When you buy a home appliance, you expect it to be a reasonable price, excel at its function and, most importantly, last for years.
In our latest reliability survey, we surveyed over 8,000 members to reveal the most and least reliable brands across 16 home appliance categories.
The best brands in many categories can be expected to last at least ten years without developing any kind of fault, but the worst brands have a good chance of failing in less than half that amount of time.
Built to last
As part of an investigation into how old and new products compare, we managed to get hold of a 60-year-old vacuum cleaner that was still working.
When it was purchased, it would have cost the equivalent of £450. Nowadays, you can get a new vacuum cleaner for less than £100, but it’s difficult to imagine any of the models on offer still being used in 60 years’ time.
But this is just one machine. We know from your comments on Which? Conversation that some of you have home appliances that you’ve had for years, sometimes even decades.
‘I replaced the motor and drain pump of my 1982 Philips washing machine after about ten years and it continued to work perfectly until I moved home earlier this year. I will offer it to a local museum. My Belling cooker lasted the same length of time and needed only replacement oven door springs every few years. I am still using my late 80s or early 90s Philips microwave oven, which has had one repair and a replacement lamp.
‘My oldest household appliance is a 1982 Electrolux vacuum cleaner, but that is used only for cleaning the garage/workshop and car. I replaced the centrifugal fan when it was about fifteen years old.’
But one thing is clear from your comments. While some of you may have household appliances that have latest the test of time, they have had to be repaired periodically.
Are household appliances less reliable than they used to be?
Yes (58%, 591 Votes)
No (26%, 267 Votes)
Not sure (16%, 163 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,021
So, is an increase in appliance replacement or failure down to the fact that modern appliances are less reliable and not built to last? Or are we just less inclined to pay for an expensive repair bill when a replacement doesn’t break the bank?
Derek P says:
‘If someone who ought to spend much more than £200 for a heavy duty machine only buys a £200 machine, then they may only get 2 or 3 years use from it – but they still might prefer having a sequence of cheap new machines to the bother of getting a better made one repaired periodically.
‘In my house, I use a medium-priced Zanussi that I bought almost 30 years ago. It has only ever needed one or two very minor repairs, which I was able to do myself. When I bought it from my local Co-op, it cost £120. At the time, that was 50% more than the price of the cheapest machine that they sold.’
So, what do you think? Are products less reliable than they used to be? Or is it just that we aren’t willing to repair things as readily as we used to be?