Products that fail MISERABLY at doing what they were made to do

The HP 1210v

My mother-in-law bought this for us a few years ago in a typical random act of kindness. Out of literally thousands of attempts, I don’t think it has satisfactorily printed more than 5 pages in its lifetime.

Its favorite thing to do is to simply tell you it’s out of ink or paper when it’s not. This has lead me to ignorantly replace more than one full ink cartridge and try various different kinds of (never too cheap) paper.

Next, it loves to slurp up 3 to 5 pages at a time and print an appropriate fraction of your document on each page. That is - if it prints anything at all. It’s rather fond of going through the motions without actually putting anything on the paper. It looks like it’s printing. It sounds like it’s printing. It’s not printing.

If I spend a few hours tweaking, cleaning, caressing, nursing, and hand-feeding pages through it, I’ll eventually get one to print, and the quality will be somewhat less than 13th-century newsprint. That’s not to mention the random, colored lines that criss-cross it, even if it is a black and white document.

I have no clue why I’ve spent a tenth of the time I have bothering with this money and time pit. Stubbornness and wishful thinking, I guess.

Incidentally, it’s a fine scanner.

There’s this message board I love, but it tends to time out like a mofo.

I could have written the OP regarding my Lexmark x1270. I’ve spent hours over the last year trying to fix it, and get nothing but frustration from it. People keep telling me to let it go, it was cheap, and buy another, better, printer. Yeah, yeah- but a part of me protests… it’s not right to sell people things that don’t work! And no, I’m not spending more than it costs to ship it back to the factory! Goddammit!

Krups FND111 espresso machine.

For 50 bucks, an espresso machine’s coffee holder should form a seal with the machine itself with a tolerance of LESS THAN the 3mm I had to take off to get it to seal.
The bimetallic overtemp sensor on the bottom of the water chamber should have a useable lifetime of GREATER THAN 3 months.
While we’re at it, what’s up with the funky screws you used to put the base on? I had to file a slot in one of my old screwdrivers to even get inside to replace the sensor. I suppose I should be grateful you didn’t use plastic tabs?

-Cheap asshole bastards, I’ll not be buying any of your crap again!

A friend just bought a brand new John Deere round baler, only to find that it was designed to self destruct-not, repeat NOT, bale hay-in its default position. After two failures, 10-12 man hours tearing the thing apart, straightening bent twine arms etc., $800 of replacement parts (covered by dealer) and one service call, he was told he needed raise the machine in relation to the wheels, thereby providing more clearance and curing the problem. Which is cool, except for the fact that, meticulous guy that he is, said friend had read the manual thoroughly and set the machine up precisely in the standard configuration. At the very least you’d think they implement a mechanical stop or a sheer bolt or something so that a failure doesn’t automatically mean tearing the goddamned thing down, not to mention costing $400 a pop. Or, you know, recommend the configuration that actually works as the standard.

It’s a good thing JD has a burgeoning presence in pop culture clothing, cause they’ve evidently decided producing farm machinery that actually functions as advertised is superfluous.

Snap On hammer. No matter how perfectly I hit the nail, it bends it over. Stupid hammer! Stupid, stupid hammer!

Damn, I hate balers that don’t do the job.

And what’s up with that reconditioned howitzer I bought at the Army-Navy store? Half the time when I fire a round at the noisy neighbors, I blow up my garage instead.

Any form of carpet sweeper. I’ve never used one that did an even halfway reasonable job.

A tip: roll it outside the garage before firing… :wink:

I just remembered my longest and most storied nemesis in this category: weed eaters.

I grew up on a grassy half acre with lots of landscaping. I have never, and I mean never used a weed eater for 30 consecutive seconds without some sort of global failure of the device. I’ve used many different brands, gas and electric. The damn things just don’t work. Even now I have grass creeping up my sidewall because my nice new electric weed eater with less than 30 minutes total time on it went hayshit the other day.

Compromises the stealth factor.

Y’know those little digital picture frames with LCD screens that let you load a bunch of photos from your PC onto them and they do a little slideshow of the pictures?

Well, when I was looking for Christmas presents, I found some miniature versions of those with 1.5" screens that fit on a key ring. They were perfect presents for my limited budget, so I bought over $100 worth of them at $15 a pop from a Chinese company on eBay and gave them out to friends and family. After a while, I noticed nobody was using them, so I asked some people if they hadn’t liked them. Turns out nobody could figure out how to get the damn things to work!

I borrowed one from a friend and went to work. The first thing I noticed was that the mini CD that came with it did not work in my drive - or anyone’s for that matter! I checked online using vague search terms since there was no brand name or model number visible on the damn thing and eventually discovered that everyone had the same fucking problem! How could any company make a product THAT fundamentally flawed?! Not only that, but the instruction sheet was written in English so amazingly broken that it might as well have been in the original Chinese because at least then somebody, somewhere would have been able to read it!

The very, very few positive reviews I found of this thing (there were an absurd number of one-star reviews on Amazon) simply didn’t mention the problems and said it worked fine.

After tracking down the software that was supposed to be on the non-functional CD from the manufacturer’s site, I wound up with a program that didn’t fucking work! Amazing!

After far too long experimenting, I found the key to getting the program to function at all was to plug the USB cable for the device into the computer, set the operating mode of the device to “Update,” then execute the program. After another half-hour of trying to figure out how to use the insanely user-unfriendly (naturally!) program, I was finally greeted with the dialog box I had waited so long to see. It read “Download Completely!”

Christ.

Sometimes persistence pays off. Not always, but sometimes.

ETA: holy crap, that post came out long! Sorry 'bout that!

I don’t want to talk about it, but “male enhancement”, my ass!

Chinese electronics are literally a joke in my household. My father in law brings me back stuff from China all the time - NONE of it works. The iPod he brought me last time looks and feels 100% authentic, but aside from playing a few pre-loaded demos and occasionally picking up a staticky FM signal, it’s completely non-functional. And it’s not meant to be non-functional, it’s just the buggiest piece of equipment I’ve ever had the misfortune to play with. I’ve actually managed to load a few MP3s on it and every once in awhile they will play for a few seconds.

Well, they never did say what that “certain part of a male’s body” was. Have you checked the size of your earlobes lately?

I’ll ask, but I’ll have to wait for Ms Smarty Pants here to get over her giggling fits.

Say it ain’t so, Smilin’ Bob! :smiley:

When re-tiling our shower, I thought it might be nice to have a wall-mounted soap dish. I bought one that matches the tile, and put it on the wall. Once the thing was in place it became apparent that it is (very gently) sloped from back to front and has only a very minimal lip. Turns out wet soap is slippery–who knew? Evidently not the soap dish manufacturer.
Wall-mounted soap dish = epic fail.

I had a similar thread awhile back:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=428950&highlight=Everyday+Life

I don’t remember what brand of headphones–I just remember that I bought them from Circut City. I bought them, drove home, opened them…and they were SEVERED IN HALF!!! You could see the electric wiring inside of them. So I drove back to Circut City, tried to get a refund, was turned down by a pushy manager, exchanged them for another pair, drove home, opened them.

I used them for ten minutes, and then they just snapped in half.

I threw them away and got a better brand at Best Buy.