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Every day realities of appliance repair and service
In a Perfect World ...
In a perfect world the appliance repair man would show up minutes after the call, wearing clean pressed shirt and ironed pants, be almost invisible, fix the problem on the spot in minutes, have all parts in his vehicle and vanish without charging anything. But that is in a perfect world... The reality just is not so.
In the Real World The Appliance Repair Nightmare Begins
We rely on our appliances to do a lot of dirty (laundry, dish washing etc) and essential (heating/cooling etc) work, but we take them for granted, appliance repair is something we would all like to avoid whenever possible. It seems like appliances typically break down shortly after their warranty expires. Of course this never happens at a convenient time, how could it? Appliances break down when you are using them. It is bad enough that things are not going as planned, now you have to find an appliance repair service and schedule an appointment. If you are very lucky, you will be given a window of several hours and the appliance repair man will show up on time.
Why so Much?
When the appliance repairman arrives and fixes it in only 10 minutes, you breathe a sigh of relief until you see the bill for $150.00! Why so much for so little?
Worse yet, you might need an expensive part replaced which will cost you more money.The part might be inexpensive, but you will pay a mark-up plus labor for installation another $200.00!
Just to kick you while you are down, the appliance repair man checks his truck to discover that he does not have the necessary part in stock. Your appliance has been dismantled with parts scattered around, and now you will have to wait two weeks for them to special order this part that is not available locally.
Why is appliance repair service so much? Why is it that they never have the parts you need in stock? There has to be a better way!
The Appliance Repair Technician Explains
All professional or skilled-trade services come with a fee. Whether you are consulting a doctor or lawyer or calling a handyman or appliance repair service, you will be paying for their knowledge. We know, it is called a labour charge, but in reality it is a knowledge charge. A jokes that demonstrate this concept is:
The appliance repair man shows up, hits it with a hammer, and charges $250.00. Why so much you ask? He answers, "$50 for hitting it with a hammer and $200 for knowing where to hit it!"
OK, not so humorous if you are the one who is dealing with a washer full of wet clothes and water when it quits spinning, or a dishwasher that is spraying water all over your kitchen.
Appliance repairs may appear to be simple, but the fact is, they often are not. Appliance repair technicians have to stay current with every brand and model of each appliance.
Several times a year, he may be required to travel out of town to attend training seminars on new products and service information.
In addition, appliance repair technicians pay for liability insurance, vehicle maintenance, tools and equipment, office supplies and other business related expenses including, but not limited to advertising, which is probably the biggest expense for an appliance repair company.
The reason parts seem to be more expensive today is because appliances have many more electronic parts and circuit boards than in the past. These parts are more expensive than mechanical parts from "the good ol days".
The appliance repair man cannot possibly stock every part and they cannot diagnose the problem and purchase the part based on the customers description. If they do take a chance and order the part, they may not be able to send it back if it is wrong. Or, they might have to pay a restocking fee or absorb the cost of shipping the part back to the dealer/manufacturer.
So, now you understand a little about why things are so expensive and why it can take several days or even a couple weeks to have your appliance repaired. Is it worth all that, or should you replace the appliance?
Consumer Reports suggests replacing the appliance if the repair cost is more than half the price of a new one. But, how do you know how much the repair cost will be before the appliance repair man gets into the job? A good appliance repairman will be able to give you an estimate once he diagnoses the problem. If you decide not to go through with the repairs, or you feel that, already knowing what the problem is, you are able to repair it yourself at lesser cost (which is most probably the case if the problem is simple and you are a decent handyman), you will be charged a service call fee because there is time, labor and most importantly knowledge involved in troubleshooting appliance problems. Our service call is currently $45 for most major appliances with easy access, which is an industry average at the present time.
What to do before calling appliance repair service:
Gather necessary information before calling the appliance repair service, including your schedule, so you can make an appointment, your warranty information, brand name, model and serial number of the appliance.
Be home when the appliance repair man shows up. Though it can be frustrating to be given a two to four hour time window, this is often the best they can do. Average appliance repair man has about 6-8 calls a day, he cannot always be expected to know exactly how long each job is going to take.
Do not put off appliance repair when you know something is going wrong. If the appliance is making a grinding noise, but still seems to work OK, chances are, the repair will be relatively inexpensive if you address it right away. Otherwise, you risk the problem leading to a more expensive problem.
Owners often like to watch the technician at work, but be considerate. Keep pets and children out of the way. The repairman does not need your dog licking his face or your children playing with his tools while he is working with live electrical circuit dangerously close to the water.
Payment is expected at the time of service. Do not wait until the job is complete to tell the appliance repair man that you cannot pay him.
Appliance repair will never be a thrilling experience not for you or the appliance repair man who seems to be getting paid handsomely. In most cases, his fees are reasonable when you look at things from his point of view. It takes time and costs money to travel around fixing appliances. Appliance repair men often travel ten to twenty miles between jobs. They have to keep up with advancing technologies, new products and government regulations. They also have to deal with people who are already frustrated with a broken appliance and about to find out that repairing the problem will actually cost them some money.
Think about the convenience you are paying for. It could be worse. At least the appliance repair service comes to you. The appliance is fixed and working like a charm. The laundry will get done, the dishes will get clean, the trash will get compacted, your food will stay cold and life will go on until the dryer breaks down!
We sincerely hope that your experience with Affordable Service Appliance will be as pleasant as possible.
Should you have any issues with our service please CONTACT US.