How to Find Reputable Appliance Repair – (888) 758-9103
The appliances that we take for granted—dishwashers, refrigerators, washers, dryers and ovens—seem to break down at the worst possible time. Just like a dinner party or a holiday get-together. That’s when a good repair service can save a lot of pain—and money.
Washington Consumers’ Checkbook rated Washington-area appliance repair services and fortunately found local shops that were highly rated by the customers surveyed and were also among the lowest priced. In fact, on average, lower-priced companies rate higher quality of service than their higher-priced competitors.
Checkbook asked the area consumers (primarily Checkbook and Consumer Reports subscribers) to rate appliance repair services on factors such as ‘doing work properly on first try,’ ‘starting and completing work quickly’ and ‘overall quality.’ Ratings varied considerably—some companies were rated “superior” overall by more than 90% of their customers surveyed, but some received “superior” ratings of less than 50%.
Checkbook researchers collected prices for carefully specified repair jobs and found it worthwhile to choose a service wisely because local services charge very different prices for the same repairs. For example, the price of replacing the control panel with a Maytag clothes dryer ranged from $335 to $614 at different stores in the area, and the price of replacing the inside glass on the door with a Whirlpool oven ranged from $156 to $361.
When you’re looking for a repair shop, first check if the appliance is still under warranty—if it is, you’re going to be confined to factory-authorized shops. Unfortunately, manufacturers do not necessarily choose the best companies to perform their warranty repairs. Manufacturers rarely, if ever, check the quality of their authorized shops, and those who only carry out occasional cursory reviews. Checkbook found that shops performing warranty repairs get far lower ratings from their customers than stores that don’t.
When you call a shop, be prepared to describe the symptoms of your appliance and its manufacturer and model number.
• Be sure to find out how the company will charge for service calls. Ask about the minimum charge and how much time is included in the minimum charge.
• Ask how to calculate the repair charges in the shop. Approximately half of the services Checkbook rated use a flat-rate schedule—compute the labor charge of a job by multiplying its hourly rate of work by the amount of time allocated to that job according to one of several published manuals. Others charge on a time-and-material basis for work performed beyond the period covered by their minimum call service charge. Checkbook found that the hourly rate varies dramatically, so be sure to ask what that rate is.
When a diagnosis is made, ask for a written estimate before proceeding with the repairs.
And then you might have a decision to make: to repair or replace? It’s not always a clear decision.
For example, the “average life span” cited for appliances may be misleading. If you have an appliance that is seven years old and has an average life span of 12 years, it is very likely to work well beyond that average. Also, don’t assume that, because one component of the appliance breaks, others will soon follow. The appliance could last years without any further problems. Also use factor—if you only do a few laundry loads a week, the washer/dryer is apt to last longer than average.
On the other hand, you might want new features, a new look, or more energy efficiency. (Bear in mind that some appliances, such as clothes dryers, are not much more efficient now than they were years ago, and even with appliances that have made a leap, energy use won’t change if you just do a handful of loads a week.)
If you decide to fix it:
• Ask to keep, or at least see, any parts that have been replaced. You’ve got a right to them.
• Ask for a dated invoice before you pay. It should set out labor and parts charges and include any warranty.
• Pay by credit card if you can. If there is a problem, you can dispute the transaction with the issuer of your credit card.
If you feel overwhelmed and need help finding reputable appliance repair, give us a call.
Smart Living Home Repair Services
244 Madison Avenue , #1019
New York, NY 10016