Please keep in mind that I am an Equal Opportunity Complainer. And that no brand names have been changed to protect anybody.
Expensive Products That Turned Out to Be Crap
- Every DVD player I've ever bought. Seriously. I love DVDs, but I have the worst luck with home-theater DVD players. My first was a Sony, which as I recall sucked over $400 from my bank account, and it lasted just over a year. After that was a Sanyo, and then ... well, I've purged these items from my memory. They're just too painful. But I've gone through at least four of the things, all different brands, and I've mostly given up on buying "brands" at this point. Nothing has lasted much longer than a year or so. My current model is a (gasp!) Memorex DVD recorder. Why'd I buy Memorex? Because at $120, it was cheap, and because when it craps out in 4 or 5 months, I won't much care.
- Every cordless phone I've ever bought. Seriously. Again. I've spent untold hundreds of dollars on these things, and the only one to remain operational long enough to require a battery change has been our current Panasonic. And there are times when I'm suspicious that it's about to keel over, too.
- Anything I've ever bought with the word SONY on it. Reference Item #1 above. And my first Walkman. To be fair, I guess I should disregard my Playstation 2. At two or three hundred bucks — whatever it was — that little black console cost me what seemed like a bundle. But I suppose all the cool EA college football games, and maybe the Gran Turismo series, have been worth it. Otherwise, my other Sony electronics have all been quite high in price, relatively speaking, and low in quality.
- The $68 Weber charcoal grill we bought at Target last week. Oh, I hear you already. "Sixty-eight bucks?" you're asking. "Who the heck cares about sixty-eight bucks?"
The answer: You would, if you'd just spent sixty-eight bucks on a grill that's worth not more than twenty bucks tops. From the non-insulated, burn-your-fingers-to-a-crisp vent lever on the hood, to the flimsy ash-platter seemingly designed to disperse hot flame-ready embers all over your patio and yard with the slightest waft of breeze, this thing is a PIECE. Leave it to my wife to spoon up the condensed version:
"That grill," she says, "is shit."
And no — no matter how you turn it, the lid still doesn't fit right.
- Hahn red wine; unknown vintage. A friend brought over a bottle of this red wine one evening a few years back. His dad, a gruff college professor and part-time wine enthusiast who swore by the stuff and pretty much trucked it in from Germany himself, gave it his highest recommendation. We didn't pay for it (in the strictest financial sense, at least), but someone did. And so in my book, this wine counts. So how'd it taste?
Well, when everyone in the room took his/her first sip, and the room suddenly filled with a nasty, awkward silence ... well, you get the idea. Someone please pass the ANYTHING ELSE. Only you couldn't say it, because your mouth was in full revolt.
"Wow. That's dry," came the words of my wife after several seconds. (Note that only she was brave enough to break the foul-flavored silence.)
"Yeah," my friend then summarized. "It sucks."
So let's hear your head-shaking horror stories. What product purchases rank highest on your "I shoulda never bought that!" list?