In July 2021 the UK government passed a new piece of legislation called the UK’s ‘Right to Repair’. It has the aim of extending the life of a range of electronics and appliances by up to ten years. The law also legally requires manufacturers to make spare parts available to citizens and third-party repair companies.
The Regulations aim to increase producer responsibility, reduce energy usage and electrical waste, and enable consumers to identify the most energy efficient products on the market. Following the UK leaving the EU, the UK chose to mirror requirements in equivalent EU regulations.
The ‘right to repair’ provides ‘professional repairers’ with access to spare parts and technical information from July 2021, but manufacturers have a grace period of up to 2 years to make spare parts available.
The UK produces more electronic waste per person in the form of discarded appliances and electronics than any other country in the world except Norway, according to the Global E-Waste Monitor. The 2021 ‘right to repair’ law aims to tackle the scale of the problem by making household washing machines, washer dryers, vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, fridges, TVs and other electronic displays easier to repair.
It is worth noting that manufacturers are now required to make spare parts available for appliance repair for a minimum of seven to ten years after an appliance stops being manufactured. Many of the manufacturers have taken their sales teams off the road altogether and those that haven’t only offer minimal coverage where a customer has to stay in all day to wait for them and additionally pay for the collection service.
Some will send a courier to collect the broken machine and if it is deemed viable for repair (which they are not keen to encourage) then it will be fixed and returned with another full day taken out of the consumer’s diary as they wait in all day for the courier service to return it. More often the customer receives a phone call from the manufacturer deeming the machine “unworthy of repair” and offering them a sizeable discount on a brand, new machine which is what they wanted to sell all along.
Increasingly, the environmental impact of the manufacture, use, and end of life disposal of products is under scrutiny. The EU and UK are both implementing new eco design and energy labelling requirements to increase producer responsibility and reduce energy usage and electrical waste.
The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances recommends that “Repairs should always be carried out by qualified personnel, using manufacturer specified parts,” states AMDEA’s CEO Paul Hide. “It should always be stressed that it is a significant risk to safety for an untrained individual to attempt an appliance repair on a major domestic appliance.
So, in the middle of all that debate and rising to the challenge of trying to ensure as many vacuum cleaners as possible are viable for repair and will live long, happy lives – the team at PHC will service and repair your machine, in your own home, at a day and time to suit you.
As the UK’s largest, independent vacuum service and repair centre PHC covers Kent, East Surrey, East Sussex, Essex & SE London with a team of 8 professional field engineers. Services start from just £34.99 and we look after 5 vacuum cleaner brands – Dyson, Oreck, Kirby, Miele & GTech. Give us a call on 0333 533 7220 to book a visit.