There’s been a lot of discussion recently about whether the domestic appliances you buy from the high street are designed to fail after a period of time. A cynical shopper might consider that to be a possibility – with the design engineers working out how to make it break just after the warranty period is up.
We have had many conversations with customers who have had to have their appliances looked at just after their 12 months parts and labour warranty is up. And naturally this is frustrating.
However I don’t believe that there is a ‘conspiracy’. A quick look at our books and we can see that we repair as many Hotpoint and Indesit machines within their 1st 12 months (ie under warranty) as in the following 12 months – that is as many at the manufacturers expense in year 1 as in year 2. Consider also that Indesit/Hotpoint appliances now come with a 10 year parts warranty – that means the manufacturer will burden the cost of any parts required to repair your appliance for a whole decade – if it goes wrong at any point in 10 years (ten years!!!) and it’s a parts problem then all you need to pay for is the labour to put it right. The manufacturer picks up the cost of the parts needed.
Now there are market forces at work here – it’s a very competitive market – and a longer parts warranty is of course used as a selling point – “If it goes wrong Mr Customer then don’t worry all your parts are covered”.
Also as the initial cost of an appliance continues to drop you might argue that “they’re not built like they used to be”. That’s probably a fair claim – and they are certainly not built in the same way – mechanics have been replaced by electronics largely – which arguably makes them less easy to repair. But the simple truth is that the manufacturer wants you to be happy with the machine that you have bought. They want you to buy another one when after maybe 10 years a new appliance is appropriate and justifiable, and they want you to consider their brand as a viable and affordable replacement. So why on earth would they build them so that they break down after 12 months and 1 day? I don’t think that they do.