How to Choose the Best Appliance Repair Service
Finding a trustworthy, reliable, and affordable appliance repair service in the Atlanta area can seem like an impossible task. There are lots of options and it can be hard to choose which one is right for you. Fortunately, there are a few things that can help you find the best appliance repair specialists for your needs.
First, Don’t Rush the Process
It can feel like an emergency any time one of your major appliances stops working, especially if the broken device is your refrigerator or freezer.
A full freezer can keep your food safe for up to 48 hours after losing power, so if your freezer stops working, you have a little time. While a full refrigerator can only maintain food-safe temperatures for four hours, the risk on ineffective or overpriced repairs may make it worth taking the time to find the right servicer.
Ask People You Know for Referrals
Friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers can be a goldmine when it comes to finding a good local home appliance repair technician. They can share their experience with the companies they used, and give their honest, unbiased opinion. When asking for referrals, it’s a good idea to have some questions prepared:
- How long did it take to get a technician out for service?
- Did the technician give an estimate before starting service?
- Was the technician clean and professional?
- Were they happy with the repair?
- Did they feel the cost was fair and affordable?
- Would they call the same provider again for service if needed?
Call the Experts
By experts, we mean local realtors and people that work in the realty industry. Many realtors have appliance repair companies on retainer to help get houses ready for sale. A local realtor should know the most affordable and reliable repair service providers.
Check Online for Reviews
Reviews are a powerful indicator of what you can expect when you hire an appliance repair company. Every company makes promises on their website. The experiences of other customers can help you determine if the company keeps those promises. A company with a lot of bad reviews is usually not a good investment.
But, Keep in Mind That Not All Review Listings Are Created Equal
When checking a site where users can post reviews, the top results aren’t always the best companies. Sites like Yellow Pages and Yelp present paid advertisers at the top even if they don’t have the best reviews. Fortunately, these sites must notify the user if a listing is a paid ad.
This doesn’t mean you should avoid companies that have paid ads on directory sites like Yelp and YP. Companies often have to advertise to let people know their services exist. However, it is important to look for the ad symbol and evaluate companies based on their reviews, not their rank on the site.
Also, Look at How the Company Responds to Bad Reviews
Everyone has an off day sometimes. That’s true for companies too. It is impossible to please everyone all the time. If a company has a few bad reviews mixed in with a lot of good reviews, they may still be a good choice. The most important factor is how the company responds to the poor review.
Even if it’s sometimes funny, when a company leaves a rude response to a bad review, it gives clues that the organization cares more about getting the last word than taking care of their customers. If the company apologizes and offers to rectify the issue, it shows a willingness to work with their clients, even in tense situations.
Be Wary of Flat Rate Appliance Repair Companies
Almost every company that offers “flat rate” repairs puts an asterisk by “flat rate.” That’s because it’s not possible to estimate the cost of repairs without first evaluating the issue. The fine print on these deals is that you may be charged more for service depending on the issue this can give you an unrealistic expectation of what you’ll have to pay, making it difficult to budget appropriately.
Some of these companies charge you their “flat rate,” even if they couldn’t complete the repair. A better choice is a company that offers a solid estimate after diagnosing the problem with your appliance. This will give you a fair expectation of what you’ll have to pay.
Consider Using a Local Service Versus a Large Chain
When you want fast, personal service, it is often easier to get from a small or local appliance repair company instead of a large chain. Research from Consumer Reports showed that customers that chose independent providers were happier and more satisfied than those that went with the manufacturer or retail servicers. Data from consumer reports also shows that independent shops do a better job of repairing appliances correctly the first time.
Several factors contribute to these statistics.
- Local companies tend to employ local technicians who live in the communities where they work. Their personal and professional reputation is on the line when they do their job, so they’re more likely to be fully committed.
- Independent appliance repair companies are usually privately owned. This gives them the flexibility to do whatever they can to help their customer where the big chains may be forced to follow corporate guidelines when completing service.
- Large companies rely on volume and brand recognition to make money. Smaller companies depend entirely on their reputation, so they will be much more motivated to go the extra mile to please their customer.
The treatment you get when you call a company will give you a good indication of what kind of service you can expect when they’re in your home. Do they answer the phone right away without leaving you on hold? Do they answer all of your questions patiently? Are they understanding if you say you’ll call back? All of these are indicators of a company that takes customer service seriously.
Questions to Ask When Calling for Appliance Repair
Most repair services will have questions for you regarding the issue with your appliance, but it is essential to ask a few key questions of your own.
- Do you take (preferred form of payment)?
- Most companies won’t ask you to pay until they have completed service. It can be awkward if you don’t have the form of payment they accept.
- It is also a good idea to ask if the company takes credit cards even if you plan on paying with cash. If a company only accepts cash, it may indicate a company that is not legitimate because credit card payments can be tracked.
- Are your technicians licensed and insured?
- This is important because insurance is important if something goes wrong or the technician gets hurt while in your home.
- Is your work guaranteed?
- Make sure there is a warranty on both the parts and labor. If your appliance breaks a few days after the repair, it’s important to know you can count on the company to fix the issue again without any additional charges.
- How long will it take to get an appointment?
- It’s true that sometimes you have to wait for good service, but you shouldn’t have to wait a week. If the company can’t send a tech out within a day or so of your request, consider moving on. Many companies offer same day appointments.
- Do you charge extra for after hour appointments?
- It would be nice if appliances only broke down during standard business hours, but in reality, they’re far more likely to malfunction when they’re being used. Some companies in the business of appliance repair know this and take advantage of customers by over-charging for appointments that aren’t during regular business hours. It’s better to choose a company that charges reasonable prices regardless of the appointment time.
- How long are your service windows?
- If you’re given a four, six, or eight-hour service window, consider calling a different repair company. It is unreasonable to have to wait at home for hours for someone to repair your appliance.
Don’t be afraid to ask for more information or time to make your decision
Finding an appliance repair company that you trust and feel comfortable with can take some time. The best choice will always be the company that makes you feel as though you are valued as a customer.