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24 September 2020

Consumers struggling with hard-to-fix appliances

Survey finds less than half of Kiwis think it's easy to find someone to fix an appliance.

Research by Consumer NZ shows people are frustrated by how hard and pricey it is to get their appliances repaired.

The consumer watchdog’s latest survey found only 45% of respondents thought it was easy to find someone to fix an appliance, while 24% thought it was easy to find spare parts. Two-thirds said appliance repairs cost too much.

It’s time this changed.

Kiwis expect their appliances to be repairable – 98% of respondents think they should be able to get their washing machines and dishwashers fixed.

“It’s clear people want it to be easier and more affordable to get broken appliances repaired. Just 24% of Kiwis would sooner replace something faulty than get it repaired, while half felt bad when they’ve had to junk an appliance,” Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said.

“That’s why we’ve launched our #BuiltToLast project. Our aim is to make it easier for people to buy more repairable and durable products. This means we’ll be doing more durability testing and more research. We’ll also be encouraging manufacturers to address the problems we find in their products,” Duffy said.

Consumer NZ also asked about what should happen with appliances once they reach end-of-life. Two-thirds of respondents think manufacturers and retailers should be responsible for recycling the dead appliances they make and sell.

While 40% of Kiwis don’t mind paying someone to recycle their dead appliances, only 20% think it’s easy to find somewhere to recycle them. This shows New Zealand has a lack of appropriate recycling services.

The Consumer NZ #BuiltToLast campaign and associated e-waste project are made possible by partial funding from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund. As part of the wider plan to reduce the amount of harmful rubbish ending up in landfills, Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage recently announced electrical and electronic products as one of six priorities for a regulated product stewardship scheme, under the Waste Minimisation Act.

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