Three years ago, we got a dog. A little white dog. A dog who shed. In anticipation of white hair everywhere, I bought a fancy hand held vacuum (aka Dustbuster). Alas, the dog moved on. However, the vacuum remained as one of my favorite appliances.
This particular vacuum was powerful. It was rechargeable, too. We used it a lot: great for stairs and corners and crumbs under the table. After three years, though, the filter was battered and raggedy, so I ordered new ones that fit the Black and Decker model we had. I replaced the old filter with the new, and chucked the old one as it was too worn to keep.
The vacuum started acting up. We’d turn it on, it would run for 30 seconds, and turn off. Turn it on again, and it would work for maybe 4 seconds, and turn off. Was it the new filter?
I went online to the Black and Decker website and had a chat with someone at Support.
If the vacuum is less than two years old, we might replace it, she typed. Do you have the receipt?
I might, I answered, but it would be in the file cabinet in the storage unit. I’d have to look. But I’m pretty sure it’s more than three years old.
The batteries only work for three or four years, she added.
Can I get a new battery? I asked.
No, they’re not replaceable, she wrote.
So what am I supposed to do? I was beginning to steam.
You’d have to buy a new unit.
Now I was truly outraged.
You do realize how ridiculous this is? I banged out on my keyboard. I’m supposed to throw this thing away so it sits in a landfill for a million years, because it’s made with a non-replaceable battery?
I’m sorry, she typed. I understand.
We signed off.
So all the people who bought hand held cordless vacuums with rechargeable batteries in 2017 can expect them to die soon. I keep picturing the county landfill piled high with dead vacuums. So wasteful. It’s infuriating. I’m sticking to vacuums with cords from now on.
Meanwhile, do I really throw out this dead vacuum?