The $41,000 Dent Repair

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If you’re wondering, as many American drivers are wondering, why your insurance premium recently got “adjusted” – even though you’ve not been in an accident or even gotten a ticket – you might want to watch the video below.

The owner of a Rivian electric truck took it to an “authorized” repair shop to get a fist-sized dent in the driver’s side rear quarter panel fixed. Guess how much the estimate to fix the dent was?

How about almost as much as a band-new EV costs?

Not quite the $50k the typical EV sells for. But just shy of it. $41,000 – to repair a dent. You can ponder what it would cost to repair worse than that. But why does it cost that much to repair a dent?

It doesn’t.

What costs is replacing most of the truck’s body to repair the dent. According to the man who performed unauthorized – but much cheaper – dent repair (the owner trucked the electric truck to another state to avoid having to spend $41,000 for the “authorized” repair) the Rivian EV is designed as a one-piece (or mostly one-piece) shell that is repaired by being replaced.

And replacing means removing, essentially, everything.

The carapace must come off, which includes the glass and weatherstripping. Then a new carapace must be installed, along with the glass and weatherstripping, everything refinished to match. As you can imagine, this gets into money.

$41,000 to be precise.

Lucky for the Rivian’s owner, he was able to find a shop that pulled the dent for a lot less than that. Unluckily – for all of us – the authorized cost of repairing EVs is going to cost us, even if we do not own an EV.

It is already costing us.

All over the country, people are getting “adjusted” by their insurance company; on average, premiums are up 15-20 percent and that’s for “customers” (in air fingers quotes to mock the absurdity of using that word to describe people who are forced by law to buy the “services” of the insurance mafia, italicized to emphasize that’s exactly what it is) who’ve not filed a claim nor had one filed against them. They have incurred no costs, in other words. They haven’t even given the mafia the usual excuse produced to justify such “adjustments” – i.e., that they got a “ticket” (in air fingers quote marks to mock the oiliness of styling legalized extortion so benignly) on account of having transgressed some arbitrary traffic regulation, such as driving faster than the white-and-black totem pole by the side of the road says is allowable.

Never mind that those who hand out the “tickets” for such transgressions routinely transgress the regulations they enforce. (A recent column gets into this matter; you can find that here).

The point is that “adjustments” are being made absent the heretofore usual reasons. Because there is a new reason – and you just watched a video detailing it.

EVs are not just much more expensive to buy. They are much more expensive to fix. Repair costs are often 50-plus percent higher than they would otherwise be, for a vehicle that’s not an EV. The reason why has to do with the way battery-powered devices are assembled relative to the way vehicles are put together. Different materials and processes are used that entail more specialized work – and expense.

Not to mention the EV itself is expensive.

It is the main reason why the average price paid for a new vehicle – generally – approaches $50k.

Put another way, more people are driving $50k (and costlier) vehicles now and that means replacement costs (as in the case of a total loss) have gone up. It does not matter, in other words, that you haven’t had an accident – or even a ticket that could be used to frame you as being more likely to have one in the future. What matters – from the point-of-view of the insurance mafia – is that someone they have issued a policy to could have one and then the mafia will be on the hook for the cost of the repairs.

Or the replacement.

If it costs almost $50k to replace a totaled vehicle – battery powered device or not – and $41k to repair a dent in a battery-powered device – someone’s going to have to pay for that.

There is also the increased risk of a spontaneous fire that attends owning a battery powered device, as well as the cost of of replacing the device’s battery, which isn’t generally repairable. The battery powered device is also very heavy – and so imparts more force (and damage) to vehicles it hits.

It all costs extra.

You might think the person who bought the $50k vehicle – or the battery powered device – ought to be the one who pays commensurately to “cover” the potential costs of repairing (or replacing) what he bought. As well as the costs imposed on others.

The problem is such costs are unaffordable. They would render the device unaffordable. So the costs must be spread out, to cover them.

And now you know why your premium just got “adjusted.”

. . .

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  1. The high cost to repair a dent is a feature, not a bug. It’s a way of ensuring people continue to buy new. If the repair costs as much as a new vehicle, most people who are able will buy the new vehicle.

    I don’t like the government mandating vehicle design, but if it must mandate, the ridiculous designs that lead to crazy repair bills should have been a target long before the safety and emissions nonsense. Vehicles today are designed for convenience during assembly on the line, not for necessary repairs later. That should have been changed a long time ago.

