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Appliance Repair Ripoffs?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Rich, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    If you're relay to infrequent contracts of your EE occupation, you should be able to do that repair by yourself buying parts and tool online. Just a short lost appliances fixed last year or two: dishwasher, electric range+oven, refregirator [minor fix], toilets, faucets, light/exhausting fans in bathroom, gas water heater [replaced and made all things up to NEW local code since first one installed 30 years ago], water solar heater, in-house sewer tube, not counting these hairdryers, TVs, DVRs, phones, PC, routers, etc...
     
  2. dsw2112

    dsw2112 Always Searching

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    But to be fair, side work prices don't really ever equate to those that do something for a living due to their overhead/costs of doing business. I used to do electrical work on the side, and didn't charge anywhere near what an electrician would charge. Still got permits, and inspections too.
     
  3. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    I broke my hot tub two weeks.
    I over tighted a PVC Union "nut", and cracked it.

    It is a $5 part.

    However, if I would have tried to fix it... the way that I thought I would have had to.... it could have easily resulted in maybe $1,000 service call.

    Why? I thought I would have had to remove a part, that was sealed/glued to a hose, that goes deep into the inners of the hottub.

    If I would have done that, I am certain that entire assembly would have had to be replaced.

    When the service guy came out... he had the proper replacement/repair part, that I had never seen online when I was researching on how to fix.

    He had the right tool for the job (that I didn't own, and wouldn't have thought of getting)... and was done in less than 5 minutes.

    So yes... it isn't fair, that a $7.95 part, cost me $100 to have it put on...

    I have fixed dozens of computers and other things that I know about, for the raw price of parts... and pizza... vs the $50 they charge at the shops..

    My brother has repaired my car, and done the major maintenance pieces... significantly lower than what a shop would.... But then again, he isn't factoring in Rent, Benefits, Insurance, and Overhead into his costs...

    Am I happy when I can save a bundle of money when I can do it myself, hell yah I am... but I have also gotten to the point, where I try to evaluate the benefits / side-effects of that actions.

    I have turned many times what was thought was going to be a 5 minute job into a full day, or weekend project.
     
  4. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    The AC unit last year was the first time I even heard of a "service call" charge. This is new around here.

    I don't see why they would have a problem getting paid, people want their appliances to work and want them repaired quickly and they seem to stick with a good appliance repair center. I know I did for years. I had stickers on my appliances from the repair shop I used and always used them. A few months ago, I called for a repair and was told I had to pay a service charge. For years those folks at All Brands got my business and I paid and tipped very well. Now they won't get my business at all and I won't be tipping their repairmen for a job well done. As a matter of fact, if the job was truly a big one, I tipped the guy what a service call would cost now. I don't mind tipping well for a job well done, but not for gas and tolls. What tolls? These people that got me started are located just a few miles away.

    Rich
     
  5. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Oh yeah, licensed electricians seem to have no conscience. I used to do a lot of work for people and they always told me I beat the licensed electricians' prices by a great deal. Plumbers are another trade that rapes and pillages unsuspecting customers.

    In 1975, the going rate for replacing a wall switch by a licensed electrician was $185. I worked with several electricians who got their licences just to participate in the ripoffs.

    Rich
     
  6. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Can't get permits or inspections without a license here. You do realize how much overhead the average licensed electrician has, don't you? A truck and some ladders and tools and parts. Not all that much. I know a lot of licensed electricians and they don't all that much overhead. Not with supply houses and Home Depots all over the place. Most of the guys I know work by themselves as much as they can. Don't want to share the rewards.

    Rich
     
  7. dsw2112

    dsw2112 Always Searching

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    Yep, Illinois is one of the few. Does that make the cost of a service call (for appliance repair) more bearable when comparing outrageous electrician rates :lol:
     
  8. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    No, I don't have to pay for an electrician.

    Rich
     
  9. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

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    Rich,

    Remember when you're doing side work, you're not paying for advertising or a web-site or the truck payments that carry all those tools / ladders - some you may have in the garage from working over the years. Or insurance, permits, business licenses, Or paying taxes on that income!

    I can change an outlet for the $2.00 price of the outlet at Lowes or HD. But I don't want to be chaning outlets for the public for 50 or 75. . . and try to make a living. In today's economy, I think $100 is a fair price to get a professional to my house even though I know what to do but would rather he do it. Like Earl said above, lots of 5 minute projects turn into an all day / weekend project with multiple trips to the store.

    The appliance guys that bother me are the ones that quote you $450 to repair the washer and when you say, I'll just go buy a new one, it drops to $300 then $225. It's worse than a used car salesman.

    He made $75 to come out and convince me to buy a new washer.

    I recently had partial power in the house around 6pm. I called 5 electricians and got 1 that would come out in an emergency for $350 minimum. I decided it wasn't an emergency, got another to come out at 10 the next morning and $179 later (including a 50 amp breaker), he was happy and I was happy.
     
  10. Matt9876

    Matt9876 Hall Of Fame

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    I worked in appliance repair during the late 80s, the company I worked for almost always doubled the price of the parts and charged nearly 3 times what they paid me.

    I would not call that a rip off but it is expensive and this is the main reason I do all my own appliance,A/C and car repairs.

    In my opinion car repair cost and medical care cost are completely out of control. :eek2:


    Back in the day you could replace an alternator on a car for $50-$80 and about 30 minutes of labor, My wifes sister just paid $375 to get her alternator replaced.
     
