We are quite open on how we work out the ratings that we give to various manufacturers and brands that we list in the manufacturer section as well as other places and we will explain the methodology involved and how we get to the ratings that we give for each rating and review.
Rating And Review Bar
We use a simple scale of five blocks to make it easy for people to take in at a glance. This is very deliberate and to make it more complex than this would mean that we would lose the ease and simplicity.
The scale looks like this:
The worst score is in red, with fewer bars, the best score in green with five bars.
The closer to the central point he more neutral the view is.
There are several categories that we look at when we review a brand and there is a definite formula and method in how we arrive at each rating. Here we will explain each one in turn so that the process is transparent and brands can see how to improve their ranking as well as public able to understand how we get these ratings.
If you have any issue with the ratings given for any particular brand please do not hesitate to contact us with information or evidence that supports the need to alter the rating.
Market share is determined by information from various sources but primarily is based on UK market share information published by GfK, ERT and other reputable sources.
If a brand is not listed then it is most likely that we will simply label it as "Not enough data" as the market share has not been measured in any way that allows us to publish a meaningful figure.
This is a more esoteric measurement based on the repairer's opinion of how well known a brand is in the public and trade eyes as well as how well regarded that the brand generally is.
Again, this is a rating based on the trade and public perception of the price points for the brand in question and is a general measure of whether the brand is perceived as representing good value for money or not.
This is based on the repairer's opinion, opinions from consumers in the forums, retailer's opinions and from external sources such as Which?. The blend of all these opinions will offer an insight into the general reliability or, perceived quality of the brand.
You will often see comments in the "ALT" tag such as "product quality can vary" as many brands will buy in goods from multiple sources meaning that product quality can vary from appliance to appliance. Where this is the case it will negatively impact the overall score as the quality rating will be driven down by the lower score from poorer quality appliances.
This is a guide as to how the repair trade, in general, views the brand in terms of ease of repair.
This covers the availability of technical information and diagnostic equipment to the general trade and where these are either not available, expensive or difficult to obtain will lead to a negative scoring.
This is largely based on the number of repairers registered to repair the particular brand in our engineer search and how popular that the brand is there.
The less demand for the brand to be added to the repairer's portfolio, the lower the score.
DIY Repair Rating
This is a measure of how easy we feel that the brand is to repair and this is affected by the support from repairers as this directly impacts the levels of support that customers can access in the forums as well as taking into account the cost and availability of spare parts.
Spare Parts Availability
This is measured by access to spare parts through major trade distributors as well as retail availability.
Direct supply through one or two sources is generally viewed in a very negative light as it can be viewed as being a monopolistic situation and we have, on multiple occasions, seen suppliers or importers entering administration leaving customers without the ability to get spare parts.
If we cannot locate spare parts for the brand with one of around five major UK trade distributors then the likely score in this respect is liable to be very low.
Spare Parts Pricing
This is based on the spare parts pricing from the major spares distributors and is looked at in context with all other brands taking into account, to an extent, the market position of the brand.
For example, we would expect to pay more for a Miele drain pump than a Beko drain pump. However, that should be in line with the appliance pricing so if the Beko pump was say, £20 for a machine that retailed and £200 and the Miele drain pump was £150 for a machine that retailed at £800 then the Miele pump (given that respectively it is £70 over what would be expected) would be considered to be massively overpriced.
We look at random examples of spares prices as well as common spare parts to come to a judgement here.
Where the brand is new to market or we simply cannot find spare parts then you may well find this section labelled as "Not enough information".
This is based on the manufcturer's environmental policies as well as spare parts availability and costs as all these factors play together to make the products more repairable in the field (saving the need for replacement) and recondition-able.
In large part in terms of reconditioning, the availability of technical information and equipment is also important.
Brands that have high spares prices and do not make technical information easily available will score negatively on these points.
Got An Issue
Every now and then a manufacturer or brand owner will take offence at the rating that they see applied to their brand and we can understand why that might be.
They may think it unfair, they may not want some information known to the public or a myriad of other reasons and they may wish to protest the information presented.
That said please understand that these reviews and ratings we offer people are based on our experience of the brand, the repairer feedback and what we can find in terms of support and spare parts from the point of view of the independent repairers and the public.
We cannot change these factors!
As a brand owner you can.
Nobody else bar you can alter the perception of your brand, parts pricing, availability of technical information, spare parts availability, where you source product from or how well you build it, how repairable it is and all the other things that come into play in how we arrive at these ratings.
If you contact us just to complain as you don’t like how others see it, please don’t as unless there’s been changes that allow us to review one or more of these criteria then the opinion is unlikely to alter.
We want to see free availability of technical information, sensible spare part prices along with good availability of parts and if the brand doesn’t have these it is unlikely to be looked at in a good light by the independents.
And, we feel it only fair and right that customers are informed of these things also.
We have often said that, had the appliance industry been subjected to the same or similar level of scrutiny as the car industry or electronics where products were continually rated and reviewed, the marketplace would be much, much better for consumers.
Fact is, it isn’t and really never has been.
While this is not a role that we think we fulfil at least our sweeping brand reviews give some information that will help people to choose appliances more wisely.