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Maid in China

Products made in China are, on average, cheaper. I can’t deny it. In a straight price comparison there is no way that products built in most countries can compete.

But at the same time the flood of cheap knockoffs often do themselves a huge injustice. The parts are often substandard, the quality is lacking, the consistency of end result is bad, and sometimes the product just isn’t fit for purpose.

At other times the product is great, but it’s the incidentals that let it down. For temperature loggers, it’s often the poor quality software and instructions that mean I just can’t sell it or support it because I would have a flood of support calls. I want a product that is easy to use, reliable and robust.

And the one that amazes me is the poor quality instructions that come within the box. Nothing screams “made in China” more than poorly written instructions (and yes, the “Maid in China” was a deliberate typo)

The JB Hi-Fi Claim – Unlimited internet access from your car

So when I was at JB Hi-Fi yesterday I was amazed to find this written on the back of an item:

This fascinating car accessory is designed to existence charging for the DC12V and DC5V device. These sockets provide the power to 3 applications at the same time. But the most important application is USB. The USB offer the power to ipod, iphone, cell phone, GPS and PSP when you are travelling. The power is a problem no longer. Whenever you see the car, you still online.

It’s a “car socket with USB”.

So does this also provide some magical GSM connectivity via wi-fi bouncing off my car? How can any product say “whenever you see the car, you still online”. Mate, I want one of these and at $18 that’s a bargain.

The JB Hi-Fi Lesson on Engwish

This product really begs some simple questions?

1. Why didn’t the manufacturer pay a couple of dollars to get a better translation? Why not just use Fiverr!!!!

2. Why didn’t the importer check the quality of the product and documentation before importing. Surely they could give free advice to the manufacturer on what should have been written.

3. Why is JB Hi-Fi selling a product that can’t even get the back cover right? What does it say about the quality of the content.

I was tossing up whether to buy it or not. When I read the back I was ready to put it back and walk away. The fact that I could write a blog about it meant I kept it.


So the JB Hi-Fi Lesson on Chinglish is:

People use what they know to judge what they don’t know“.


I know the quality of the English is bad. I know no one bothered to fix it. I know JB Hi-Fi are prepared to cut corners on quality to keep the price down. I can’t see the product and I don’t know what the quality will be like.