Which brand to choose for a sustainable product? Fnac-Darty publishes its fifth after-sales service barometer

To choose your next smartphone, computer, headphones, television, washing machine (the list is long…), you will undoubtedly read tests – on Digital, of course — and customer reviews, seek advice from your relatives or specialist sellers, consult the energy labels and/or repairability scores. Often, it is difficult to obtain overall opinions on a given brand, or to have more perspective on the length. With this in mind, the after-sales service experience of major dealers can be a goldmine. And that’s good, every year, the Fnac-Darty group publishes its after-sales service barometerwhich makes it possible to approach the issues of reliability and repairability (components of durability) in a different light.

First of all, a small methodological clarification. This 5th edition of the barometer is the result of three sources : a customer study on the duration of product use (10,403 respondents), the study of 580,138 breakdowns and, finally, the study of 912,226 after-sales service interventions; all between July 2021 and August 2022. Fnac-Darty then establishes a sustainability score and calculates brand scores by product family, taking into account the repair rate, the availability of spare parts and, new for this edition , their price. Fnac-Darty then uses this information to select products labeled “sustainable choice”. They are less likely to break down, more easily repairable and more energy efficient than their competitors.

“On the occasion of this new edition of the after-sales service barometer, in a context of inflation, for the first time we have integrated the price of spare parts in the form of a ratio in our sustainability score. By making this choice, we voluntarily wish to highlight the challenge it represents for accelerating the use of compensation”explains Vincent Gufflet, director of services and operations.

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Large household appliances ahead of sustainability

It would take too long to list here all the brand podiums by product category, as well as all the lessons learned by this barometer. Also, we strongly urge you to take a walk in this interactive barometer to view the types of products that are of particular interest to you.

A few examples, however. On the laptop side, the average durability score is 122/200, with the podium of brands being composed in order of Apple, HP and Asus. Two good points: the price of spare parts makes repairs quite profitable and 62% of breakdowns are resolved without requiring spare parts. Bad point: if the useful life of a portable PC is eight years, spare parts are generally available for only three years.

When it comes to smartphones, the most sustainable brands are Apple, Huawei and Samsung, and the category’s sustainability score is 104/200. Only 19% of breakdowns managed by the after-sales service are material and spare parts are generally very inexpensive (4% of the product price on average). On the other hand, smartphones are replaced after only four years generally, and spare parts are available for three years most of the time.

Too bad, Fnac-Darty does not aggregate all televisions within the same category and separates LED TVs from Oled and Qled TVs, which makes reading the results more difficult in this category. Note the very poor durability score of electric scooters (41/200). In question, 65% of breakdowns which require a change of parts and a duration of use of the machine of only three years on average, with spare parts difficult to find after two years. On the other hand, the major appliance category is the most durable, with good reliability and repairability scores, long-term availability of spare parts and a relatively low cost compared to that of new products.

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Fewer appliances means less carbon impact and more savings

Let’s end by pointing out the main lessons of this 5th edition of the after-sales barometer. On the creed “fewer appliances means less carbon impact and more savings”, Fnac-Darty communicates on the double interest of choosing well and making its electronic products and household appliances last as long as possible. Beyond the choice of a durable product, retailers insist on maintenance (nearly one out of two after-sales service calls is attributable to a lack of maintenance), while 30% of respondents do not maintain their devices. As for the repair, only 35% of customers think about it before renewing their dysfunctional product. The savings made, the ease of obtaining spare parts and the reduction of waste are their three main motivations. It is also an opportunity to see that the repairability index is in line with the findings of the Fnac-Darty after-sales service: on washing machines, the higher the score, the higher the repair rate, and the lower the product exchange rate.

It is obviously very interesting to see two of the biggest French brands in the distribution of electronic products and household appliances encourage so much durability and repair. The market is evolving in the light of the great ecological challenges of our time and, very clearly, it is becoming crucial for these giants to position themselves as major players in maintenance/repair. In addition to the famous “warranty extensions”, the latter are increasingly highlighting their long experience in after-sales service, including through fairly innovative commercial offers. like Darty Max (an “all-inclusive” monthly subscription for the repair of its devices).

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