Unhealthy competition from the internet and supermarkets had been causing us a few problems for a long period of time, which were gradually getting worse. Much of the product available from these people is just cheap and nasty (no wonder we have a landfill problem), but even when they do get hold of something worthwhile, all they seem to want to do is trash the price thus undermining the quality of the product. You will notice that a good many internet companies come and go. This is because their operators seem to have no real business acumen and have no visible profit margin to be able to sustain their operation. We saw this sort of behaviour 10 or so years ago with, for example, mobile TV repair men – “No call out charge”; “No estimate fee”; “No repair, no charge”. All that happened at the end of the day was that as soon as the van needed a new MOT they went out of business, having made insufficient profit to pay for their own repairs!
The supermarkets and “sheds” are using electrical goods as “loss leaders”. All the supermarkets want to do is attract you through the door, they know once you’re inside, you’re going to fill a trolley with groceries. After all, why would you go somewhere else once you’re inside? The sheds, on the other hand, like to sell insurance – fear of high breakdown costs. Don’t forget that you are protected through the lifetime of the product by the Sale of Goods Act. You should not have to buy a breakdown policy in order to resolve a potential high cost repair situation.