1709646330 More and more repairs Your devices are no longer as

More and more repairs: Your devices are no longer as reliable as they used to be

Due to the lack of reliability of their household appliances, which break down just a few years after purchase, Quebec residents have no choice but to turn to repairers more often, although the costs can be high.

This was the case for Simon St-Pierre, who had to have his refrigerator repaired less than three years after purchasing it. Without warning, the device's compressor gave up the ghost. Not too practical with two small children.

“It's annoying. It should last longer, he says. This is the first time it's happened to me.

“It was explained to me [que] Today's refrigerators have smaller compressors than before. Because they exert more force, it breaks more.”

Appliance repairs have been very busy in recent years.

Since the introduction of electronic parts, household appliances have broken more easily. Photo provided by Daniel Gagné

When he realized that his refrigerator was no longer doing its job, he quickly switched to solution mode. At the end of the race he had to pay a bill of more than $400.

“If you pay more than $2,000 for a product, you shouldn't have to spend $400 a few years later,” he adds. There is no brand that is better than the other. The phenomenon is widespread. It’s a little disappointing.”

Another consumer also had a disturbing experience when his refrigerator decided to quit in January.

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On January 13, the brick company gave Vincent Duquette and his wife a repair date in 30 days.

“We panic a little, me and my partner. We're wondering how we're going to survive without a fridge for a month. Then I get an email telling me it won't be until March 8th! Luckily my parents had a small fridge in their garage and they lent it to us while we waited,” he says.

Lack of reliability

Although they cannot provide precise statistics, the four repair companies contacted by Le Journal agree. The unreliability of household appliances is one of the reasons for the increase in the number of calls.

Appliance repairs have been very busy in recent years.

Daniel Gagné believes that household appliances break down much more quickly than before. Photo provided by Daniel Gagné

“When I started 31 years ago, the first repairs only came after 17 years,” says Daniel Gagné, lead technician at Electro Clinic. We’re talking more than three or four years.”

“Over the years, companies have added parts and electronics to the devices. It’s more fragile than before.”

At Patrick Réhel, a repairer with 35 years of experience, the number of calls has increased by 15% in recent years.

“All brands fail in the first five years,” he says. The quality is no longer the same. It’s not as good as it used to be.”

“For example, a hose that was once made of rubber is now made of plastic. It breaks with the snap of a finger.”

The downside of technology

The presence of electronic components makes the appliances even more sensitive, said Sylvain Lebel, president of the Corporation of Household Appliance Technicians of Quebec (CTEQ).

“For this reason, it will break more often,” he points out. Current fluctuations are catastrophic for household appliances.”

“If a customer tells us about outages or recurring outages in their industry, that doesn’t bode well for their equipment.”

Appliance repairs have been very busy in recent years.

Sylvain Lebel, president of the Corporation of Household Appliance Technicians of Quebec, believes that electronics have changed the situation in terms of appliance reliability in recent years. Photo provided by Sylvain Lebel

He also sees customers who don't properly maintain their devices or use them appropriately.

“It’s also about certain manufacturers programming the lifespan of their devices,” mentions Lebel. There’s no point in doing that.”

“You can't screw up your product like that, especially if a customer is paying for an overpriced cooktop. Companies will not risk damaging their reputation.”

Repair or throw away?

Devices older than ten years are more difficult to repair due to the scarcity of available parts.

“I just told a customer that there’s nothing you can do with his refrigerator,” says Patrick Réhel. He had to spend $1,500 to extend the lifespan and he told me that was the price of a new unit.”

When repair costs exceed $1,500, technicians often advise customers to purchase a new unit. Then they are faced with a heartbreaking decision.

“There are many devices that we can no longer repair because the parts are no longer available from our suppliers,” says Asma Makhlouf, who works for Service 2000. “This forces our customers to buy new devices more often.”

–In collaboration with David Descôteaux

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