Launched with great fanfare at the beginning of the year to fight waste by encouraging the purchase of more repairable electronics, the repairability index advocated by the authorities would not deliver on these promises at this stage. This is at least the opinion of the UFC-Que Choisir, for whom “the index is sinful both in its construction by public authorities and in its distribution by distributors.” In a report published this Tuesday, the association for the defense of consumers raised the “alarm” and called for “a reform of the repairability index to make it a real, useful tool to guide consumer purchases.”
The poor shape of the repairability index is due in particular to low investment by manufacturers and distributors, the association notes. After having analyzed 330 products and nine online sales sites, he observes that a large majority of sellers do not comply with their obligation to view the index. Worse still, only 42% of products have the logo visible near the price, laments UFC-Que Choisir.
If brands like Leroy Merlin (100%) or Boulanger (95%) seem to be “good students” by indicating the visible logo near the price of 100% and 95% respectively of their products, this is not the case. Other retail giants. Starting with Amazon (22%) or, worse still, Carrefour (0%), which “in the best of cases only have a very relative consideration of their legal obligation”, laments the association. The latter is also surprised that official controls to verify proper compliance with the law do not begin until January 1, 2022, and calls for greater vigilance by the State.
A very perfectible index
For UFC-Que Choisir, it is in fact urgent “to review the construction of the repairability index so that it really reflects the aptitude of a product to be repaired”, but also “to impose on the sellers so that the rating table is directly accessible to the consumers. ”As a reminder, this was not yet mentioned in the index even before we looked at its implementation.
According to the association, “the repairability index seems thus constructed to give manufacturers an artificial satisfaction on the repairability of their products by offering them points for minor criteria, or already widely applied”. It also argues that “manufacturers can inflate the repairability index of their products simply by enforcing the law”, citing the example of “manufacturers of washing machines, who can invoice the repairability index simply by fulfilling their obligation. legal to guarantee the availability of spare parts for at least 10 years ”.
If, however, the association requests the establishment of such an index, considered “welcome”, remember that the index, which has the form of a score from 1 to 10, must be placed in five types of teams, chosen by the public authorities. as pilot products: washing machines, televisions, smartphones, laptops and lawn mowers. This range of products is expected to be developed in 2024. However, according to UFC-Que Choisir, it will not be enough to strengthen the sustainability of consumer products, despite the fact that only a third of the 16 million large appliances that are decompose every year. year are repaired.
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