- Created: Wednesday, 25 October 2006 14:22
- Last Updated: Monday, 20 June 2016 14:35
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Servis was founded in 1929 and manufactured appliances in Darlaston until the late 1980's. A famous UK only brand name which was, to our knowledge, never really sold in any other country or, if it was, it certainly was not with any success.
The original Servis company was Servis Limited which went into liquidation in July of 1981, and whom then went onto to be Servis Domestic Appliances Limited who again when into liquidation on march of 1989.
Servis UK, as it is today, was formed in November of 1990 with the brand being bought by Antonio Merloni and transformed in to a sales and distribution arm.
Servis really attained some fame in the 1980's when they launched the successful "Quartz" range of washing machines some of which still survive today although many spares are obsolete but they are loved by many appliance engineers over a lot of modern machines. You may recall the every successful advertising campaign showing a frog on the machine that uttered the word "quartz". However there were problems with the appliances as they were prone to drum & bearing failures as well as control board and display board (or PCB) failures which were very expensive to replace.
Servis also only produced washing machines and, as the UK economy shrank back in the late 1980's they found themselves being left behind by other global and European rivals and were then liquidated in March of 1989.
In 1991 this happened when Antonio Merloni bought the company 100%. On the Servis UK website it is stated currently that Servis entered a partnership with Merloni, this is not so, Merloni bought them outright and all the machines are European, there is no UK production at all.
After being in the wilderness for a number of years the Servis name was bought by Vestel of Turkey in September 2011 as part of a deal with the Antonio Merloni administrators to take over a few of their brands after Merloni collapsed.
Vestel announced in 2011 that they would be relaunching the Servis brand in the UK in the first half of 2012 with a range of washing machines, dishwashers and quite probably refrigeration.
Service Retail Position
Servis generally operates in the lower end of the market and you will often see their products being sold at low price points, a sub-£200 washing machine is a typical example. The problem is that the price also reflects the low quality of the product, basically they would appear to be manufactured to meet certain price points.
A few years ago an Asko machine was re-badged as Servis and this appeared to fail due to the much higher price point on the washing machine and tumble dryer that were introduced. No doubt this failure was in no small part due to the fact that Servis had already established itself as a low-cost brand.
Industry rumours seem to indicate that the brand was removed from sale and/or promotion in many stores, including the national chains, because of reliability issues and high servicing costs.
With the purchase of the brand by Vestel we would expect to see Vestel trying to command a higher price than their other products sold by many different brands in the UK but it will, most likely, still be at the budget end of the market. But probably more expensive than you can buy what is effectively the same machine with a different badge on it for elsewhere.
In essence Servis now it little more than an own label brand for Vestel.
Servis Aftersales & Repairs
I've split the aftersales service and spares pricing up for this brand as it really is a can of worms and is a tangled web of intrigue.
In days of old aftersales service was carried out by National Homecare which operated out of the same building as Servis UK. The backup service was bad, very bad, with several appearances on Watchdog as well as other consumer press at the time cited for poor service, this probably played a part in the demise of Servis as a UK owned business as well.
National Homecare was sold to British Gas to form the basis of its service division as it is today. Months before hand buying Repair & Care which opened the door to the insurance policies that it now operates.
In 2004, Servis made a re-appearance on Watchdog for poor products and service yet again.
Service today and, for the past few years, has been carried out by a company called GB DAR (Great Britain Domestic Appliance Repairs we think) who have been universally slammed within the industry for poor rates, backup and administration.
The appliances are cheap and have suffered many reliability issues with premature bearing failures, many inside the first year of ownership, electronic module failures, motor failures and water leaks. On looking you can find many of these issues detailed by customers on various consumer websites.
Until the reintroduction of the Servis brand by Vestel in 2012 no official service had been in place for some years although repairers listed on our engineer search would invariably be happy to repair Servis appliances.
With the reintroduction we would expect that JTM / 0800 Repair was to carry out the in warranty service through its directly employed and subcontracted engineers as seems now to be just another Vestel appliance.
Servis Spare Parts
Servis spares used to be very cheap, especially for the period after Antonio Merloni took the company over, door handle kits, pumps and most other spares where very reasonably priced indeed and this continued until round about 2003/4. At this point, after GB DAR had taken over the distribution of spare parts in the UK as well as the service, the prices were massively hiked. Some spares, like modules, underwent a 200% or more increase in cost making many spares simply not worth buying.
For example, a motor for a base model washing machine could cost more than the complete appliance! A module could easily cost more than 60% of a replacement machine.
This is still the situation today only worse since Servis entered administration with many spares prices soaring.
Due to all this the independent trade generally despises the Servis brand name these days as they have been nomadic in who carries out the service and have cost many repairers a lot of money. In addition the brand, when quoted for repair prices, can make the repairer look as if they are extremely expensive when in fact it is only the cost of spares that pushes the cost up massively.
Please do not use the comments below to ask for technical help or fault advice on any Servis appliance as the engineers will not see the request here. Please use the forumswhere much more help will usually be available and it is a completely free service.