Appliance Repair Service – Why so Expensive?

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’re using them. It’s bad enough that things are not going as planned, now you have to find an appliance repair service and schedule an appointment. If you’re very lucky, you will be given a window of several hours and the appliance repair man will show up on time.

The Appliance Repair Nightmare Begins

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’re down, the appliance repair man checks his truck to discover that he doesn’t 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. A couple humorous jokes that demonstrate this concept are:

Rules for a plumber…Hot on the left, water drains down, and charge as much as you want!

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’re 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.

Bob Dougherty, owner of Fleet Appliance, is an authorized service provider for many companies including Viking, Whirlpool, Maytag, Jen-Air, Tapan and White Westinghouse just to name a few. Several times a year, he may be required to travel out of town to attend training seminars on new products and service information. Bob Dougherty is responsible for paying all his travel related expenses.

In addition, appliance repair technicians pay for liability insurance, vehicle maintenance, tools and equipment, office supplies and other business related expenses.

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 “back in the day.”

The appliance repair man cannot possibly stock every part and they cannot diagnose the problem and purchase the part based on the customer’s 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.

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, you may have to pay his service fee because there is time and labor involved in troubleshooting appliance problems.

If you choose to purchase a new appliance, chances are good you will be pleased with the new features that come with appliances today. Energy Starr appliances have energy conserving features to save you money on utility bills. There are also time-saving and convenient features that older appliances do not have.

Here are some guidelines for working with an 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. The appliance repair man cannot always be expected to know exactly how long each job is going to take.

Don’t 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.

The appliance repair man came to fix the broken washer you called about. Don’t ask him to start looking at your refrigerator that runs too long or your dishwasher that drains too slow.

Owners often like to watch the technician at work, but be considerate. Keep pets and children out of the way. The repairman doesn’t need your dog licking his face or your children playing with his tools.

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 and new products.

Think about the convenience you’re 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!

Bob Dougherty owns and operates Fleet Appliance Corp. He understands the frustration you suffer when an appliance breaks down. Bob’s factory trained technicians provide appliance repair services for most major brands and they are licensed by Suffolk Consumer Affairs.

Fleet Appliance technicians will arrive at your home, on time, in uniform and in a lettered vehicle, fully stocked and prepared to complete most services on their first trip. The technician will thoroughly inspect your home appliance and then recommend the best course of action. If you choose, they will repair and adjust your appliance and make sure it is operating to factory specifications. Fleet uses only factory specified parts and fully guarantees their work.

Fleet Appliance Corp’s mission is to provide 100% satisfaction to customers by providing dependable, honest, trained and dedicated workers who are highly motivated to do their personal best, while building a trusting relationship and keeping every promise they make.

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