True gripes; electric toasters

Share
Related Topics
I have just chucked out our umpteenth electric toaster. Three months out of guarantee, it's as dead as a doornail and I'm not really surprised. Used to it, in fact, for of all electrical appliances, the toaster is the most predictably unreliable. In an age when men can walk on the moon, surf the Internet and build cars that will survive Nigel Mansell's driving, they still can't make a toaster which will survive making toast.

Our first toaster, a chromium-plated Morphy Richards job which did two bits of toast without fuss or frills, lasted four years. Since then, toaster technology seems to have gone into decline, if not reverse. Over a period of about 30 years, we have had toasters with hinged crumb trays, variable browning facilities and a frozen bread option. The one thing they had in common was that they all stopped making toast shortly after the expiry of the guarantee period.

Our latest acquisition was near the top of the price range, the triumph of optimism over experience, you might say. It had sleek white lines, a classy logo and a microchip. It lived for precisely 15 months and still looked so new that for once, I hesitated to throw it away. The man in the electrical repair shop took one look at it and shook his head.

"Can't help you," he said. "They've been taken over and we can't get the parts. You could send it to the new people, but frankly, I wouldn't bother. Cheaper to buy a new one."

Since this accorded with our experience over the years, I knew he wasn't just trying to sell me something. He added - and I believe him - that the average life of an electric toaster is about 18 months and that you'd be daft to buy an expensive one. Better still, he said, use the grill. Unfortunately, ours isn't at eye-level, so I settled for a really cheap toaster and live in hope.

I have an electric fire made in 1952 which still works. My food mixer was bought in 1966, my last fridge, still used by my daughter, in 1977. My house is full of appliances which have lasted for years, so what is it with toasters? I think someone should dig out the specification for that old 1950s Morphy Richards version, forget the frills and just start making them again the way they did in the good old days. After all, there's nothing fancy you can do with a piece of toast.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Representative - South West England

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest manufacturer of UPV...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Supervisor

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well establis...

Recruitment Genius: IT Technical Support Engineer / Helpdesk Engineer

£16500 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued growth an exce...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A full-service agency based in ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Karen Danczuk is married to anti-child sex abuse campaigner Simon Danczuk MP  

The less said about the Danczuks the better – but try and stop them

Grace Dent
 

Budget 2015: George Osborne should earn his reputation for courage by abolishing free TV licences for the over 75s

Christopher Bland
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy