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The quality of branded consumer goods also suck

I speak out from my hands-on experience, not through a scientific study.

1. Sharp microwave oven

My unit was blasted in about a year. I saw a number of same Sharp microwaves in Seng Heng shop were waiting to be repaired. The salesman told me it was part quality issue.

My repair unit spoiled again after six months. I have decided to scrap it for safety and no more under warranty reasons.

2. Philips induction cooker

It was sold at premium price compared to other brands. The unit causing power trip six months later. Although it was still under warranty, I also decided to scrap it for safety reason because power trip means current leakage which can kill people if your safety switchbox, MCE is not working properly.

3. Asus netbook

This newly bought Asus netbook (I am using it to post this posting) is having jumping cursor keyboard. The cursor will jump like a crazy horse when you type in more quickly. I cannot scrap it because it costs me RM899, like it or not, I have to send it to Asus service center for repair.

My old NEC notebook was running fine for seven years without any technical glitch unlike my Acer notebook and Asus netbook.

What are lessons learned?

Philips induction cooker and Asus netbook are made in China while Sharp microwave oven is made in Indonesia. Branded goods mean nothing if these products are made in China and Indonesia.

I still trust Japanese branded consumer goods made in Malaysia for their quality. I was with Sony Malaysia as a production engineer for a short stint. We PE have never compromised quality for output and Japanese boss supported quality first concept with action unlike other nationalities.

My conclusion is branded consumer goods quality from China and Indonesia are same quality (low quality) with no branded products. Basically all of them are produced by same OEMs except branded companies provide a better after sales service.

The nkkhoo.com comment board with Facebook account.
Hi-Tech Girl says:

Philips only good for bulbs and early design compact disc players (pioneer).

now they are losing money.

must call my Penang Philips to reserve some engioneering units for me to test run at home, wonder what they produce these days ? Shavers ?

nkkhoo says:

I think Philips Penang is making LED now.

nkkhoo says:

Philips now outsourcing to China OEM for consumer goods. The quality is as bad as other made-in-China goods.

Hi-Tech Girl says:

Akia Morita – Made in Japan autobiography a better book than apanama doc in the house ! what say u ?

nkkhoo says:

The book is 100 times better than apanama book. I finished the book during my train trip from Singapore to Butterworth when I moved back to Penang.

Hi-Tech Girl says:

for sentimental sake, i can offer Akio Morita paperback for RM10 (still good condition) for any of your readers (postage not included). more inspirational than apanama’s medicine to create racial divide in msia !

nkkhoo says:

My one is kept in my kampong house.

Hi-Tech Girl says:

you have curi-curi msia advertising on your blog ?

nkkhoo says:

Google Adsense will decide what adv to be published.

Hi-Tech Girl says:

u have no conscience control over google adsense ? Yennie Yennie will be proud of you 🙂

nkkhoo says:

As long as it’s legal, nothing is wrong unless you can prove the money used for cuti-cuti adv is “duit haram”.

Ng Yen Yen hated me a lot until she banned me for posting comments in her 3-million facebook.

Hi-Tech Girl says:

Oh Yennie Yennie, people got bungalow cows n you got only brochure racks to show ?

Hi-Tech Girl says:

so u r not early adpoter as u r using net pc. good bcoz u r not like those suckers who pay premium buying tablets to cover the design/engineering/marketing costs.
Apple & Samsung are big bully now controlling the markets.
Sony took things too easy (like Mat Lepak of Msia) and the Koreans overtook them. Sony has brilliant legacy but new generation don’t give a hack about walkmans.

Sony sold its 50% share of LCD panel production to Samsung who now fully owns the venture. A monopoly again like Prima Media controling the minds of Msian free to air TV viewers !!!!

nkkhoo says:

I was with Sony when the founder, Akio Morita was still alive. The demise of Akio Morita means the demise of Japanese Sony.

nkkhoo says:

Samsung success is not by chance, they have invested heavily on talent development since 80s and losing money for 20 years.

Hi-Tech Girl says:

First batch meaning after final manufacturing release.
Those trial units you smashed away ? What a waste. We managed to take out (one set for security guard of course) engineering trial or beta units for personal consumption and provide feedbacks to the RnD & Enginnering folks.

nkkhoo says:

Sony system is quite different with American. They have prototype or trial units also. Sony first batch is actual production unit, but they are subjected to 100% screening by engineers.

Sony is unlike Philips Penang who resale prototype and test units to employees.

My friend did “steal” a scrapped hi-fi unit to his home. 🙂

Hi-Tech Girl says:

electric microwave oven not good due to reported radiation leak detrimental to your health.

go traditional way – heat up using woks !

nkkhoo says:

Don’t stand close to 1 meter when the oven is on. As long the protection shell is not removed, I see no radiation risk.

Hi-Tech Girl says:

Hav you bought LED flat screen TVs ?

I suggest going for 100Hz full HD (1080p) set – check it is LED not LCD LED (a difference – don’t get confused).

