Tag Archives: product performance

Where can I find a new Merlin?

By Jeff Bowman

The day finally arrived, without much fanfare or celebration, but an old friend has been put to rest. Merlin had performed admirably, and when I say admirably, it may be an understatement.  We first took possession of Merlin back about 1986, and even then I didn’t expect much in the way of performance. Merlin, you see was an old 17 cubic foot freezer that had been left by the previous occupants of the house, and greeted us when we moved in.

It was about 15 years old at the time, had been very well used judging by the scratches and buzzing and whirring sounds it made.  I had figured on moving it outside to be picked up on large garbage pick-up day, when I had the opportunity.  There were many more important things to do in our new house.

Months went by, and soon we were filling that Merlin freezer with specials I found on sale at Dominion and Food City.  A few years later my son was born and the freezer stayed put.  Another couple of years later with two sons in tow we moved to a new house, and Merlin came along for the ride. That damn freezer with all its energy inefficiencies, and strange sounds, has continued to operate perfectly with the odd defrosting , and even a new paint job. Merlin far outlasted my expectations.  At 38 years of age he has finally come to the end of the line.

I have opted for an energy-efficient stand up fridge by Frigidaire.  It will hold a little less, and probably make less noise, and not generate as much heat from the motor.  My expectations are high for both performance and durability. If all goes well, I will be in my late 80’s when this model has to be replaced!

Yeah right!  I was asked by the clerk if I wanted to purchase an extended warranty to supplement the existing 3 year warranty. I told him about old Merlin and his response was, “well they don’t make em like they used to”.  Merlin was older than the sales guy who sold this to me. I’m now left scratching my head.

Manufacturing processes have improved dramatically in the last 40 years. The environmental concerns have been growing for many, many years. If the salesperson knows the products today are inferior, and he is telling me they are inferior, and I’m telling you that he told me, why the heck aren’t we doing anything about it?

Has anyone had a 5 year fluorescent light last 5 years? Have you had to replace a mattress before the 20 year tag on the bottom? Call me stupid, cheap or old-fashioned, but I’m proud to say my G.E. Television is 20 years old, my Eaton Viking Stove even older.

Quality and durability need to be brought to the forefront of the consumer’s buying decision again.  A value proposition must include the cost over the sustainable life of the product. Until it does, there will be no more Merlins! R.I.P.

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Filed under Environmental, Jeff Bowman, Manufacturing, Sales, Sustainability