The Shed – we can make a difference


Un-reliable products are becoming the norm. We all complain to each other about what products are un-reliable when they breakdown, but that doesn’t spread the word very far.

Here at The Shed, I can air my views to potentially the world. It might help someone and it might make me feel slightly better.

I started making blogs well before the term ‘blogging’ was invented. I’m not a big fan of the word, although it is now in common usage. So I call this blog, ‘The Shed’ – it seems entirely suitable.

WE are now the quality control testers. It is so much cheaper for products to be returned and replaced than it is for the producers to test them for quality- and not everyone can be bothered to return faulty items, which is another win for the producers.

Here at the Shed I will feature GOOD QUALITY products, that I am using, ocassionally I may even rant on about something that was bad quality. We all complain about items that fail well before their time. Our last two microwaves have both failed inside the first 12 months, then failed again 18 months from date of purchase.

Recently an Mp4 player died after a mere 3 months, I returned it for a refund and bought a better one from the same store and IT failed after just 6 months. Both were BASE brand from Target. I contacted Target after the second failure because, excuse me, I can’t keep running back to the store every few months, however much they would like to see me – not to mention having to download 6-8 gb of music each time. Customer Service must have been on holiday- the response was, “go to the store and get a refund” – yeah it often seems like I already spend my entire life doing that. I did, and won’t be back.

You could say it is my fault for buying cheap, but I don’t think $80 – $100 (on special) is cheap for Chinese products that very likely costs Target around $20 to buy.

If you want to rave or rant about a product, you are very welcome to do that here, in the comment box below –  it will make you feel good and may help someone else.



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5 Responses to “The Shed – we can make a difference”

  1. Steve Mack says:

    Here’s my letter to a dodgy car rental company in Fiji that we used last week; in it’s entirety :

    From: Steve Mack
    Sent: Friday, April 23, 2010 6:21 PM

    To all concerned;

    My partner and I are SO outraged at the appalling rental experience we had with Sharmas at Nadi airport, that we feel compelled to bring this matter to the attention of the minister of tourism Fiji and other relevant parties.

    Firstly when picking up the car at the airport on the 16th of April, the fuel level was marked on the paperwork as being 1/4 full, when in fact it was only 1/8 full; we had to fuel up a mere 30kms after leaving the rental company. It was there that we also noticed one rear tyre very low on pressure and upon inflating the tyres, found it to be a mere 5PSI instead of ~32PSI.

    I may add also that this car was stated upon rental that it was “new”, but in fact had 123,000KMS on the speedo – far from ‘new’ in our opinion!

    Prior to our returning the vehicle today the 23rd of April after 7 days rental, the car was clean on the outside as we will find the porters at the resort we stayed at will verify, as they loaded our baggage. We did encounter many muddy potholes in the less than perfect Fiji roads on the way to return the car early this morning. Also yesterday my partner THOROUGHLY cleaned the interior of the car with a damp cloth, to try and have the car looking more presentable on our return than when we collected it (which had dust all over the dash).

    She even lifted the floor mats after wiping them down and removed the bulk of a large accumulation of sand and grit underneath them!

    We have photographs taken of the interior of the car (which I took to show my friends) verifying with dates, how tidy the interior looked.

    When we arrived at sharmas at the airport this morning, we had to knock on the door because the ‘manager’ and his assistant were both asleep! The assistant was laying on the floor on cushions from their lounge, and like the ‘manager’, BOTH were shirtless and in the case of the assistant; was wearing pants and shoes that looked like they’d been found on a rubbish dump!

    This; despite the fact that they KNEW a week earlier, that we should be returning the car at approximately 6.30am and we arrived late at aprox 7am, so they had plenty of time to get dressed and at least make an ATTEMPT to look professional!