  2. Buying an electric vehicle is like boarding the Titan to dive to the ocean floor to observe the Titanic’s final resting spot. You ain’t gonna make it that far.

    The IDF is administering vaccines to Palestinians and Palestinians are administering vaccines to the Israeli population. The real deal is the vaccines are delivered by ordnance.

    Helluva democide going on in real time.

    The Stars of David vs. the Red Crescents.

    All is fair in love and war.

    Who wants peace on earth? Joe? Nope. Lindsey Graham? Hell no!

    Some evil, wicked, mean and nasty making life miserable scumbags out there these days.

  3. I can understand Capo Gecko spreading out the cost of the insurance to maintain the illusion of afforability since his other subsidiary rackets are banking on an all EV future, but whatever happened to competition?

    When I received my premium increase last year from The Capo, the “competition” was about the same if not higher for the same coverage.

  4. I’d prefer to think that at age 64 and change I’m not such an “old fossil”, but I remember setting ignition points, timing, adjusting idle mixture, cleaning and checking the choke setting, choke pull-off, accelerator pump, wiggle and lubricate the heat riser, and so on, in addition to replacing plugs, point, filters, and so on.
    When it came to dings and dents, one learned how to wield a body and/or pick hammer and a “dolly” (several types, depending on the sheet metal configuration to be pounded), with fenders and body panels actually being somewhat THICKER than they are these days. One learned how to apply “Bondo”, or even the old-timers filled in with LEAD. You then learned how to “feather” and sand the surface to fit the sheet metal contour, and how to “touch up” paint if the ding was small. The point was, any KID could learn how to do simple body repairs, IF he was PATIENT enough. But those days are fairly much gone, save for old farts like myself doing a “resto rod”. It progressed from getting cheap aftermarket fenders, essentially “Chinesium”, b/c either you had to do it out-of-pocket, or that’s all the insurance company would spring for. Lately, however, even the “Chinesium” has gotten damned expensive, and much of replacement parts are quickly “UN-obtainium”, as the car makers get more brazen about driving their products into planned obsolescence. All part of making vehicles into unfixable APPLIANCES, just as the average blender or refrigerator has become.

  5. A few years ago, my brother considered buying a Tesla Model X, their SUV with the gull wing doors. He didn’t get it because not only did it cost much more than even a luxury ICE SUV; the insurance would’ve been 3x as expensive. The Tesla X and S have aluminum bodies, which few shops in the US understand or work with, so of course, their repair costs will be higher.

    Secondly, I think it’s unfair for those of us who don’t own an EV are forced to SUBSIDIZE those who do! It’s akin to having to pay higher home insurance premiums and taxes, so people with waterfront homes can rebuild after a flood or storm. Why should those of us who don’t live near the water be forced to pay for those who do? It’s grossly unfair.

  6. No one thought that “The Great Reset” meant just resetting the value of a dollar to what a dime used to buy. Nice thing is that while occationally someone would be the turd in the punchbowl and point out the shortfalls in Social Security and defined benefit programs, it looks like they’re going to be able to pay out after all. Too bad that money won’t buy anything but cat food.

    Oh, wait, cat food is a premium product! Maybe you eat ze bugz then, as Herr Klaus recommends.

  7. What are the odds that the Biden Thing will try to hide the cost of repairing dents like the one mentioned in this article and continue peddling the increasingly obvious Bull crap about EVs?

  8. Been thinking about doing as the free people of the U.S. do. You know, the illegal immigrants. You can’t deny that they are the most free people in America. They live on very little, pay no taxes, have no insurance, get free phones and health care, etc… The people in charge love them and look the other way. Pretty smart. If there is an anarchist’s dream location, it’s the U.S. if you are here illegally. I envy them to a degree.

    As Major Payne said, “Who’s the dummy now?” Uh, we are. The ones who are financing it all.

      • According to the official communist/not government/corporation narrative….

        There is two types of people…settlers or indigenous…

        The Euro/whites are labeled as the settlers/colonizers…if they are replaced by migrants the not government/corporation can tell the indigenous/natives….

        you migrated here by the siberian land bridge, these new migrants migrated here through the southern border…so they are migrants just like you so they have equal rights to everything here…

        And the Euro/whites?….gone….

        The real settlers were the ruling aristocracy….they genocided all the white tribes in Europe and took over…. then came to the Americas and did the same thing…..but they blame it on the white euro slaves, that they are now trying to get rid of….

