22.6 C
Byron Shire
March 21, 2023

Closing the door on whitegoods manufacturing in Australia

Latest News

Main Arm road works update

Further to last week’s Echo newspaper story Main Arm Road repairs grant unsuccessful, Council’s General Manager, Mark Arnold, told...

Other News

Independent MLC candidate Farrelly holds forum in Byron, March 16

Architect, academic, columnist and 2023 NSW Upper House candidate, Elizabeth Farrelly, will be in conversation with councillor and lawyer,...

Alignment of DCP and LEP for Kingscliff ‘welcome’

The Kingscliff community has been active in taking the opportunities offered to them over the years to have input into how their community will be shaped into the future. However, differences between various planning instruments such as the DCP and the LEP have often left locals frustrated.

Subhira Quintet 

Fresh from their premier Australian performance at the Port Fairy Folk Festival, the Subhira Quintet is coming to Byron...

Victoria offers solutions for a kinder world

Local author, Victoria Thompson, is so passionate about protecting animals that she spent eight years researching and writing the book Animals Are Us – a guide to a kinder world.

Mikey McDonagh wins another WSL qualifier

Lennox Head surfer, Mikey McDonagh, has taken top honours at the 2023 Mad Mex Maroubra Pro World Surf League...

More resources needed on the ground for Northern Rivers DV services

The domestic violence services in the Northern Rivers were already underfunded and stretched before the 2022 floods. Since then they have been inundated with people needing their help as the pressures from the floods, the previous fires and the covid pandemic took their toll.

My 'pigeon pair' Westinghouse fridge and freezer. Notice the new fridge door (right) no longer bears the brand name. Photo Chris Dobney
My ‘pigeon pair’ Westinghouse fridge and freezer. Notice the new fridge door (right) no longer bears the brand name. Photo Chris Dobney

Chris Dobney

‘You can be sure if it’s Westinghouse’ was the slogan of the company my father used to work for many years ago. They proudly made fridges and other ‘whitegoods’ in Australia.

Six years back I bought a Westinghouse ‘pigeon pair’ fridge and freezer combo, partly in fond memory of my dear departed dad and partly because the salesman boasted the parts would be easily available because they were still made in Australia.

Famous last words.

A few weeks ago Electrolux, which bought the brand name in Australia, closed their doors – but not before the door of my frig dropped off, quite literally, in the middle of a hot and busy January.

With the aid of a long-suffering friend (thanks again Jeff) we managed to bodgie the door back on temporarily.

On January 19 I ordered a new door, or to be precise our local authorised repairer did on my behalf. The unwashed public are not allowed to speak to Electrolux directly.

In fact, even the repairers are not entitled to deal with them directly and must go through a middleman, in this case one based on the Gold Coast.

My part was duly ordered – and became part of a consignment valued at some $300k that mysteriously went missing. (I think they are writing a mini-series about it.)

One month and counting.

The consignment was replaced in its entirety, it appears, except for my fridge door.

Another month delay.

Finally, after about a million phone calls to my poor harassed repairer – and another million calls from her to the middleman and from the middleman to Electrolux – the truth came out. My door wouldn’t even make it into the country until March 25 (which I seem to recall was Good Friday but now I’m just being pedantic).

Today, four months to the day after I ordered it, my new fridge door was finally installed, bringing a long and very sorry saga to an end. No, it’s not still under warranty so I still have to pay them for it. My repairer even speculated they had to hand-make it for me.

But what was delivered was a bare door, no new plastic racks inside, no new seal, not even a handle.

And, irony of ironies, even the brand name is missing – apparently that’s a separately orderable item.

Now I don’t give a damn about the Swedish company Electrolux that no longer even manufactures in its home country but I’m pissed off that they’ve dragged a good Aussie brand name down the gurgler with them.

Yes, you can be sure if it’s Westinghouse – sure that from now on it will be made overseas and sure that the parts will be almost impossible to obtain.

Oh but in my case, you can’t even be sure if it is a Westinghouse because the bastards won’t even part with their own livery without an extra payment.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

NSW Greens MP defends Nats smear

NSW MP Tamara Smith (Greens) has defended a political post on Facebook by Nationals candidate Josh Booyens. Booyens claims Smith was dishonest with her response...

Green support SSF and free parking at Tweed Valley Hospital

Protecting State Significant Farmland (SSF) and committing to free parking at the new Tweed Valley Hospital are issues Green candidates for Tweed, Ciara Denham,...

 Uki Refugee Project and Mt St Pat’s join forces for refugees

The Mount Saint Patrick College in Murwillumbah held an assembly of 850 students, teaching staff and members of the Uki Refugee Project to officially open their new sports house called Romero House – in honour of Saint Romero.

Scientists call for urgent groundwater management

Groundwater provides almost one-third of the nation’s water and is worth more than $34 billion to the economy, but results from a recent major review have prompted scientists to call for urgent and better appraisal of groundwater and how we manage it.