When your washer stops working, or your fridge breaks down, calling a professional repair service is typically the best option. Whereas when more minor faults develop in your home, such as dripping taps, you can often fix the problems yourself. For problems with major appliances, hiring a professional technician is the quickest way to get the fault repaired. With that in mind, here are three top tips to help you choose the best appliance repair service provider.
1. Research Local Companies/Contractors Thoroughly
Great repair services stem from top-rated companies. Perhaps the best way to find a great contractor in your area is to ask your extended family members, friends and workmates if they know any good companies or independent contractors. Try to find out how much they were charged for appliance repair services by the company and why they recommend them. Did the technician have great skills? Did the company have all the parts needed for the repair to hand? Did the service provide value for money? How long did the repair take?
Checking out online local appliance repair company reviews can also be an excellent way to find a service provider to hire. The website Angie’s list, for instance, details the best and worse companies in different areas in relation to average client ratings. Trusted review websites really can help you to find out which independent contractors to avoid.
Once you’ve selected a repair professional you think can fix your appliance, start making inquiries via phone or email. Be sure to ask them what their minimum service call-out fee is as you will have to pay this fee just to secure an appointment. The fee can be anything from $50 to $100+.
2. Average Appliance Repair Bills
There are no regulations when it comes to appliance repair fees, which means companies and contractors can charge whatever figure they see fit for repair work. Fortunately, this can work to your advantage if you are good at negotiating, as independent contractors are often desperate for work and are prepared to lower their fees to secure new clients. However, be aware of the fact that independent contractors often don’t offer the safeguards a licensed, bonded business can provide.
Appliance repair contractors typically bill by the hour and may incorporate the call-out fee into their hourly rate if they can fix a problem during the first visit. Hourly rates start at around $190, which sounds very expensive until you keep in mind that many appliance repairs take much less time than one hour to carry out. You should always ask exactly how the bill is calculated. Ideally, a contractor should provide you with an itemized bill showing the breakdowns of the charges as they pertain to parts, labor, etc.
Remain vigilant of cut-rate contractors that only accept cash. Saving money is great, but you lose a lot of protection when you don’t use a credit card to pay for services since you can’t initiate a chargeback with your credit card issuer if a company fails to deliver the service advertised.
3. Reducing Appliance Repair Costs
There are many ways to save money when it comes to appliance repairs. First, make sure you know when an appliance should be replaced rather than repaired. The average lifespan of the majority of large household appliances is ten years. While some appliances can last much longer, the cost of repairing an aging appliance needs to be balanced with the increased likelihood of future breakdowns. In many cases, appliance replacement is often the most cost-effective option.
One good way to save money on repair bills is to provide the appliance technician with detailed information about the appliance and the fault. This means accurately describing the nature of the fault and providing the serial/model number of the appliance. With that information, an experienced technician may be able to make an interim diagnosis and turn up with the parts needed for the repair on their first visit. This will save on time spent diagnosing the fault and labor costs.
Minimizing the cost of appliance repairs means taking the time to research companies, providing detailed fault symptoms and avoiding service providers who refuse to offer accurate estimates.