  9. Not only has car insurance gone up, but I imagine that health insurance (which we’re forced to buy thanks to Obamacare) has also gone up as a result of numerous death claims since the rollout of the experimental mRNA COVID jabs, not to mention people who suffered permanent damage from having been “vaccinated” and now face large medical bills. And good luck trying to get compensation from the federal government, which once tried to make these experimental pharma products MANDATORY for the masses to keep a job and to this day continues pushing these jabs, even the “new and improved COVID jabs” that were released last month. Not only that, the CDC & the media are telling people they can get a COVID, flu, AND RSV vaccine all at the same time. (Doing that might overwhelm one’s immune system). I’ve read and heard about more stories than I can count of people who trusted the “Safe and Effective!” narrative or were forced to get vaxxed to keep a job they had, and subsequently got “vaccinated” only to suffer permanent damage and/ or be unable to continue working. There are organizations out there trying to help such people, as the government continues lying about the jabs and will likely do their dirtiest to avoid being held liable for the COVID tyranny and subsequent damage we’ve been forced to endure the past few years.

    • You imagine a lot of things. Health Insurance has not gone up other then some inflation related increases. It most certainly would not go up because of some unspecified reason due to the “jab”. There are no statistics that bear out any significant increase because of the vaccine. That is all wishful speculation on the part of the people who oppose the vaccine and hope that by telling scare stories about horrible side effects (that they heard from a guy that heard it from a guy that heard it from a guy) will justify their irrational fear of a standard medical practice.

      The “jab” might not be very effective but it is also not the certain kiss of death that many make it out to be. Millions upon millions of people world wide received the vaccine, and many more continue to get it. You would not be able to “hide” deaths or serious side effects of any significant percentage of that amount of the population.

      • Bot writes:

        “That is all wishful speculation on the part of the people who oppose the vaccine …”

        First, you despicably assert those of us who opposed anyone being forced to take drugs – any drugs – wish ill on those who took them. It speaks to your cretinous dishonesty as no one here (certainly not I) ever said that. Second – to reiterate what I just said – no one here “opposed the vaccine.” We opposed anyone being forced or pressured to take the “vaccines.” It is a distinction that’s been made clear to you multiple times so you cannot feign misunderstanding.

        The fact of the matter is that “vaccine” pushers did wish ill on those of us who only wished to be left out of the experiment. It is a fact you conveniently forget – and then reverse. There is also the fact that these drugs are not vaccines – as they do not immunize – yet were deceptively pushed as necessary to “stop the spread.” More lies.

        I allow you to continue posting only for purposes of dissecting your vile and dishonest gibberish. But I begin to reconsider the value of doing that.

        Maybe you’re not a Bot. But you are an anonymous coward. Someone who hides behind a silly online handle who is afraid to use his real name but brave enough to say things online that would result in his having to back them up if he said them to someone’s face.


        • I will try and not reply in a manner consistent with vile and dishonest gibberish.

          -The post did not despicably assert that those that opposed the vaccine wished ill on anyone, it was stated that the opposition is intended to: “justify their irrational fear of a standard medical practice.” That is not the same thing.

          -I’m sure SOME vaccine advocates wished ill on those who refused the vaccine. But not all, not even a majority. Also some who refused the vaccine have wished ill on those who got the vaccine. Not all but some. It goes both ways.

          • Bot writes –

            “The post did not despicably assert that those that opposed the vaccine wished ill on anyone, it was stated that the opposition is intended to: “justify their irrational fear of a standard medical practice.” That is not the same thing.”

            This is the apotheosis of disingenuous. What you wrote was as follows:

            ““That is all wishful speculation on the part of the people who oppose the vaccine …”

            Wishful speculation. What did we “wish” for, Bot? Obviously, in context, we “wished” harm on the people who took the drugs styled “vaccines.”

            I am done with you – at least until the following conditions are met:

            You will provide your full name – your real name – which I will verify before allowing you to pester people on this site. Which I doubt you will ever again have the opportunity to do because I doubt you will provide your real name as that would hold you responsible for the disgusting comments you make here.

            But no more anonymous “Lyspoonering” or “freedomfighting” from you.

            I agree with Jordan Peterson who says online anonymity eggs on narcissists and psychopaths. I won’t have it here.

        • The fact that lie-spooner keeps posting under many different pseudonyms makes it clear that he/she/it does not come here in good faith.

