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How to Avoid the 4 Biggest Appliance Delivery Nightmares

May 14th, 2024 | 5 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

How to Avoid the Biggest Appliance Delivery Nightmares

Look at this Sub-Zero refrigerator:


Nice, isn't it?

How about this LG set?


I don't want to state the obvious, but our Sub-Zero isn't any different than any of the other dealers.

LG's case is similar to that of any of the other 253 dealers, except in the New England area.

The product isn't different.

However, the services, namely service, installation, and delivery, differ greatly.

In this article, you will learn how to avoid extra fees, damage, and other problems with delivery.

This article is not as "sexy" as Wolf vs. Thermador, for example, but it will be far more rewarding and save you tons of aggravation.

As stores become more competitive on price, services like delivery are being bid to the lowest price.

You need to be careful. We will show you how.

A Delivery Horror Story

First, let me share a nightmarish story with you.storytelling-with-dracula

For the first 15 years of my career, I dealt mostly with service and staff issues.

I have dealt with stolen rings, drug addicts on trucks, and every sort of damage, including floods caused by installation (not in the last 15 or so years, thank heaven).

This story always stuck with me because it was the last time this type of problem ever happened.

About 25 years ago, one of our lead delivery guys visited my office.

He seemed troubled, so I listened.

His helper stole a PlayStation out of a customer's garage.

I called a friend of mine who is a private detective and told him the situation.

We brought in the delivery man the next morning.

I told him he had a choice: go to jail or go home and get the PlayStation.


When he played dumb, I told him this was his last opportunity, and the private detective would go with him to his house.

He relented. I received the PlayStation and delivered it to the customer that same morning.

I won't forget that day because I called our HR attorney to request CORI certification, which provides access to the criminal database.

Having CORI certification allows us to check the criminal history of anyone before hiring them to deliver or perform service in your home.

What surprised me was that the same delivery guy was delivering for another company one week later.

Appliance delivery ranks as probably one of the worst experiences you will ever have, from felons to floods.

First, let's start with an easy solution to many of the worst delivery problems.

How to Avoid the 4 Biggest Appliance Delivery Nightmares

1. Never Sign for Anything Without Inspection


Never sign for anything without first inspecting the items thoroughly.

If you do, most companies will not allow you to place a damage claim after the fact—not just damage but also wrong products delivered that you install.

You are on the hook for any issues once you install it, or so it seems, in this industry.

Whatever you do, take your time inspecting your appliances on delivery. Don't be rushed or hassled into signing.

Please don't leave it in your garage boxed, either.

Always unpack and inspect any delivery from appliances to furniture to accessories.

2. Document Damage to Your Home or Appliances


First, let's look at why it's such a big problem.

Depending on the store, it happens 3-9% of the time or more.

Many of your appliances are made in Korea, Europe, and Mexico, so the supply lines are long.

Internet Companies: Beware

Buying from an internet company is the worst.

Take an LG washer and dryer, for example.

It is shipped to New York from Korea, where most of these companies are located.

Then they must ship it to you out of the market.

The damage escalates to 20% or 1 in 5 appliances.

The number one internet company, Appliance Connection, recently filed Chapter 7 partly because of damage (among other things).

Damage to Your House

However, appliances have become heavier, especially stoves and refrigerators, while floors have become softer.

That Sub-Zero, in the beginning, can weigh up to 800 pounds.


Damage can also refer to your house or the actual appliance.

We video every delivery of the products plus the delivery path to your home.

However, we are not perfect.

We insure ourselves for every scenario to ensure you will be cared for if damage occurs.

You could ask for your store's insurance policy, especially if you live in a tower.

Water damage could flood multiple homes below you.


My doctor had that problem when her upstairs neighbor flooded her.

Side Note: We install leak detection paper (shown below) under every washer, dishwasher, and refrigerator. If water is present, we can return to the home before it becomes an issue.

Leak-Protection-Pads-With-Yale-Appliance (1)

You can do this by buying a sheet of laminated paper. Slide it under the appliance and remove it when it's dry, which will be after 24 hours.

In Case Damage Happens to Your Appliances or Your Home Upon Arrival

Often, the store will give you a discount for keeping a damaged appliance, but you want to make sure the damage will not affect the appliance's operation.

You must document everything and have the delivery guys sign their delivery form verifying the damage.

Call the store while they are there.

You need as much documentation as possible, especially with property damage.

Most companies will lowball estimates, so you will have the added burden of providing a real contractor estimate.

You must go through your homeowner's insurance if you do not verify that damage.

A bad enough problem will certainly increase or even cancel your homeowners' policy.

Most companies want you to own their problems because your insurance will increase, not theirs.

Tip: Do you want to see how good or bad a delivery is? Check that store reviews online.

Just go to Google, go to reviews and type in delivery.

Read more: Your Appliance Is Damaged. Now What?

3. Prevent Hidden Delivery Fees


Another common issue is unforeseen, yet increasingly common extra fees charged during delivery.

Free delivery is great, but most of the time, it's a drop-off at your curb, and that's ok if that's a smaller package or appliance like a dishwasher.

However, you need to ask the right questions at the time of the sale, not when the delivery team is at your door.

Here are the most common hidden delivery fees:

  • Stairs: anything over a flight seems to be a $30 charge
  • Removal: How much does each removal cost? The average rate is now $50 per piece. The removal of the appliance and packaging can be a separate charge.
  • Basic connection: for electric ranges, dryers, and washers. How much is the charge?

You want to know the delivery price to your home with stairs, including connection and removal of old appliances and packaging.

4. Prepare for Delayed Delivery Times


You would expect appliance delivery times to be better. After all, we get anxious when waiting more than 6 minutes for an Uber.

Many companies can narrow it down to two hours because routing technology exists, yet many more will still give you full-day and half-day lead times.

We have an app allowing you to trace the truck to your house within 30 minutes.

yale-appliance-dispatch-track-mobile-data (1)

Installing appliances into people's homes is not an exact science, especially in Boston and other cities during rush hour traffic.

However, you shouldn't wait half a day or more than a few hours.

You will wait if you buy from an internet site without local warehousing.

You would never know because those outsourced delivery teams have other customers and deliveries.

Key Takeaways

Scared? Don't be.

Just ask the right questions beforehand, especially how much a delivery with stairs will cost, including installation and removal.

Take your time inspecting any delivered appliances or anything.

Document any problems at the time of the delivery.

Wasting a whole day, delivery damages, and installation issues are often more costly than a good delivery with a fee.

To learn more about what to expect for your appliance delivery, click here for our delivery checklist.

Our delivery checklist covers water leak prevention, how to protect your floors during delivery, and answers to the many delivery problems, including an easy-to-use checklist comparing appliance stores.

Additional Resources

Get the free Yale Appliance Buying Guide. It has features, specs, and inside tips to all the brands like Sub-Zero, Thermador, Bosch, and Miele. It covers built-ins, counter depth, freestanding vs. slide-in, and much more (plus a ton of good product shots). Well over 1 million people have read a Yale Guide.

Related Articles:

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We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll give you the best features, and the drawbacks as well, including reliability based on over 37,000 calls performed by our service team just last year. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.