Scott Adams, the author of the Dilbert cartoons, must take credit for inventing this word. He uses it to describe the way that marketing departments use deliberate confusion to get people to buy things that don’t do what they intended, or to pay too much for what they do want.
I have to nominate Robert Bosch Ltd in this category. I’m embarking on some DIY projects – basically building a storage system in my new house extension. I was going to get the builder to do this, but the Coronavirus lockdown has put all plans awry. It has taken my builder much longer to complete the work as he was unable to get materials – and this was a genuine problem – and so other customers are pressing him and I decided I could build the storage myself as an interesting project. However, I haven’t bought any power tools for over twenty years and I noticed that the builders had boxes full for every sort of work. I decided that a cordless impact drill/ screwdriver and cordless circular saw could speed up the work. (I’m often told that I take too long to do this sort of thing, but the builders have been very slow – maybe spinning work out during the lockdown.)
I looked around on the internet for buying advice and noted that Robert Bosch has a good 18 volt system with a large variety of DIY and gardening tools, so I could get more things as time goes on.
So then it is a matter of finding an offer at a good price. This is where the confusopoly starts. Firstly, their cordless drills come in different battery voltages – 12 v and 18 v. Then they come in ‘Professional’, ‘Advanced’ and plain ranges. Then the batteries come in three or four capacity ratings. Then the tools come with or without batteries and accessories.
And of course, they are all different prices. So it becomes extremely difficult to work out what you need and even whether you are buying what you intended. You might choose the cordless combi drill with two batteries for £114 without realising that these are only 1.5 Ah batteries with a low-powered charger as this is only shown in the detailed specification – if you can find it. And if you search on price, you can easily be confused as to what the battery capacity is, how many are included, what sort of charger you get and what sort of accessories.
So, I ended up with a drill/screwdriver with high-capacity batteries but without the impact function. The price was fine, so I will keep it, as I have two mains-powered impact drill which will probably be better for some of the heavy-duty drilling. This happened because whilst looking for the best price, I didn’t notice that they’d substituted an AdvancedDrill 18 for the AdvanceImpactDrill 18 that I’d been searching.
I feel I would have been wiser to buy a deWalt cordless combi drill with two 3.0 Ah batteries and rapid charger for £120. It comes in a much more rugged case. Indeed whilst de Walt offer a range, there does seem to be some sense in it, rather than too many options confusing options. Since my builder, who is a canny operator, is using these, there must be something to recommend them.
By the way, I partly criticise Amazon for this. When you search for something, it comes up with a host of options and the distinction between the offers is often far from clear.