Can this new television be repaired if it breaks down? Can I find spare parts for my washing machine? To improve “the information given to consumers before they buy”the group of home appliance brands (Gifam) and the company Agoragroup, an after-sales service specialist, have launched an online platform to allow the consumer to compare the repairability potential of electronic or household appliances. So far, 28 brands, including Brandt, Bosch, Samsung and Whirlpool, have promised to display their products there.
“Ultimately, we want the platform to be comprehensiveexplains Camille Beurdeley, General Delegate of Gifam. Either the brands are partners and send us their repairability index, or we will collect the publicly available data ourselves. »
How reliable? The site displays the product repairability index based on criteria defined by the public authorities. In other words, a “note” that can range from 0 to 10, calculated on the basis of the dismantling of the device, the availability of spare parts, the price of these or even access to technical documentation.
Since 1er January 2021, the display of this index is mandatory on five types of new products: smartphones, laptops, televisions, lawn mowers and window washing machines. It will be extended to dishwashers, top-loading washing machines, vacuum cleaners and high-pressure cleaners from November 4th.
Only 30% of products are repaired
The Agoragroup company acts as guarantor “the completeness, reliability and impartiality of the platform”, says the press release. While no product is currently on the latter, it should actually enter service in the coming days.
In a study carried out in 2019, Ademe estimated that only 36% of French people had their electrical and electronic products repaired in the event of a breakdown. The stated objective of the index is to achieve a 60% repair rate for electrical and electronic products within five years, both by encouraging manufacturers to offer easily repairable products and by encouraging consumers to choose products based on their repairability potential.
A system to improve
The index is not, however, without criticism. The attribution of scores would still need to be improved, in the eyes of the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir. In a report published in December 2021, the latter had denounced its method of calculation, which attributes the same weight to each criterion. Thus the dismountable character has the same value as access to the documentation. The association had highlighted the fact that some smartphones turned out to be very well rated, despite poor access to spare parts.
“Beyond the overall score, the platform will indicate, using color codes, how these different criteria are scored”, specifies Camille Beurdeley. UFC-Que Choisir pleads for the development of a public database independent of manufacturers, in order to reinforce the transparency of the system.
The consumer association also requests that the note be enforceable. Clearly, that the manufacturer can be prosecuted in the event of the awarding of a rating that does not correspond to reality.