With the summer in full swing, coupled with the increased time spent in your home due to the nationwide shelter in place that was implemented a few months ago, you are probably taking full advantage of your home appliances such as your air conditioning or HVAC unit. With this increased usage, there is a higher chance you will find yourself in need of appliance repair and maintenance services.
When you experience an appliance malfunction, it is natural to pick up your phone and dial your local repair service right away without doing your due diligence prior to the call. In this article I will share some basic things you should do before you pick up your phone and dial that number to get the most out of your initial diagnostic call and cut down on the back and forth to ultimately save you time and money.
1. Perform a Quick Self-Check on Your Appliance
Take a look at your appliance and familiarize yourself with the issue(s) you are experiencing. Are you annoyed by weird noise coming from the appliance? Is there leaking in or around your refrigerator or unnecessary condensation? Is the temperature of the air blowing out of your air conditioner warm? Is the appliance failing to turn on entirely?
Coming prepared with these insights can greatly increase the chances of you finding the right repair service the first time around since the business you dial will be able to decipher right away if they are the right team for the job based on your initial observations.
This also helps you to have a more productive conversation with the technician on the line and he or she can pre-diagnose what part may need to be replaced or repaired and come prepared to the service appointment with having done all the due diligence to ensure the repair is done right and swiftly the first time.
2. Do Your Due Diligence on Your Local Contractors
Do a quick Google search such as “appliance repair Buffalo” or “air conditioner repair Buffalo” or whatever appliance repair you need and city you are located in. This will bring up all of the local contractors nearby. Taking a quick look at each of the top resulting businesses’ websites can help you determine if they specialize in the appliance repair that you need. It will help you to determine which of the companies are more legitimate or established than others based on their online presence.
3. Prepare a List of Questions to Ask the Business Owner
Having a list of questions prepared before the call will ensure you have all the information you need coming out of the call to make the final decision of going with this company or not for your appliance repair need. Examples of some questions are the following:
- When is their next available time slot, do they have someone available today? Sometimes businesses can send a technician the same day but you need to explicitly ask for them to do so.
- Does their company specialize in this particular service (linked to your appliance repair need)? If not, is there a referral they can suggest?
- If you need a small appliance repair done, ask if they perform these services. Some major appliance repair companies do and some don’t.
- Are there associated costs with the initial diagnostic trip? Sometimes businesses send a technician for an initial check of the issue and come back to repair at a later time. You need to ask for the fees up front.
- Do they charge a flat rate fee for a job completed or by the hour?
4. Have a Budget in Mind
Having a budget range going into the initial call is important if you find yourself negotiating with the business. If the repair quote comes out to be much higher than your initial budget. Also you can edit your initial budget for your next call. Use the quote from your first business call as leverage to negotiate.