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Another new fridge

Prime Ministers can be like fridges: same manufacturer, different model, writes AIMN reader Steve Laing.

We got our last new fridge in 2013. It wasn’t the one I personally wanted, but it apparently came with a long range of new features and we were given a list of items that we were assured would be the same as our last fridge. And that was important to us.

Well it wasn’t long before we started to have problems. It turned out that some of those new features that we’d been promised were not as well-developed as the brochure had implied, and the features that were going to be the same as the last model turned out to be just not the case at all. I complained to the salesman. “Don’t worry” he said. “If you don’t like it, you can change it”.

“Great” I said. “When?”

“In 2016” he replied.

“2016! Are you kidding?”

“Sorry, that’s the system”.

When I went online I found a lot of people that were having the same problem with the fridge that I was. And they weren’t happy. As time went by, it went from bad to worse. The savings that I was told I’d get weren’t materialising. And it was getting noisier and noisier. And then the leaking started. And the complaints on the Internet were getting louder and louder. Something had to give!

And suddenly, the manufacturer has decided to replace our current fridge with a new one. “Why now?” I asked. “Surely in a year I get a chance to pick a new one”.

“Well” they said, “we think if we give you this one now, you’ll be more likely to keep this one when you get to choose next year, and not the one from that other brand because you just can’t trust that brand”.

We’d had the other brand in 2010. It had a few issues, but largely it seemed to work OK. However the newspapers weren’t big fans. Apparently the way that we’d had this model given to us wasn’t the right way of doing things, and one of the features wasn’t as it had been described. (Well, it was if you read the whole feature description, but apparently we should only be judging on the sub-header). Anyway, there was a lot of noise, and apparently this fridge was so terrible that we were in mortal danger of going broke if we didn’t change it, so it wasn’t surprising that it looked like we were going to get a new model in 2013. Six months before though, that manufacturer also gave us a new model too. They used the same reason. That change didn’t work for them at all…

It’s a bit ironic. The main reason the current brand told me that their brand was better than the other brand was because it wouldn’t just change its model unannounced. Apparently if there is one thing consumers hate it’s when manufacturers decide which fridge consumers get. But now they’ve now gone and done that exact same thing, and apparently its now OK. But really, four fridges in four years? And whilst I know that there are plenty of models out there, I can only get the one that the manufacturer decides I’m allowed.

Is it any wonder that people don’t trust fridges. However, the thing that people seem to miss, is that the problem isn’t the fridges. It’s the manufacturers …

About the author: Steve Laing, is politically unaffiliated, but politically astute. A believer in social justice, but also properly regulated free-markets, he believes that the current political system is moribund and broken, and that if it doesn’t get repaired soon, the world will return to a modern feudalism run by capitalist barons (before destroying itself by not addressing climate change…). He believes that features of the current Australian system actually make it well placed to evolve to fix the problem IF people were given an alternative to the current party driven approach, and that using more of the best practice techniques used in business to be innovative and flexible in resolving problems, would result in a more dynamic and prosperous environment for Australians, and through example, thence the rest of the world. He is documenting his thoughts on www.makeourvoiceheard.com where he has so far outlined the problems, and is about to start proposing solutions.


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  1. Gilly

    The new fridge is way way more dangerous. In question time Malcolm was rocking back in the chair smiling and with hands in the steeple position.

  2. gangey1959

    We only got a new fridge in 2013 because too many people believed the crap that came from the american advertising agency brochures. Which were largely based on their fear of us getting too involved with the chinese manufacturers.
    If enough of us have faith in our own Australian Made fridges in 2016, which will be far more ecologically sound, and will be better built and do more for our economy and therefore our household budgets than anything built offshore, Australia as a whole will have the best fridges anywhere, even if some of them are actually built by people (like myself to be honest) who are of the opinion that they can build their own fridge out of spare parts and the old Victa in the shed out the back.
    Before we can new fridge 2.2 lets give it a chance to show its true colours, because we can always consign it to the hard garbage pile in another 12 months when (not if) it displays any operational faults even remotely like its predecessor. At least 2.2 doesn’t have a rotal stamp of approval.

  3. Richard

    What’s wrong with Australian politics? One morning, Australians wiped the sleep in their eyes and woke up to the news that they had a new PM. Hey presto no fracas in the streets. No need for the populace to agitate. A particular political group, with the media dutifully reporting on the mad frenzy taking place behind closed doors, feared they would lose the seat of power, decided a new leader was in order, executed the old leader, and are now selling the new order. In the old days, they would have executed a former leader at the guillotines, with the populace cheering and booing on at the instigation of the new order. We do the same but more civilly, with our media, for our consumption, ruminating on the failings of the old leader, speculating on how the new will now progress. No need for the populace to drive events and change. Keep the political intelligentsia in power, manipulate the crowds so as to get their ultimate approval in a year or two. All nicely top heavy and bureaucratically efficient.

  4. mars08

    The new fridge, like the noisy old one, still refuses to take any halal food…

  5. Kaye Lee

    The new fridge, like the old one, has an energy efficiency rating of half a star.

  6. wakeupandsmellthehumans

    Could sub in “two bob watch” or “second hand lawnmower” in this article.

  7. Steve Laing

    Could of, but I’ve currently got a fridge that leaks, and it seemed appropriate given the circumstances… 🙂

  8. wakeupandsmellthehumans

    Cool, or maybe not so cool eh?

    I like your allegory, cheers with room temperature lager.

  9. Steve Laing

    Exactly. Happy, but left with the feeling that one should be happier… It was the same when Thatcher was given the tap on the shoulder. You are happy that they’ve gone, but you know that something equally crappy will come back later. Whilst the system is what it is, we are stuck in this infinite loop of despair, where the electorate plays the role of “fifth business”.

  10. kerri

    Simply. Brilliant Steve!

  11. Steve Laing

    Thanks Kerri 🙂

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