Also if budget a cobnstraint and you don’t mind paying for more electricity bill, go for Plasma now on lelong sale (Plasma pic is brilliant but won’t last longer due to burning ions pixels).
Just saw a 46″ LG full HD plasma selling for RM1500 only ! 2 years ago you probably would have paid a bomb like 4-5 times the price.

nkkhoo says:

I shut down my TV for last few years. No TV is needed.

Hi-Tech Girl says:

Probably you have got “cost reduction” production units hence less quality. In production (thought you should be familiar) the best quality & reliable products are mostly from first batch. Sunsequently, the manufacturers will source for cheaper components (poorer grades but meet specs). Also during cost reduction process, the manufacturers may employ cheaper less skillful crews so the end assembled/built products are “suspicious”. Your product may be reworked units recycled back for retail sales.

ASUS net pcs is great. I dropped mine from coffee table and nothing serious happened. Can’t be said about Acer.

nkkhoo says:

Sony (during my time) has never released first batch production for sale. We PE smashed them with hammers after fine tuning the process. I do not think Taiwan and China manufactures will do the same production control.

Cost reduction is nothing wrong to quality as long as its substitute still meeting the specifications.

I may write to Asus MD office which I have contacted with them before for this suck quality keypad.

Dr. Dre says:

Most MNCs outsource their production of their products to contract manufacturers, and that’s how the ‘syndicate within’ (i.e. inside job) is operating to channel those prototypes/evaluation units (meant for destroy) to ‘secondary market’ for sale to unsuspecting customers looking for cheap bargain.

This is very prevalent in Malaysia. Perhaps your time at Sony has better control. Not now as such operation is so lucrative that the inside job can cover their track, unseen by any ISO auditors.

Also many buyers/purchasing officers in MNCs or Contract Manufacturers ‘collaborate’ with suppliers to take in sub-standard parts (i.e. those failed the required specs). The final product may pass the final test but the suspected parts will deteriorate in no time to cause damage. You will be very unlucky if the product breaks down just after the warranty period.

Even faulty parts that are returned to vendors are recycled back as new parts. Quality control is so bad as operators are now working long hours and too tired to spot even cosmetic problem!

Anyway, all brand name products are designed to fail just outsie its warranty period. Gone are the days that a product (especially electrical/electronic goods) are built to last. They are now living to the tag of ‘fast moving consumer goods’ with perishale parts – just check your Ipad and Iphone battery life-span!

nkkhoo says:

Matsushita National brands made in Malaysia still maintaining its old quality standard.

Don says:

in spore go to sim lim to buy recycled factory rejects

in KL go to small shops at Low Yat.

in penang can check out Lorong Kulit.

in Johor, got to ask nkkhoo where are the lobangs (Ah Fook Lanes ??)

Dr. Dre says:

National (good quality) and Technics brand names are now in hisory book. Its replacement brand Panasonic cannot boast of japanese quality as all the products are made outside Japan.

In the past Sony can offer 4-years warranty for its Trinitron CRT TVs. Now Sony can only offer 1 year limited warranty for its Bravia flat-screen TVs. A sign of no confidence of its product longetivity.

Do not count on Japanese brand for long-term quality.
The days are over. Sayonara Quality!

nkkhoo says:

Making outside Japan is fine if the Japanese management still exert same tight control on its production process.

My made-in-Malaysia Panasonic TV set lasted for six years until it was struck by lightning.

Sony is no more making LCDs itself, Sony sources them from Taiwan and Korea suppliers. I believe that is the reason why the warranty period is slashed to one year.

Dr. Dre says:

You are paying premium price for the brand name Sony. Its products are from the same China factories for other brands. Do not be blinded by brand name.

nkkhoo says:

Sony PCs are still manufactured in Japan. My Canon camera is made in Japan unless Canon cheating in label printing.

My eyes are not blinded to read between made in China and made in Japan.

Dr. Dre says:

A trick in the trade is if a product is finally shipped from country X (although upstream production is in country A, but ‘final touch’ i.e. packaging in country X), it is still shipped with the label ‘made in X’. I have known this loophole used by some companies.

nkkhoo says:

Big companies like Sony will never do that trick. Apple still put made in China label on its products.

My analog Canon camera EOS 100 works for more than 10 years without a single problem. Made in Japan product is still stand for good quality warranty.

Nothing to do with technology, good quality comes with Japanese culture who believe in perfection.

Chinese folks do not have same cultural value, they will shift shoddy products without hesitate as long as they get pay.

ferhad says:

do not have too high hope on the current Japanese brands.

look at Olympus, it is said to be controlled by Yakuza!

ferhad says:

Agreed fully from my personal experience.

Gerry says:

Have you done your branded goods shopping at the Johor Premium Outlet at Kulaijaya?
May be yiu can post some pictures of the place, and tell us if there are good bargain there.

nkkhoo says:

JPO is a luxurious shopping place for those rich and crazy women who have too much money to burn.

Definitely will visit JPO when I’m back to Johor in mid-Jan 2012.

http://www.tourmalaysia.com/2011/12/04/johor-premium-outlets/