reach. In this case it can be wise to make do with a cheaper model and then look to invest in a higher quality option a few years down the line. Alternatively, it could be that a family whose cheap washer has broken are looking to replace it. Where you have quite a few people in the household and budget isn’t so tight; you may decide that it is the right time to invest in that deluxe washer that you have always wanted.