Many an old appliance that ends up in a dump is far too good to throw away, because a household appliance repair can usually extend its service life by several years. Find out who repairs household appliances, what the difference between warranty and guarantee is, when it’s better to buy a new one, and where you can dispose of old appliances in this blog post.
Who repairs household appliances?
Once you’ve decided to have your household appliances repaired, the first port of call is the manufacturer’s customer service department. Contact details can usually be found in the purchase documents. Alternatively, an authorised repair company can also be commissioned. Which manufacturer brands are serviced by a repair company can usually be found on the company’s website.
In order to shorten the search for a suitable company, you can look up the herold directory or the nationwide cooperation of customer service centres. Another possibility is regional repair networks. The latter are currently available in Vienna, Linz and Villach.
Warranty or guarantee claim?
If a household appliance shows a defect or breaks down after a relatively short time, you should first check whether there is still a guarantee and/or warranty claim.
Warranty and guarantee are not mutually exclusive: In the event that there is a guarantee from the manufacturer, the consumer can still assert the warranty claim. From a legal point of view, a device defect can therefore be a warranty case, a warranty case or both. Since the distinction between the two causes confusion time and again, the following is the most important information on this subject.
Household appliance will be broken within the first 6 months:
Within six months of purchase, it is assumed that the defect was already present at the time of purchase.
The buyer therefore does not have to prove within these first 6 months that the defect already existed at the time of purchase.
The retailer can, however, provide proof to the contrary that the goods were completely in order, i.e. free of defects, at the time of sale.
The 6-month period cannot be shortened by the dealer.
If he does, however, the shortening is ineffective because – in contrast to a guarantee – it is a legal regulation.
Household appliance breaks down after 6 months:
If the defect occurs after six months, it is assumed that the defect occurred after the purchase and therefore no warranty claim exists.
Household appliances Repair or new purchase?
If there is no warranty or guarantee claim, you are usually faced with the decision of whether to repair the defective household appliance or whether to purchase a new one. Basically several factors have to be considered:
Age of the defective household appliance
Devices that are already older than 12 years generally have a high power consumption and a correspondingly low energy efficiency class. Repairing household appliances is usually no longer worthwhile here. They should be replaced and disposed of. In all other cases it is advisable to compare the repair costs with the costs of a new appliance.
Amount of the expected repair costs
In order to be able to estimate the cost of household appliance repair and not experience any nasty surprise, it is worth obtaining a cost estimate. It is best to tell the technician the fault code, which is usually shown on a digital display on the device, or to describe the problem.
Tip: Companies that also sell electrical appliances sometimes recommend buying a new one too quickly. It can therefore sometimes be advisable to obtain several cost estimates from different repair companies.
Costs for a new purchase
When searching for a new device, one should not go for the cheapest offer unchecked. Because buying cheap is often expensive. On the one hand, the components used in inexpensive products often lead to a short service life of the device, on the other hand, the energy consumption is usually higher.
In cheap washing machines, for example, you often find plastic vats instead of stainless steel ones. The bearing is also firmly pressed in and cannot be replaced – as is the case with high-quality appliances. If these bearings then become defective within a few years because the shock absorbers are not designed for the 1600 tours, the entire vat would have to be replaced. Repairing the washing machines would therefore be far too expensive and not worth it.
Decision guidance: purchase or household appliance repair?
The following table is intended as a guide to help you decide whether repairing household appliances is still worthwhile or whether it makes sense to buy a new one.
If the costs of repairing household appliances are lower than the upper limit (= max. repair costs in % of the new price), a repair is recommended – if they are higher, a new purchase is worthwhile.
Example washing machine
A faulty washing machine is 7 years old. The repair costs are about 180 Euro. A new washing machine costs 800 Euro. The repair costs should not exceed according to table 30 per cent of the new price. 30 per cent of the new price are 240 euro (800 * 30%). A repair of the washing machine is therefore worthwhile.
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