Teleplan survey: ‘Binster’ Britons waste £1.4 Billion on broken consumer electric goods every year

We’re no longer thrifty. On the contrary, we’re rather nifty at throwing away electrical goods when they break. With more than £1.4bn worth of items breaking or damaged every year, Britain’s throwaway culture can lead to unwarranted expense, according to the latest survey from electronics after sales specialist Teleplan.

Schiphol (Amsterdam)/ the Netherlands 29th January 2015 – Teleplan – one of the top global integrated end-to-end aftermarket service solution providers – says Britain is becoming a throwaway society as consumers shun repairs to broken phones, TVs, kettles, laptops, tablets and consumer electricals.

According to its latest survey, almost two-thirds of respondents (68.8%) had experienced at least one breakage of an electrical item during the last two years*. More than one-in-five (22.8%) Brits appear to be especially accident prone, having broken between two to four devices every year.

Alarmingly, rather than opt for a quick and simple repair, most broken items ended up in the bin – even those with a relatively high value – adding up to the equivalent of more that £1.4 billion** of replacement goods every year.

Although most people admitted breakages were their fault (24.6%), they were also quick to place the blame on other family members. One-in-five (20%) said their children were at fault, partners were accountable for 12.8% and even family pets were responsible for 7.4% of damages.

Sven Boddington, Vice President, Global Marketing and Client Solutions at Teleplan said: “The results of the survey surprised us. Rather than in the thrifty post-war era, we are now seeing a generation of ‘Binsters’, those who believe broken goods are only fit for the trash. Not only does the throwaway mentality add to the e-waste problem, it ignores the consumer rights that many have to protect them from damaged or faulty items.

“Replacement and repaired goods can save customers hundreds of pounds and depending if they have the correct warranty plan, consumers can have the goods collected and delivered directly to and from to their homes.”

Almost half (48.3%) of those with damaged devices said they weren’t worth replacing. Another 10.2% said they couldn’t be bothered to pay or claim for a repair and 34.3% said they went and bought a replacement device. Almost 1-in-20 respondents with damaged devices (4.9%) were covered by a warranty but still didn’t claim for a replacement, whilst an industrious group opted for the ‘patch it and see’ approach (8.4%) with their own DIY repairs.

In fact, for those that had taken the care to protect their items under a manufacturers’ warranty (of between one to three years), only one-in-four (23.8%) people had claimed when the item broke.

The Teleplan Breakables Survey
Conducted December 2014 (500 respondents)

• A quarter of those with damaged goods (24.6%) admitted the breakages were their fault. A further 20% blamed their kids, 12.8% their partner and 7.4% their pets. A further 3.2% pointed the finger at their parents or in-laws, with one respondent claiming: “It just stops working when my mother-in-law touches it”.

• Scratches (46.8%) and cracked screens (43.3%) were the most common damage complaints on electrical items, presumably on mobile phones, laptops or tablets. Shocks and vibration caused by dropping (39.8%) was also a common cause of complaint, along with water damage (31.4%). Pen marks or foreign substance damage was responsible for 13.4% of breakages, whilst 3.2% claimed ‘high jinks at Christmas parties’ were to blame.

• A quarter of damage occurred to items in the £0 to £50 price bracket (24.7%). However, 51.5% of damage was caused to items valued between £51 and £250 and 23.8% to items above £250 in value.

• The older generation use (and break) cheaper electrical devices – demonstrating that the younger generation tend to buy more expensive ‘lifestyle’ devices rather than the more functional devices favoured by the over 60s. In total, 65% of respondents aged 60 and over admitted to breaking items worth up to £100, compared to only 40% of 18 to 29 year olds.

*Of 500 respondents, 344 said they had had at least one breakage in the last 2 years.

** £1.4 billion figure arrived at from the following breakdown: There are 26.4 million households in the UK. Of these 31.2% of the Teleplan survey said they had no breakages, leaving a sample size of 18.2 million households. If these experience, on average, one damaged item per year, with an average replacement value of £78.5, this equates to over £1.4 billion a year.

Atomic PR for Teleplan
Lauren Taylor/Tony Brown
Tel: +44 207 025 7517

Teleplan International N.V.
Monika Collée
Corporate Director Communications
Tel.: +31 6 1110 9049

Teleplan International N.V. is an industry leader in lifecycle care for after-market service, operating in the areas of Computers, Communications and Consumer Electronics. Focussing on Customer Care, Managed Logistics, Parts Management, Screening & Testing, Repair/Refurbish and Resell/Recycle, Teleplan have over 30 years of proven performance providing value propositions throughout the supply chain from the point of purchase to the end of life. Teleplan innovate to consistently keep up with the advances in interactive connectivity and communication and our Telemade approach tailors to each individual customer’s needs. Headquartered in Amsterdam/Schiphol, the Netherlands, Teleplan’s service centers have a global reach of over 95 countries and employ over 5000 people.

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