Frugal Hack #26: Beware of a “Parts Replacer” When Hiring a Repair Technician

Updated January 6, 2022 by Kyle

If you’ve ever had a home appliance conk out, you know what a pain in the butt it can be to get it fixed. Whether it’s a broken refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, or dryer, it takes time to research the problem, find a repair person, get parts ordered, and then hope it all goes right without you getting ripped off.

When looking to hire a repair technician, it’s important to avoid a “parts replacer”, which Consumer Reports labels as someone “who just replaces parts in hopes of stumbling on the problem.” According to the Consumer Reports piece, there are some ways to ensure you get the right repair person for the job and pay the correct amount in the process.
Hire a Handyman

Do Your Own Research

Consumer Reports suggests always contacting the product manufacturer first thing.

Some problems are quite common and the company probably has an easy fix, many of which you can do yourself for free.

If that goes nowhere, try a Google search for a potential fix you can do yourself. It’s amazing how many great YouTube channels are out there which specialize in DIY repair.

Find a Pro

If the problem is something you can’t fix yourself, then ask around about a trustworthy repair person or company.

Consumer Reports suggests running all companies through BBB and perform an “online search with the company name and such terms as “reviews” and “complaints” to see what others say.”

Beware of a “Parts Replacer”

If you ask the technician if he can guarantee his repair will fix the problem, and he hedges or says he can’t guarantee it, you’re probably dealing with a “parts replacer”.

This means he’s planning to start replacing parts until he finds the culprit. Proceed with caution as they can easily stick you with a large repair bill.

Know When To Fix and When to Replace

Consumer Reports recommends that “you replace a broken item if the repair will cost more than half the price of a new product.”

Ask for the Old Parts

If feasible, ask the repair tech to leave behind the parts that they replace.

This is a great way to reduce the risk of fraud and make sure parts are actually replaced or defective to begin with.

Follow these tips and it will definitely make your next repair easier to deal with.

To see all of Consumer Reports suggestions on hiring a reputable repair technician, check out the article linked below.

The how-to-get-anything-fixed guide | Consumer Reports

Photo by JD Hancock.


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Thank you for this article, it really brings up a lot of appliance repair issues.

Some people may know about those “parts replacers” and they can differentiate between them and a real technician, but the majority of people can’t. That’s who they aim for and that’s what they always want to deal with.
If you have time and you think you can do it yourself than do that, else you should contact experts, not “replacers” even if they seem a lot cheaper.

Cindy Hoffman

Hallo there Kyle, that’s something that I once went through. I went to this “expert mech” who was to replace the oil filter. I don’t know what happened and he started spotting his own problems that needed fixing. The worst thing is that he even went ahead to fix it without letting me know. Then later he hands me a gargantuan bill. Oh my. Such things made me to start mastering some DIY and I fix some of the basic things by myself now. Thanks a lot for sharing these tips.


Westly Smith

I like your advice to do your own research. I have seen so many friends just go with a repair man because that is the only one they’ve heard of. Like you say, the best way to get results is to find the best option. You don’t have any options if you only talk or research one service.

John Mahoney

I liked when you talked bout getting a pro when needing appliance repairs. It makes sense that doing this can help you make sure the job is done well and avoid further damages. I would want to find someone that is properly certified and is not afraid to walk me through the repairs.

Bernard Clyde

I really like your tip to do your own research on how to repair your appliance before hiring services. Not only does that help you know what to look for when you hire repair services, but it also helps you understand more about your appliance. This can help us feel better about the investment we make in repairs. It’s especially nice to have the technician keep you informed on what’s wrong as they fix it.

Rick Smith

Thanks for sharing the tips with us. I wish I read the article before. Last month I had to hire an appliance repair service and the experience was not good. This article will create awareness among people about parts replacer.

Millie Hue

It really helped when you mentioned that it is recommended to check the reviews and performance of a company through the BBB to ensure that you will be hiring the right person for the job. This tip will really help my sister who needs a technician to fix her refrigerator. It appears that it got broken when there was a power outage yesterday. She can’t afford to buy a new one, so it’s important to hire an excellent technician that can really fix it. Thanks!