Friday, November 28, 2008

Endangered Species: TV Repair People

Just had someone come to repair my TV. Embarrassingly, although the TV hadn't worked in weeks and weeks for me, when he arrived the damn thing worked and the only problem was with the remote. So I felt a bit stupid, but we did have an interesting conversation about how his trade was all but being wiped out by TV manufacturers making their TVs a) with built-in obsolescence b) using circuit boards that were soldered together in such a way that they couldn't be repaired in a workshop and c) the fact that it is cheaper to buy a new TV than the spare parts to repairs it.

Crazy economics, which we all end up bearing the brunt of a) when we have to buy a new TV 6 months after the guarantee goes on the existing one and b) when the Council has to use taxpayers money to dispose of the thousands of TVs that are thrown away when they could/should be repaired. The TV repair person meanwhile goes out of business and shiploads of Western countries' TVs get shipped off to some developing country to deal with.

The chirpily-named European WEE directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) was supposed to address this, and maybe it will, but I don't think we are quite there yet. There still doesn't seem to be enough of a financial incentive for manufacturers to make electrical goods that are both built to last and repairable.

Meanwhile, if anyone wants their TV repaired, I can pass on the details of the repairman I used, who lives locally.

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