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CHOICE product reliability survey

Our 2014 report reveals how our members rate common technology product and appliance brands for reliability.
 
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01.Introduction

Brand reliability

Could a bigger purchase price mean you save on repairs? Our survey results seek to answer this question and much more.

Every year CHOICE surveys thousands of our members, asking them to let us know how reliable they've found the products they've purchased.  We share the results to help you find which brands are built to last and which will cost you in the long run. The survey is the product of weeks of analysis. It's worth noting that we do find that the top-rating brands in our tests generally perform well in reliability surveys.

So next time you're buying a new product, combine our test recommendations with our member feedback about long-term reliability.

Over the last few years we've surveyed across 27 product categories:

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How we survey

  • Every year, up to 8000 members complete the appliance reliability survey, giving a great response rate. Our thanks to everyone who takes part.
  • The survey identifies the most and least reliable brands and which brands members are most and least likely to purchase again.
  • We screen the data – so if your brand isn’t listed here, it’s because we didn’t have a large enough sample size to report on. We do include the results from these samples, you'll find them in the table listed as "Other". For example, in the washing machines section of our brand reliability table, we've listed this data under "Other washing machine brands".
  • Where we report on "problems", the percentage is taken from those who said "yes" to experiencing problems in the last 12 months.

Tips when buying

  • Use our reliability results when buying - a bargain isn't a bargain if you're likely to be paying for a lot of repairs.
  • Ask about the servicing arrangements - if something goes wrong, will you have to transport the product to get it repaired or will this be organised by the manufacturer?
  • If you're buying a product that is manufactured overseas, make sure the brand has parts that are available and/or easy to access in Australia.
  • As soon as you bring a new product home, staple the docket, warranty and manual together and put them in an "product file".
  • If you're buying a product second hand, find out first if the brand is still available. If you purchase a brand that's no longer available (for example Kleenmaid) parts may be difficult to find if it breaks down.

After-sales service

At CHOICE we often receive comments regarding poor after-sales service. In some of our surveys, where appropriate, we listed poor after-sales service as a reason for why a respondent wouldn’t buy a brand again. Although this wasn’t a top-of-the-list reason for any brand, each product category did see a percentage of people listing it as a reason to not buy a particular brand again.

Reasons for not buying the brand again –
poor after-sales service**
 Air conditioners (219) 25%
 Hot water systems (271) 21%
 Fridges (424) 20%
 TVs (334) 19%
 PVRs (344) 16%
 Washing machines (564) 15%
 Espresso machines (273) 15%
 Cooktops (483) 14%
 Ovens (683) 14%
 Smartphones (496) 14%
 Digital camera (233) 14%
 Lawnmowers (252) 13%
 Dishwashers (608) 13%
 Camcorders (100) 12%
 Vacuums (596) 11%
 Microwaves (454) 10%
 Strollers (69) 6% 
 Clothes dryers (160) 8%
 Steam irons / stations (309) 3%











** Multiple responses allowed.

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