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Shops in France launch repair schemes

Two household appliance firms have launched schemes to encourage customers to repair rather than replace faulty out-of-warranty items

Darty’s repair assistance plan covers items such as fridges, washing machines and ovens for up to 15 years after purchase, while SEB allows items to remain repairable for up to 10 years and has a fixed-price repair service with a network of 6,000-plus repairers.

The “Darty Max” service is promoted as allowing you to repair all appliances, whether bought from the firm or not, for a subscription of €9.99 per month.

It says the service is free for parts and repairs and a technician will out come out in 24 hours. If the appliance cannot be repaired, you will obtain a voucher for a new one.

However, it is worth checking the small print. For items bought from the firm, it works as long as parts are available, which may be from seven to 15 years. Others are eligible for seven years, and only if the brand and type of product is a kind that Darty sells or has sold. In that case, you pay €59 for the first repair and there are no vouchers. The offer cannot be cancelled before 12 months, with limited exceptions, such as moving abroad.

SEB’s repairs are €18.99 to €49.99 per repair, depending on what the appliance is, if you drop it to a repairer. It has higher tariffs for a transport-included service via a drop point.

Good to know

From January 1, 2021, shops must display a “reparability index” for certain electrical items, including laptops, mobile phones, TVs, washing machines and lawnmowers. The aim is to give consumers an idea of the availability of spare parts, prices, and how easy it is to take the object apart.

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