More than 40 million large appliances in use in UK homes are unlikely to be registered with the manufacturers, rendering them extremely hard to trace if a safety repair is ever needed.
Today, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting Register My Appliance Week and urging all households to take the simplest and most important act of care: registering their home appliances to ensure their brands know where to find them. Whether machines are newly purchased, long installed, have been acquired ‘nearly new’ or second-hand, registration is vital to help ensure the longest possible safe lifespan.
According to a new survey conducted for the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA) by YouGov, the great majority (60%) of UK adults think their attitude to taking care of their appliances has changed over the past couple of years – whether to try to make their possessions last longer, or to save money or resources. Yet almost a third (32.2%) of people never or rarely register their large appliances. With an estimated 133 million fridges, washing machines and ovens in use in UK homes, this could mean some 42.8 million are unregistered.
While recalls on home appliances are rare, issues with the equipment can develop over time and a simple, free in-home adjustment by a qualified engineer can ensure a longer and safer life for machines. But, unlike our cars, a vast number of these valuable possessions are still untraceable because they are unregistered.
AMDEA’s Register My Appliance portal provides a quick and easy remedy offering online access to more than 70 leading brands, with most accepting registration of both new and older appliances.
The survey also revealed that over a quarter (29%) of adults had already purchased a second-hand large appliance in the past and 50% would consider it in the future. Similarly, in the past year, more than a half (53%) of adults had purchased a new small cooking appliance but the majority (59%) still had not registered them. When it comes to older appliances, the majority of UK adults (57%) are unaware that they can still register a machine even if they never had, or no longer have, the receipt. In most cases, all that is needed for registration is information about the model and serial number, with clear advice provided on the portal for where to find these details.
The survey also probed consumers understanding of the terminology used to describe different types of ‘nearly new’ appliances. Although the terms ‘refurbished’ and ‘display model’ were understood by 73.4% and 72% of people respectively, only 46.2% knew what ‘out-of-box’ meant, and only 22.4% say they understood the term ‘graded’. 12.6% were baffled by all the descriptions.
While manufacturers and outlets may use slightly different terms to describe ‘nearly new’ or pre-used appliances, it’s always good to question why the product is reduced and check for a warranty. For initial guidance definitions are usually as follows:
- Out-of-box, or open box: Literally it is no longer in the original or sealed box. It is often an appliance that has been returned or used as a display model. In either case they may have a small cosmetic blemish or scratch which must be disclosed.
- Graded: sometimes called B grade stock or factory seconds, are brand new appliances that have been returned to the original supplier or manufacturer. There are multiple reasons for appliances being returned, but the most common is due to cosmetic damage or imperfections on the appliance. Again, the details should be made available.
- Refurbished: are products that have been returned because they were defective and have been fixed. Check that this has been done and tested by the manufacturer or their representative.
- Display model: as the name suggests this appliance has been on display. It has probably never been used but may have cosmetic blemishes and the original packaging may not be available.