[TAG] The Public Domain: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
jimregan at o2.ie
Sat Sep 3 15:22:53 MSD 2005
Mike Orr wrote:
> Jimmy O'Regan wrote:
>> The ESB, Ireland's electricity company (erm... semi-state company)
>> provides a hire purchase facility for electrical goods, where the
>> charge is added to your electricity bill (which is pretty convenient).
> What kinds of "electrical goods" are available?
Everything from blenders to washing machines, digital cameras to
computers, TVs, heaters, etc. They don't have a wide range of brands,
but those they do have are pretty reputable.
>>> Or a printer with a guaranteed upgrade every year? Then the
>>> manufacturer would have an incentive to make it long-lasting and with
>>> recyclable parts, to cut down their expenses. If you buy an
>>> appliance and
>>> it falls apart or was a bad technological choice, it's your problem and
>>> the manufacturer can ignore it (and sell you a new one). But if you
>>> an appliance and it falls apart, it's their problem. I don't quite buy
>>> this leasing argument completely coz I don't see how to prevent price
>>> gouging; i.e., I've seen cars and computers leased for more than they
>>> would cost to buy, but I assume the right company could come up with an
>>> attractive lease.
>> That example is terrible, as it underlines exactly why people seek to
>> sell things that could be leased, and I fail to see how leasing
>> something could ever cost *less* than buying it outright.
> You have to assume a non-evil company that cares about their customers
> and the environment. Say Google or Magnatune decided to build air
> A small unit costs $120. The initial working goal is a
> rate that equals the purchase price over the lifetime use of the
> product. $2/month is likely not profitable, but maybe $5 is. If the
> person only needs it for a few months and has a return-anytime lease,
> they're obviously ahead, and the company can redeploy the unit
> elsewhere. The person doesn't have to go to the trouble of selling or
> disposing it. But say the person keeps it more than two years, they'd
> lose. That's what happened in the 60s and 70s in the US with
> telephones, people leased them for ever and ended up paying several
> hundred dollars for them. But they got a new one free if it broke.
It was the same here, until recently. (After Eircom was privatised, I
> the company not agrees not only to replace a broken air conditioner for
> free, but to give you an upgrade to the latest model every two years.
> If you're the type who buys one air conditioner and runs it into the
> ground over twenty years until even duct tape won't hold it together,
> you won't be interested. But say you're the type who replaces stuff
> every two years anyway like some people do with cars, then you won't
> have a net loss even the third or fourth year. And you'll gain a bit by
> keeping the money you would have spent up front in a savings account.
Erm... if you're trying to encourage the mass adoption of this kind of
system, I'd advise you not to use that as a benefit: I can see that
translating as "you can't afford this anyway".
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