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21aug younger consumers hero
26 August 2021

Younger consumers more likely to repair appliances

New Zealanders under 45 years old more likely to have had broken appliances repaired compared to those aged 45 or over.

Results from the latest Consumer NZ survey show that many consumers – especially those under 45 years old – want to fix their busted appliances.

However, it’s not always easy to find the resources to do so.

Younger consumers embrace repair more than the older generation.

Those aged between 18 and 44 years old reported significantly more purchases of used appliances and were more likely to have had an appliance repaired. They were also more accepting that an appliance would develop minor faults and might need repair during its lifetime.

New Zealanders reported having a faulty appliance repaired in the past 12 months:

Those aged over 45 were significantly more likely to think appliances don’t last as long as they used to, were less likely to tolerate any faults and less likely to get a faulty appliance repaired.

Many consumers of all ages want to repair busted appliances.

Less than half (46%) of all respondents said they’d prefer to replace a faulty appliance, rather than repair it.

When we asked about warranty or Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) remedies for a faulty appliance, between 80% and 84% of people said they’d be happy with a refund, like-for-like replacement or a repair that returned the appliance to an as-new condition. Two-thirds (64%) said they’d be very happy with a repair.

Many consumers report they’ve had an appliance repaired.

Twenty-eight percent of respondents said they’d had an appliance repaired in the past 12 months. Forty percent of consumers 18 to 44 years old reported a repair, compared to just 18% of those over 45.

Sixty percent of repairs were completed at no cost to the consumer through a manufacturer warranty (44%) or a CGA (16%) claim. Of those who had an appliance repaired, 82% were happy with the result while 11% were unhappy.

Some retailers and manufacturers are offering repair – they completed 35% of repairs reported in our survey. However, the majority of fixes were done by independent repairers (38%) or the consumer, their friends or a family member (21%).

There are still frustrating barriers to repair.

For the 40% of people who paid for their own repair outside of any warranty or CGA responsibilities, finding someone to do the repair and sourcing spare parts was a problem.

When we asked all appliance owners, almost a third (29%) said they didn’t know how to get an appliance repaired. Less than half (46%) agreed it was easy to find someone to repair an appliance, and only 29% thought it was easy to find spare parts. Seventy-one percent said repairs cost too much.

Removing the barriers to repair by ensuring parts are easily available and repair skills are widespread – and ensuring both come at a reasonable cost – are core goals of the right to repair movement.

Consumers tell us they want to repair the appliances they own – manufacturers have to step up to allow this to happen.

Data is from our Built to Last nationally representative survey (1499 people, June 2021). We asked about appliances people own that cost more than $300.

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