          Lie-spooner’s assertions are usually very easy to refute (and their silliness tend to speak for themselves), but damn it becomes exhausting, which makes me obviously conclude that’s the sole point of his/her/its posts.

          To me genuine, good faith arguments are threshold requirements for discussion. We know lie-spooner is an internet influencer, and this has not been denied, so we can safely say the arguments are neither. Just sayin’. I’m not advocating blocking lie-spooner, but perhaps the other pseudonyms should be and maybe a good faith assessments should be applied before the posts are allowed. Perhaps this would be too burdensome on you though.

          With that said, I wouldn’t necessarily block the substance of this most recent post, but doing it under this alternate pseudonym would cause me to throw it in the woods, so to speak.

            • Eric,

              There have been those who called people who actually READ stories and data about the jabs (that the government tried to hide from the public) inflammatory names like “Uneducated Anti-vaxxer” or “Conspiracy theorist”. The Biden regime even engaged in censorship of those who went against “Government approved narratives”, even if they cited the government’s OWN data.

              There have also been efforts to gaslight people who suffered permanent injury from the jabs, saying stuff like “It’s all in your head” something else. There was even someone who sent me a “fact check” article from Reuters a while back about the FDA’s “full approval” of the Pfizer COVID jab 2 years ago. However, it was something called Comirnaty (which wasn’t even available in the U.S. at the time) that got such approval, while the Pfizer jab retained EUA. And we were told ad nauseum “Don’t do your own research! Listen to the experts like Dr. Fauci!”

              Well if the COVID vaccines were so “Safe and Effective!” like we’ve been told ad nauseum, why did the FDA & Pfizer try to hide Pfizer’s clinical trial data for 75 years until a judge told them they had to release that data sooner?

              • Indeed, John –

                And: The Bot has gone silent. I called it out. Told it that I would no longer allow it to mock/provoke people on this site anonymously, like a coward. I told it to provide its full real name as the condition of being allowed to post here, so as to hold it accountable for what it says (as I am held accountable for what I say).

                It has not taken the challenge.

                • Eric,

                  Do you remember Steve Kirsch offering $1,000,000 to anyone who is PRO-COVID VAXX to debate him on the safety and efficacy of the COVID jabs? As far as I know, NOBODY has taken him up on that offer. And there was also that multimillion dollar offer for Peter Hotez to debate RFK Jr on vaccines on Joe Rogan’s podcast, but I’m not aware of Hotez taking that offer up either.

        • To a certain extent, you have to allow opposing views to be aired, else the forum becomes a boring “echo chamber”.

          But TROLLS like this Lysander/BigPharmaShill joker aren’t interested in any meaningful discussion. They bait, misquote, and then when called on their crybullying, name-call and reveal their nauseating sense of superiority.

          • Hi Douglas,

            In re: “But TROLLS like this Lysander/BigPharmaShill joker aren’t interested in any meaningful discussion. They bait, misquote, and then when called on their crybullying, name-call and reveal their nauseating sense of superiority.”


            I got tired of dealing with it/him – as did many here who told me so. So I demanded it/he provide his/its real full name going forward, which it has not done. Since I made the demand it has disappeared. Good riddance.

            • I’m often asked by #2 son, who thinks I’m reckless to post my actual name on any social media or Internet forum (he works for a major food-beverage producer/retailer as a process engineer, makes very good “dough”, LoL), if I’m not afraid of retribution, by either getting fired from my job (I’m past minimum retirement age and have a solid pension and a well-funded qualified retirement account) or even some nutcase going after me. To either, I just say, like the “Bald Guy” from Star Trek: TNG (Captain “Jean-Luke (Luc) Pick-Erd” (Piccard))…”If I’m going to be damned, I’ll be damned for who I AM.”

              And I still say James Tiberius Kirk was a far more interesting Starship Captain than Piccard, and certainly more than Janeway, or even Sisko (who got weirded out with that Bajoran “Prophets” shit, but at least he had “command presence”). Archer could be considered Kirk’s prototype. If Kirk had commanded the Enterprise-D at the same approximate age as the original NCC-1701 (“Not A, B, C, or E, nor any that followed…), he’d have had Dr. Crusher and “Counselor” Troi in a threesome inside a fortnight.

              • Seth MacFarlane recognized that “Jean-Luc” seriously needed to loosen up:


  10. Similar to the plastic crap from Saturn, although worse. The Saturn had the option of being “cheap” crap to purchase, but was also an expensive pain in the ass to repair.

