INDUSTRY: The Honest Thing to Do

Into the executive offices of General Electric's Hotpoint division last year flowed a series of disturbing reports. Despite an industry-wide pickup, Hotpoint's sales of laundry appliances were slipping to an abnormal low. When the company's officers set out to find the reason for the slump, they ran into a manufacturer's nightmare.

Thousands of housewives complained bitterly that their 1955-57 model washers and washer-dryers needed six or seven annoying and costly repair calls a year (v. a national average of two or three), and Hotpoint repairmen discovered faulty clutches, transmissions and filters...

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