I received a consumer question from someone who had bought a white goods appliance and it had only lasted 4 years. It was an expensive hob, but my advice is relevant to any white goods appliance.
The customer had purchased a NEFF induction hob 4 years ago for £820. He now found that 2 rings had gone faulty. A Neff engineer said that the cost of repair would be £600+ which rendered the appliance beyond economic repair.
Does the customer have any rights?
In my opinion yes. They should have a case under the consumer rights act 2015. Paying £820 for a hob, which 4 years later is beyond economical repair just because 2 rings have gone is unacceptable. Not only should you not expect 2 rings on a quality product to have failed by now, but it’s outrageous that they want to charge around 80% of the purchase cost to repair it.
It’s also very disappointing that they seem so content to write it off. I’ve had this argument on another article regarding some Miele repair costs. Any manufacturer who’s business model is selling high quality, superior, and very expensive products, should find it an anathema to see any one of their appliances scrapped at 4 years old. Everyone within the company should find it equally unacceptable to have this happen to any of their customers, which undermines their entire business model.
I told the customer that I think there is a strong case for arguing that the hob has not lasted a reasonable time. However, unless Neff want to try and restore his confidence in their appliances by repairing it at a reasonable price he will need to take his case to the retailer where bought it from under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. And if necessary, threaten to take them to the small claims court.
Sadly though, in reality, the retailer is likely to dismiss any claims for compensation or replacement, at least at first. But at a cost of £820 you should expect a lot longer than 4 years, and I’d be very surprised if a small claims court judge felt any differently. Bear in mind that a retailer does have the right to knock off a certain percentage to take account of how many years of use you have had from the appliance. This adds more complexity because you have to agree how long it should have been expected to last.