Have An Appliance that Needs to Be Repaired? – How to Avoid Being Scammed by Frauds - The Jewish Voice
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Have An Appliance that Needs to Be Repaired? – How to Avoid Being Scammed by Frauds

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Have An Appliance that Needs to Be Repaired? – How to Avoid Being Scammed by Frauds

Edited by: TJVNews.com

When appliances or products that we own begin to malfunction and we have no choice but to seek a reputable repair person or company, many consumers readily admit that that is where their problems begin.

Whether it’s a broken television, refrigerator, washing machine, dish washer, vacuum cleaner or air conditioner, it appears that most people have become victims of outright fraud, poor training on the part of the repair person, or a mistake made. Often times, after a product is repaired, information emerges that consumer has paid way too much for the repair work to be done or that the work done was not worth the money paid.

What can we do when repairs become a nightmare, and how can we prevent problems from occurring in the first place?

A December 2014 article in Consumer Reports revealed that the first step to begin with research. When you first encounter a problem, contact the product manufacturer. The issue may be a common one for which the company has developed a fix, perhaps at no cost to you.

If that option is not feasible, then getting online and doing a Google search is the next step. Consumer Reports recommends using keywords that include the type of product that is broken and a short description of the problem. For example, you might type: “freezer stays cold but refrigerator is warm.”

In order to find the proper repair facility, it is suggested that narrowing the search by putting in the make and model number might be helpful. In addition, one has to be mindful of the fact that others may have needed the same product repaired and posting your problem on a message board can assist in solving the dilemma as knowledgeable users and professionals quite often frequent these message boards and offer solutions that you might now get elsewhere.

Some people can repair their own product if they are technically or mechanically inclined and if they can learn what is necessary to fix a product through instructional videos as well as tutorials from other amateurs and even experts. If that isn’t your thing, at the very least you can discover how a technician will evaluate the diagnosis.

If you find it next to impossible to locate a trustworthy repair person or someone is not seeking to charge you three times higher or more to get the repair done, it is highly advisable to ask people you know to recommend someone. But even at that point, it behooves you to research the company you are dealing with to ascertain reliability, fairness and integrity. If any of those elements are missing and you see negative reviews about them on the Better Business Bureau web site or elsewhere,  then pass this one by and continue looking.

A company’s business reputation is something that should be factored in when choosing a repair technician.   In order to see what others are saying, Consumer Reports advises that an online search be done by putting in the company name and  terms such as “reviews” and “complaints.”

For repairs, it is best to consider those technicians who are licensed in the state they practice in or registered. These would include automobile mechanics as well as electricians, plumbers and those who do general home improvements. It pays in the long run to verify the licensing credentials by checking with what criteria the state requires for licensing or registration. In this way, you will know that the person or company you are paying to prepare your product has the best training and that state has given them their imprimatur.

Some types of repairers can obtain professional certifications indicating they have met industry standards. For example, Consumer Reports indicates that car mechanics are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Appliance technicians may be recognized by the Professional Service Association. To find more certification programs, use a Web search with the type of repairer and “certification,” as was indicated by Consumer Reports.  Don’t hesitate to ask a repair shop about the credentials of the technician who will be assigned to your repair, says Don Pierson, who heads the Certified Service Center program, which certifies electronics and appliance repair shops and as reported by Consumer Reports.

Manufacturer connections. You’ll probably have to use a dealer or and other factory-authorized repairer if the product still is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty or safety recall, according to Consumer Reports. Factory-authorized repair shops often have access to so-called technical service bulletins and other product-specific information that may not be available to nonauthorized repair shops. And they may be in a better position to negotiate with the manufacturer for a free out-of-warranty repair on your behalf. But factory-authorized shops may charge a premium.

 

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