If you watched the Programme tonight on BBC’s “Your Money, Their Tricks” you may have been surprised by the apparent problems revealed when seeking to get Appliances repaired. The BBC are challenging the Manufacturers that they should make more technical information available to all independent repairers, and not force repairs via their own Engineers.
It compared quotes of up to £127 from one of their own Engineers to an independent one at £45. This does fly in the face of the general consensus and UK Government Policies to encourage Reuse & Repair. If you were given a choice of these prices then the majority of people would likely choose an Independent Repairer. A customer faced with a £127 price, plus any parts could be forgiven for choosing to buy a new item, but that then creates a potential waste item and cost to the Local Authority for disposal, which comes right back at the consumer in the form of the Annual Rates bill.
If Waste Prevention is at the heart of Environmental Policies, why doesn’t the Government address this dichotomy. The answer isn’t easy but EEESafe does pave a way forward to saving money for all stakeholders, and consumers do have a large stake in this system. The precise size of the Stake is not fully realised by consumers many of whom remain blissfully unaware of limited material resources, sustainability, future generation strategies and also the importance of retaining community assets for local benefit.
At EEESafe we believe that Independent repairers should be registered to a 3rd Party Authority and Standard, which is what we offer. A standard that consumers will recognise as avoiding rogue traders and inexperienced, unregulated DIY repairers. We also believe that all technical information should be made available to our Registered Technicians and this is a dialogue we would like to have with them, to ensure safe practices, with sound environmental and social aims that support local communities. We’ve published our Draft Protocol at www.reeesafe.com for recycled spares, but incorrect knowledge in the wrong hands, could increase risks to families operating with unregulated repairers.
Most of the Manufacturers “Service Partners” are under contract to reach a level of Turnover or Number of Repairs in order to become a partner and get access to the information. The pressure is on for many of them to achieve targets, but it also leaves thousands of other independents unable to complete a repair, thus waste their own costs and increase potential poor fixes, due to their own” best guess” fix. Many of these guys are good, but they could be better and give safer repairs with access to more technical information. BEKO has to be applauded for making their information available, but how do they know who they are giving it to. We think EEESafe Registered Domestic Appliance Technicians, is a standard by which they can recognise a level of competence.
EEESafe has proposed standards for the correct refurbishment of original spares from Appliances diverted from landing in the local Waste site, being shredded somewhere in the UK or leaving the Island forever. We are at early discussion stages with one or two Manufacturers to see if agreement can be reached to ensure a higher safety standard in the independent repair sector. We believe its a foundation for reducing risks of accidents or fires being caused by the incorrect fitting of a universal spare, so we do in many ways support them in their defence of giving out such knowledge.
However, by working with EEESafe and our standards, there is every opportunity to build a model based on doing the right thing Socially and Environmentally to ensure future generations have minimal impact on the limited resources available for manufacturing consumer appliances.
The programme showed Manufacturers in a poor light, but there is more to this than meets they eye, as there often is when a TV Producer sanctions a project to get viewers engaged. Lets hope at the very least the BBC are lighting and fuelling a flame to highlight the need to get all parties around the table and work for a better world. One that not only highlights the challenge of Manufacturers and Repairers, but one that also recognises a “do the right thing” ethos for Social, Environment and Education outcomes.
Remember. “Be Safe, Use EEESafe” and you won’t go far wrong in understanding the Brand.
The BBC information, including what Manufacturers said, are at the BBC Webpage found HERE.