Why India Needs Right To Repair: 1 in 2 Households Unable To Repair Whitegoods and Appliances Due to Prohibitive Cost
Moneylife Digital Team 19 July 2022
Households in India are forced to buy new appliances and white goods, despite having such products at home that are less than five years old, because of broken after-sales service and warranty, or because of service processes of brands. Nearly one in two consumers with such devices and white goods that are less than five-years-old is unable to get them repaired through the brand at an economical price, highlighting a strong need for the Right to Repair law in India, says LocalCircles. 
 
A survey conducted by LocalCircles found that 43% of the Indian households that participated had three or more devices at home that were less than five-years-old and needed service or repair. Devices included any type of gadget like a laptop, desktop, smartphone, printer and tablet. Of this 43% of respondents, about 23% had six or more such devices that needed repair, while the remaining 20% had three to five such devices.
 
 
Last week, the ministry of consumer affairs said that it will soon create a framework for Right to Repair in India and has set up an expert panel. The objective is to bind manufacturers to give detailed drawings of their products while selling them so the consumers do not depend only on original manufacturers for after-sales service or repairs. The proposed framework will also ensure that spare parts for repairs are readily available, which is one of the most common complaints of consumers when they approach manufacturers for gadgets and white goods for repairs.
 
Forty-three per cent Indian households have three or more devices or gadgets at home that are less than five-years-old needing service or repair
 
When these consumers with three or more devices at home needing repair were asked about why they had not gotten their device repaired, 18% said they tried but the brand failed to deliver. Almost 47% said that the cost of getting service or repair with the brand was prohibitive and bad economics and, hence, they did not. 
 
About 10% of the consumers had other reasons, while another 10% said that the process of coordinating service or repair with the brand was unclear. Around 5% of the consumers in the category said they did not want to go through the hassles of coordinating service/repair with the brand, while 4% did not share their reason. 
 
The findings suggested that many Indian households buy new devices despite having a less than five-year-old device at home because of broken after- sales service economics and warranty, service and repair processes of brands, LocalCircles says. 
 
Many households buy new devices (laptops, mobile, tablets, smartphones, others), despite having a less than five-year-old device at home, because of broken after sale service economics and warranty/ service processes of brands
 
A similar scenario was found when household consumers were asked about white goods and appliances, where the survey found that 38% of the Indian households surveyed have three or more appliances or white goods at home that are less than five-years-old needing service or repairs. About 18% of the families had six or more white goods and appliances while 20% had between three to five such white goods and appliances needing repair.
 
38% of Indian households have three or more appliances or white goods at home that are less than five-years-old needing service or repair
 
When these consumers with three or more appliances or white goods at home needing repair were asked about why they had not got them repaired, 21% said they tried but the brand failed to deliver. Almost 48% said that the cost of getting service or repair with the brand was prohibitive and bad economics; hence, they did not. 
 
About 19% said that the process of coordinating with the brand was time-consuming or cumbersome and 6% of the consumers said that they either did not want to go through the hassles of coordinating with the brand, or the process was unclear, while 4% did not share their reason. 
 
Once again, LocalCircles says, even in the appliances and white goods category, the findings suggested that many Indian households buy new appliances and white goods, despite having a less than five-year-old product at home because of broken after-sales service economics and warranty, service and repair processes of brands.
 
Households buy new appliances and white goods despite having such products at home that are less than five years old, because of broken after-sales service and warranty, or because of service processes of brands
 
For both these categories of devices and white goods and appliances, 47% and 48% household consumers saying that it is not economical to repair the product currently with the way brands do it is a significant finding because it indicates that not only is this leading to consumers buying new replacement products and, hence, an impact on their household budgets but also that a lot of electronic and electrical waste is getting created in the country. 
 
"By giving consumers the right to repair, even if 50% of these devices were repaired economically, it would have a significant positive impact," LocalCircles says. 
 
According to LocalCircles, with the ministry of consumer affairs announcing that it will create a framework to enable the right to repair in India, it is a start. "The framework will need to not only require manufacturers to share detailed drawings upon product sales but also guarantee spare parts support for a period." 
 
"From an industry standpoint, it has the potential to create new scalable business models around independent repairs of different categories of products. From a consumer standpoint, it will be empowerment and choices and above all from an environment standpoint, it will reduce the amount of e-waste we generate as a nation," it added.
 
Comments
bhavnani2007
2 months ago
To put a break on CO2 emissions, these regulations are the first step. Manufacturing like a mad bull, "China" has no meaning. If the appliances have to be thrown away, before it's full life cycle, we will never be a rich country.
sherna.gandhy
3 months ago
Such a law is badly needed. Sometimes a service centre is so far away that it's not worth ones time and energy to make the journey. Everything is done to discourage repair and reuse so that more new goods are bought.
jagjiv555
3 months ago
I think this is must. It seems, Brands are not serious about after-sales-service. They outsource this service from some agency. They are not able to monitor their performance. For example, my Samsung just 3 years old, the agency is not able to fix the problem even after replacement of part suggested by the Agency. I am not sure, if part was required to be replaced.
r_ashok41
3 months ago
This is the basic necessity and also the company should make available the spares at their outlets or maybe in their website and help the customer otherwise the company should be penalised .In lot of overseas and advanced countries they give a booklet when the item is bought.Here they do not want to educate the customer .It is high time it is done.
jairam.narayan
3 months ago
We definitely need right to repair in place, more importantly , FMCG companies can play an important role in setting up network of service centers who can and will assist in repairing and servicing devices at reasonable prices and with reliable and genuine spare parts.
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