Repair or Replace???


When customers of ours have a breakdown on their domestic appliance and it is out of warranty, the immediate question they ask themselves is “How much is this going to cost me?” In quick succession comes the second question, which is usually “Would I be better off buying a new one instead?” These questions are perfectly understandable, but not always easy to answer.

Ultimately, the answer to that question will lay with the customer. There will be a cost involved whatever option is chosen, so the person ‘footing the bill’ will have the final say. We as repair agents are understandably asked for advice, which we’re happy to provide, but to do so without having actually seen the appliance can be problematic. To summarise, I ask customers to consider the following when making the decision whether to ‘Repair or Replace’:

• How old is your appliance?
• What condition is it in?
• Is it integrated or freestanding? (Integrated products are more expensive to purchase and not so easy to install)
• What are the symptoms? (We can then run through possible causes, or even troubleshooting ideas)
• What would be the total cost (including any delivery/installation charges) to replace the appliance?
• For any chargeable repair we undertake, we guarantee our work for twelve months.
• If a new appliance is purchased, the whole appliance is guaranteed for a minimum of twelve months.

Finally, the most important point that I stress to all customers is…………………………………………..

• Don’t assume the worst!!!

From my experience, customers tend to assume that the most expensive component on their appliance is the one that’s to blame! This can be the case, but likewise a component may be needed that is far cheaper, or it may not even need to have any components replaced. Things like motors on Washing Machines or compressors on Fridge Freezers are often blamed for various faults – but the truth is there are other (cheaper) components on those appliances that can cause the same symptoms. How do we know until we’ve seen it?

For this very reason, we introduced our Inspection Fee a few years ago. If you phone us to book an appointment, all you are initially committing yourself to is paying our inspection fee of £38 plus VAT. My engineer will come to your property, inspect your appliance, diagnose what’s wrong, and then tell you (the customer) exactly what it’s going to cost before he does anything else. If you decide the repair isn’t economically viable, then you would just pay our inspection fee, and the engineer will do no more. If however you want to proceed with the repair, then our normal call-out and labour fee of £58 plus VAT would apply, and any subsequent repair would be guaranteed for one year.

After considering all of the above, and weighing up all the pro’s & con’s, then the final decision lays with the customer. All I would suggest is that it’s easier to make the right decision if it’s an informed decision.

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T K Garnham
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