The Fnac Darty distribution group published, on Tuesday, September 13, its fifth after-sales service barometer (SAV). For the second year in a row, the majority of major electronics and appliance brands are listed and rated based on two criteria: reliability and repairability. To calculate these scores, the distribution group analyzed the after-sales service returns of several hundred thousand devices, counting only purchases made less than two years ago, which corresponds to the legal warranty period, during which faulty products have more chances to pass. in the hands of your repairmen.
This barometer lists more than 80 product categories, such as tablets or hair dryers. For each, various brands are ranked from best to least recommended.
Sometimes damaged reputations
Some affordable manufacturers are pleasantly surprising: According to Fnac Darty, Indesit washing machines rarely break down in the first two years, like Brandt built-in ovens. But the most common disappointments involve expensive or reputable brands.
According to Fnac Darty, Espon’s multifunction printers have poor reliability, like Electrolux’s cartridge vacuum cleaners, Samsung’s dishwashers and built-in ovens, as well as AEG’s washing machines. At least on Epson printers and Brandt ovens, Fnac Darty’s ratings are in line with those of the consumer association UFC – Que Choisir. On the other hand, AEG washing machines are much better valued by Fnac than by UFC – Que Choisir, which places them in the appropriate average.
To what do we attribute this dissonance? Probably to the method of gathering information. The one from UFC – Que Choisir is not based on comments from the workshop, but rather on emails sent to subscribers of various European consumer magazines, garnering tens of thousands of responses.
This difference is probably also due to the time window of the questionnaire used by the association, which takes into account washers over fifteen years old, compared to only two years for the observations of Fnac Darty. Too short a period in the eyes of Benjamin Douriez, a former journalist for 60 million consumersin particular responsible for these issues: The main problem is what happens beyond five years. This is often where wear appears “He judges. An interesting window, however, even complementary, because he studies devices that continue to be sold recently, with a modern design, and that have not stopped for 5, 10 or 15 years.
The Fnac Darty after-sales service barometer again indicates that Sonos soundbars are especially difficult to repair, as are Ultimate Ears bluetooth speakers, Xiaomi televisions, Dell screens and Moulinex microwaves. By contrast, Apple products topped all repair rankings: computers, tablets, smartphones and headphones.
Here again, the Fnac Darty notes collide with another source of information, the official repairability index, which appears on the labels of different product categories: Apple gets official passable scores there. Actually, the calculation methods of these two indices are different. The official index is theoretical, evaluated before marketing on the basis of numerous criteria, such as the availability of spare parts and the presence of a repair guide. The Fnac Darty index is much more specific, calculated on the basis of after-sales service returns: it compares the number of times the device has been repaired with the cases in which it has had to be scrapped and replaced or reimbursed.
In addition, in the department of washing machines, the Fnac Darty barometer was able to validate the interest of the official repairability index: the lower it is, the more the after-sales service is forced to replace the appliance instead of repairing it. The exchange rate goes from 12% when the machine obtains an official rate of 8/10, to 20% when this rate drops to 6/10.
Devices to avoid?
The after-sales service barometer finally warns about the reliability of five specific product categories: classic coffee machines, espresso machines with a grinder, bar vacuum cleaners, robotic vacuum cleaners and, especially, electric scooters. For most of the brands in these five categories, their annual failure rate fluctuates between 5 and 15%, according to information communicated to the World by Fnac Darty. They are risky purchases and not very respectful of the environment.
In addition to these findings, Fnac Darty carried out a study on the consumption habits of its customers, carried out by email, in which 10,000 people participated. Remarkable fact: 30% of those surveyed said that they did not maintain their appliance, a figure that rises to 38% for washing machines. According to the group, one out of every two breakdowns could be avoided with regular maintenance or use according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Consumers are often unaware, for example, that their scooter is not rainproof, or that their espresso grinder machine needs to be descaled regularly.
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