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Frustration
Old 05-24-2011, 10:08 AM   #1
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Frustration

About a year ago, I had to stop drinking high test coffee. Since DW was still drinking the caffeine, I let her keep the drip machine, and I switched to instant. Now, I'm tired of the taste, and am looking for a solution so that we could have one maker and both get good coffee. However, after a lot of research on Amazon, I have given up, and will prob buy a second drip machine. Turns out that the pod coffee makers are unreliable. When 30% of Amazon reviews for Keurig or Cuisinart machines are bad, that's a sign to stay away.

However, this is exactly the same situation I've had in the past year with lots of other products. A month ago, I bought a new computer for DW to replace our last XP machine. This made obsolete a wonderful Samsung laser printer for which there was no W7 driver. I shouldn't complain as it was 14 years old. Thinking I could replace an old HP color ink jet at the same time, I began a review of current ink jet printers. Again, I found that most had significant % of bad reviews. It didn't matter which brand. From cheap construction, to high ink use, and bad service, the picture was dim. I gave up on buying an ink jet and found a serviceable laser which I like, but what will I do when my trust HP960c bites the dust.

From Norelco razors to Kitchen Aid mixers, seems the transition to non-US mfg. seems to have produced an overall diminution of quality. For many items we use every day, there seems to be no good quality product to replace them. And, repairs are impossible too.

I'm sure there is a market for good quality merchandise. Look at the sales of $400 blenders at Costco. I don't understand why companies are destroying their brands values, developed over many years, with cheap stuff that doesn't last.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveL View Post
... Turns out that the pod coffee makers are unreliable. When 30% of Amazon reviews for Keurig or Cuisinart machines are bad, that's a sign to stay away.

However, this is exactly the same situation I've had in the past year with lots of other products. A month ago, I bought a new computer for DW to replace our last XP machine. ...

Again, I found that most had significant % of bad reviews. It didn't matter which brand. From cheap construction, to high ink use, and bad service, the picture was dim. I gave up on buying an ink jet and found a serviceable laser which I like, but what will I do when my trust HP960c bites the dust.

From Norelco razors to Kitchen Aid mixers, seems the transition to non-US mfg. seems to have produced an overall diminution of quality. For many items we use every day, there seems to be no good quality product to replace them. And, repairs are impossible too.
...
Another interpretation is that the on-line reviews are unreliable. The average person is much more likely to post a review if they have problems with a product than if they don't.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:24 AM   #3
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I guess I take a different tack on this--I quit reading all those reviews and just buy what I can afford and expect it to fail eventually. Reading the reviews is at best an exercise in futility, as how can I presume that those random anonymous people have the same tastes as me? All I can hope is to ask about significant purchases here on the forum and poll local friends whose requirements are similar to mine.

I'm getting ready to buy a quiet portable generator and I expect I'll have some tradeoffs in price and quality to get what I want at a price I can justify. I have already become impossibly annoyed by reading online reviews at Amazon for them.
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There is no justice in the jungle !
Old 05-24-2011, 10:25 AM   #4
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There is no justice in the jungle !

What this country needs is a good 5-cent cigar.

And yeah, you just can't buy a good buggy whip anymore !
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:27 AM   #5
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For better or worse, it's become accpetable that so much of today's electronics are throw-aways. Use them for as long as they last and then just buy another one, because it's cheaper than repairing. Lost in the shuffle is why they break down in the first place.
One practical suggestion for you regarding coffee: I find the best tasting coffee is the old-fashioned Melitta drip process. Coffee goes into a filter, inserted in a plastic holder, and I just pour hot water in. The cone-shape forces the water to drip slowly and I get a consistently good cup of coffee. No electronics!
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:36 AM   #6
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Have you considered a French Coffee Press? My son use to work in a coffee shop and knows way more about coffee than me and he says they make the best coffee.

