7 Tips to Feel Empowered When You Need Major Appliance Repair

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

It looks like we’ll soon be in the market for a new furnace at our house. At the very least, we need to have to have someone repair it – again – until we’re sure we can cover the expense of a new one.

That got me thinking about those people we hire to fix and maintain our household appliances. How do we find them in the first place? How do we know we can trust their abilities and opinions? How do we know they’re not ripping us off?

Being in need of appliance repair can be a very vulnerable position – especially when you’re not knowledgeable about those appliances (like me). Because I don’t like the feeling of being at the mercy of service technicians, I’ve compiled a list of tips for empowering yourself when you find yourself in need of a major appliance repair (or replacement).

Empowering Tips for Those in Need of Major Appliance Repairs

  1. Ask neighbors, family and friends – You certainly know someone who’s had a similar repair done and can recommend a trustworthy technician. You’ll find a huge listing in the phone directory but nothing beats a testimonial from a satisfied customer.
  2. Ask the Internet – If you truly are at a loss for a personal recommendation, consult the Internet. Services such as Angie’s List provide reviews and ratings of service providers from those who’ve used them.
  3. Ask questions – If you knew what needed to be done and why, you’d fix it yourself. Make sure the technician explains in detailed, understandable language, what went wrong with your appliance and how it can be fixed. Listen with a critical ear to what you’re told – don’t let your potentially vulnerable situation cloud your better judgement.
  4. Don’t hesitate to go with a small local company – Often when we don’t have a go-to repair person, we automatically call a major retailer’s service department. Keep these facts in mind: First, these retailers sell appliances. So while the person who comes to repair your appliance may be able to fix it, they also have a vested interest in convincing you it would be the best use of your money to invest in a new one. Second, the repair person often is not directly employed by the retailer but rather is a small local repair business with whom the retailer has sub-contracted. Choosing a small, independent repair business that doesn’t sell appliances is the best way to get an unbiased opinion on repair versus replacement.
  5. Expect courtesy and respect – A repair technician who shows up late, is unprepared, leaves a mess, seems “put out” by or disinterested in your service call is not someone with whom you want to do business.
  6. Get a second opinion – Especially on a high-cost repair or replacement, if it’s at all possible, get an estimate from another company for the same issue. Practices and repair costs can vary widely among companies so compare not only price but the proposed solution.
  7. Go with your gut – The bottom line is, don’t say, “Yes,” to repairs out of desperation. Be aware of your feelings about the proposed solution. If a red flag is going up because you don’t understand or trust what you’re being told, listen to it. While it’s inconvenient to have a broken appliance, it’s worse to agree to a repair about which you don’t feel comfortable.

This list will empower you to come from a place of strength when dealing with repair technicians, allowing you to get the right repair and advice at a fair price.

How do you choose the right service technicians for major appliance repairs?

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