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Do Not Get Taken By Your Repairman

Imagine coming home from a hard days work and wanting to get through your daily routine so you can enjoy the rest of the evening. Then, you abruptly realize that the fridge is not cole, or the microwave is not heating your food, or that the washing machine isn't washing your clothes. What do you do now?

Agreeably, most of us will open the phone book or search the Internet hoping to find an honest and well-adept repairman that is readily available. Of course, we pray that the repairman we choose will not just end up ripping us off.

To keep this from occurring when selecting a repairman, try using these six tips to get the service you need without getting taken for a ride.

A) Make note of the manufacturer and model of your appliance and a short description of the issue (a single paragraph should do) prior to you picking up the phone. This data will not only aid the repairman to identify the problem; it also makes you appear like a smart consumer. Keep in mind, knowledge is power.

B) Try to locate a factory authorized service center first. This is a must if your machine is still under guarantee. Factory authorized means that the maker stands behind the repair and will normally arbitrate in any disputes. Because a lot of competition exists in the appliance market, the last thing the maker wants is an unhappy consumer who purchases a competitor brand.

C) Ask acquaintances you know for referrals. All right, this one is pretty fundamental. But, with all of the accessories we use every day, somebody you know has required to have one of them repaired. Take advantage from their experience, good or bad.

D) Review the yellow pages for repairmen who accept credit cards. Credit cards provide an additional layer of security for you. If you are not happy with the fix and the repairman refuses to resolve your concerns, you can notify your credit card representative and submit a charge back to the merchant. This will require additional paperwork on your part, but can afford you a superior position when negotiating a dispute. Be aware, however, that using this plan too often can leave you in bad standing with your credit card company. Review their policies on charge backs first.

E) Since you have the yellow pages open, compare the ads. Yellow page ads are not inexpensive. Only the most successful or competitive companies can manage the big display ads. Although this doesn't specify the level of service you get, it does reveal which companies invest in advertisement and which anticipate to still be in business in a year or two.

F) When you do get started making calls, ask the identical questions of each company. A fair start would be:

i) How many years have you been in business?
ii) Do you use original factory parts?
iii) Are you insured for any damages the machine may cause after the repair?
iv) Do you offer a written warranty on parts and labor?
v) Do you maintain any corporate references?
vi) Have your repairmen received any factory training?
vii) Has your company at all been taken to small claims court to settle a dispute?

By using the tips listed above, you should be able to help weed out or identify some of the dishonest, incompetent, or just plain bad appliance servicemen. These tips will also help you locate the the good servicemen that you can count on for a long time to come.

About the Author: J. Purdy operates Home Improvement Stores and Home Inspectors. For information and resources on home improvement, be sure to visit his sites today:

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