Sorry, this is more of a rant than anything else but as a Product Designer I need to get this off my chest.
My partner and I bought an electric hob (stove top) 7 months ago to replace the existing unit which had finally failed after about 20 years of use. As we were leaving the country it was used by our tenants who were staying in our house whilst we were away. When we returned we noticed that the indicator light had fallen into the unit but the hob was still working and as we had a house to unpack we did not think much of it at the time.
So, Fault One: The indicator light popped in.
Then, only a few days later the whole thing short circuits after the hob was cleaned. It appeared that water filtered into the electrics through the hole where the indicator light had been. This we obviously attributed to Fault One. The good news was that the unit was still under warranty so we were sent out an engineer to fix it (or replace it). Unfortunately he decided that the reason for the short circuit was that there had been a ‘boil over’ of a pan of water and because this had occurred, our warranty was invalid. That no such ‘boil over’ had occurred at any time near the short circuiting didn’t seem to bother him.
So, Fault Two: The hob, a unit supposedly designed to be used to boil pans of water (among other things), was not water resistant a sufficient degree to prevent the occasional water spillage entering the electrics.
Surely this is the most crazy product design failure? And one that could actually be quite dangerous as everyone is aware that water and electrics don’t mix and really need to be kept separated?
If we had been aware at the time that we bought the damn thing that it was liable to short circuit at the first sign of spilt water and that the indicator light might pop in ‘when cleaning’ (as the engineer told us) we would have never touched it.
It makes me so mad that a product can be designed and sold whilst so obviously failing to meet the minimum standards required to fulfill its function. And then when it fails it is because it is the users fault.
Sorry again. Thanks for listening to my rant. I wont do it again.