Appliance Repair Contractors

Rob Sabo | Improvement Center Columnist | December 14, 2011

In February 2009 a Lake Tahoe appliance repairman was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison after bilking Maytag out of more than $350,000 in false warranty claims. While most appliance repair technicians are reputable, cases like these point to the need for homeowners to use caution when choosing a new repair person.

If one of your major appliances needs servicing, you want a trustworthy technician in your home to diagnose the problem and repair it without breaking your budget. A professional should also be able to recommend whether your appliance is worth fixing. Some problems, such as a faulty pump in a low-cost dishwasher, for example, may be as costly as buying new, and your repair person should advise you of such.

Finding a reputable appliance repair contractor

Actually, your chances are probably good that the contractor you are considering is on the level. Most repair contractors are experts and have been in business for years, if not decades. To find the best technicians, however, there are five things to look for:

  1. References and credibility: An appliance repair contractor, like any trades person, should have a long list of satisfied customers who can provide references and positive testimonials. Besides references from personal contacts, a good place to inquire is your local Chamber of Commerce. Membership typically signifies that businesses are good stewards of the communities they service.
  2. Guaranteed workmanship: Ask about warranty assurances; good appliance repair contractors should stand by their work. A 90-day workmanship guarantee is a vote of confidence in your service professional. Additionally, appliance repair contractors should inform you of any existing warranties on your appliances.
  3. Customer feedback: Another good place for information about repair technicians would be Internet review sites, such as Yelp. The reviews on these sites are written by customers and provide an un-edited and straightforward account of their experiences. Be sure to read a sampling of reviews, since one customer's experience may not be the same as several others.
  4. Certification: Home appliance repair contractors often seek accreditation from the National Appliance Service Technician Certification program or the Professional Service Association program. These voluntary certificates demonstrate a service technician's competence for repair work, as well as a commitment to ethical standards.
  5. Intuition: Trust your gut! If you feel that the appliance repair contractor you have called is misleading you on the extent of the problems with your refrigerator or washer, it may be best to pay him or her for the service call and hire someone else.

If you have any question about the credibility of the contractor, check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if customers have lodged complaints.