Imagine a company who make kitchen appliances. They come up with a device that washes dishes for you. There are existing “dishwashers” out there, but they're either very expensive or just not available.
They convince kitchen fitters to fit one of their new dishwashers in any standard kitchen. It takes off and becomes global.
Problem is, the dishwasher is flawed.
After a few months one of the arms inside becomes loose. It starts not to do as good a job as it used to. Eventually it unscrews and flails about smashing plates. Rather than rethink the dishwasher, the company say you need to upgrade to a newer model. This one is bigger and better. You might have to move an few things, like the sink, to fit it in, but that's ok.
Things are rough settling up the new model. Sure, it washes dishes again, but it takes longer. And you had to have a bigger water-pipe installed to make it work properly.
Then after 4 or 5 months it happens again. Dishes are getting smashed all over the place. The company says it's not their fault really. You should have bought better dishes or one of these new “dish screens”. The dish screen is a large cumbersome screen that stops the arm flying off. It takes up about a third of the space inside the dishwasher but that's ok since it costs about a third the cost of the dishwasher. Oh, and it lasts about year before you have to replace the screen at your own expense.
Newer models come with the screen built in for free, but after 3 months, you'd better pay for it in full or an engineer will come and remove it.
Having forked out for this big monster that is less efficient, costs more and has regular replacement parts to buy, the company finally does something better.
It makes a newer model. This one doesn't break plates as easily (although it still can), uses slightly less water than the last one and looks nicer. And it fits in the same space. All is well with the world.
So the company say “That's not right! People should be buying more of our dishwashers!” So they go back to the drawing board. They design something that would give Dr Seuss nightmares. Sure, it looks like it could be impressive, but why do you have to load the dishes in from the hallway? It takes you 3 weeks to find the off switch (which you missed because it was labeled “on”). The various settings are hidden in concealed panels that would have fooled the cast of CSI.
But it's all OK, since it costs a fraction what the last one did. The one that actually worked. The one you can't really get anymore because it's OLD.
So what are the alternatives? There are several.
One company sells a machine that cleans the plates in a very fast efficient way. But it costs 5 times the cost of the rival's best machine. Oh and you need to buy plates from them as the old ones you used don't fit. And new cutlery. And pots. And a different type of powder is needed. That only they make. And if you break anything minor (like the cutlery tray), the whole thing has to be taken away to be repaired. You are not capable of replacing one from spares, which they won't sell you.
They release a new one every 6 months with a new coat of paint. They expect you to replace it at a cost of several thousands of dollarpounds because you wouldn't want the neighbours to see you had the old one, would you?
Another company makes a new dishwasher that is super whizzy, but you can only clean plates you borrow from them. And if their plate service goes down, you'll have to cope with eating off the floor.
There is another group who make dishwashers. They come in a variety of styles, colours and shapes to fit your needs. They wash dishes perfectly and rarely break unless you start messing with them. Spares are easily available and they have a thriving community who will help you if you want to add super whizzy bits to it. They are free and are happy for you to get your mates to ask them for a free dishwasher as well.
There are 2 main drawbacks. Firstly your favourite cooking pot doesn't fit too well. The company assure you that this is being worked on and a pot-friendly version is just around the next corner. Secondly, you have to collect and fit it yourself. Based on these issues, you will never bother and will put up with the plate smasher, the gold plated ego-boost or the machine with the invisible plates.
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