We live in a throwaway culture where bargains, offers, deals and cheap products entice us into buying new rather than making do, repairing or reusing our things. Being in a recession has made one or two people sit up and think that this is not the most economical way to live – may they light the way for the rest of us.
Let’s concentrate on the home appliance market – it is after all, something that’s relevant to most of us. Buying a washing machine, vacuum cleaner, tumble dryer, dishwasher or fridge freezer can be a big financial commitment and one which you want to get right first time and not have to do again anytime soon. If we’re spending hundreds of pounds on a single item, we expect it to be our faithful live-in lodger for a good few years Appliance Repair Van Nuys.
And while it’s true that buying the bigger brands often equals increased reliability (they are bigger for a reason), the cost of appliance repair will undoubtedly be something we all have to deal with at some point. So what does appliance repair cost and should we be buying into it or just buying new?
Research shows that every year around 3 million consumers throw away electrical appliances that still work or could easily be fixed and an independent survey by Which? found that more often than not it’s cheaper to repair than to replace.
How is the cost of appliance repair broken down?
Call out charge – this comes as standard with most appliance repair companies and is something that can only really be avoided if your Dad’s mate is doing you a favour. They vary enormously depending on whether you go direct to the brand appliance repair team, a large company or an independent engineer. There are services online that give you a range of options and the best ones tend to be those that act as a directory for local, independent appliance repair engineers.
Call out charges vary enormously, from £40 to £100 plus and this depends largely on your location and an engineer’s reputation.
Labour rate – some companies or engineers don’t charge this, their call out charge is their fixed labour rate but it’s worth asking the question, as the engineer might be there for 20 minutes or two days. Find out what you’re paying for and whether, if they have to come back with other parts, you’ll have to pay a second call out charge.
Parts – Most appliances that can be repaired can be done so at a relatively low cost because the parts that are usually the first to break aren’t normally the major components. As with any repairs, you can ask how much the parts will cost before they are ordered / fitted / repaired / replaced and opt out of this if you don’t think it’s a cost effective option. Be aware though that the call-out charge will still stand.
So when deciding whether to repair or replace a home appliance, take into account how old the appliance is, whether it is a well-known and reliable brand, whether your machine (or parts of it) are under guarantee and whether you’d have been looking to replace it for a more energy efficient model soon anyway.