  11. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

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    I wouldn't even put car / appliance repair in the same category as medical care.

    We spent 3 hours in the hospital for my wife's ankle surgery - $30,000. The dr was an additional 8,000 - $4000 out of pocket before we could schedule it.

    It's interesting to watch the insurance summaries come in . . . $charge / $ allowed, the difference just goes away. . . I hope!
     
  12. dsw2112

    dsw2112 Always Searching

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    Well, you can also find repair manuals for most appliances nowadays so DIY is always an option. As I mentioned earlier, $100 is a fair price for a service call in my experience.
     
  13. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    You can't replace your euphoria and self-esteem by the $100 when you fixed it, perhaps spent a few hours.

    "Yes! We can do !"
     
  14. chevyguy559

    chevyguy559 Fresno State Bulldog!

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    Funny this thread came about, my story is kind of the opposite of the spectrum (and not truly appliance related, but service charge related)

    Anyway, my lawnmower (10+ year old Cub Cadet push mower) would start but quickly die after starting. I started to think that I should just go buy a new one since they are only around $300 for a new equivalent. But my father in law gave me this mower when we bought our first house 10 years ago so it has been basically free other than gas, blades and an occasional spark plug/air filter.

    After cleaning the fuel line, replacing the spark plug, cleaning the carberator, nothing helped. So I took it in, they gave me the option of just having them fix it without an estimate, or I could pay $15 for them to call me with an estimate before having them fix it, all of which went toward my final bill. They called and total to fix it was $85.42 for parts and labor, so I had it fixed. Had it been over $150 I would have just bought a new mower. I thought this was more than fair to charge $15 to figure out the problem. And granted I could drop the mower off so its slightly different than an in home appliance repair.

    But maybe appliance repair companies could charge a more reasonable amount for a service charge, they might get a little more business that way.
     
  15. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Dennis, I'm perfectly aware of what running a business such as an electrician does entails. I'm also very aware that most licensed electricians are hurting for money in my state. So much that they work a night shift job so they can get some sleep and benefits before working during the day. We had four shift electricians and most, over the years the names changed, had licenses. Not much for a shift electrician to do at night as a rule and it worked out well for them. Not something I'd want to do, but it was their choice.

    During an emergency is when the sharks smell blood in the water. Not a good time to call someone for help.

    Here in NJ, we have so many electricians it's...well, just too many. Twenty years ago we decided to get all our underground (including tunnels) feeders above ground and we had days when we had three shifts of electricians working. 200 a shift. We drew them, thru our subcontractor, from the local IBEW union offices. Every one of them came thru my office for training in our standards and workplace practices. I could not believe how desperate most of them were for work. Job took over 6 months from beginning to end. To clarify, we didn't have 200+ electricians working everyday, just at critical times.

    But, so many guys so desperate for work. Stunned me. Still bothers me. And those guys worked. Put our electricians to shame. Our supervisors were happy if they could get a couple hours of work from our guys (all trades) in an 8 hour day.

    Rich
     
  16. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Was talking to a State Trooper in a gas can line the other day. He had a 1 year old daughter and he saw the bill for her birth. You're not gonna believe this, I didn't doubt him, $32,000. No complications, normal birth.

    If we were still breeding, I'd be looking for a midwife... :lol:

    Rich
     
  17. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I keep saying this and no one seems to listen. I'm lazy and I'd rather not work if I don't have to. I'm aware there are manuals for most appliances and I can read mechanical and electrical drawings, but at this point in my life, I'd rather have some else do the work for me.

    Let me give you an example of how lazy I am. My son hates to work with me when I just have to do something like take a tree down. I never stop until the job is done. Just so I can go back to my normal state of laziness.

    That's one of the things I loved about the Navy. Once I put that crow on my arm I stopped manual labor except in emergency situations.

    Rich
     
  18. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    They're like vultures here. Didn't use to be like this.

    On the lawn mower: When you consider how much time you take to cut a lawn and the frequency of having to cut it, a lawn mower ought to last you for...damn near your whole life. You could not get a mower fixed for that price here in Central NJ.

    Rich
     
  19. Rickt1962

    Rickt1962 Legend

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    LOL I got a good one for yea ! Being that im a Home Builder from the ground up and learned all the trades in my business. Couple of years ago one of my rental units Water Closet was leaking thru the ceiling. So i told the tenant to call a plumber to fix it.Since I was crazy busy with New home const. But get a bid and let me know before he starts work. So he called the biggest Plumbing out fit in the area you know the type they run TV and Radio ad's all day ! So Secco Plumbing showed up and wanted $ 4,500.00 to Pull the comode replace the pipe which was 2' long with a fernCo fitting and replace 6 more feet of pipe to the tub since he had the ceiling opened up. I asked did that include putting back the drywall and paint ! NOPE ! Told them to get the F! off my property and I showed up and had it fixed in 2 hours including replacing the drywall !
     
  20. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    Let me see if I can pull up the historical records on my 3 kids...

    crap. 24 month limit. My last one from nearly a year ago was something on the order of $22,000 for an induction, no pain medication during labor or birth, 3 days' stay and one day of UV light stuff for the baby for jaundice. I don't believe that's what was paid, but that was damn well what they asked for.

    Edit: If I'm bored later I'll go throug hmy insurance stuff in the filing cabinet. Those I don't throw away...
     

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