Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

How long should a TV / iron / vacuum cleaner last?

with 3 comments

Until a couple of years ago, my mum was the proud owner of a vacuum cleaner that was older than I was. Back in 1964, when she bought the Hoover Constellation, I bet she expected it would last a good 10 years – not the 45+ it actually managed before it finally choked on a Cornflake.

Built to last - the Hoover Constellation: Sounded like a hurricane jet on take-off, had the strength of a Rottweiler and even looked pretty futuristic back in the '70s.

Built to last – the Hoover Constellation: Sounded like a hurricane, had the strength of a Rottweiler and looked like R2D2s baby cousin.

But these days, it’s different. My electrical items give up the ghost faster than I can buy them. Latest case in point, our 46″ Sony Bravia television, less than five years old – and, honestly, quite an investment buy – which is good now for nothing more than frying eggs on its hot, pictureless screen.

I still buy things expecting them to last at least 10 years, but the reality these days is sadly different. Here’s the average life expectancy of electric items in my house:

Iron:  9-12 months (the expensive ones break as quickly as the cheap ones, so now I just get the cheapest. It’s all such a waste).

Vacuum cleaner: 2 years, plus it’ll limp along for another year with the tubing held together with masking tape. Even the Dyson met this fate.

TV: 5 years. Seriously?

Computer printer: 3 years.

Hand-held vacuum cleaner: 1-2 years before it has as much suction as dead octopus.

Washing machine: 5 years (but my mum’s Hotpoint ran for about 30 years).

Is it me, is it a sign of the times – or are we sold lemons in Dubai?

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3 Responses

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  1. We had the same tv as yours , well brand and dimension, and it suddenly became unwatchable with a dodgey screen. Fortunately its warranty was still current (just), so replaced ( repairing isnt considered these days). And a watch (Swatch) that had the little winding thingy fall off, would have been replaced if less than 2 years old, but is deemed unrepairable if over 2 years old! I fully agree with you, its frustrating!

    Sue Peters

    August 28, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    • Well, Sony came today and said that the TV would cost AED 7,000 to repair (Brits. that’s over £1,000) and they weren’t even sure they had the parts as “it’s so old – five years, right, madam?” Yes, five years. I don’t call that old!!! Bye-bye Sony! Never again!

      mrsdubai

      August 31, 2013 at 6:35 pm

  2. OMG….I sooo feel your frustration! The policy of ‘obsolescence’ aside, I really believe we buy lemons at full price here. With little protection for the consumer, i.e., no right of return for faulty goods, manufacturers can offload their ‘seconds’ and still make money. When I was explaining this to my Dad, he recalled it being the same way back home many years ago until someone piped up and said ‘the consumer’s contract is not with the manufacturer but with the shop where he bought the item’…….oh for the day! My expensive oven and fridge have had numerous issues which started before the warranty was up…….Been through at least 4 irons in 6 years. Brought my trusty 16 year old Nilfisk hoover when we moved here. Was thinking about a replacing it with a Dyson….but having read your post, am having second thoughts!!

    Dubai Mum

    August 29, 2013 at 5:49 pm


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