How to Avoid Appliance Repair Scams

There is nothing more frustrating than an essential appliance breaking down. Whether it’s your refrigerator failing to chill anything or a washing machine suddenly dying mid-cycle, we rely on our appliances every day. Unfortunately, in your rush to get your appliance fixed, you may fall victim to an appliance repair scam. While the vast majority of appliance repair specialists are ethical, honest and professional, providing excellent service and good advice, there are still some unscrupulous individuals out there. So, here is some sound advice to avoid falling victim to a scam.

Don’t Pay First

Any technician who asks for payment upfront should set off alarm bells with any potential customer. The technician may explain that the payment is needed for a back ordered or hard to find part, but there is a risk that when you hand over the cash, they will completely disappear. Another warning sign is if the technician asks for a check to be made personally to them rather than the repair company. In short, don’t hand over money until you can physically see the parts needed or the job is done.

Causing More Damage

This scam occurs if you leave the technician alone in your home to complete the work unsupervised. When you’re out of sight, the technician intentionally breaks another part or causes some other type of damage. The technician can then report this newly discovered issue with an offer to fix it. To avoid any instance of this type of scam, don’t leave anyone even the most pleasant seeming person alone inside your home.

The Unqualified Liar

Unscrupulous repair scammers have been known to lie about their expertise and qualifications. You may be told that the technician is “factory authorized” or does not need to have a license to work on your appliances. Many of these types of scammers have an expired license or are completely unlicensed. Do your homework and check out the company or technician license details. True professionals proudly display their qualifications, licensing and industry affiliations, so you can reassure that they are genuine. These experts will not be offended that you want to check their credentials and are happy to provide you with the necessary details. If you’re still unsure check with the manufacturer to ensure that you hire someone who is qualified to fix any issues with your product.

Getting More than You Bargained For

This type of scam involves a repairman looking at your appliance and seeing that there is only a small amount of work involved in the fix. Unfortunately, you are told something completely different; what you thought was a relatively simple issue is actually a major repair problem. When you agree to the “repair,” you end up paying for expensive labor and parts that were unnecessary. If you are told that an issue is far more serious than you were suspected, it is always a good idea to err on the side of caution. Obtain an estimate and then consult another technician for a second opinion. Most scammers won’t want their con uncovered by a professional, so will either back down or leave.

When an appliance develops a repair issue, there is a temptation to hire the first person who you find using an online search. This can be a mistake, and the Better Business Bureau recommends that to avoid a scam you should obtain three estimates or check for customer reviews. While these tasks may take a little time, they could save you losing hundreds of dollars to a scammer.

If you’re having difficulties with any home appliance expert, a professional home repair specialist can be relied upon to provide an effective, long-lasting solution. For help with all your appliance repair issues, be sure that you’re speaking to a professional appliance repair service.