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How to Prevent Appliance Repair Scams

I can almost guarantee that sooner or later, every single individual or family will need a repair person for their appliance. This can be extremely stressful because it may mean that you lose a vacation day at work or have to get someone to come out and repair something for you.

When you have an appliance break down, you might call for repairs, but that doesn’t mean you should let just anyone into your home to do the job. Here are some tips on how to spot appliance repair scams.

Verify that the appliance repair service is licensed, bonded and insured

When you’re in the middle of an urgent repair situation, it’s easy to feel pressured into choosing a repair company based on convenience rather than reputation. It’s important to remember that some companies in your area might be using the same ads and tactics as places you’ve been warned about. To prevent this from happening to you, do your research! Verify that the appliance repair service is licensed, bonded and insured by looking at their BBB report or calling your local Better Business Bureau. You can also check with the Consumer Protection Division of your state’s Attorney General’s Office.

Do your research and get estimates from more than one appliance repair service.

When you’re looking for a local appliance repair service, it’s important to do your research and get estimates from more than one company. There are many factors to consider when deciding which repair company is right for your specific situation, so make sure you take the time to think through what’s best for you. Here are some points to consider:

*Know what kind of service you need. You’ll have a better chance at getting what you want if you know what options are available to you. If your fridge needs a new compressor, that’s different from needing a new ice-maker or temperature control board.

*Ask about the price. Get an estimate on how much each service will cost so that you can compare prices across multiple companies.

*Consider their availability. Do they offer 24-hour emergency repairs? Are there parts that need to be ordered in advance? Is there a minimum age requirement?

*Find out if they issue warranties. Most companies will offer some kind of warranty on their work, but it might be worth asking about anyway.

*Look at reviews online. Check reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List or other review sites to see how people feel about their experience with the particular company. That way, you’ll have more information about how well they perform overall.

Check with your homeowners insurance policy to see if you’re covered for any type of loss.

One of the easiest ways for a scammer to get your hard-earned money is through repair scams. In this type of scam, a company will call you and offer to perform services on your appliance—either repairs or even preventative maintenance that you’re not sure you need. Their pitch is that they can get you a discount on the service, often through a coupon. They’ll come over and then either do shoddy work that doesn’t fix your problem, or they’ll fix the problem but charge you more than they quoted you. (You may not even realize this until it’s too late.)

The best way to prevent this type of scam is to know what to look out for. If you’re getting an unexpected call from a repairman, check with your homeowners insurance policy to see if you’re covered for any type of loss. Also, ask about their licensing with the Better Business Bureau, and be cautious if they don’t seem to know much about home repair or just can’t answer any questions about why they’d be able to complete the work better than someone else could. And lastly, if the person who’s offering the service doesn’t seem in a rush to come over, take advantage of that by looking up reviews and pricing yourself before making a decision.

Your appliance repair should take no longer than four hours on the first visit. If you pay for an appliance repair company, check them out before going through with the repairs. Be sure to do some research and ask people that you know or trust if they have ever used these services before. You can also ask around businesses in your area as well. You want to make sure that they are responsible, work fast and above all else, are honest with you from the beginning.

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