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

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

First of all, a little method of explanation. This 5th edition of the barometer is the result of three sources: a customer study on the duration of use of the product (10,403 respondents), the study of 580,138 breakdowns and, finally, the study of 912,226 after- sales service intervention; all between July 2021 and August 2022. Fnac-Darty then establishes a sustainability score and calculates the brand scores of the product family, taking into account the repair rate, the availability of spare parts and, bag -or for this edition, their price. Fnac-Darty then uses this information to select products labeled “sustainable choice”. They break down less often, are easier to repair and are 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 of our sustainability score. By making this choice, we voluntarily wishes to highlight the challenge it represents for facilitating the use of payment”explained Vincent Gufflet, director of services and operations.

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Large household appliances lead the way

It is very long to list here all the brand podiums in the product category, as well as all the lessons learned in this barometer. Also, we strongly invite you to browse this interactive barometer to consult the types of products that are of particular interest to you.

But, some examples. In terms of laptops, the average durability score is 122/200, with the podium of brands consisting of Apple, HP and Asus. Two good points: the price of spare parts makes repairs profitable and 62% of breakdowns can be solved without the need for spare parts. Bad point: if the useful life of a portable PC is eight years, spare parts are usually 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 handled by the after-sales service are material and spare parts are generally very cheap (4% of the product price on average). On the other hand, smartphones are replaced after only four years on average, and spare parts are available for three years on average.

Unfortunately, Fnac-Darty does not group all televisions in the same category and separates LED TVs from Oled and Qled TVs, which makes reading the results more difficult in this category. Note the poor durability score of electric scooters (41/200). In question, 65% of breakdowns require a change of parts and a duration of use of the machine is 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 stable, with good reliability and repair scores, long availability of spare parts and relatively low costs compared to new products.

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Fewer appliances mean less carbon impact and more savings

Let’s conclude by pointing out the main lessons of this 5th edition of the after-sales barometer. In creed “Fewer appliances mean less carbon impact and more savings”, Fnac-Darty communicates a dual interest in choosing well and making its electronic products and household items last as long as possible. Beyond choosing a durable product, retailers insist on maintenance (almost one in two after-sales service calls are due to lack of maintenance), while 30% of respondents do not maintain their device. As for 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 repair index is consistent with the findings of Fnac-Darty after-sales service: in washing machines, the higher the score, the higher the repair rate, and the lower the exchange rate of the product.

Obviously, it is very interesting to see two of the biggest French brands in the distribution of electronic products and household appliances that inspire more durability and repair. The market is developing in light of the many ecological challenges of our time and, very clearly, it has become important for these giants to position themselves as major players in sustainability/remediation. In addition to the famous “warranty extensions”, the latter particularly emphasize their long experience in after-sales service, including through fairly new commercial offers such as Darty Max (a “all-inclusive” monthly subscription for the repair of its devices) .

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