The More Things “Improve,” the More They Really Don’t…

We’ve moved back to the new old house now, and there are many new items in there.  However, in playing with them all, I’ve noticed that things really aren’t what they seem…

  • We used to have AT&T internet in this house.  It used a modem that I bought from them.  If I remembered correctly, it was maybe $20, something nominal anyway.  When I called to transfer service, I was told that our neighborhood is using U-Verse now, so technology has improved, and I have to buy a modem for $150.  Who has things improved for?  Me or AT&T?!  I cancelled the service and went to Comcast… because that’s what we do when we get mad and feel taken advantage of.
  • We called Comcast for their bundle service because we wanted cable and internet, so it was cheaper to get cable, internet, and phone… because AT&T said our phone price would go up another $7, but we’d get free long distance (whether we want it or not).  That’s just great because I know no one I need to call long distance, and I can do that on my cell phone anyway.  So I’m forced to pay $7 more for service I don’t need… but again, that’s why we switched to Comcast…
  • Cable – not so long ago, Comcast gave us a box… or two… as needed.  When we cancel the service, we bring the box back to them.  Now we have to rent it for $7.50/month x 2 for the 2 non-HD TVs.  So glad they gave us the HD one for free… can you “hear” the deadpan humor?  Oh wait, back to the internet… remember the modem I was told by AT&T to buy for $150?  We have to rent a phone/internet modem from Comcast for $7/month or buy one from the store for $150.  We rented it thinking that we will buy one later, but it’s already been three months.  About two weeks ago, we had the representative come by because our internet was spotty.  He told us that their 3-in-1 combo box (that we pay $7/month) is no good for the internet and that we should buy a new router of our own.  WAIT!  I handed him the router I used in our old house.  He hooked it up to a new Comcast box with less featueres, and now it works perfectly (this is a sign to the company that more is NOT better, but alas, they don’t learn).  Back in the olden days… circa 1980, cable was $6.  You only got 1 plan.  They gave you the box.  Cable was reliable.  End of story.
  • TV – we have a fancy TV now.  I don’t know what all it does.  I don’t care.  All I know is that every time I turn on the TV, I have to wait about 20 seconds for the picture to show up.  That’s not “Smart TV.”  That’s a SLOW TV.  The TV should turn on immediately after I hit the All On button.  It’s “All On,” right?  Not all on after 20 seconds.  Back to the olden days again, it might have taken 5 seconds at the most.  Oh, and everything looks like soap operas because of the HD function.  I’m told that’s a good thing.  Maybe if you like soap operas…
  • Now into the kitchen:  The first time we used the dishwasher, we discovered that it was very quiet – that’s a great improvement.  When the wash was done, we opened the door and everything was wet.  Apparently it has no “heat dry” button.  My cheap dishwashers all had “heat dry.”  I called Samsung.  I was told that because it’s an energy saver that it doesn’t have heat dry.  OK, so you can slap a label on it by taking away a much needed dishwasher feature?  Dried dishes is an expectation of a dishwasher!  The representative sounded empathetic.  She suggested that I buy Jet Dry.  OK, so you call it an energy saver by taking away a feature AND now I have to pay to buy a rinse agent.  Is there collusion between Jet Dry and manufacturers of dishwashers?  Now my dishes have to be “dried” by a chemical rinse agent.  When I take the dishes out of the dishwasher, they smell like chemicals.  These are the dishes that we eat off of.  A few days ago, I brought my lunch to work in a Rubbermaid container.  All day, all I could smell was the Jet Dry chemical smell.  Who exactly is this really benefitting?!  Oh, we also ensure the dishes are dry by using the “sanitize” button, which I think probably uses a lot more energy… I guess I should ask someone… since I work for the utility company.  Last night, after we loaded the dishes, we were going to shower, so I asked my husband to put it on the delay function.  This was the first time we discovered that it didn’t have a delay function!  This is not a bottom of the line dishwasher!
  • My refrigerator/freezer is one where the refrigerator is on top and freezer on the bottom.  It has the ice and water dispensers on the door.  The ice maker is long and narrow with a large rotating screw-like thing in the middle that takes up about 1/2 the space, so I barely get enough ice… certainly not enough for a party.  We’re going over to the old house to get ice for parties now.  That ice maker makes and holds a lot of ice in comparison and it’s almost the bottom of the line appliance!  Why would you place this large plastic item in the middle of your ice tray to take up so much space?  Surely they must have design engineers with better ideas than that.  Maybe they don’t like ice like I do… because the key to a great party… is the amount of ice available!
  • We have a Grohe faucet.  It’s a high end name brand… well, high end for me, maybe not for other people.  It has a button to go from regular to spray… but no toggle button to go from spray to regular, so you have to shut off the faucet and turn it back on.  Who designed this thing?!  A cheapie off brand one from Home Depot is more efficient than this!
  • We have new washers and dryers.  You have to press a button to turn it on like a cell phone before you can make your selection.  Really?!  If I press a combination of buttons, shouldn’t it know to turn on?  It has LED display to tell me what’s going on.  All I care is that my washer and dryer are washing and drying.  All this just means it will be a lot for everything to break!

Speaking of breaking, as each item breaks, and you know they will because I’m sure there is a conspiracy among manufacturers to create stuff that only last a certain amount of time so that we can buy more stuff and they can earn more money like cell phones that mysteriously never last more than two years – I’m going back to basics.  I’m not going to care if my appliances match or not as long as they are functional for me.  ARGH!

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