Monday, November 21, 2011

Braun Beauty...RIP

Or, defeated by the consumer culture -- again.

Some of you might remember when my television died in January.  Actually, a storm shorted out the satellite receiver, taking the television with it -- and repairs would have equalled the cost of a new television.  I opted for neither, and took the TV and receiver etc. to my local electronics recycler.

Now it looks like I'll be visiting them again soon.  Sigh.

Meet "Beauty" -- my 25(+/-) year old 12-cup coffee maker.  Yesterday the clear plastic spout on her lid broke.  It popped out when I was washing it, and when I tried to put it back in, it cracked and broke off.  Happens to plastic after many years of use in a dry climate.  In fact, I believe this is the second lid Beauty's had in her long life of loving service.  The second -- and the last.

You see, Braun no longer makes coffeemakers.  Apparently not enough demand for them (compared to their other products, I'd guess, because by and large people are still brewing coffee at home).  Yes, you can get parts.  Yes, I could get a lid for this -- from a US-based company -- for only $7.95 USD -- plus $13.95 postage.  Yep; the cost of shipping is approximately twice that of the item itself -- and that's the least expensive shipping option.  Nope; I can't buy a lid locally. The sum of the item plus shipping equals approximately what it would cost to buy an entirely new coffee maker at my local Sears/WalMart/Home Hardware...You name it.

The sad and sorry thing is that there's nothing else wrong with it.  I thought I could get by with just the lid --without its wee spout thingy -- but unfortunately, then the brew doesn't drip properly and it makes a mess.  Sigh.

I thanked the polite fellow from Proctor and Gamble (which is the company you get when you look for Braun Canada) who'd told me where I could buy the lid.  I thanked the fellow from Pickering Appliance who'd e-mailed me to thank me for visiting their website.  And I told them both what a pitiful example of blatant planned obsolescence and throw-away consumerism their companies were.

Then I got out the wee four-cup coffee maker I bought some years ago to take on retreats, washed her out and set her up.  She's cute.  Made by General Electric -- the "Select Edition".  Think I'll call her "Jessie".  May she, ahem, "Live long and prosper."


Gina said...

Proctor and Gamble is also a company that feels no concern for testing its products on a variety of animals and treating their "study participants" inhumanely overall. They lost my respect years ago.

That being said, 25 years is a long life time for ANY electronic appliance; and a completely reasonable time span for items and their parts to become obsolete. Your beauty gave you a good run.

Margaret said...

True -- and I would have thought so if the motor had conked out -- but a the irritant was that the part was available -- just at a ridiculous cost (including shipping) -- as if the company planned it that way so that I would replace it/buy another from somewhere rather than by a new part. Sigh. And 25 years is a long time when you're 30, but now... ;-)