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Appearance trumps functionality in fridge stakes

Senate SHJ

A key factor when purchasing a refrigerator is its ability to match the current kitchen décor, according to a recent customer satisfaction survey by Canstar Blue.

Just over a third of kiwis surveyed (36%) took the energy rating of their future fridge into account, compared to three quarters of fridge owners who purchased their appliance based on its ability to match the colour, brand or general appearance of their existing kitchen appliances.

Price is also a factor, as close to 70% of Aucklanders don’t care what brand of fridge they buy as long as it is the cheapest option available, says Canstar New Zealand General Manager, Derek Bonnar.

"Most kiwis (84%) have two fridges running in their homes at all times, with people aged over 70 the most likely demographic to have multiples. Forty four per cent of refrigerator owners have a separate deep freezer running as well, and the cost of running all of these white ware appliances can start to add up."

The cost of repairs is also a consideration for 35% of Auckland fridge owners have found it cheaper to replace their fridge than to fix it. However, repair costs vary across the nation as just 5% of Cantabrians surveyed can say the same.

Less than a quarter (24%) of kiwis surveyed chose their current fridge because it came with a special or unique feature.

More than 90% of refrigerator owners in the Waikato have a beer fridge in their homes, a trend followed by the majority of kiwis surveyed (88%).

Despite rising power prices, only a quarter are aware of the energy rating of their fridge. Men are leading the efficiency charge with 42% taking the energy rating of their fridge into account before purchase, compared to just 29% of women.

However, women have proven to be the tidier of the sexes, as 67% throw away food from their fridges at least once a week, while just over half (56%) of men do the same.

For the second year running, Mitsubishi Electric has achieved a five star rating for overall customer satisfaction.

Survey respondents were asked to rate their fridges across nine categories:

Value for money

Performance and reliability

Energy efficiency

Food freshness

After sale service and warranty

Internal layout

Quality of fittings and fixtures (e.g. shelves)

Design, including appearance and any special features

Overall satisfaction with the refrigerator

"Mitsubishi Electric achieved perfect, 5-star scores across all nine categories in the survey," says Bonnar.

"We have seen steady performance by Mitsubishi Electric over the past three years in our refrigerator category, with a marked improvement in customer feedback in the energy efficiency, after sale service and warranty categories."

Refrigerators by Region

Auckland: Aucklanders are the most likely to have purchased a fridge to match another appliance in their kitchen (81%), most likely to have two or more fridges running all the time in their household (88%), most likely to have bought their fridge because it came with a unique or special feature(47%), most likely to have taken the energy rating of their fridge into account when they bought it (56%), most likely to have a separate deep freezer (54%), most likely to throw away food from their fridge at least once a week (77%), most likely to have found it cheaper to replace their fridge rather than to fix it (35%), most likely to not care about what fridge they buy as long as it is the cheapest (67%), most likely to know the energy rating of their fridge (46%) and most likely to know where things should go in the fridge to make it work most efficiently (38%)

Waikato: People from the Waikato are the most likely to have a beer fridge in their homes (92%) and least likely (equal with Bay of Plenty) to know where things should go inside the fridge to make it work most efficiently (13%).

Canterbury: Cantabrians are the least likely (equal with Otago) to have a separate deep freezer (39%), least likely to have found it cheaper to replace their fridge than to repair it (5%) and least likely (equal with Bay of Plenty) to know the energy rating of their fridge (17%).

Otago: People from Otago are the least likely to have purchased their fridge to match another appliance in their kitchen (66%), least likely to have two or more fridges running in their homes all the time (75%), least likely (equal with Canterbury) to have a separate deep freezer (39%), least likely to throw away food from the fridge at least every week (48%) and least likely to have a beer fridge in their homes (84%).

Bay of Plenty: People from the Bay of Plenty are the least likely to have bought their fridge because it came with a special or unique feature (10%), least likely to have taken the energy rating into account when they bought it (24%), least likely to not care about what fridge they have as long as it’s the cheapest (40%), least likely (equal with Canterbury) to know the energy rating of their fridge (17%) and least likely (equal with Waikato) to know where things should go inside their fridge to make it work most efficiently (13%).