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Swiss consumers want repair label on electronic appliances

Just over half of respondents to a survey said a repair label would play a decisive role in the purchase of an electronic product. © Keystone / Adrian Reusser

No less than 98% of people polled by a consumer protection alliance are in favour of a labelling system that evaluates the repairability of electronic and household appliances. Most of them were also prepared to pay more for a product that offered specific repair guarantees.

A vast majority of survey respondents said they have had to throw out a device that was still in good condition at least once because repair costs were too high, or replacement parts were not available.

About two-thirds considered an appliance’s longevity as a decisive factor when buying a product. Just over half (58%) said a repair label, if available, would play a decisive role in a purchase.

The European Union declared its intention in 2019 to introduce a “right to repair” rule that would oblige manufacturers of electronic devices to make their products more durable, thereby reducing waste and encouraging recycling.

Several European countries are already pursuing national initiatives, according to the consumer alliance. In France a “repair index” for smartphones, laptops, televisions, washing machines and lawnmowers will come into force in 2021.

The alliance, made up of consumer protection organisations in the three main language regions of Switzerland, said on Wednesday the survey results showed “strong interest” among consumers for the concept of repairability. It plans to submit this data to parliamentarians, in a bid to push for changes in legislation.

The alliance, which polled over 2,600 people over a three-week period, supports a network of 160 Repair Cafés around the country that offer free repair services for damaged products.

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About Swissinfo
SWI – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.
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