Why Fixed-Price Appliance Repairs are Rarely a Good Deal

Why Fixed-Price Appliance Repairs are Rarely a Good Deal

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Taryn Williford
Mar 11, 2011

If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. While it's tempting to take a contractor's offer of a "fixed-price repair"—where they offer you a set cost to complete your unknown repair, regardless of how long it takes or what parts are needed—you're actually just taking a gamble that's not in your favor. Can you guess what percentage of home appliance repairs are done in one visit and without ordering any new parts?

Fixed-price repairs are a tempting offer because there's a chance you might make a killing, getting a $2K repair for only $300.

But you need to realize service companies are a business, and they know they can make money by offering fixed-price repair contracts to their customers. How? They know just how slim your chance is of striking it rich at the appliance repair lottery.

UK appliance repair company Domestic Heroes Limited surveyed their visits to repair appliances for the past six months and found that 50 percent of machines were repaired with absolutely no need for any parts.

Sure, it's a small sample from a foreign market, but it's a pretty good indicator of what might be happening stateside. It could mean that roughly half of fixed-price clients are paying double the rate they would for labor-only repairs.

Even further, Domestic Heroes found that around two-thirds of repair calls are completed on the first visit, and more than 85 percent are finished by the second.

If you don't gamble with poker chips, why would you gamble on appliance repairs? Stick with a traditional repair invoice every time, and you're almost guaranteed to come out on top in the end.


(Images: Flickr member dview.us licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member AdamL212 licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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