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