A Lightbulb Moment
You can buy the same microwave as ours at a zillion Canadian retailers. It’s a Samsung over-the-range unit. Reasonably priced. It has all of the doodads you want in a microwave including a turntable and popular settings. It’s all good, right?
The only thing you can’t easily do is purchase a lightbulb if the ones that light up underneath happen to burn out. There are a few versions of little bulbs that look really close to the one you need, but they’re not quite right.
So, of course, you buy one and find it out it doesn’t work even though everything matches. You return it and find another one that might be even closer, but still not quite right. When I returned to the store to get a refund on the second bulb, I met a woman looking at the same bulbs. Turns out, she has the same microwave and was going through the same problem. Even the helpful helper from the store thought the ones we had just brought back “should work”. The other customer and I laughed knowingly.
All that was left was the Internet. I found the bulbs at Samsung only to discover that they won’t ship to Canada. No problem, says the woman on the website’s chat service. Just have it shipped to a friend in the US. But they won’t take a credit card attached to a Canadian address. Next, I went to Amazon and discovered there are thousands of people going through the same search because the appropriate bulbs are as much as $50 each! Finally, I located a seller who offered five bulbs for $17 and provided the microwave model numbers so I could cross-reference and be sure. They arrived in two days and might be the stupidest lightbulb design in use today. But they’re in and we have light under the microwave again.
If you’re going to sell a ton of your product in Canada why wouldn’t you make sure that its replacement parts are available too? No one’s going to uninstall a microwave because of burned out lights, if they think we’ll just buy another one. Instead, we’ll become irritated with the brand and look for a different company’s name next time.