Are We To Choke On Our Own Shortsightedness (Dishwasher Parts 'Extortion')?

Back on Jan. 31/06, I sent the following in an email to Frigidaire (owned by Electrolux) Customer Service. As I have yet to receive any type of reply (not even an acknowlegement), I felt it important to get a discussion going here so that we may find a solution to this type of short-term thinking and systemic 'madness'. We need to impress upon all manufacturers that we want to save our money, conserve our relatively scarce resources and minimize the amount of unnecessary material which gets dumped into our landfills. Shareholder gain should NOT be the only determining factor in corporate decision-making. Everything today has been made disposable but we can put a stop to it if we band together!
"In early December, by Mom and Dad's White-Westinghouse dishwasher stopped being able to adequately clean the dishes placed in it. Upon having a service technician from a local appliance repair company (White Rock, British Columbia, CANADA) come and have a look at it, it was his opinion that it was something in the wash pump/motor circuit which was not functioning properly. He also said that, while it said White-Westinghouse on the unit, it was actually built by Frigidaire. He then said that it would cost about $230, in addition to the $60 for the diagnostic service call, to affect the repairs. Given that high price, he suggested that maybe they should consider buying a new dishwasher. However, to his credit, he did not offer to sell her a new one and take the old one away (a potential scam). Upon speaking to my Mom about it, I told her that I would have a look at it the next time I was able to make the 4-hour trip to visit them. In the meantime, I committed to doing some research on the Internet to better understand the problem, its remedies and decision factors. After gathering this information, I suspected that it was either the pump motor or the wash pump impeller which had failed. Therefore, I investigated local sources for these two parts and found that, while the impeller was available as a separate piece, the motor had to be purchased as part of a complete assembly - thinking this very strange, I hoped that it was the impeller which had failed. Upon disassembling the wash pump/motor assembly, I quickly isolated the problem. A small plastic fitting into which the metal shaft of the motor fit, and which subsequently fit inside the impeller (with a small screw in the end to keep the impeller on) had been worn smooth inside (it used to have a series of 'ribs) allowing the motor shift to spin without turning the impeller - ergo, no wash water was being pumped. No problem, I thought, being as the impeller costs only about $8, this can't possibly cost more than $5! On once again calling the local parts supplier (Reliable Parts), I found that, as part of the wash pump/motor assembly, this small, plastic part was only available with the whole unit, at a cost of $139. Ridiculous! Not prepared to pay that kind of money for such a simple fix, I tried solving the problem by putting a vinyl 'shim' inside the plastic fitting but found that, over a few wash cycles, the rapid acceleration of the motor on starting essentially vapourized the 'shim'. Therefore, we were now placed in a position of having to buy the complete assembly (or a new dishwasher). I was definitely not pleased but my Mom needed a working dishwasher! When I went to pick up the complete unit (P/N 154473001), the counter representative came back with a large box and, upon opening it up, we found a different-looking wash pump/motor assembly, along with two sumps and a wiring harness. Turns out that you have, for some reason, changed the motor design and its mounting to the sump and, in order to have a 'universal' kit (for single and dual wash arm dishwashers), you needed to include both sumps. What started out being the replacement of a small, plastic part had quickly escalated to a whole 'room full of parts'. After completing the replacement, we now had a used but functioning wash motor, a pump whose only problem is the worn plastic fitting, one used but still good sump and a completely new sump. While your approach to providing replacement parts may be good for your shareholders, I hardly think it is good for the consumer or the environment. What would you have us do with all of these extra parts that we had to buy but didn't need - throw them into the landfill? I find this to not only be expensive for the consumer but a very poor use of our limited resources. Certainly, if we had decided to replace the dishwasher (which would have been outrageous - replacing the whole dishwasher for the want of a $5 part), you can be assured that we would not have considered any of the Frigidaire line. While practices such as this are apparently 'normal' for the industry, I would be looking for a company which takes their environmental responsibilty seriously and actively seeks to stem this tide of 'disposability' sweeping North America."
How does everyone else feel about this increasingly pervasive situation? How do we get the manufacturers to change their 'wasteful' policies? Balls
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63Manufacturers ONLY want to sell new boxes and make money. parts is a necessary evil.
recently my ice maker quit working. I wasnt sure might be soleniod, might be iunside freezer part. The entire ice maker kit with solenoid and freezer part gearbox etc 79 bucks
solenoid 49 bucks
needless to say I bought the kit, and put the spare parts in the attic.
the good news is the new parts might be better designed, and last longer
I fix office machines for a living, what your describing is SOP:(
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I won't comment on your parts problem as a policy but think that you might be able to glue or epoxy the part to the motor shaft. Another fix may be to drill, tap, and install a set screw.
Dave M.
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David Martel Wrote: > I won't comment on your parts problem as a policy but think that you

That was my take, that or a drift pin.
--
5p5

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With the cost of items being what they are, it is often cheeper to just replace them. The manufactors don't want to repair items but sell you new ones. They want only keep the parts to repair the items for a short period of time. Just enought to get past the warrenty period. By making the repair parts expensive you are almost forced to get a new item.
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And if they do sell you a part, its a module that costs a significant fraction of the cost of a new unit. Forget trying to get an IC or transistor to fix the module, it aint gonna happin.
Unfortunately, repair parts do not enjoy the same economy of mass production and distribution that the equipment they go in do.
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Are you suggesting that the parts are somehow different than what the original equipment is made from? If not, they come off the same production lines and enjoy the same economy of scale. Shipping from a central distribution location is hardly an issue in today's economy - I can get a package almost anywhere within a couple of days at a reasonable cost.
Don't apologize for these people. We have bought into a wasteful lifestyle where cheap takes precedence and disposable is considered convenient.
Mike
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wrote:

Yes and no. My company used to supply a few parts to Frigidaire. We shipped in bulk to the assembly pant for normal production. We also shipped the same part to a parts distribution center, however, it was handled differently. They had to be packaged different, they were shipped LTL rather than the more economical TL, and shipped about 500 miles further. All of this added to the cost, of course.
That said, most companies still operate spare parts as a profit center and make a good profit. I also buy spare parts for our machines. If I buy a part from normal industrial suppliers, it is anywhere from 10% to 200% cheaper than buying it from the machine maker. Normal sources often have extended lead times while the machine maker may have it in stock for shipment that day. Some times it is cheaper to pay 200% more to get a machine running rather that sit idle for 2 or 3 weeks.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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yeah I buy parts for the machines I service from a wide variety of sources to save money. the savings can be many times the cost of the part.
if your buying kenmore parts try to find out who made the appliance and buy any other way. sears parts tend to mark things up a extra 60 to 75 % just for their handling
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On 28 Feb 2006 14:08:06 -0800, "ballstoyourpartner"
Sounds to me like you just choke your chicken !!!!
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