Quality and reliability problems from a consumer's perspective: an increasing problem overlooked by businessess?

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    Currently, many businesses in the consumer electronics industry are facing an increasing number of consumer complaints, despite the application of quality tools that proved to be very powerful in the past. We assessed over 20 new product development projects, to understand the reasons behind the rising number of consumer complaints. We found that businesses are developing more innovative products that are brought to the market faster, with inherently higher uncertainties on the consumer expectations of these products. Current analyses of consumer complaints solely focus on checking if the product is functioning according to the technical specification, and these analyses show a rising number of consumer complaints where no failure could be established. When looking at product quality and reliability from a consumer's perspective, we found that consumers complain not only about technical product failures but also when the product does not satisfy their expectations. In this paper we will take the perspective of the consumer to analyse dissatisfaction with new products from various available sources, which were not set-up for quality and reliability purposes. We will show that analysing information from these sources gives better information, especially on the non-technical failures compared with the traditional quality and reliability sources. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)821-838
    Number of pages18
    JournalQuality and Reliability Engineering International
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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