I finally got my refrigerator fixed this weekend. I was leery of just calling someone that I had found over the Internet. I asked a couple of people at work. However, the people I asked live somewhere in the boonies and their contractors did not work inside the loop.
So, I checked various review sites – the free ones. Servicemagic had a couple of people with very good references but when I checked BBB, they had problems. The other downside of Servicemagic, I am now in their crosshairs and am getting emails and phone calls. Many of the big boys, GE, Sears, etc. have cumbersome websites and cannot give you a better estimate than that the repairman is going to be there sometime between 8 and 5. They do nail down the date. Also, I don’t believe that these are their people. I suspect that they just take the calls and subcontract out the work to some local contractor.
I think having a third party taking calls is a common thing also done by 2nd tier companies. The people that answer the phones are just making appointments. They have not idea what you are talking about when you try to explain the problem and don’t really care. I called one company that looked like it was local and had some good reviews. Called. No answer. Goes to voice mail. I get another call and take that call without leaving a message. Within seconds I get a call and can tell that they have left a message. Finish with my call and check the message and it is the repair place I had just called. I call back. No answer, goes to voice mail. Well, this is stupid. I don’t leave a message. Call again in an hour. No answer. Goes to voicemail.
So, I’m back to searching. Find a company, Allen’s Appliance Repair, that does not have any reviews. Do have a decent website. They appear to be a local company and have the lowest service charge – this is what they charge to come over and assess the problem and will take that off the repair bill. I call. Someone answers. Later on I find out that this is the owner. I tell him what the problem is. He knows exactly what I am talking about. Tells me the cost but can’t make it that day. I tell him I want to make an appointment for Friday, when I’m off. I’m expecting the “we’ll be there between 8 and 5” routine. He says how about 9 am. I say good.
On Friday, at 8:45 am, I get a call that he is 15 minutes away. Is there at 9. Has a new motherboard and replaces it. Evidently, GE knows that this is a problem, has known for a while. Evidently, they chose to put in an inadequate motherboard that cannot handle power surges properly. According to the Tech, this refrigerator requires a heavier duty mother board. Also, recommends that I get a cheap surge protector. Also, takes a look at my dryer, which is taking too long to dry. Says the dryer is fine, the problem is somewhere in the vent. No charge for the dryer.
So, I have ice again and no ice cream soup. But owning a home is a pain in the ass.