Regardless of how the maker advertised it as something built to last, a home appliance is guaranteed to bail on you. It might not do so today, tomorrow or even the day after, but one day it will stop working out of the blue. While a small bunch might decide replacement is a better choice, a majority will likely go the repair route. And although it’s cheaper than replacing outright, repairing an appliance can get pretty expensive. Here, we present six ways in which you can save money on home appliance repair, if and when it’s called upon.
Keep track of the symptoms
Not every issue is an open and shut case. For instance, there is obviously something wrong if your microwave operates intermittently. However, you can help the technician by noting down the point(s) during the cooking cycle where the microwave stops working. This information can help the technician diagnose the issue accurately and fix it quickly.
Ideally, you should write down the issue and its details as and when it occurs so that you are not left scrambling when the technician comes calling. While at it, try answering the following questions,
- Is the appliance doing something that’s not part of its normal functioning?
- Can the appliance be used in spite of the problem?
- If it’s usable, at what frequency does the problem occur?
- Does the problem occur every time you use the appliance?
- Has the appliance undergone any drastic change of late? For example, was it exposed to high temperatures or transported from one place to another?
When diagnosis is instant, the cure follows suit as well. In other words, you’d save a tidy sum by keeping a log of your appliance’s problem(s) and sharing them with the repair person/technician.
Retain the warranty details
One of the lesser appreciated and understood appliance repair tips is to hold onto the warranty details of your appliances. Depending upon its brand and year of manufacture, an appliance can be repaired free of cost under warranty. And while spare part costs are usually covered, some warranties even include labour costs. Either way, you stand to save a reasonable amount of money by retaining your appliance’s warranty details, at least for the warranty’s duration.
Don’t leave it all up to the technician
Since its labour intensive work, most appliance repair jobs cost you by the hour. Which is why you ought to do everything you can to ensure every minute the technician spends on your appliance is productive. After all, you wouldn’t want a major part of the billable hours to be spent gaining access to your faulty appliance.
The mantra is to do whatever your technician is not supposed to. So if they are here to washing machine repair, ensure the washer is emptied of all water and if it’s the dryer that’s at fault, ensure all clothes are taken out. While at it, move your appliance to a more central position so that the technician is able to access it from all sides.
Ask for transparent pricing
Offering a flat rate before adding a host of additional surcharges to the bill is a practice rampant among many appliance repair shops and service companies. So when you are evaluating an appliance repairing service, it’ll do you good to ask these questions,
- Are there any additional charges for visits that fall beyond usual business hours?
- Are there any extra charges for the time and distance spent traveling?
- Is there a separate service fee apart from the repairing charge?
If the service company is honest and transparent with its pricing structure, you will be offered an estimate of the final cost of repair. This ensures you are protected from any hidden or unexpected charges.
Maintain your appliances
Fixing household appliances costs as much as it does primarily because most people fail to care for their appliances regularly. If you are looking to save on appliance repair costs, there really is no better way to do so than preventing it from breaking down in the first place. There are loads of sources on the web that talk about basic DIY maintenance of various appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, microwave ovens, stoves etc. You’ll be amazed at how much of an impact regular maintenance has on the operating life of your appliances.
Consider going DIY
The tip that’ll save you the most amount of money in household appliance repair, doing it yourself is great provided you know what you are getting into. Again, there are plenty of sources online that you can refer when trying to repair an appliance. However, DIY doesn’t leave any room for error and there is a chance you might end up paying more to undo what you’ve done.
The safest bet then is to go with a home appliance shop that has a good reputation for repairing appliances. It bears repeating though that you should only opt for a service that’s willing to offer an estimate and has a transparent pricing structure.