Are our products durable?

The 2021 APPLiA Hungary – GFK Hungária research was seeking answers to the question, among others, of who domestic households think depends on the durability of their household appliances. The figure below summarizes the results of the research:

Appliances older than 8 years in Hungarian households.

We can see that half of households think that at least 50% of how durable your appliance is depends on how you use it. 42% say it depends more on the manufacturer and less on the use of the appliance. A mere 9% believe that durability depends solely on the manufacturer.

Reflections by Fanni Mészáros, company manager of APPLiA Hungary

Whenever I go to a conference or participate in an interview, but also during conversations with friends, and even during my 2017 SZTE thesis defense, the question of how durable our household appliances are today has come up. Here come the conspiracy theories about planned obsolescence, about deliberately built-in defects in the appliances during manufacture, peppered with comments such as “as we all know”, or “it’s obvious today”, “it’s common knowledge today”.

Since this topic is indeed – sooner rather than later – almost constantly in the center of interest nowadays, I would like to invite you to a collective reflection, to analyze the topic from here and there, promising you that I will leave the liberty of the final judgement to you!

However, before we start thinking together, three very important things need to be made clear:

  1. so far, there has never been any evidence that the manufacturer of a household appliance has deliberately misled consumers in this way;
  2. the industry association, both the international organization, APPLiA Europe, and the Hungarian association, APPLiA Hungary, would strongly condemn any such practice by any manufacturer;
  3. APPLiA Europe and APPLiA Hungary cannot and does not address the business policies, manufacturing and market practices of each manufacturer, as this is outside its scope of competence (and therefore cannot and does not take a position on criticisms and consumer complaints related to specific appliances).

(To be continued in “Are our household appliances durable?” (2017) available for download.)