KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
11th February 2020
We strongly recommend viewing KBzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Welcome to the
Love or loathe the EU, I think those of us who are reasonable can see both positives and negatives from membership, wherever we might be placed across the bloc.
One of the things that concerns me about leaving - and it’s not just because of my involvement in this industry but also because of my desire that we live more sustainably – is the potential change in the standards of goods. What a nightmare! Yes, I know the Government’s promising that the UK will continue to match and may well even exceed EU product regulations, but with the shambolic performances we’re seeing in the Commons, can we trust the assurances we’re being given?
I’ve grumbled on here about the awful light emitted by EU regulation lightbulbs, but when it comes to the ability to have something repaired or replaced, the EU gets my vote every time. If you’re a regular reader of my Leaders you may recall that last year my fridge-freezer was – after a long battle – replaced free of charge because it was found to have a technical fault; more recently my MacBook Pro was repaired free of charge because of a common technical fault that had been discovered in the batch from which it came. Had I been living in the US the computer repair would have cost around $600 and I’m assuming that I’d have had to buy a new fridge freezer too. That’s a lot of money!
As you can imagine, I love the new EU rules which decree that from 2021, appliance and lighting product manufacturers will not only have to ensure that appliances are built to last longer, but spare parts will have to be available to professional repairers for up to 10 years. The parts that may need repairing will have to be accessible with commonly-available tools and without damaging the product, too. A headache for manufacturers no doubt, but we are of course, all consumers too so it will benefit us all in the long run. And although campaigners are arguing that we should also be allowed to buy spares and mend our own machines, I really don’t think this is a good idea safety-wise, unless we’re suitably qualified, however much money it might save us, do you?
Now, how do we go about ensuring that the cost of repairs will not continue to mean that it will be less expensive to replace, than it will be to repair?
26th October 2019