|Re: OT - Sinclair|
Message #13 Posted by Cameron Paine on 12 Apr 2006, 11:55 a.m.,
in response to message #12 by bill platt
We have a similar regime here in Australia. I've never read the chapter and verse but I can give you the gist.
The principle being upheld is that consumers need to be certain that electrical products will not harm them. If they are harmed, they may need some form of legal redress. Caveat emptor cannot apply since the "average" consumer is not considered qualified to assess whether an appliance is "faulty" and therefore capable of causing harm.
In Australia it is illegal to sell an item that draws energy from the power grid if that item has not been certified to comply with applicable standards which make it safe. There must be some mumbo-jumbo in this law that voids compliance on re-sale after use (i.e. when the item attains second-hand status).
It is possible to re-certify a second-hand item. Once this task is complete, a compliance sticker is attached. The re-certification expires after a period of time (which I think is 6 months). Thus a second-hand item that does not sell must be regularly re-certified.
For most second-hand vendors (thrift shops, fund-raising fetes and the like), the cost and hassle turns most such items into a liability.
On a personal note, my mother (in her 70's) "works" at a Salvation Army thrift shop. They regularly fill a dumpster with donated appliances that, by policy, they will not sell. She sometimes intercepts them and brings them home for eldest son to approve.
She has yet to find me an HP calculator (although she is armed with several photographs). I did select a microwave oven, which appeared to be NIB, complete with manual, as a suitable replacement for our old clunker. This, it turned out, was a perfect illustration of why the compliance regulations exist.
I unsealed the box and inspected the packaging. It was clear at that point that the oven was not the one that had shipped in that box. However this oven was clean with a little sign of wear on the controls. The power cord was in very good condition. I plugged it in and as a test, programmed it to heat a glass of water. The interior light came on, the fan came on and the carousel rotated... for about 10 seconds.
From within the housing came a bang and the characteristic blue flash a high-voltage arc. I hit the wall switch just as the circuit breaker in our fuse box blew.
I speculate that this was the very reason its previous owner had replaced it with the appliance that actually came in the box this one was sealed in. I cut the power cord off and gave the oven to our municipal disposal service.
I will leave you to reflect on just why the previous owner thought this was a suitable donation to the Salvation Army.