This is my essay.

It was around two years ago, when the brochure to advertise electric appliances was sent to my house by an electric store of Akihabara. It was advertisement of only one kind of a washing machine of new model manufactured by "M" Electric Company. When I read the brochure, I was so interested in the new model. Their sales-talk was that it was the first washing machine, having a "slanting" drum. Because the drum is slanting, you can save the water for washing by 10,000 yen (US$ 80) and a half of the washing soap every year. The rotating drum of a common full automatic washing machine in Japan is placed perpendicularly. The drum of a common washing machine in Europe and America is horizontally. But the drum of this new machine is slanting, which makes user about a half of water. Oh! This is the egg of Columbus! I was very impressed by this idea.

So far it was very common that we have looked down "M" Electric Company, saying that it is a good company, but an imitator in the end. However I should change my impression on this company. Thinking like this I was almost to buy this new model, but finally I stopped, because our washing machine was still smoothly working and the price of the new model was too expensive. It was 200,000 yen (US$ 1,800). So I thought I should wait to buy it for a while.

Two years have passed. I have totally forgotten about the washing machine. A brochure of One Department Store came to my house. They say that this is the autumn festival of the electric appliances manufactured by the "M" Electric Company, so we should not miss this chance. Well, sales people sometimes make up attractive phrase. In the brochure, I found the washing machine of the new type that I was impressed two years ago. The brochure says "The whole of this price list is a price specially." Then, they offer the price of 135,000 yen (US$ 1,200) to this "slanting drum washing machine with a drier" The price has decreased by more than 30 percent in the past two years. I thought "It was the best time for me for buying it."

However, since I had a self-confident that I am familiar with the Internet, I should research the price and reputation of this machine before placing an order. I opened my PC and browsed "Price dot com". I was surprised to see the price that they offer. It was only 95,980 yen (US$ 870). The Department Store tried to earn excessively 40,000 yen (US$ 300). What's this? One more thing that made me more surprised was that consumer's reputation on this washing machine was the worst.

Some wrote this machine often stops, showing "error". Although it has a dryer, but the clothes are still wet and humid after drying. It can't wash out even it was an easily dirt, and so on. Some of them had asked the selling company to change the machine to another brand. If these bad reputations would be true, why The Department Store would sell this kind of premature machine with an excess margin?

I think this shows the present problem of the department store in Japan. In the past, Japanese department stores have led the consumer to show many attractive goods. However in accordance with the affluent society has been made up, the sales system of the department has been declining. At present, the staff of department store (1) doesn't know how to sell, (2) doesn't have any knowledge of commodities and (3) doesn't have any sense to sell goods. At least they should research Internet and find the problem of the goods that they are about to sell.

On the other hand, I want to make complain to "M" Electric Company. You should not manufacture and sell such premature goods. Of course this is not the matter of safety, such as automobile, but only the matter of working or not. It might be on the way of technically developing, but still, you should not make consumers experimental objects.

Nowadays when we consumers didn't have such convenient system of Internet, our news source was so limited. But after the Internet age, not only manufacturers but also consumer goods sellers should notice that you should not hide anything from consumers. This is the conclusion of my small experience.

(November 1, 2004)


Essay of My Wonderful Life

(c) Yama san 2004, All rights reserved