Technology

Mon, 29 Oct, 2018Basmah Qazi

CHOICE reveals: How long your appliances should really last

CHOICE reveals: How long your appliances should really last

As consumers we’re lucky that we have an abundance of appliance choices to choose from to suit every budget. With toasters starting at $20 reaching all the way up to $150, there is something out there for everyone.

But just how long should you expect an affordable appliance to last in comparison to its higher-end counterpart? Choice has released new guidelines, showcasing the “reasonable” life expectancy of household appliances.

According to the consumer group, while your cheap toaster could die out within two years, you can expect your expensive fridge to last over 10 years.

The results of the research were based around 1000 people who took part in the survey, along with in-house product testing and manufacturer feedback.

“In most cases the lifetime for electrical appliances should go way beyond the one-to-two-year manufacturer’s warranty,” said spokeswoman for Choice, Nicky Breen.

If a product turns out to be faulty, shoppers have the right to a full refund or replacement under Australian Consumer Law. The rule applies regardless of the consumer being within the official warranty period.

But according to Ms Breen, it isn’t that simple as consumer guarantees tend to be a “little confusing”.

“The law says you’re entitled to a remedy if a fault develops within a reasonable amount of time, but it’s not clear what that reasonable time is,” she said

“You may buy a TV or fridge and it develops a fault within a year or two, you take it back to the retailer and there’s an impasse. What we’re doing is urging people to use these guidelines.”

According to the results of the survey, a fridge should last around six to 13 years, while washing machines and dishwashers have a lifespan of five to 11 years. A laptop will give you four to eight years depending on how expensive it is, and a smartphone should last between three to six years.

“Someone should start a GoFundMe to put this on billboards outside of Harvey Norman and The Good Guys,” said Facebook user, Kristen Hall.

Others compared appliances today to the ones sold in the past. “Washing machines, the prehistoric ones, lasted and lasted, 25-plus years and still working,” said Helen Valen.

“Had to replace them just because we got sick of waiting for them to fail and they didn’t look their best anymore. Same with stoves. So, it’s not the technology, it’s the design for failure/obsolescence business model."

Naomi Agar pointed out that her mum’s fridge had to be replaced last year, after 47 years. “My microwave purchased in “’88 is still going”, she said.

But not everyone was convinced as some pointed out the discrepancies in the survey results. “The mobile phone one is a joke,” Karla McClelland said. “The latest Samsung and Apple phones don’t last more than two years before something stuffs up.”

Adam Scott questioned the life expectancy of a laptop saying, “Where did you get that figure? The life expectancy of a spinning drive is two years, three maximum,” he said.

“The heat paste on the CPU will be chalk after a few years, leading to the CPU and GPU overheating. That’s if the power brick hasn’t died by then. Oh, and the battery will have well and truly died by then.” 

Do you agree with these results? Let us know in the comments below. 

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