This week my family has experienced some of the worst gadget experiences.

Tuesday, I went to Sim Lim Square to redeem a free bluetooth headset (Lanso A6) when I signed up with OCBC EasiCredit. After bringing back to office and charging for more than 12 hours, it refused to work. The charging indicator is on, but once I unplugged it, there is no power. I’m still charging it as I type this post: about 40 hours already? I reckon there is no point bringing back for an exchange because the product is so bad, even an exchange might not guarantee that it will last for a month. And the transportation costs and time spent is better used on other areas. Well done, OCBC. Hope you try harder.
Then my wife bought a new mini-compo, the Philips MCM108D, because the existing one in our bedroom (also a Philips, 6 years old) is getting quirky. The old hi-fi would randomly go dead, or that it would take several minutes to ‘warm up’ before a sound could be heard.

Ironically, the new hi-fi set is worse than the old one. Well, it looks great and stylish, but the functions are crap.

Firstly, there are no radio presets. None. You have to tune it digitally using the rolling knob, just like the old days. OK we can live with that, at least the knob allows us to tune faster than the 2-button tuner.

Then, according to the manual, the wake-up timer volume is preset at “12” and will gradually go louder to “18”. What the? The previous hi-fi allows you to set any volume. Our workaround is to set the wake-up timer to play the CD with some soothing music (like Piano Spa). Think we outsmarted the machine? This morning, when the CD started spinning from the wake-up timer, my wife switched off the player before the track played. When she returned from the bathroom and switched to the radio, the volume stood at “18”. She frantically lowered the volume before her nerves got damaged further. Perhaps we need to get a muffler for the speakers.

It comes with docking stations for iPod and GoGear (Philip) but we have none of these to complement. Still, my wife chose for the looks. And it’s cheap. But I think she now regretted buying this white elephant. Well done, Philips. Please don’t try so hard to reinvent the wheel.

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