Spare Part Quality
It is our experience and, it is considerable with spares, that people seem to think that all parts are equal the only difference between one pump and another for example is the price tag. Sadly that is far from the truth of the matter.
Just like many other industries that have a requirement for spares in any degree there are good and there are bad spares. The reason for this, especially with high volume spares, is very simple. There is a lot of money to be made selling some spares, especially if like a door seal, they can be used on a range of washing machines across a continent. In some cases saving a few pounds on a washing machine pump can result in a spares supplier making thousands of pounds extra on that single line.
Asking us about parts can often get you correct parts first time, options and lower prices
Do I Have To Care
If you are in the market to buy a spare part then you should be aware of this because, as with most things in life, it is all too often a case of you get what you pay for.
You see, in order to make a part cheaper, like almost any product, there are limited ways to do it, the most popular methods being to reduce the cost of labour and the cost of production to do that. Of course with many parts when the cost is reduced the quality is also reduced, typical examples of this would be:
- Thinner metals used on elements leading to early failure
- Reduced guage of materials used on washing machine door seal, they rip easily
- Omit thermal safety devices from washing machine and dishwasher pumps, causes fires
- Thin materials used to produce vacuum cleaner bags, they burst and tear
- Poor quality bearings and seals leading to premature repeat failure
- Cheap materials used for carbon brushes, leads to fire and premature failure
As we are sure that you can appreciate most repairers worth their salt will not fit any sub-standard spare parts as, frankly, we don't want to be back replacing a part under warranty as that costs us money. Aside from that we respect and like to retain our customers.
Of course because UK Whitegoods is run by people that have service engineers, with over 100 years industry experience between them, that mantra has been carried into the spare parts that we supply from the website as well. So no, we're not always the cheapest on the net, we don't lay claim to be as getting into that battle is, to us, a mug's game. To do that we'd have to sacrifice our principals and that is something that we are not prepared to do, or to supply our customers with inferior goods.
Chasing the lowest price you can find might therefore not always be the best thing to do.
The common terms for the "copy" parts is "pattern spares" although they can be referred to as "bojack", "patten", "compatible" and "alternative" spares as well. In effect it pretty much all means the same thing, it is a spare part that has not been supplied by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), a compatible but not genuine spare part. The only problem there is that the so-called compatible part is often the genuine one without the manufacturer's branding on it, if you know what you're looking at of course.
But not all pattern spares are equal either.
Many can be supplied by the same factory that manufacturers the original spare part as fitted to the appliance in prroduction. These are the good pattern spares, we use these a lot as we can save people a small fortune and yet still supply a genuine quality spare part. We are totally happy with these spares due to this.
These are also the type of spares that most of the good field engineers will use if they can as they can trust them and we know that they won't fail pretty much. Some parts do fail in warranty, but it is rare.
Then there are a lot of the other parts, some from Europe but increasingly from low-cost manufacturing countries, such as China where quality can be, shall we say, not so good. Many of these spares are sold through non-specialist outlets, such as hardware stores, as they are low-cost and the owner or staff simply don't have the technical expertise to know that the parts are often rubbish, if not dangerous.
The general rull of thumb that we employ when pricing a part is that, if it appears to be too cheap then it probably is too cheap and that will be reflected in the quality of it, just like most things.
Some sellers on auction sites and the like, don't have that same attitude.
As we said previously the appliance engineer is a bit of a different animal, they rely solely on our reputation as, if they get a reputation for having to go back to our customers then people stop calling them. This is bad for their business and our concience.
For the sake of an extra few pounds profit it simply isn't worth it to us or the repairers to do that to our customers.
Any good engineer will fit a good pattern spare of genuine quality or they will fit the genuine part and they will offer a solid warranty on that repair.