Your washing machine is making strange sounds. There is a yucky puddle oozing out from under your dishwasher. The microwave oven doesn’t do any heating.
You need an appliance repairman.
What’s the toughest part of hiring a professional? Finding one. With hundreds of companies offering appliance repair in your area, choosing the best one seems impossible.
Meanwhile, the washing machine is about to break, your dishwasher is flooding your kitchen, and your kids are hungry. It’s time to do some research.
We’ve designed a quick guide to make your search simple. Go on. This 5-minute read can save you hours of nerves and despair as well as hundreds of dollars.
1. Start in Advance
If by any chance, you are reading the article before the fridge stopped working, you are in luck. By doing your research in advance, you’ll know whom to call when the emergency situation occurs.
Ideally, you should find the company in advance and pay for a maintenance visit. Appliance repair companies often offer maintenance services. They can keep your appliances working for years without the need of costly repair.
2. Try Not To Rush
Ok, so your robot vacuum has stopped working and your home is turning into junkyard faster than you can Google the right company. It’s not a reason to rush into making a decision. By taking advantage of the first company on the list, you are likely to face expensive and not always high-quality services.
Anything will hardly change in an hour or two. Take your time to single out the most respectable and reasonably priced company. Otherwise, you may be in for new expenses in the nearest future.
3. Ask Around
The best way to find a respectable company is to ask around. Call your friends and family, post a yell for help on social media, and talk to your boss. If a person you know can recommend a company, it’s likely to suit your requirements.
Live recommendations are always better than what you can find online. Since (oh no!) online reviews can be fake or not entirely accurate.
When talking to your acquaintances, make sure to ask as many questions as possible in order to get a full picture.
4. Talk To Realtors
Sounds strange? Not really. Realtors have to deal with quick home and appliance repairs all the time in order to finalize the deal. They know the best repairmen in the area. Of course, they may not recommend the cheapest ones, but at least you’ll add a few viable options to your list.
Another source of reliable repairmen information is your condominium association. Its members are likely to know all the pros and cons of the local appliance repair companies.
5. Go Local
When you find an excellent company online, pay attention to its location. If it’s not based in your area, you are risking waiting for many hours for the repairmen to arrive. It may be ok when the problem doesn’t need urgent attention.
However, the next time something breaks down, you may need assistance immediately. According to Tampa based appliance repair specialists, the faster you can take care of such problems as leaks, the more chances you have of saving the equipment.
6. Check Online Reviews
If you don’t have an opportunity to get a “live” recommendation, go for online reviews. Skip the ones posted on the website. Any sane company would post only positive ones. You can take advantage of such resources as Google, Yellow Pages, and Yelp.
However, these resources are good only when you already have a list of companies and just need to see reviews. If you use these services to find a company, remember that the top results aren’t necessarily the best ones. What you see on the first pages are the companies that paid money for advertising.
While checking the reviews, see how the company responds to them (if it does it at all). A respectable company pays close attention to the reviews and always responds to both positive and negative ones.
If a reaction to reviews doesn’t follow, the company may not be interested in improving its services. Meanwhile, if the reply to a bad review is rude and ugly, you can get an idea of the level of service provided by the company.
7. Consider The Cost
Of course, the cost is one of the major factors people consider when hiring an appliance repairman. However, choosing the cheapest services can do you a bad service. Most likely, the low price tag comes from low-quality services.
If you want to save money on appliance repair, invest in maintenance. Obviously, it’s tough to spend money on something that isn’t broken, but you do brush your teeth before they start aching, don’t you? The same works for appliances. If you maintain them properly, you can cut repair and replacement costs substantially.
8. Ask About Licenses
Some appliance repairs require the technicians to have licenses. This goes mostly for HVAC repairmen. They should hold EPA Section 608 refrigerant handling certification. Before hiring an appliance technician, you have to ask if the company has proper licenses.
Appliance repair companies are also required to have a small appliance/electronics repair license. Don’t stop at just asking if the company has a license. Ask to see it as well.
9. Be Careful About Special Offers
Some companies try to lure clients in by creating special offers that don’t actually work. Some say that they won’t charge anything for diagnostics. Others say they’ll fix your appliance for free if you sign a contract for regular maintenance.
In some cases, special offers are a way to make you spend more money when you don’t really need to. Be very careful when accepting such an offer. Find out as many details as possible and read the fine print.
10. Discuss Payment Options
If a company charges an hourly rate (a technician may charge up to $200 per hour), you have to ask about projects that take less than an hour. Most likely, there will be a certain flat fee. The cost may be determined based on the appliance you need to repair.
For example, fixing a dishwasher may cost around $150 while an HVAC system repair can end up costing up to $1,000.
Always ask how the final bill is created. What does it include? Perhaps, there is an initial fee for coming to your house, which was never mentioned in the price list?
11. Find Out If They Take Credit Cards
What may seem to be a minor detail can determine the respectability level of the company. An appliance repair company that accepts credit card takes responsibility for its actions.
When you pay by cash, you are unlikely to get your money back for poor service. If you pay by credit card, you can dispute the payment.
12. Listen To Them Talk
The first impression is highly important. When you talk to the company’s representatives, note their attitude. Are they polite and ready to answer questions? Do they avoid technical jargon?
Appliance repair is a service that has to consider the client’s comfort. If the attitude doesn’t appeal to you, look for another company.
Take your time looking for the perfect appliance repair service. Ideally, you should find one in advance and order maintenance for your equipment. This can keep the expenses to a minimum. Take advantage of the above tips to find the best appliance repair company for your needs.