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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