I've noticed a worrisome trend. Quality is disappearing. Noone seems to give a sh!t anymore. Here's a couple of recent examples:
We changed our banking arrangements recently signing up for a deal where we pay a hefty fee each year but get enough of an interest rate cut to make the deal worth it. Imagine my surprise when the interest rate was cut, but no fee charged. Being responsible citizen, I called the bank to tell them of their anomoly. Imagine my further surprise when I was told by the phone support guy to go into my local branch and sort it out. Newsflash: It aint my problem, YOU fix it - I'm happy with the new arrangement.
Three weeks ago we ordered some wall tiles for our never ending kitchen renovation. They were supposed to take 3 days to arrive. Each week my wife would call tham and ask about the order only to be told they weren't in yet. Last friday we get a call apologising that our order was never sent to the supplier and if we had have called the order could have been rectified.
Much of the expensive brands are also suffering from quality deterioration. It seems that no longer buying the "name" brand is a guarantee of quality. Sure, you pay more but you don't always get more.
We need to be in total awe of the coming Chinese commercial machine. Goods from China are a fraction of the cost of other goods with quality levels at least in the "good enough" range. Our local hardware store sells powertools from fifteen dollars! How can you manufacture and ship a product half way across the world, add a retail margin and still make a profit? Be afraid, be very afraid. We have only seen the tip of Chinese capability, give it another couple of years...