According to Domestic Heroes, the appliance repair company from the Midlands, consumers are being vastly overcharged by those which offer a fixed price for repair including parts. This can easily be as much as 50%.
They have been analysing details of their visits to repair hundreds of appliances, and have discovered that over 50% of the appliances repaired were done so without the need for any new parts, yet the fixed price remained the same. They broke this further to illustrate. If a fixed price repair for a washing machine was £125 inc parts, and there were no new parts needed, just the labour at £60, the consumer will have paid double for his repair.
Examples of problems which do not require parts include blocked pumps, leaks from the filler hose, incorrect loads, low water pressure, and foreign objects. Domestic Heroes engineers have encountered all kinds of foreign objects which were preventing machines from operating correctly including bracelets, coins, metal rulers, and even MP3 players. Wires from underwired bras are a particular problem, and Domestic Heroes advise that any clothing with metal wiring should be washed in a laundry bag to prevent damage to the machine should the wires escape.
“No one likes to read the manual, but sometimes it can save a lot of time, stress, and unnecessary expense,” says Adam , one of Domestic Heroes’ engineers. “We often find that people have installed their machines in places which are just not right for them – like putting tumble dryers in the garage where it is too cold for them to work properly.”
Installation faults are also common, both where people have installed machines for themselves, but also where other firms have been in too much of a hurry to move on to the next job without testing the machine first. Domestic Heroes see several calls a month where retaining bolts or transit packaging have been left in a machine, causing all kinds of problems from strange smells to washing machines bouncing around the kitchen.
With so many repairs not requiring parts, and others requiring simple parts that they carry with them, Domestic Heroes clear two-thirds of calls on the first visit, and 85% by the second visit. Domestic Heroes also has specialist refrigeration engineers allowing them to offer freezer and fridge repair as standard – something that many competitors are unable to provide.
The Domestic Heroes website (www.domesticheroes.co.uk) has dozens of pages of hints and tips to help people fix their own problems without the need to call an engineer. However, if people can’t fix the problem, or would prefer to let the experts handle it, then Domestic Heroes are happy to help and offer free telephone advice before and after a callout. As an added incentive, Domestic Heroes are pleased to offer readers a 10% discount off their standard prices for new customers who quote discount code DHRS1 (offer expires 31st March 2011).