    • It was intended to be a DISPOSABLE car. GM got frustrated by the make’s initial popularity, as an strong aftermarket arose in replacement parts. The first move was to get away from Generous Mother’s assertion that the Saturn would be a UNIQUE make, and it became essentially a badge-engineered Chevy. Then they jettison the Saturn dealerships.

      I still see quite a few Saturn SL1 and SL2s around. GM made the car TOO GOOD for THEIR marketing goals.

    • Cars’ requirements are diktats by government bureaucrats, shoehorned into design by engineers, and built by people demanding 32-hour work weeks & 46% pay raises. Mechanics enter way at the end of the process and are the ones cleaning up the mess.

      • You may have missed the point. Cars are increasingly harder to work on, with owner maintainable items being jammed into unreachable places.

        oil filter that can barely be removed without dumping out all the oil, multiple air hose connections needing removed to get to a coolant sensor, etc

        Now there are [lack of] body panels that require disassembly of half a vehicle to fix.

        These are not required difficulties by government, and a mechanic would build a car that is easy to work on.

    • They’re designed to be assembled, not taken apart.

      However, the worst part was when they started putting “shrouds” with un-removable fasteners (unless you drilled them out). I don’t which make/model it was, but even a few had a shield around the OIL FILTER, with a “key” only the “stealership” had, in a flagrant violation of the Magnusson-Mann Act.

      I can understand why. The Dodge Darts and Plymouth Valiants, especially with the Slant Six, had a reputation for their stodgy indestructibility. The designs were simple and usually quite fixable, and that tough engine, and, if equipped the bulletproof Torqueflite automatic, the car would more or less run forever, or at least until ancillary things like breaking door handles and arm rests, squeaking doors, and rust would finally render the vehicle undriveable…after 15-20 years and about 300K miles! From Ma Mopar’s perspective, the line may have been an engineering success, but they were a marketing DISASTER. Not only did price competitiveness (they were the basic “compacts”, after all, typically bought by the price sensitive) keep profit margins minimal, Mopar dealers found it harder to upsell to their larger but even typically stodgier lines which delivered a higher profit margin per sale. Chrysler’s “near death experience” in the late 70’s and early 80’s was due not only to the company running out of money (and therefore unable to engineer new product lines as quickly as the market demanded), but also that (1) they actually, in a well-intended but very badly executed attempt to modernize their “compact” lines, killed off the “A” body Darts and Valiants, which STILL sold the most units, replacing them with the “F” body cars (Aspen/Volare, the initial Chrysler compact body model, the LeBaron, was nixed so as not to eat into “B” body Cordoba sales, which were surprisingly strong), which had serious rusting and quality control problems (2) not only had they relied on badge-engineered imports in the sub-compact market, first from Spain, then Japan (Mitsubishi), which never sold well, but when, again, in a well-intended but “flubbed” move, came out with a FWD sub-compact in the Omni/Horizon models (L bodies), which also were not only not attractively styled, being essentially a squashed version of their compacts in appearance, but had their own quality control problems. And it seems that Consumer Reports was on a mission to torpedo this line, even in utter SILLY reviews (one “consumer”, a paid hack Jewess, simply stated she “hated” the car, but liked the radio, w/o stating any particular reason that a SERIOUS driver would cite), especially with its highly questionable maneuver “test” that caused them to wrongly deem the type “Unacceptable”. Chrysler SHOULD have sued for defamation.

      • The Dart and Valiant ran practically forever. I saw Valiants and Darts in significant numbers on the road into the early 1990s—in the Rust Belt. They went to the junkyard because they rusted out, not because of mechanical problems. Many were driven to and from church and the grocery store by little old babushka ladies.

        The Omni and Horizon weren’t that bad. They were popular kid cars in the 80s and 90s. I took driver education in one. They weren’t expensive to buy, fuel, or maintain. They didn’t last as long as their German or Japanese counterparts, but they did the job for not a lot of money and hassle.

        But like many cars of their ilk, they seemed to disappear around 2000.

        PS: Chrysler’s first captive import, the Plymouth Cricket, was a British car. I think it was made by Hillman.

  11. Replacing what sounds like the whole body for a dent sounds like something out of the movie “Idiocracy”. Hopefully he was able to enjoy a refreshing bottle of Brawndo while waiting for his estimate.

