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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

May 03, 2005

One man's cheap plastic crap...

originally uploaded by mcmrbt.
...is another man's fortune.

I know a lot of people with Dyson cyclone cleaners, and they all swear by them. People are of course reluctant to admit they've made an expensive mistake.

Personally, I wouldn't have one in the house just because they're so flamin' ugly. Their washing machines are hideous, too. And as for that new floor cleaner they're advertising with the wheelbarrow ball in it... wha? So what if it goes round corners? Does it clean the fucking floor, that's what I want to know.

Vacuum cleaning is only partly about suction. There's a bigger picture that encompasses the brushes (which beat the dirt and dust out of the carpet, or agitate it enough for the suction to work), and the filters, which take dust and pollen etc out of the air.

It doesn't matter how powerful the motor is, really: if your filters get blocked, you lose suction, and the thing is less efficient. If you get hair wrapped round the brushes and they stop spinning, the thing won't work at all.

Sebo. That's what we've got, what my sister has, what I think my parents had. The brushes are excellent (you can get a proper staircase brush and extension that spins just like the one in the machine), and the 3-way filtering system is superb. The filtering is so good that this is the cleaner you should have if you have an asthmatic in your household.

The bag has 3 layers, and there are two other filters. You're supposed to replace the other filters about every ten bags, and you can buy a kit that has everything you need. When the bag is full, the efficiency of the thing is lower, but replace the bag and it's full-on again.

It's plain but sturdy, and little bits don't snap and fall off like they do on some others.

As for the Dysons, the dump does not lie. There are two things to say about this. My point of view, the fact that there are always so many at the dump (and they're not the same ones) is enough evidence not to buy one. You see other brands occasionally (as in the photo), but a much lower proportion (and I've never seen a Sebo).

The other thing to say is that I had a chat with one of the dump employees and he said that most of them aren't really broken. People just throw them away because they don't read the instructions. All they usually need to do is change the filters, but they don't do this. Instead someone comes to the dump, buys them for a nominal price, refurbishes them and sells them on for 100 quid a pop.

So, you're now thinking, see, they aren't crap after all. But if end users are so badly informed about a piece of technology they own so that they don't know how to properly maintain and use it, then (like Microsoft operating systems) that technology is crap.

I think this means the Dyson advertising (all that guff about no loss of suction) is misleading. Because if the filters get blocked, you lose suction. Yet you've been told specifically that it doesn't lose suction, so you think it's broken.

Coleman's made their fortune from the mustard you don't eat, the bit you leave on the plate etc. I wonder if it's not the same with Dyson: they're making money from the people who buy them and throw them away - and then buy them again?


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