Uglied Out

radioWith it being an exceptionally cold and windy day today, I was delighted to find myself busier than expected with customer calls as well as getting some final negotiating completed on an offer I’ve been working on over these past several days.

One of the younger couples that I was showing a turn-of-the-century home today mentioned that even though the upkeep is a little more, the long term benefits certainly out-weigh the maintenance. They said they’d been doing their research and found that the quality of building materials were more the basics without all the glues used in all of the pre-fabricated materials of today. I fully agreed in knowing much of what goes into a new construction these days. From chipboard to glued together joist systems is enough to cause me to want to walk away. One rarely ever finds solid wood flooring. Nearly all of it’s manufactured with a veneer of whatever wood is desired by the owner/builder. I’ve often wondered what the look must be on the faces of those who believed their new hardwood floors are solid when they discover that a deep scratch or gouge reveals another type of wood. I’m still not sold on the epoxy coatings people put on their basement floors. I remember going into a building that had had an epoxy coating and I could smell it for months and months due to its slow drying process. If I was there longer than normal, I would start developing the beginnings of a headache. I know each person is more sensitive to chemical odors than others because sometimes even getting a few whiffs of diesel exhaust will cause me to become nauseous. I can’t yet fathom how some people can work in repair shops where there are diesel and gas engines running during their working hours.

Another person was mentioning several days ago about how they’ve become so disgusted with their relatively new major appliances. They said they’ve had more repair problems with them in such a short period of time since the purchase than they’d had with their old ones that more uglied out than wore out. I reminded them of much of the way things are made now is of a planned obsolescence. It almost seems like magic that something happens with a gadget or appliance shortly after the warranty expires and the cost of repair is near what the replacement cost would be. I’ll never forget reading an article some years ago that spoke of some of the companies that went out of business over the years simply because the quality of their products were so great that they out-lasted the company closing their doors due to a shortage of repeat buyers. Sort of sad isn’t it? The sheer product quality drove the companies down. I’ve forgotten the name of the lightbulb company, but it was one that created a lightbulb that lasted for years and years. In time, the company went out of business due to lack of demand.

The bulbs were likely a bit more spendy but certainly worth the extra cost. Also, we’ve heard of situations where people in a naughty way simply lessen a problem to where it’s tolerable, but don’t fix it for good. It’s supposed to create a need for repeat business and continued customer base. I still hope that we get back to the idea that good business practices are geared towards long term customer satisfaction. Perhaps our landfills won’t be so frequented with items being pitched that wore out before they uglied out. I sometimes see 40+ yr. old nylon carpet that’s uglied out, but not worn out.