Amazon.com: french coffee press
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:51 AM   #7
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My old b/w laser printer cost $1600 and lasted forever. My new b/w laser printer cost $80 last year and runs like a champ. I should post that on Amazon, I guess.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:59 AM   #8
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Traded in my old 17 year old LaserJet 4L for a $50 credit towards a HP1725 printer. 4L cost $500 in 1994 dollars and has a parallel interface, which none of our new computers have. The new one cost under $200 with the credit, is wireless and prints in color. Got good reviews too. I can live with it.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post

I'm getting ready to buy a quiet portable generator and I expect I'll have some tradeoffs in price and quality to get what I want at a price I can justify. I have already become impossibly annoyed by reading online reviews at Amazon for them.
I just bought one of those generators from Amazon, and I did read the online reviews before making a choice. I don't know what I can and cannot trust. Some of the 5* reviews are probably fake (paid reviewers), and some of the 1* reviews are written by imbeciles (This 2000W generator doesn't even power my whole house, I want my money back!).
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveL View Post
About a year ago, I had to stop drinking high test coffee. Since DW was still drinking the caffeine, I let her keep the drip machine, and I switched to instant. Now, I'm tired of the taste, and am looking for a solution so that we could have one maker and both get good coffee. However, after a lot of research on Amazon, I have given up, and will prob buy a second drip machine. Turns out that the pod coffee makers are unreliable. When 30% of Amazon reviews for Keurig or Cuisinart machines are bad, that's a sign to stay away.
Simplicity at it finest.
Mr. Coffee® Online Store | 4-Cup Switch Coffeemaker - White
There are programmable and auto-shut-off versions available if you need that. It takes up very little counter space and delivers 4 cups of coffee in a very short time.

Mr B makes his regular coffee first, decants it to a regular coffee cup and the excess to an insulated holder, adds my decaf grounds on top, and makes my coffee. I may be getting some traces of caffeine by not starting with a fresh filter for my decaf.

My 4 cup Mr Coffee is still going strong after 7 years.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveL View Post
About a year ago, I had to stop drinking high test coffee. Since DW was still drinking the caffeine, I let her keep the drip machine, and I switched to instant. Now, I'm tired of the taste, and am looking for a solution so that we could have one maker and both get good coffee. However, after a lot of research on Amazon, I have given up, and will prob buy a second drip machine. Turns out that the pod coffee makers are unreliable. When 30% of Amazon reviews for Keurig or Cuisinart machines are bad, that's a sign to stay away.

However, this is exactly the same situation I've had in the past year with lots of other products. A month ago, I bought a new computer for DW to replace our last XP machine. This made obsolete a wonderful Samsung laser printer for which there was no W7 driver. I shouldn't complain as it was 14 years old. Thinking I could replace an old HP color ink jet at the same time, I began a review of current ink jet printers. Again, I found that most had significant % of bad reviews. It didn't matter which brand. From cheap construction, to high ink use, and bad service, the picture was dim. I gave up on buying an ink jet and found a serviceable laser which I like, but what will I do when my trust HP960c bites the dust.

From Norelco razors to Kitchen Aid mixers, seems the transition to non-US mfg. seems to have produced an overall diminution of quality. For many items we use every day, there seems to be no good quality product to replace them. And, repairs are impossible too.

I'm sure there is a market for good quality merchandise. Look at the sales of $400 blenders at Costco. I don't understand why companies are destroying their brands values, developed over many years, with cheap stuff that doesn't last.
To stray from your meta-issue, and get back to coffee, until earlier this year I had used a Senseo pod machine. Decent coffee- way better than instant, and fast. Then my son showed me his aeropress machine, which is a little bit slower to go from getting out of bed to your coffee in your hand, but tastes much better. IMO, it is better than brewed. I drink 2 regular cups in AM, and decaf later. A fairly inexpensive brand, Trader Joe's dark Sumatra is excellent for the full caffeine, and I am still trying various ones for the decaf. Mostly I pay up a bit and use a local roaster's varieties.

The aeropress equipment seems robust, it is inexpensive, and cleanup is done is a few seconds.

Ha
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:29 AM   #12
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I've found that online reviews can be very helpful but as always, it's a case of "consider the source". I pay much more attention to reviews from sites that have their own in-house staff whose goal is to provide impartial information and commentary, rather than rely on sites whose reviews are provided by any consumer who wishes to log on and leave a comment. As an example, for cameras I go to dpreview.com instead of Amazon.

