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Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence - in industrial design is a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time. (from Wikipedia)
I've heard built-in obsolescence being justified, based on new technology being more efficient or "green", but the increasing costs of major appliances seems to greatly outweigh those projected energy cost-savings these days.
What do you think about manufacturers who used to be able to build an appliance that lasted nicely for 20+ years .. but you're lucky if you can get 10 - 12 years out of similar appliances now?!