Tuesday, June 6, 2023

How to Ensure Product Reliability

Electronic device reliability and repair is a major concern to consumers. Here are a few things that the product designers and sellers can do to keep consumers satisfied. Also given are buying and repair guidelines for consumers to get the best value for their money -- Dr S.S. Verma

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2. The period for which the warranty is valid
3. What is covered by, or included in, the warranty—parts and labour or hardware that was part of the electronic equipment sold
4. How the evidence of date of purchase will be shown
5. Any exclusions as to what will not be covered by the warranty.

Guidelines for consumers
Before buying a product, research well to findthe best value for your money. Make sure that a written warranty is provided which offers reasonable protection. Find out how long the product is covered under the warranty, what parts and services are covered, and what your responsibilities are in order to maintain the warranty. Also ask who will repair the product, if required, during the warranty period.

Service contracts. Although a store salesperson may sell you a service contract, the contracts are often administered by third parties. Before buying, be sure to fully evaluate the costs and benefitsof the service contract and read the fine print. Compare the coveage of what is provided by the product warranty. Also, know your rights to cancel the contract.

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Proper registration. Each location of every business that repairs or accepts products for repair, or that sells or administers service contracts, is required to be registered. Dealers must display the registration in their shops. Consumers can verify current registration or get a list of registered dealers in their area. Registrations are renewed annually. Each subcontractor who performs repairs or installations must also be registered.

Repairs. The failure of any electronic device after some period cannot be ruled out. Even state-of-the-art equipment and appliances may eventually need repairs.

The first-stagefailure of an electronic device or gadget is referred to as the burn-in period or infant mortality stage. It is characterised by failures due to manufacturing defects.

The second-stage failure is the useful life stage and is characterised by random but frequent failures.

The third-stage failure is termed the wear-out period. It is characterised by unsatisfactory working due to equipment aging and deterioration.

Because most electronic equipment nowadays are largely made up of semiconductor devices that have no real short-term wear-out mechanism, third-stage failure (except obsolescence) is rare for most electronic systems.

If adjustments or repairs are required, the purchaser may contact the customer service department with information including model, serial number and a copy of the original purchase.

Consumers should know what to expect when seeking repairs. The law requires service dealers to:
1. Inform the consumer in writing when a diagnosis fee will be charged and the amount of the charge
2. Provide a written estimate of the total repair cost to the consumer
3. urnish an itemised repair invoice of all the labour cost and the parts installed when the repair is complete
4. Return all replaced parts to the consumer (except those exempted by regulation)
5. Perform all repairs competently

The Electronic and Appliance Repair Dealer Registration Law prohibits:
1. False or misleading advertising
2. Fraud or dishonest dealing
3. False promises likely to induce the consumer to authorise repairs
4. Willful departure from accepted trade standards
5. Negligence or incompetence in repairs

If your product develops a problem, try to work it out with the dealer or service technician. If you can’t resolve it locally, or if it is a warranty problem, write or call the manufacturer and detail your problem. If you feel the repair dealer has failed to meet professional standards, you can filea complaint with the consumer court.

The author is in the department of physics, S.L.I.E.T., Longowal, Sangrur, Punjab



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