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Many people will have experienced that feeling of anger and frustration when a washing machine, fridge or other essential appliance breaks down outside warranty and expensive repairs or replacement is needed. You suspect that there is built in obsolescence. Well from 2021 EU consumers will have more chance to get that machine working again rather than having to lug it down to the local tip.

From 2021, companies in the EU will have to make appliances longer-lasting, and they will have to supply spare parts for machines for up to 10 years.

The rules apply to lighting, washing machines, dishwashers and fridges.

Under the European Commission’s new standards, manufacturers will have to make spares, such as door gaskets and thermostats, available to professional repairers.

These parts will have to be accessible with commonly-available tools and without damaging the product.

This would be another advantage to staying in the EU although UK businesses would have to comply with the rules to sell their products in the EU.

I am very much hoping, like many, that we are able to agree an exit with the EU and avoid a damaging crash out. That way EU standards for consumers can be preserved as well as the ADR Regulations which provide a straightforward alternative to the small claims court can continue into the future.

At the moment there is a system in place whereby if a consumer complains about goods or services in the EU businesses are required to signpost to alternative dispute resolution if the dispute cannot be resolved. It is hoped that the system brought in by the EU and agreed to and promoted by the UK as well will continue.

To sign up to use ProMediate’s ADR scheme for consumers please get in touch with us. It is not expensive and is a great way to preserve and enhance customer relations.