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An Amana refrigerator bought in 11/11/09 stopped cooling all of a sudden. I ordered technical service from Amcor, the official importer of Amana in Israel, he told me the electronic board of the refrigerator is defective. He replaced it, and everything was fine again.

"This is the state of affairs with electric boars, they break every few years. Nothing you can do about those. The insurance don't cover them after the first year. Do you want to buy extra insurance?" the technician told me.

The price of the new electrical board? 1268 NIS (=340USD), where the refrigerator was bought for ~6,000 NIS. Over 20% of the refrigerator's price. It didn't make sense to me. The price of such a board to the manufacturer is probably a few dollars at most.

While I can't know for sure, it looks like Amcor, or Amana are taking exaggerated prices for replacements parts. You'll pay whatever it takes, Amcor is your only vendor for replacements for your refrigerator.

How can the government prevent this kind of behavior easily? By the law, every seller of electrical equipment, must mention in his advertisements the Energy rating of the refrigerator. We can in a similar fashion, to force a manufacture including the MTBF[1] of all previous refrigerator models in advertisements he runs. (of course he'll have to record this as well). This will give manufacturers incentive to keep high MTBF, or at least not to have too many failures.

edit: I of course do not expect companies to replace defective hardware after warranty has expired. I expect though that customers will choose new refrigerator (also) based of high MTBF, and this will encourage manufacturers to produce more durable refrigerator. Right now it feels as if producing faulty boards, and selling replacement for very high price is part of the business model of the manufacturer/importer in Israel.

[1] mean time between failures, a rough estimate for how long will this refrigerator stand before malfunctioning.
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slamet hendry's profile photoElazar Leibovich's profile photo
 
You were quoting the price of the "insurance" or the price of the board? They are unrelated. Most computer hard disks manufacturer (used to) publish their MTBF, but if you are out of warranty, then you are out of luck. It does not matter if you have reached the MBTF or not. No difference.

And the price of insuring the computer is also not cheap these days. It was expensive enough that I opted not to get it the last time I bought a laptop.
 
+slamet hendry I was quoting the price of the new replacement board (clarified now).

The reason to publish MBTF is to encourage them making a durable refrigerators, since now as it seems to me, part of their business model is producing low quality electrical board, and selling them for 100 times their manufacturing price for clients who get defects.

It seems illogical to me that the MTBF of a simple circuit is much lower than, say, the MTBF for a cellphone, which falls from time to time, and is drastically more complicated. Right now, as a customer I have no idea which refrigerator is more durable. If the MTBF is published I'll know and I hope manufacturers will compete on that.

(hard drive are already estimated and measured by their tolerance to failures, so I don't see big problem in this area).

(The price of the ensurace is ~3000NIS for 5 years, implying MTBF of at most 2 years...)
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