Did you ever try to mend something?

I'm having a spat with Moulinex. I have a lovely coffee / spice grinder that's broken. I bought it in france about 3 years ago from our local Intermarche I think. So it's out of warrenty - that's fine. But it's a tiny part - super easy to replace, it just clicks in. The motor is great, it works beautifully. We love it.

But. I can't order a replacement part (about 4 euro plus post) because it is "Obsolete". They do not have them, they do not make them. In the whole world. They make something similar, but it won't work. I've found out that the 'Manufacture Inception Date' for the grinder is January 2011. That means if mine was the very first to roll off the production line it is just over five years old.

Is there a law? There must be? How can a manufacturer make something that cannot be mended after 5 years?

All thoughts welcome!

I'm well on to the 'contact customer services' thing - just hoping for a bit of legalese to back me up

x teresa

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Have you visited a shop specialising in spare parts for electromenager ? Ask in there and ask if it's 'legal' or normal for the part to be obsolete. Maybe an alternative does exist ?

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thanks Peter. Yep, i've tried. There's a great store I found online who specialise in sourcing weird and wonderful parts... they have tried worldwide to find one for me. they too are really pigged off that moulinex cannot provide something.

i imagine there's a shop somewhere that has one stuck in the back in old stock - same way my dad-in-law has a box of old taps!

in years to come when i've exhausted my search maybe someone will want the motor!

No Theresa, I mean real-life shops in the High Street. For you somewhere like Avignon or Carpentras etc would have several. Visit these shops or look online in their publicity if they specialise in Moulinex for example. Go and see them with the part and they will look on their Parts Lists for possibles etc. Online shps can be handy but sometimes it's more effective with the one to one service especially if you have the part plus references for the machine handy.

Pheter, thank you. I'm happy to have your input but I have tried this - it was my first idea and always is... the point is that Moulinex have withdrawn these parts specifically to make them 'obsolete'. I have all the reference details and part & model numbers i need. As you say one to one service is always best - but unless someone can find it hanging around in the back of their store (which i've tried) it is not available to order. eeek!

Hmmm, see your problem.

Looks like you will need to invest in a new machine..

Have you looked on ebay for another broken one to use for spares, or you may find the part itself second hand on ebay?

James, yes, that's a good idea

What pigged me off so much was that Moulinex France, US, UK customer services did not reply... But what do you know? I've contacted the Press Department and told them I'm writing a piece about "Obsolescence, good practice and the law" and now i'm inundated with people trying to find the part for me!

So I'd like to know what the Euro law is, if there is one!

Have you considered the impracticality and cost to manufacturers of keeping enough (what would be enough?) replacable parts for everything they make everywhere in the World... and keep them for how long... in the event a part fails?

And most of the spare parts dumped not needed.

We can either have goods built like nuclear bunkers which will last for ever and every nut, bolt and washer replacable that most people cannot afford... as it was back in the 50s and 60s, or we can have inexpensive stuff most can afford and afford to replace when it breaks.

Stuff is so cheap these days... yes it is, really, it is cheaper to replace than repair.

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I'm a retired architect. I was trained back in the sixties and we were taught to know about materials and detailing and to work towards designing buildings that would weather well and last, using natural or naturally based materials like stone, slates, tiles, bricks and timber. Now the specification of buildings is often being determined not by the architects but by "cost engineers" who care little for longevity. Building are routinely being put up which have a life span of only 25 years, using manufactured materials using high levels of energy, such as steel, aluminium, glass, plastics. Often these are being transported half way around the world. Long term it's a nonsense and there are going to be (already are) some shocking and ugly examples of early obsolesence.

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Yes, David. You make a great point. My husband is (was...) a stonemason. He made some incredible structures and repaired a great deal more during our life in Ireland. One of the reasons we left was because he was utterly heartbroken at the shocking standard of new building, and utter disregard for buildings from the past. He went from spending two weeks repairing a single pier using only hand tools to seeing teams throwing up walls and covering up cracks.

But honestly my point here is that the company STILL make the stupid grinder - it's just a little, little bit different - so the new parts don't fit the old... Buy another one - and stick the old one in the bin

I had a small metal deflector plate in a woodburner bend beyond redemption. I still had the instrction manual, it's still in production in Spain. It's still sold in France. Contacted the manufacturer in Spain- no got to order it vis the original supplier Mr Bricolage. Went there with the drawing and the part number. Lot of hissing, whistling etc. See if they could get it, no promises etc. Nothing heard. Had a plate made up by a local mate for a few Euros, job done! The shops are only interested in selling new gear. I rent out some flats in London- had more boilers, pumps, washing machines, hobs etc than you could possibly imagine- most imported from Germany or somewhere else. I usedto own a Bristol car. Built 1968 it's still going strong and it's now worth 8 times more than I paid for it and almost three times what I sold it for 20 years ago. Built like a brick sh1thouse.

As an update to my earlier "i'm going to write an article about this..." (blanc lie) I just had a charming message... No probs. Send it to this address, they will mend it (they can get the parts) We'll pay.

Or @john bowman i could have thrown it in the bin

x t

Indeed so John.

These days we live in a 'throw away' world mainly because the most expensive element in manufacturing anything is the labour cost. When it comes to small domestic appliances, the cost of the labour in seeking out the spare part in the warehouse, then packing and shipping it, and then the labour of fitting it, very often exceeds the cost of just buying a new appliance. Of course the 'throw away' world is very wasteful of raw materials which is why we all need to recycle as much as possible.

Recently I bought a new freezer, and discovered that one of the elements that affects the price is the length of time after purchase during which the manufacturer guarantees that spare parts will be available. Pay more in the first place and it can be repaired for longer. It's a choice that we have to make these days ---- Initial price versus future availability of spares.

Whether this is a matter that is, or should be, regulated by law is a whole debate in itself, as no doubt such regulation would cause the initial purchase price of things to rise considerably. Myself, well I just have a barn full of stuff that 'might come in handy one day' which recently allowed me to use a part from an old wall paper stripper to repair my dishwasher.

robert hodge... "and discovered that one of the elements that affects the price is the length of time after purchase during which the manufacturer guarantees that spare parts will be available"

I have never seen this? Is this the same for most manufacturers - can you ask how long the spares will be available? I have some (rich) friends who just bought a +10k cooker - I must ask them if they got any info on this...

The requirement to provide information as to the length of time that spare parts will be available is part of the Loi Hamon of 2014 that came into force last year. I think you will find this link to be informative http://www.connexionfrance.com/Hamon-Law-spare-parts-Delga-consumer-16703-view-article.html

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that's absolutely brilliant Robert - really interesting. thanks for the link. It does make me think that as a consumer i'd check that out when buying a new appliance