10 Tips on Choosing an Appliance Repairer
Do you know what to look for when choosing and appliance repairer to repair your household appliances & whitegoods? There are some important questions to be asking and information to check before hiring a repairer and won’t be stung with any nasty surprises along the way. We’ve created a quick checklist of the 10 most important things to look for when researching or talking to possible repairers.
Repairing your broken or faulty appliances and whitegoods is often a more affordable and environmentally friendly solution to simply replacing them. As long as parts for your make and model of appliances are still in manufacture, it’s as simple as replacing/repairing any faulty parts. Repairing can often give your appliance many more wonderful years of life for half the price of a brand new appliance!
- Ensure they are Trade Qualified
As with most trade services, you must always ensure that the repairer you are using has the appropriate licenses and qualifications to work on the appliances in your home. When it comes to Appliance Repairs the minimum licensing requirement needed by servicing technicians is a Restricted Electrical License and the business itself must hold an Electrical Contractor Licenses to be allowed to perform works in Queensland. If a repairer or technician cannot produce evidence of their appropriate license then steer clear as you may be dealing with a company not qualified to safely work on appliances in your home!
- Specialised Experience is Worth its Weight in Gold
Aside from having qualifications, specialised experience in repairing domestic appliances and whitegoods is what will make the difference when it comes to the final bill. Experience will be the main difference between engaging a general Electrician vs. a specialist Appliance Technician. Appliance Technicians often have many years experience focused on repairing purely appliances and whitegoods and have therefore had the time to learn the full inner workings of many machines, across a wide range of brands. Being the main focus of their trade, they have gathered extensive experience and information on the more complicated issues that can arise within an appliance. Whereas Electricians, whilst are qualified to repair appliances and whitegoods, may not necessarily have had the same exposure to appliances, thus may not have the experience or knowledge to tackle more complicated faults. Where an Electrician might tell you that an appliance needs to be replaced, a specialised Appliance Mechanic will, more often than not, be able to advise you on solutions for repair – thus saving you potentially hundreds of dollars.
- Understand Fees & Charges
As with most trade services it pays to shop around to ensure you are getting the best service at the right price. An Appliance repair service you can trust will be one who will be upfront with their fees and charges both on their website and over the phone. There are some questions that you should be asking and details to look for when researching pricing. Repairers all have different ways of phrasing and listing their fees and charges so it is important to really take care when selecting a repairer to ensure what sounds like a great deal, really is one.
All repairers will have a “Call Out Fee” and you need to know exactly what this includes, especially taking note of the labour charges per hour/minute outside this fee. Some repairers, like Queensland Appliances, advertise a flat rate call out fee which includes a set number of minutes of labour time, and then have a flat rate per block of time of work outside the call out fee limit (ie 15, 20, 25mins) (Click here to read more on our repair service). This type of pricing is the most transparent. As a rule of thumb always ask what the Call Out Fee includes in terms of labour and if there is a minimum labour charge involved. A cheaper call out fee sounds great, but often does not include much (if any!) labour time, which means you could end up paying more for less working time, especially if the repairer charges by the minute!
- Correctly Compare Costs
Once you have done the call around and have collected a few quotes, always break the labour down into minutes to be able to determine where the best bang for your buck will be. Most repairers will all charge in different increments and with different labour inclusions, so by breaking the total labour fee down to the minute will allow you to get a true representation of the costs involved and will help you avoid those nasty surprises. Don’t rely on a company’s call out fee as the sole way of determining affordability and choosing an appliance repairer, always look at the labour inclusions and fees to get the bigger picture.
- Know the Final Bill Before Completion
You should always be made aware of the costs to complete a repair before a technician carries out any work. If you have a budget to stick to then make sure you let the repairer know what your limit is before they start and if repairs are likely to exceed that limit they should run this by you before proceeding. At Queensland Appliances if a repair on site will not be simple or may need additional parts for completion, a written quote is provided to the customer before we proceed so you are always aware of the final bill, before the works are even completed. This way there are no nasty surprises at the end.
- Warranty on Work
A confident and professional repair service will always provide some level of warranty on their work. This will ensure you have peace of mind that the repairer stands behind the repairs that have been completed. Generally there will be a period of warranty that covers the technician’s work and there will also be a warranty on the parts that may be used to complete a repair. Warranty on parts will vary depending on the brand of the appliance so if you are unsure of the warranty period then always check with your repairer.
- Worth the Wait
A good appliance repair service will be one that is steadily busy – this means a lot of people are regularly using their service! If you find there may be a couple of days wait time before a technician can attend to your job, don’t let this be a deterrent (unless of course it is urgent like a fridge on the fritz!). A repairer booked a couple of days ahead is a good sign that they have regular customers. A repairer booked weeks in advance may mean they are temporarily short of staff or are overbooked and are not able to take on much more work at the time – this also isn’t a bad thing but may not be ideal for your repair depending on the appliance. Be cautious with a repair service that can be there the same day. You can sometimes get lucky due to cancellation of jobs in your area, or if the repairer is a relatively new company. However, a repairer consistently offering a same day service can either mean they are not regularly getting work which could be a reflection of their service, or are pushing their technicians to the limit which could result in mis-diagnosis and rushed work.
- Review the Reviews
Always, Always, Always check reviews before choosing an appliance repairer. If the majority of the reviews are positive and have a great description of the experience with the repairer then you should be in good hands – it also pays to read the bad reviews as if it is a good repair service, you will find the lower rated reviews usually won’t have anything to do with the repairer’s work but more trivial things like price and availability. If however you see consistent bad reviews with a consistent theme of complaints it would be wise to tread carefully and ask lots of questions to get a feel for what your experience with the company might be like, before you engage them. Research is the key to avoiding nasty surprises and bad service.
- Sponsored Repairers
Never just go with the first repairer that pops up on Google. If you see a repair company listed at the very top of your search page, this company has likely Paid Google for one of these top spots (will also usually have “sponsored” noted somewhere near the link). However just because a company has spent a lot of money on advertising, does not necessarily mean they offer a good or fairly priced service. This leads us back to the point about reviews as your first point of call – if you are thinking of choosing an appliance repairer from the top listed (sponsored) repair services, make sure you check their reviews and ask them all the right questions first (detailed throughout this article).
- Look Outside your Local Area
Similar to just going with the top of the list on a search result, don’t always default to your closest business when choosing an appliance repairer. More often than not, good quality repairers may be based outside of your suburb but have technicians that travel to many suburbs. If your research has led you to a company that seems to check all the boxes but they are not based near your suburb, give them a call anyway as you may find they are servicing in your area!
If you have any other questions about choosing an appliance repairer or about our repair service here at Queensland Appliances, feel free to give our friendly team a call on 07 3252 3952 or send us an email email@example.com or click here for more information.