Norway ranks first in the world when it comes to putting electronics in a pile. Each of us throws away an average of 23 kilograms of electronic devices per year.
A recent survey suggests that many of us can save significant amounts by taking a simple step.
It concerns the following:
- iPhone owners and anyone else with cell phones
- Those who have airpods or other earphones or headphone
- Those who have a laptop
- Those with other electronics and small electrical appliances
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– It can save large sums
– There is no doubt that Norwegian consumers waste huge amounts of money every year, Consumer Council Director Inger Lise Pleverket tells Nettavisen.
The Consumer Council conducted a large survey which showed that people are not getting enough information about their right to advertise a product. All products that are supposed to last three years or more have a five-year complaint right.
– How much you want to save depends of course on the cost of the products and how often you complain. But for many, this is a huge amount. Remember, you’re saving both your wallet and the environment if you whine rather than just buy new, says Blyverket.
She believes that complaining can also have a positive additive effect.
“The more people complain when things get destroyed quickly, the more we push manufacturers to make more durable products,” says Blyverket.
Bad products are a big problem, according to the Consumer Council.
– Undoubtedly, the products being sold should not be on store shelves. We often come across products that are damaged before we’ve even finished testing them, which could be considered waste, says the Consumer Council President.
Advice when you want to file a complaint
Nettavisen asked consumer council director Inger Lise Blyverket for advice and tips if you want to file a complaint about a product.
– Many people think that complaining is stressful, so should it be easier than it is today?
Many will likely find the complaints process unnecessarily cumbersome and time-consuming. We still encourage you to take advantage of your consumer rights. It can save you money, it can save the environment, and it gives manufacturers an incentive to make products that last.
– What if I don’t have a receipt, can I still declare?
– Yes, you can and should! But you must be able to document that the product is within the complaints deadline, and if the product can be purchased elsewhere, you must also be able to document that the product was purchased from the dealer you contact. You can find all of this on your statement if you paid by card, and the store also often stored this in their systems.
– A lot of people use earplugs, so do you have a five year warranty on them, no matter how much they cost?
It can vary, but fairly expensive earplugs that are supposed to last more than two years with normal use have a claim life of five years.
– The store will sometimes be able to dismiss the complaint by saying that it is not a factory fault, but that you have used the product incorrectly. What should one do next?
– First try to solve the problem with the seller. If you cannot reach an agreement, you must file a written complaint. Send with a receipt and any other documents. This helps reduce misunderstandings and you can later prove that you complained in a timely manner. Feel free to use one of Forbrukerrådet’s letters of complaint, you can find them at www.forbrukerradet.no You can take your case forward and get mediation from the Norwegian Consumer Protection Authority if you do not agree with the seller.
The Consumer Council is now calling for new rules so that all manufacturers must label their products with the length of the warranty period.
– This will lead to an increase in the number of people complaining about products and demanding their basic rights as a consumer. People should know what they are entitled to, says Blyverket.
– Our survey shows that only a third of them receive enough information about age and durability, for example, when we buy a mobile phone. She says the figure for headphones and small electronic devices is even lower.
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The electronics industry disagrees.
– We do not agree, simply because electronics sold in Norway are the same as sold elsewhere in Europe and the world. Norway does not have the same complaints rules as the rest of Europe, says the CEO of the electronics industry, Jan Adelsten Rosholm.
But can’t you make a label to attach to packages sold in Norway?
– It works, but then someone has to stick to all the beams. Imagine a board containing 250 waffle irons. Then someone in the central warehouse would have to take off one iron and affix a label. And then it must accumulate again. Rosholm says this is cumbersome and will cost money and thus make the products more expensive.
– not necessary
Røsholm also believes that it is unnecessary to mark products with a warranty period. The European Union will introduce a new labeling scheme that will also apply to Norway.
– We support the new sticker scheme that will apply to the European Union and European Economic Area. Consumers will then receive information about the shelf life of the products and how easy it is to repair the product.
According to Rusholm, all electronics will get two new brands. One should indicate the expected life of the product and the other should say something about how easy it is to repair the product.
This will give consumers more choices. And it will be a competitive advantage if you make products that last a long time and are easy to repair. For example, if you make a cellphone that’s expected to last eight years, more people are likely to choose it than one that only lasts four years, Rusholm says.
The industry is embarrassing
The director of the Norwegian Consumer Council believes that EU labeling is not enough.
– This is far in the future and it is not clear how the installation will end, says Pleverket.
She believes that national adjustments should be made in any case, since the right to claim varies from country to country.
– The Norwegian electronics industry must be at the forefront, take its share of responsibility for the mountain of electronic waste, contribute to the green transition, and guarantee the rights of Norwegian consumers. It would be very embarrassing to wait for the regulations from the EU, which could come in a few years’ time, says Pleverket.
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