Marchbooks' Blog

February 13, 2010

Another Example of Corporate Wastefulness – M.J. Claire

Filed under: Comments from our Authors — marchbooks @ 8:00 pm
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As exciting as this week’s historic ‘blizzard’ was, it paled in comparison to the water woes I experienced over the past four days. I don’t know if it was freezing temperatures in my basement or just the ravages of time on my water filtration system, but something caused one of said units to give out at about 2 a.m. this past Tuesday, shooting water all over the one finished room in my basement. Fortunately, I caught it quite early, resulting in only one inch of water covering my entire basement and soaking into my carpeting.

Early the next day, the day of our eagerly anticipated ‘blizzard’, I called all over CT looking for someone who sold the type of filtration systems I had. For those who are unfamiliar with these filtration systems, here is a picture. With my system, it was only the clear case that cracked and it stood to reason, to me in any case, that I should just be able to purchase this piece and my problem would be resolved. I quickly discovered that no one sells just the casing. This didn’t make any sense to me, as this is the definition of a replaceable part.

I then decided that all I had to do was buy a new system that matched the one I had. I could then use the clear case, thus avoiding a call to the plumber. Wasteful, yes, but it was the best I could do. Unfortunately, it was not doable. On driving to the one dealer that carried filters made by the manufacturer in question, I discovered that they no longer made the model I owned. Furthermore, neither of the models carried by this store matched the size of the case I owned. I purchased a couple of new units.

Although the snow had started to fall, I decided to drive to the nearest Lowe’s to see if they carried a brand that might match the size of the case I owned. I struck out on that score but purchased another two units in this new style. The driving was now getting a little bit slippery, but I was on a mission. Why should it be so difficult to find a case that would match the units I had? If you looked at the picture , you will see that this is not a high-tech piece of equipment. Essentially, the heart of the unit takes water in from one side, passes it through the case which holds the filter, and then sends the filtered water on its way through the other outlet. I stopped at two other hardware supply stores with zero success.

Meanwhile, I had contacted three plumbers, only to find that all were occupied with heating/plumbing emergencies. A day after the first unit was replaced the second one cracked and showered the basement with even more water, necessitating another plumbing call. Three days without water and several hundred dollars in parts and repair charges because these manufacturers make what I am sure is a very calculated decision not to standardize and sell what is, or should be, a very replaceable part.

It was expensive, inconvenient, wet and required an expert to complete a repair that I should have been able to handle myself with under $50 in parts. Yet another example of corporate, calculated wastefulness and greed.

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