    Back when I was young, a buddy got a big dent in his van and what they used was a stud gun and with all the suds welded on were able to progressively pull out that dent and refinish and repaint it. For that matter I’m surprised no one makes a patch panel where you cut out the rusted or dented panel then fit and weld the replacement. Any one driving antiques in the rust belt is familiar with type of repair.

  12. Morning Eric! I’ve seen similar stories about headlight assemblies that cost 9 grand or some such ridiculous number. For the time being, we still have our bread and circuses, but most people don’t realize how screwed we are behind the scenes. Someone scraped the bumper cover on the wife’s car in the grocery store parking lot back in August. Just paint, no damage. Figured I’d get an estimate. Went to 5 body shops, none would even look at the car. Said I needed appointment for estimate, and they were all booked out 2 to 3 months, just to get an estimate, never mind fix it! So I finally get the estimate last week. $2200! Just to repaint a single bumper cover. While I was there, a woman was in tears because they were telling her that her car, an Acura, will be out of commission for at least 6 months. They can’t get the parts for at least that long. I see more and more of this kind of thing. The ground is collapsing beneath our feet, but most people don’t see it happening. Add in all the crap with Ukraine, now Israel, impeachment hearings, Trump probably winding up in prison, China, blah blah. Time to start walking around with a sandwich board saying “the end is near”!

    • I know two people who had some one hit them and yeah four to six months is now common and people wonder why I buy my own tools to fix my junk.

      Just Bought a Second Generation Bestarc plasma cutter and playing with it.

    • One of the reasons for the demonization of China is their turn toward domestic production. It makes sense because after 40 years of “capitalism with Chinese characstics” 2/3 of the population is still in basic poverty, and the massive public works projects are riddled with tofu-dreg. If the party doesn’t bring home some bread and circuses soon they’ll be looking for work (or their heads).

      Becuase of this shift, the export market can wait. Especially those white devils in the west, who took advantage of all that great Chinese work ethic in return for worthless paper. So that chip that is necessary for running your car? You can just wait. Or that injection molded body panel? So surry, no makee no more! Maybe you go ask Juan in Mexico!

    • That sort of highway robbery exists b/c they know its still not so much that the insurance company will bother to fight it. Most folks who aren’t having insurance pay for the body repairs simply walk. The nature of the beast is that they can’t count on “customer loyalty”, as, simply put, folks don’t stay in a particular metro as much as they used to. So when a customer with an insurance claim comes in, you ride that gravy train to the next station!

    • Materials costs are out of sight. 2-300% increases are common. A gallon of good red paint is over $2k. Others materials are just as outrageous. Labor? Again, over the top. It all adds up.

  13. >All over the country, people are getting “adjusted” by their insurance company; on average, premiums are up 15-20 percent
    Meanwhile, da gummint sez the “consumer price index” (the supposed “cost of living”) is up 3.2% since last year.
    Evidently the official “cost of living” does not include food, fuel, or auto insurance.
    So, what does the government’s so-called “consumer price index” actually indicate?
    Inquiring minds want to know…

    • Consumer price index is pretty much the iPhone (same price as last year) and maybe a big screen TV. Oh, and “owner’s equivalent rent,” what you would charge yourself to rent out your home (unfurnished) to yourself. People who own homes generally don’t pay attention to rental prices, so the swag a number that’s probably 18 months to 2 years out of line with the current market. Gasoline and utilites aren’t included, because it is assumed that cost will be absorbed elsewhere, like the grocery store that doesn’t have any inventory because shippers reduced their delivery schedule, for example.

      It’s very complicated, and for sure necessary, otherwise what would CNBC talk about on Friday?

      • Interesting thing about “Sail Fawns”. For actually handling calls and basic 5G networking, as well as the “basics” for the Apps suite, most cell phones reached a basic level of usefulness and reliability by about 2018. Other than doing rather “gadgety” things like a folding screen, more or less, the basic configuration is the rounded rectangle, and with a decent case and screen protector, and with most of the infamous battery problems (like with the Samsung around 2010) being resolved, they can last now four to five years, easily. The trouble is, cell phone makers got used to consumers replacing their phones every TWO years, which is why most cell company contracts were that length. Not unlike car, they want you perpetually making payments on the latest “toy”. So…how to make them “obsolete” w/o reneging on the reliability gains? Simple…BLOATWARE. That is, put all sort of adware, spyware, and other useless features that don’t really make the instrument any more useful, and, in fact, they help not only nosey marketing company, but the GUBMINT to more readily SPY on you! This, in turn, made one’s phone “obsolete”, by the simple fact that it no longer had sufficient memory. It also didn’t help that most of the apps migrated to the newer and far more memory-hungry OS versions. I had this happen with a trusty LG phone which STILL works (I use as basically a music player and FM radio) after six years. LG doesn’t even sell phones in North America anymore. So I had to get a Samsung, and got an “A52”, which has at least been decent, but it was, IMO, $500 that I shouldn’t have needed to spend, even though I could easily afford it.

