The Hunting of the Snark

18/04/2010

The convenience tool of our age

Filed under: Snarky — Jeremy Irish @ 09:00
Tags: , , , ,

My wife and I have shopped for three microwave ovens in less than a month.

No, no, no… it’s not some sort of creepy experiment or small-appliance decorating scheme.

We are renting our first unfurnished house in the UK. Several months into occupancy, we finally thought it was time to go out and get a little, cheap but adequate microwave, nothing fancy, although buttons and digital readout did appeal. Ordinarily I am willing to spend extra for higher quality on some types of things, but with the basic functionality we needed, I genuinely thought there would be an acceptable low-cost option.

We first found one for £25 at Asda. Surprisingly counterintuitive interface, but it did work all right for two weeks of very light duty. Then, one day, I opened its door and it died. Flatline. It hadn’t even been running. Reset the circuit breaker, replaced the fuse, nothing.

After that, we picked up one made by Russell Hobbs, at Morrisons for £34. I thought, here’s a brand I’ve heard of; ought to be okay. When it got home, I opened the box to be confronted with an enormous dent on the top panel. The packaging was sealed, so when did the damage occur, exactly? In the factory?

Still in the market now.

I mean, these days, how hard can it actually be to put out a microwave that survives to reach the customer and then works?

Mainstream, people. Mainstream.

– The Snark

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