Saturday, August 29, 2015

I'd like a ladder that's 100 litres in volume please...

Come on now, all you car owners and users…how many litres of boot space do you have?  No idea?  Of course you don’t, why would you? – unless you’ve sealed all the doors and windows with waterproof tape and filled it up with cooking oil or milk (that you’ve measured in advance) or something.  I guess you might have read some manufacturers guff at some point that told you.  Thing is that if you’re thinking about buying a car and want to know whether you can get that ladder / case / wheelchair / whatever in it you can forget it.  The various manufacturers’ and other websites don’t tell you.  Even the review videos on YouTube will talk about the number of litres of space in the back of a car like it might mean something to anyone.  You can of course compare one car with another – so you might find out that one amount of space measured in an utterly pointless way is bigger or smaller than the equivalent amount of space measured in the same utterly pointless way in another car – but it won’t tell you if you can get that actual physical thing in the damned car!

Actually, if you search for disability websites they can be some help in telling you if you might get a wheelchair in for example and they will give you some actual measurements in feet and inches or centimetres – but they seem to work by you putting in how big your wheelchair is and searching to find a car that will fit it.  But they tend not to let you search for the car you want and then see if a particular thing will go in it.  

So for me it was old school - as it often is.  Get the measurement of the thing and turn up to the car showroom with a tape measure to see if it'll fit.  I forgot the tape measure.  So in the modern super-duper everything on-line interconnected information age I’m measuring a boot in terms of how many lengths of A4 paper it is (I happened to have some on me) – so, I know I have 2 lengths of A4 and about a couple of inches in that particular car.  I then  measure the paper and compare that to the measurement I’ve been given of the actual thing when I get home…

You’d think that in this ‘competitive’ market some manufacturer might break ranks and try to provide this information in a way that was helpful to potential customers, but this is one small example of where the convenience of the manufacturer trumps the needs of the consumer.  And they all do it – no-one seems to have provided useful information even by accident.  This is the kind of thing that leads me to never understand how people can apparently take pleasure in buying stuff.  Mind you, this is a small example.  More to come!

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