My monitor failed yesterday. Normally I would spend several whole days, if not a week or more, poring through online reviews in search of the best monitor at a good price. Instead, I decided to just go to Best Buy and take a chance. The monitor I ended up with is OK and would satisfy most users, but even though I'm now living on a strict budget, I had to be honest with myself and realize that I need to go through the process of combing through all the reviews and be prepared to spend a little more to get something that I'll be completely satisfied with. I'll be returning the monitor today or tomorrow and getting another one.

I feel your pain Steve, but the truth seems to be that many folk are happy with average products. It takes a little more time to get an above average product for a good price, but it can be done!
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:38 AM   #13
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I just bought one of those generators from Amazon, and I did read the online reviews before making a choice. I don't know what I can and cannot trust. Some of the 5* reviews are probably fake (paid reviewers), and some of the 1* reviews are written by imbeciles (This 2000W generator doesn't even power my whole house, I want my money back!).
So...what'd ya get?
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:50 AM   #14
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So...what'd ya get?
I got this one:

Amazon.com: Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000 Watt 79cc OHV 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator (CARB Compliant): Patio, Lawn & Garden

But I haven't used it enough to review it one way or the other...
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:16 PM   #15
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One practical suggestion for you regarding coffee: I find the best tasting coffee is the old-fashioned Melitta drip process. Coffee goes into a filter, inserted in a plastic holder, and I just pour hot water in. The cone-shape forces the water to drip slowly and I get a consistently good cup of coffee. No electronics!
This is how I made coffee for a long time, and still do, occasionally. Sometimes it's referred to as the "pour-over" method. But I came to resent the time it took, and now I'm using a Cuisinart burr grinder and a Cuisinart automatic coffee maker that drips the made coffee into an unheated vacuum pot. It makes good coffee and saves time. Unfortunately, it takes substantially more coffee beans than the pour-over method to bring the coffee up to very strong, which is how my wife and I like it.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:21 PM   #16
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Here's the solution: Buy the product for a few dollars (coffee maker, printer, etc), and if you don't like it or it doesn't last, throw it away. How do you get it for a few dollars? Garage sale or craigslist.
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:48 PM   #17
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Don't give up on those older laserjet printers just because Windows 7 doesn't have a driver. I have a couple of HP 5Ns from a decade or two ago. There is no Win7 driver so I just use a driver for the closest newer product I can find and the old beasts work fine. HP is known for backwards driver compatibility but other manufacturers may do the same.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
I guess I take a different tack on this--I quit reading all those reviews and just buy what I can afford and expect it to fail eventually. Reading the reviews is at best an exercise in futility, as how can I presume that those random anonymous people have the same tastes as me? All I can hope is to ask about significant purchases here on the forum and poll local friends whose requirements are similar to mine.

I'm getting ready to buy a quiet portable generator and I expect I'll have some tradeoffs in price and quality to get what I want at a price I can justify. I have already become impossibly annoyed by reading online reviews at Amazon for them.
If it's an item we want to last a long time, or if it costs a substantial amount of money (and everyone has a different frame of reference for that), then we'll check Consumer Reports. I have found their reviews to be reliable.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:02 AM   #19
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I think there are really good products out there, and we are lucky to be living in the computer age where we can read reviews and find out what they are. The problem is that it takes time and effort to do so - - time and effort that we might not have spent 30 years ago.

If a product has a substantial number of mediocre reviews on Amazon and these reviews point out flaws that would bother me, I tend to keep looking at competing products until I find one that meets my needs and has better reviews. Also, when I write reviews I try to write in an informative way that might answer questions about the product that others would have.

As for coffee, I am still using the Maxwell House coffee bags. Now and then I think of getting another Mr. Coffee coffeemaker since I liked my last one. But then I think of coffeemaker cleanup, and put off thinking about it for a while..

As for printers, I have a good wireless color laser printer that I bought five years ago and it prints beautifully in Windows 7. Its only flaw is that it weighs approximately fourteen tons. When it craters, I will get one that is a little lighter. Meanwhile, as long as we aren't moving I don't have to pick it up.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:41 PM   #20
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Best home brewer you can get...will last 20+ years. I have one and will never use another. Worth every penny:

Amazon.com: Bunn A10 Pour-O-Matic Coffee Brewer: Kitchen & Dining
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