You have just purchased this washing machine last cry at a very affordable price of 285 euros. In addition, its energy-label class in the category A+ energy. No doubt, you have made a good case not only for your wallet but also for the planet. The latest study by UFC-que choisir on the performance and durability of the products*, which was published Tuesday, October 25, will you spoil the party.
“Currently, on an energy scale ranging from A to G, all the home electric appliances are in class A, the only distinction lying in a staggering very little visibility of the ‘+’. The fact is that these labels of energy, which had as initial goal to inform consumers of how illuminating, are no longer functional, because the product the most energy efficient on the market may appear environmentally virtuous in the eyes of the customers, as we confirmed in our study, regrets Joël Dufour, vice-president of UFC-que choisir. Added to this, a myriad of pictograms incomprehensible that complicate even further the comparison between two similar goods. For this reason the association asks for the abandonment of these and the grading of the ‘+’ for the benefit of the rehabilitation of the A-G scale, which is currently under review by the european Union in the framework of the revision of the directive the Label energy of 2010.
in Addition to improved readability, the survey reveals a very high expectation of consumers on the overall cost of the equipment, that is to say, on the budgetary indication of the cost of use to predict (consumption of water and/or electricity) in addition to the purchase price. Because yes, you already know the story may be, but your wonderful washing machine at 285 euros will cost you in addition to 740 euros over ten years. More than the competitor’s rated A+++, that despite a purchase price a little higher will weigh less heavy in your budget for the term. “The user cost represents 65% to 72% of the total cost of a product,” stresses the study. However, it is often impossible for the client to measure the impact of fiscal and environmental futures.
Finally, the UFC-que choisir points to the lack of information on the life and reliability of the products. “There is currently an information asymmetry exists between the seller and the buyer on this issue, in particular on the availability or not of spare parts, for the benefit of the extensions of guarantees often expensive, and unnecessary proposed in-store,” insists Nicolas Mouchnino, head of the mission energy in the UFC-That to Choose. however, a recent study of the european social and economic Council of 2016 shows that, when information on the duration of life is available, sales of the most durable products to increase by an average of 56%, and not less than 118% in France”.
This is why the association asks both the creation of an obligation to display the shelf-life of each product, household appliances, but also the introduction of a period of statutory warranty variable indexed on the range and the durability of the products. The objective would thus be to increase the responsibility of manufacturers and distributors, and to prevent the poor quality of a device is financially supported solely by the consumer. “But for this, it would also be necessary that the State take its responsibilities. By lack of means but also of political will, no independent oversight worthy of the name is carried out by the State to verify the reliability of the performance claims of the manufacturers”, tip Joël Dufour, vice-president of UFC-que choisir. Care is left to professionals in the sector of washing their dirty linen in the family, hidden from the eyes too shrewd consumers.
*Methodology : The UFC-que choisir, has conducted with TNS Sofres in march last, a qualitative study based on four focus group discussions (” focus groups “), interviewed in march 2016, consisting of 7 to 9 consumers who would have purchased a household appliance and audiovisual media in the last 6 months. Two profiles of consumers were interviewed: households “installed” (between 40 and 65 years, with at least 4 purchases of home appliances/televisions in their life) and households “under construction” (between 20 and 35 years, in a logic of first purchase). A qualitative study co-funded by the ADEME.