RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – With new appliances still hard to come by because of supply chain issues, more people than ever are opting to repair their current appliances. That, however, comes with its own problems.
Before you repair the appliance, you need to determine if it’s a job you can do yourself or one that requires a professional.
You also need to consider the age of your appliance when you decide if you’ll go the repair and reuse route.
When your appliance goes south, your blood pressure can go north because you depend on them so much. Not having them in working order can create an immediate hassle.
Alyssa Parker of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina said there may be simple repairs you can do and not pay a repairman.
“There’s always options out there if you are equipped to do that to try and fix it yourself,” she said. “However, you may void the warranty if you do something to alter the appliance.”
Also, there are repair jobs involving electrical, gas or plumbing jobs that require licensed technicians that you should not attempt yourself. To attempt them would not only be a violation of the law, but it could put you or your family in danger of you don’t know what you are doing.
When it comes to replacement parts, you may try to save money by purchasing a generic one, but that has pitfalls.
“Make sure you double check the part will fit and function properly,” Parker said. “Also, call customer service at the appliance center to get their advice as well.”
If you have an older appliance, there’s a chance the repair might not be worth it.
“With costs increasing, replacing a part may be as much as purchasing a new appliance,” she said.
If you do buy a replacement part, make sure you can get a refund if it’s not right.
“You want to make sure you have documentation and keep it in case there’s an issue with the part you’ve purchased,” Parker said.
If you call in a repair person, be aware they may charge a fee just to show up, before doing anything to the appliance.
Some of those fees can be $200 or more. Ask your repair firm if there’s a charge like that before you agree to have them come to your home.
Depending on the repair service, some of those “appearance fees” may be refundable if you decide to have that firm do the repair. Find out if that applies in your case before they arrive.
To avoid getting stung:
- Never pay upfront for a repair;
- Get a detailed and written repair contract;
- Know the labor charge;
- Verify the technician’s license.
There are several ways to check licenses.
The state of North Carolina operates a website that lets you look up small appliances and electronics repair licenses.
There is also a web tool you can access here that lets you check the license of an appliance contractor anywhere in the United States.