Good ideas with bad execution, or good execution of what should be bad ideas - an analysis of inferior, off-beat or malfunctioning products, and how other people's failures can help us design better stuff.
Frosty Fridge Serves Up Ale-Flavored Ice Lollies
The whacked-out temperature controls on EE Mike Kotecki’s Viking fridge were keeping things just a little too cool: “We moved into a new, used home two years ago that had a built-in bar in the living room. (Talk about closing tactics!) Anywho, it had a very nice 15-year-old built-in “under-cabinet” Sub Zero beverage refrigerator, that, as far as I could tell from the constant hum, cost about $400/month to keep my beer and tonic cold. So, I went out shopping and soul searching for an energy-efficient replacement.
There were several hundred “dorm” units that would have done quite nicely for $100-$200 as you may imagine. However, being a new nothing-but-the-best home owner, I figured that I needed the top of the line Viking stainless steel unit with the frosted glass door, mood lighting and pull-out wine rack. It served me very well for exactly one month past the two-year warranty. Now, when I wrote the check for $1,500 to buy this, the last refrigerator I will ever need, I figured that I could just Krazy Glue it in the cabinet since a work of engineering like this will certainly never need to be serviced. However, I noticed–as I’m mopping up the frozen Sam Adams slurry that was oozing from the door onto the carpet–my thermometer in the refrigerator, scratch that, freezer, read 4F. I called “Customer Service” at Viking and the gal was neither customer- nor service-oriented. Considering myself a bit handy and figuring that statistically, I’m probably not the first person to call her with this issue, I asked for a probable diagnosis and part number(s). You know, something simple like: control unit, thermostat, thermistor, potentiometer, etc. “Nope, these issues require professional service,” she said. Next thing a very pleasant Viking-authorized gent with a righteous plumber’s crack drove 30 miles with the service kit of stuff to convert my freezer back to a refrigerator. The kit included a control unit, thermostat, thermistor and potentiometer. I then had the challenging task of convincing Viking that when a guy has to replace most of the electrics in a 25-month-old, $1,500 mini-refrigerator, that it really ought to be under warranty.”Tags: closing tactics, mood lighting, plumber, sam adams, thermostat