Product Reliability

  oresome 14:06 17 Feb 2003
Locked

In an public letter, John Clare, MD of Dixons disputes the finding of the Consumer Association with regard to product reliability and the need for extended warranties. No surprise there then!He asserts that products are no more reliable now than twenty years ago and produces his own figures to prove it. I find the figures quite alarming and certainly contrary to my own experience. According to John Clare's figures you will almost certainly have a failure with laundry products inside 3 years. The variance with the CA's figures can be by a factor of 8.
I think we need a statistician to review the results so the customer can be correctly guided.

When messing with stastics, it depends on which viewpoint you support.

  davidg_richmond 17:02 17 Feb 2003

you will find that the percentage is based on number of claims to the number of policies - ie if one person claims more than once it is represented there, hence the two-fold number of cliams on washing machines over 5 years.

the point he makes in his letter about the CA figures is that they do not take everything into account - only repairs for product failure. they do not take into account accidental damage.

the CA do not mention their sample size either, which needs to be clarified for a direct analysis. i have not read the Which report as it is unavailable to those who do not subscribe to Which (as far as i know), but i would be interested in finding out how they came across their own findings

You can obtain which reports from your local library.

  tigger2406 19:33 17 Feb 2003

Lies, damned lies, and...

Probably still comes back to the old story... if you buy something for £240 and it dies after one year, it's the same as renting one for £20 a month for the year. If it lasts longer you're in pocket. To be honest I don't believe that washing machines go wrong that often... perhaps I've just been lucky but i've not seen one break down (apart from one I got from Granada on a student deal that had been dropped and was effectively DOA) or leak since the first one me mam had, about 1985...

  davidg_richmond 20:00 17 Feb 2003

thanks somdor, wouldnt mind checking out that report!

i hear what you say about washing machines tigger - ive seen loads go wrong but only after 5 years is out. dont actually own one myself, as im in rented accomodation and its supplied.

  oresome 20:45 17 Feb 2003

There's no doubt consumer items with lots of mechanics like washers and video recorders are inherently less reliable than purely electronic goods. But the defects usually start to show after around 5 years.
Of course your more inclined to call the service line if you've paid for the EW rather than have a look yourself first. I consider most products I buy to be reliable................but if I count the times I've pushed the connecting lead back in tight or replaced the batteries in the remote, checked the fuse etc. perhaps I'd have been part of the statistics if I'd paid for EW

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