The Office Of Fair Trading have announced a review in of Domestic Electrical goods including large domestic appliances. More informatino of this review can be found on the OFT's website from this link.
It is the association's intention to investigate, as fully as possible in the time that we have to respond, and report on our members views of the appliance aftercare industry, the availability of technical information and specialist diagnostic and programming equipment that is being allegedly withheld from our members.
Recently it was pointed out by Defra that all manufacturers had a responsibility under the WEEE Regulation (Waste Electrical & Electrical Equipment) that spares, technical, diagnostic and specialist tools or equipment to reprogram or diagnose problems was to be made available to anyone within the industry that deals with WEEE. In so far as government is concerned this includes not only when the goods reach their end of life but also applies in preventing the goods being discarded sooner than they should be. This brings about an obvious environmental benefit through appliances and other electrical items having their lifespans maximised at a reasonable cost.
Due to this information several of our members wrote to major manufacturers requesting the information that they had an obligation to supply to them by law. the response has been less than overwhelming. In fact, there has been practically no response from any of the major manufacturers whereas some of the small er producers have openly supplied the information, largely for free.
With the possible launch of a full inquiry by the OFT we have written in the past few days to the bulk of the major manufacturers operating in the UK today asking them for their position on the release of this information. We expect responses to these inquiries by the 2 0th Decmber 2010 which will be forwarded to both the OFT and Defra for their consideration in determining whether further action or investigation is required.
We will also, over the course of the next week, be contacting all our members for their opinions in more detail and, examples of information or means to service products being withheld.