Built-in obsolescence might have helped propel 20th-century consumer capitalism, but it has also irked many a director, whether it’s razor blades going blunt too soon or office lighting spluttering out after a couple of months.
But in France, the days of obsolescence could be about to end. A new decree enforced last month has ordered manufacturers to inform consumers how long their appliances will last, on pain of a possible €15,000 (£11,000) fine should they fail.
From next year, customers can also return faulty products less than two years old to manufacturers to be replaced or repaired. Any directors interested in buying tech with a longer lifespan are advised to scurry to their nearest Gallic hypermarket.