Faulty products, frustrated consumers

Faulty products, frustrated consumers

From exploding dining tables to smoking vacuum cleaners, general consumer goods seem to be giving purchasers a lot of grief.

It was just past 6am in May last year when Gary Wong (not his real name) and his wife were awakened by a very loud bang in his home.

"We actually thought someone had crashed through the front of our house, but when we peeped out the window, we saw nothing. Then we heard a second 'bang' coming from downstairs," he recalls.

They crept downstairs to investigate and what they found shocked them - the tempered glass of their dining table had "exploded".

"There were shards in the dining room, the living room, the kitchen ... there were even shards embedded into the wall. It didn't just shatter and break ... it had somehow exploded!"

Wong, 51, a mechanic, had bought the dining table from a reputable company for about RM4,400 (S$1,695) in March 2011.

"After the incident, we contacted the company involved but they told us that the table was no longer under warranty. I wasn't expecting a new table ... I just wanted to inform them that such a thing had happened, and to find out how it was possible that the tempered glass could explode.

"Their response was: 'It will only explode when there is nobody around, so you don't have to worry.' What kind of a response is that? We were very lucky that we weren't eating at the time. We could have been seriously injured, or even blinded!" he says, adding that he was very disappointed with the company's response and lack of concern.

In another incident, business owner A. Sarawasthi, 37, says she, too, has had a frustrating ­experience over her purchase - a vacuum cleaner.

In 2008, Sarawasthi, a mother of two, invested in a high-end vacuum cleaner which cost RM4,900.

"I sent the vacuum cleaner for its annual servicing as part of the maintenance requirement. When I sent it for servicing last June, I told the technician that the vacuum cleaner was louder than usual and it didn't sound right.

"He checked the motor, did the regular servicing, and told me every­thing was fine," she explains.

However, two weeks later, Sarawasthi couldn't turn the machine on, so she brought it back to the service centre.

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