    To make matters even worse, after inspecting the car, we were told that we’d have to pay $48 ‘cleaning fee’ because the car was “dirty” both inside and out! We’ve explained the exterior – there was NO conceivable way we could keep the car free of all road grime due to the roads, but the interior, as explained; was 400% BETTER than when we picked it up!!!

    Such an ENORMOUS lack of professionalism we have NEVER seen in our many years of international travel, nor have we ever been flat out RIPPED OFF by ANY car rental facility prior to now.

    We returned the car with far more fuel than it had when we picked it up, only to be greeted with the outrageous attitude and appearance of the two staff involved.

    We have many contacts who frequently visit Fiji, and those people have many relatives who also go to Fiji;
    we shall be advising them of how terribly we were treated and I assure you, that none of these many people will ever (again) use sharmas.

    Steven Mack & Lehte Kruusmaa.
    Brisbane, Australia.

  2. Rob says:


    I read this today at a forum for video recorders and got permission to post it here because it is so typical of the run around we are getting between supplier and manufacturer.

    The last comment is one we can all relate to!!

    “Worst customer service experience of my life today.

    I have been unlucky enough to have a huge failure of a 7100HDPvrt that had a complete rebuild in the end still wouldn’t work – so they replaced it with a new one, that also now has issues.

    I ask to upgrade to a 7100PLUS as I don’t want to keep getting replacements that are clearly still lemons and I offer to pay – mind you the difference in price between my unit and the PLUS is only around $50 and I actually have a new model in my possession so it’s not ‘used’. I suggested I pay $100 to be fair.

    They tell me it will cost me $300 – I plead as to why? And suggest this is a ridiculous amount of money as new one of these on IceTV today will ost me $549 ? They offer me yet another 7100HDPvrT as an alternative – mind you, still from old warehouse stock and still containing the dodgy WD HDD that were an epic failure and died on me last time.

    Anyhow – they dont budge. I ask questions – they don’t have answers. I ask to complain and their National Service Manager – Jimmy Gulaboski – who doesn’t disclose his phone number in his signature block (pretty unprofessional for an Australian company national manager not to do this) tells me he is the complaints manager too. Poor form from a complaints department because rather than try to answer my questions and meet me halfway he just refers me straight to the Office of Consumer Affairs pretty much telling me to get on my bike. Still not acknowledging any of the questions I had asked of him! All I wanted were answers Jimmy but you could not even justify why it would cost me the magical figure of $300.

    So I politely informed him that I would be posting details of my experience on every AV forum in the country – and here I am.

    $100 to a company is a drop in the ocean – yet they are willing to risk their reputation as a brand and definitely their customer service reputation for the sake of a lousy $200 they can’t afford to lose. Of course I will tell all my friends and family never to buy from these cowboys ever again and I might just go and buy myself a Beyonwiz now…

    Bollocks “

  3. Terry C says:

    Well all I can say to these problems that I purchased a Panasonic Microwave in September 1984 and it has finally dies this month. I only hope the new one ” LG ” lasts more than 12 months if I am lucky. Keep up the good work guys.

    Terry C

  4. Gary says:

    I had to laugh at the car hire story. I’m guessing sharmas is indian guys. If the interior of the car was dirty and the fuel tank only 1/8th full these are things Steve should have pointed out before leaving the premises upon pick up the car. Sounds like the manager and his offsider were working on Fiji time.

  5. Gary says:

    I watched an interesting demo by the fire brigade a little while ago. They had built two rooms to set on fire. One room was furnished with modern day furniture and fittings and the other room was furnished with things you would have furnished a room with in the 1950’s.

    They set both rooms on fire at the same time. Within 3 minutes the room with the modern furnishings of mainly plastics and synthetics was fully ablaze.

    The room with old style fittings of cotton, wool wood was still smouldering and had not yet flamed up. 8 minutes into it the modern room was pretty much gone and the older style room was still smouldering not having burst into flames.

    So there you have the reason there are so many house fires these days and why so many people are burnt to death in a house fire.

    Synthetics and plastics.

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