        Now imagine if my 2020 Fusion is, around 2035 or so, no longer “compatible” and either not functionally able to “comply”, or simply LEGISLATED off the road, even though it might run perfectly otherwise. As for some old Dodge Dart or VW Beetle, a bureaucratic stroke of the pen may also run those off the roads, due to S-A-A-A-A-A-A-F-T-E-E-E-E, or being “gross polluters” or not fuel efficient enough. Where this shit could go can really freak one out. Imagine not being allowed to use electricity from SMUD (the Sacramento County municipal electric company) if you don’t have a “smart” thermostat and/or major appliances (fridge, dishwasher, washing machine, electric dryer) that THEY can “control”…so if some bureaucrat decides that cooling my house to only 84 degrees on a blistering Sacramento July day is “enough”, that’s all my a/c will be allowed to do…or I can’t run the dishwasher or my washing machine, and my a/c “cycles” off b/c the “enlightened” need the “juice” to charge their EVs, and the grid can’t handle the demand. OR…they don’t like what Doug has to say, and as if simply cutting off Internet access and cell service isn’t “enough” to ensure “compliance” , cutting off utilities, as LA county officials threatened to do to businesses who wouldn’t “voluntarily” shut down during the “Rona” thing in 2020, or even those that wouldn’t submit to the “Jab”! Kinda like what the Israeli goons would do to those “pesky” Palestinians…and they wonder why Hamas went apeshit on them!

        • One of the big drivers of smartphone innovation is the battery. No, not squeezing more energy/unit volume, but because the things lose their effective capacity from day one. Some chemistries last longer than others, but with tradeoffs like weight or total capacity. If the thing won’t run all day without a charge, most people are ready to trade it in.

          What’s that? You will just replace the battery? With what? They made all the batteries for your phone in the first few months of production. If you can find one, it’s two years old already and will crap out even quicker even though it’s been in the blister pack the whole time. Or take a chance with a sketchy 3rd party battery from eBay that might pillow up or burn the house down.

          So you shop around for a new phone and… Hey! Here’s one with a better camera, better screen, better game “experience” and look at the cool new party trick! Why do you want the “budget” one again?

          Now I know everyone here won’t be drawn in by the shiny (unless it’s chrome at a car show), but enough people are to keep the merry-go-round moving. And besides, you’ve been paying that “low monthly payment” as part of your bill all this time, what’s another 24 payments?

          • If any appliance or gadget, “sail fawns” included, are improved enough to justify replacement of an otherwise perfectly functional device, fine. But the entire thing with cell phones has long run off the friggin’ rails. Like automobiles, the “utility” aspect of the basic Model T (which wouldn’t come remotely close to meeting Uncle Sam’s “Fatwas” these days) has long been superseded by emPHAsizing the “bells and whistles”…or, as a great insurance/investment teacher once put it, “Sell the ‘Sizzle’, not the Steak”. Ways are found, w/o necessarily being technically useful of themselves, to make cell phones rapidly obsolete, so the “Boobsie”, as HL Mencken called them, spend money they don’t have on a newer gadget that they don’t really need…until the ARTIFICIAL “need” is engineered. Sort of like HP printer cartridges had a “smart” feature which had them send a “out of ink” message, and stopped printing, even when the cartridge was more than HALF full. Someone figured out how to reset the EPROM to “Full” after re-inking, and HP SUED them for software “copyright” infringement”, for the hack that worked around HP’s scam.

            • For a few years of any new tech, there are massive year-over-year changes as people figure out and try new ideas. This process normally has many different companies doing many different things. Unfortunately, the vulture capital crowd figured out that all that “creative distruction” was bad for their investors, so they try to push to two (and no more than two) hardware platforms. Those duopolies control innovation, keeping good ideas off the market until they’re ready to implement them (and usually when they’re sure the patent will hold up).


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