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Our aim is to tell you which brands are built to last and which will cost you in the long run. CHOICE lab testing rates performance and ease of use for new products, but we can't usually test them for longevity - by the time we'd finished testing, they wouldn't be available any longer.
This is where you come in. Do products in our What to Buy lists perform better in the long run? Could a bigger purchase price save on repairs in the long run? These are some of the questions our survey seeks to answer - although 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.
How we survey
- Every few years, over 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, the major problems with newer appliances and which brands members are most and least likely to purchase again.
- We also ask about the types of problems users experienced with newer appliances - those purchased in the last few years. Multiple responses are allowed.
- 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 appliance home, staple the docket, warranty and manual together and put them in an "appliance file".
- If you're buying an appliance 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.
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.
| Hot water systems (271)
| TVs (295)
| PVRs (344)
| Washing machines (506)
| Lawnmowers (252)
| Smartphones (376)
| Camcorders (100)
| Microwaves (454)
| Clothes dryers (160)
| Steam irons / stations (309)
** Multiple responses allowed.
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