Friday, December 07, 2007

Chinese Extension Cords and Other Faulty Products in the ME

Quite a few Chinese products in the Middle East are not put through the rigorous quality control as they are in the West. The result is that you get extension cords that do not work or do not male good contact. So, if you buy one and stick your cell phone charger in it, it may not charge. You may then think that something is wrong with the phone, but usually the problem is the adapter. Some people run back to the shops where they had bought their cameras and phones and yell at the staff for selling them a faulty product and the staff gets on the defensive and yells back- “maybe, the problem is the user”.

The same goes for shoes or sneakers. I once bought a pair of very good looking ones at a department store in Oman and went to Sydney on vacation. After just two days of walking, the bottom fell out of one of them while I was strolling around Sydney’s Darling Harbor. I must have been a sorry sight, limping and hobbling along and looking for a store where I could buy some Super Glue. Then, I must have looked even double stupid sitting in plain view and gluing the sole back on. After another day of walking, the bottom fell off again. I again had to look for a store to buy the glue. With the outrageously high prices in Sydney, I spent almost the same amount of money on glue as I did on the sneakers. Be careful when you buy such products in the Middle East. Try and test the adapters and extension cords whenever possible and, in case of footwear, take it to your local shoemaker’s and have him put a strong stitch around the bottom of it to reinforce the soles and prevent them from falling off. In case you have sneakers, that is. If you have leather shoes or boots, ask him to nail the soles down with an extra row of nails.

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