Karma's a *Itch

Updated on March 04, 2013
F.B. asks from Kew Gardens, NY
19 answers

Mamas & Papas-

My poor girlfriend had the unenviable luck of having many of her major appliances go tilt all at once. She's in a newly renovated home and her appliances are all less than 5 years old. Meanwhile her high efficiency washer, her stove, her oven, her fridge, her heating, and her fax machine all required repair in the past month.

Hubs and I were having a chat about her bad luck and lo and behold, all of our minor appliances have gone on the fritz. Our vaccuum cleaner, iron, and coffee pot are all acting ornery. We used to get low end appliances because we thought hey they don't have much of a shelf life, so they might as well be priced and treated as disposable. With this lot, we bought mid range models, and got 4 years out of them. Hubs and I both seem to recall our mother's using their irons our entire lives. I guess things were just made better once upon a time.

Anyway. Now for the question-
1. do you sometimes feel like when you joke about someone else's bad luck you invite some of the same your way?
2. do you agree that things aren't made like they once were?
3. can you recommend an excellent brand/ model for an iron, vacuum cleanier and coffee pot? We'll give this one more try, then I think we'll just go back to the cheapies and keep our fingers crossed.

Thanks a bunch,
F. B.

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all your feedback. Sad to know we aern't alone in this. As brand name is no longer necessarily a mark of quality and price is no longer necessarily a mark of quality or craftsmanship, I think we are going to go for the cheapest of the lot and hope to get a few years out of our next purchases. We are a neato/ scooba family so a high performance vaccuum isn't really needed, just something with a hose to do the corners, and baseboards every so often.

Best to all,
F. B.

Featured Answers


answers from Kalamazoo on

1. yes - I think there might be something to that!!!! LOL!
2. No - stuff is made way more junky disposable now!
3. vacuum - Kirby, coffee pot - Bunn, I don't use an iron!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, I think what you put out there will come back to you, both postive and negative. And no, things are not made like they used to be. Both my grandparents died in 2000 and my mom is still using their washer and dryer that they used for years when they were alive.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Columbia on

1. Not really. I think that there is so much more involved than just "luck."
2. Absolutely.
3. Iron: Black and Decker Digital Advantage iron.
Vacuum: Shark Navigator Elite Professional Lift-Away. Get the one at Bed Bath and Beyond...it has better attachments and you can get online and make and account to get a 20% off coupon sent to you. It's $249 without the coupon and works every bit as good as the Dyson, in my opinion. Best vacuum I've ever owned. Better than my mom's expensive Oreck.
Coffee pot: Big pot: Cuisinart Brew Central 14-cup (DCC 2600). Nice looking, brews lightning fast, doesn't burn the coffee, and makes GREAT tasting coffee. Worth the cost ($99). One cup at a time: Keurig. I love mine.

I don't buy cheapies when it comes to appliances. I research and find the best of the best, and buy it. Great quality doesn't always cost and arm and a leg. :-)


C. Lee

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

We used to call our grandmothers house a "time vacuum" because her stuff lasted forever--as long as it was in HER house. Once it was given to you or after she passed--everything disintegrated!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

1. Yes, it's probably not kind to joke about misfortunes. I wouldn't call it Karma, exactly, but more 'what comes around, goes around'. We're more "wow, that's sad for them, and knock wood, we are okay".

2. Yes. This is why we buy most of our appliances online, so we can find vintage items. Our blender's from the 60s, as is our toaster (we named it Jeeves, it is so awesome, an old Sunbeam which magically lowers and raises the toast beautifully); we bought a refurbished Kirby online for about $150, and the thing is a workhorse. I love, love, love older stuff. Except for my sewing machine, a 50's Kenmore, and only because it doesn't sew stretch knits. Otherwise, the cogs provide all the stitch varieties we need!

Our 25" tv from the 80s is still working splendidly, and my cd player from 1990 still works as well. It's heavy and was expensive at the time. My husband's old cd player lasted from the mid-80s until this year. And we have our old Technics turntable, with the needle on the track in the cover, no tone arm necessary.

3. I've had my Procter Silex steam iron for at least 22 years. I can't help you with the coffee pot (french press gal), but do look online for a refurbished Kirby. They usually retail for thousands but getting one refurbished will save you a lot. You'll pay a bit for the shipping, however, just check the sellers stats (ratings, feedback) and you could save a bundle. The bags aren't cheap, either, but like I said, that vacuum comes with a lot of attachments and is a very powerful one.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Wow, mom. SO sorry you have all this going on. I hope that Partyof5 sees your post and shows it to her husband. He wants to buy a house and she's worried about the money it will cost. After what you're looking at having to replace, I hope he'll think twice...


3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

1. No

2. Yes

3. Vacuum - love my shark navigator upright. I researched at length before buying and it was rated as high or better than dyson and hundreds cheaper. (I think I paid $200 for my shark?) Very happy with my purchase. We also love our keurig. People still iron?!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

1) I don't think things happen for a reason. They just happen.
2) I think a lot of what we have is a lot more user-friendly than what our moms and grandmothers used, however because of that, there are more moving parts. More to break. And often, the cost of replacement is low enough that we don't think to repair things anymore. Things always broke down for previous generations, too, but they repaired things.
3) Iron: Rowenta (mine is 15 years old)
Vacuum cleaner: Dyson (I have a Dyson Ball and a Dyson canister - both great)
Coffee Pot: I have a Cuisinart. So far, so good. Go for one that has a thermal carafe, rather than a heater under the pot. Your coffee won't cook, and will taste better.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Yup. "Ha ha, DH's ex had a flat tire...wait, what's wrong with your car, DH?" His tire was so busted he needed a whole new tire. Could not be fixed.

I think a lot of things simply aren't made for the longevity they once were. If they were, you wouldn't buy more.

Our iron is some cheap thing we picked up at Target or WalMart. I need it to adjust to a few different fabrics and steam. I can get that for $6.

Our vacuum is a Shark Navigator. I posted here for a vacuum a while back and almost bought a different one (I cannot afford a Dyson) and have been happy with our Shark.

Our coffee pot is a 12 cup programmable Black and Decker that we got at Macy's. I think we got it before DD was born so that's 5+ years.

My DH got us an appliance warranty for the house and sometimes it works out well and sometimes not. Sometimes we take the buy out and buy our own vs taking what they would replace our broken thing with (which is how we got our new washer - we put out very little b/c we went to a Sears Outlet and got a Maytag Centennial with a minor ding for cheap).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Ugh, I'm so sorry.

Yes, I do believe in Karma but it doesn't sound like you were making fun
of your friend's bad luck & I don't think just discussing it made it happen
to you. I do, however, believe things are not made the way they used to.
You are right about our mom's only iron lasting forever.

My extended family & friends have these appliances:
GE washer/dryer/stove/fridge/microwave
Mr. Coffee coffee pot

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

1. yes, I've felt that is possible.
2. yes
3. Good luck, I've bought an iron for $19.95 that lasted less than a year and I've paid $70 for an iron that lasted 2 years. After the last one quit I went back to the cheapo.

Remember, all that stuff is made by the lowest bidder.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Appliances are made to last approximately seven years now My original refrigerator lasted 25 years. Now it seems any new appliances are always on the fritz. Unless you buy top top of line, do not expect the time our Moms got out of their appliances.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

I don't think others bad luck rubs off on me, but I sometimes do feel when it rains it pours.

My dad had a house built and all new appliances. Doubt he went cheap as its not in his nature to do so. Anyway, within the same amount of time he had to either repair or replace his air conditioner, dishwasher, and washer. And a few years later his dryer also went out, also. I also believe they do not think they make things like they used to.

My husband loves his Keurig. I've heard great things about dyson (I've had to replace mine so obviously I don't pick them...but I also haven't broke down and bought a dyson) and no idea about the iron. Although the one I have since marriage is still working - but I don't iron a lot so that could say something too. LOL

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

My parents moved the refrigerator that they've had since I was a little to the garage a few years ago- it is STILL working at 30 plus years old. Ridiculous that things don't last anywhere close to that now.

It didn't sound like you were joking about her bad luck, were you? That would definitely be karma biting back! Otherwise, probably an unfortunate coincidence.

I have the Dyson vacuum and I'm so happy with it, it's amazing. With irons and coffee pots, I tend to go cheap. We have a pricey Cuisinart coffee maker and it leaks pretty easily, have had ones that cost half as much and worked better.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

1. Yes, completely. I keep my mouth shut any more just so I don't invite grief to my doorstep.
2. Yes, absolutely. I have several small appliances from my grandmother which are still going strong after 40+ years. Sheesh, as a design engineer by trade, I am impressed by those appliances and dismayed by the current trend of disposable products. Let's face it. We are not talking rocket science technology which has significantly improved down through the years.
3. We have had good luck with inexpensive Target brands of Kitchen Aid, Hamilton Beach, etc. My husband glues buttons back on and so forth so we can maximize life. When the appliance finally dies, we chuck it and move on. The exception is my Dyson which I love. It is a beast (heavy) and expensive but I've been happy with it. Truthfully I browse around Amazon first to get a feel for product reviews and then I make my decision and purchase. Good luck and may your appliance plague end soon.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I HATE today's irons. When you look for one make sure the controls are NOT on the top of the handle. Each time you push the iron forward they bump your hand and it hurts after a while.

They also don't heat like they used to. I love to iron and my Rowenta went out and I have taken 6 irons back to the store because I literally hate each and every one of them. I think a man must be designing them because a woman would have better sense.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You are right about things not being made like they used to.. Quality is just not there anymore and to get good quality you pay for it.

I have a mid range iron because I don't iron. If hubby or daughter needs something ironed, they do it. I utilize the dry cleaners... they come to my house twice a week for pickup and delivery.

My vac is a top of the line Oreck and I love it. I've had it over 7 yrs and never had an issue. I love that it is so lightweight and easy to use on the steps, and take upstairs. That said, I had a Hoover before the Oreck on each floor of my house (both over 13 yrs old) and both still work well. They are just heavy. My mom has a Dyson which works very well but she hates it because it is so big and heavy.

I can't help with the other small appliances. We do use top of the line Kitchen Aid for kitchen and I LOVE Kitchen Aid.

I had bad luck with Maytag. I purchased it due to the past reputation and that is no good anymore. All of my Maytags died within 4-6 yrs. My mom had Maytag that is still going strong but they are older than me!!

I buy the best quality I can afford when I am shopping.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

1. No. Just a coincidence!

2. Absolutely. Everything today is borderline disposable.

3. Vacuum: we love our Simplicity. We have had it for nearly 10 years with no issues whatsoever. The one part that broke was fixed at no cost by the company. Coffee Pot: we have a Cuisinart and it's pretty good. Here's what I will say about Cuisinart... they stand by their products. We have their indoor grill (LOVE IT) and the plates melted. I called them and they sent a brand new one at no cost (including shipping) and no questions asked. I have found that if you stick with the long-standing names you will at least get pretty good customer service if something goes wrong.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

1. No not really
2. YES! Hubs and i just talked about that - how his parents have had stuff forever and we seem to have to replace things like furniture etc every few years...
3. Coffeepot yes, Cuisinart I've had mine FOREVER - I think 10 years. Iron no, ours is ok but we had to get a new one a few years ago and I hate my vacuum cleaner so no on that one.

1 mom found this helpful
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