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What You Need to Know About Appliance Service (Reviews)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  April 09, 2018  |  3 Min. Read

Appliance Service  |  Warranties

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This was the number 1 post on Reddit last week.

GE Washer- Photo Courtesy of Reddit

Ge is not that bad. In fact, it's one of the most recognizable appliance companies in the industry. This is a simple customer service issue and a not so simple shortage of technicians issue.

In this article, you will learn the many problems with appliance service, how to avoid them and be one of the few recipients of decent appliance service.

The Sad State of Appliance Service

Have an average to decent car? If you want to scare your dealer, just tell them you will grade them below a 9 on a survey.

Dealerships are compensated on NPS (Net Promoter Score). A score under 9 or bad recommendation is a problem for them. A car company like BMW or Audi understands customer service after the sale is key to customer retention and your dealer is frightened of receiving poor scores.

Most appliance companies fail to comprehend this. In fact, many of the largest manufacturers do not employ a single service tech.

Of the main retailers, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, and Sears, only the embattled Sears offers service with technicians to fix appliances in your home.

So in most cases, you cannot expect many manufacturers and retailers (even local ones are giving up on service) to fix your appliance.

Unlike car dealers, appliance companies have no way to help you or repair your appliances after the sale.

Warranty Service

Here is why you will always be disappointed with warranty service: The manufacturer will contract an independent service person $75-100 to fix a refrigerator.

That servicer must buy and return parts, run a van, and place a claim to be paid. If they must return to your home to fix that refrigerator, they are still only paid that $75-100 or below their cost of fixing your appliance.

So, they are not many companies lining up to be in warranty service business.

Why Will You Need More Service

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Refrigerators now use less energy than light bulbs due to energy regulations. Dishwashers and front load laundry use less energy and water as well.

However, many French door refrigerators and professional ranges have service rates over 30% in the first year, because of chronic icemaker and ignitor issues. Many of these repairs are minor but still need service.

Appliances are more efficient but less reliable especially in certain product categories.

Other more reliable appliances, like dishwashers and front load laundry, are more complicated to fix than the simple Maytag washers manufactured before 1990.

Longer Supply Linesmiele-48-inch-pro-range-installed

When I started in 1986, we bought from Maytag, GE, and Whirlpool. All are located in the Midwest, and shipping was minimal between the factory to our warehouse.

However, the main lines for many appliance stores are Samsung, LG, Miele, and Blomberg. They are from Korea, Germany, and Turkey.

There is more opportunity for damage and defect with so much travel with more warehouse stops in between.

I was reading a review from a couple in California. They bought a Samsung refrigerator from a New York-based internet company, and it was not working.

That Samsung refrigerator was shipped from Korea across the country. Then sent back from New York to California.

That is a recipe for unhappiness because there is far too much handling from too many different companies.

How to Avoid Service Issues

You cannot avoid service issues.

In a kitchen, you are almost statistically guaranteed to have at least one issue with 4 new appliances in the first year.

However, you can look at more statistically reliable brands (we have that information at the end of the article).

Most importantly, you must pick a dealer or service agent who can fix appliances after the purchase. It isn’t easy to do.

Locally, Belcher's, Poirier, and Hunter Appliance have a decent reputation. Don’s Appliance in Pittsburgh is very good. Then again, there are 6 brothers in the company and 4 work in service.

You have to be your own best future advocate. Read reviews from Yelp and Angie's List. Look for a volume of complaints on the Better Business Bureau.

Anyone can get an A+ from the BBB by simply responding to complaints, but the amount and type of complaints should tell you about the company.

Final Words 

The state of service in the appliance business can only be considered tragic at best. Before you spend your money on beautiful, new state of the art appliances, have an idea who will fix them after your purchase.

Or be prepared to throw them away like our Reddit friend.

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A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

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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.

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