What to do when your refrigerator breaks down or needs service
The idea of Refrigerator Repair can be quite frightening, especially if you find yourself staring at a fridge full of food and suddenly your refrigerator breaks down. Who do you call? Who can you trust? Who is going to Repair your Refrigerator?There are a number of refrigerator repair options that you have to turn to rather than just blindly searching through the yellow pages.
If you think your problem is a simple thing then take a look at our Refrigerator Troubleshooting page.
I'm not Handy, What do I do?
If the idea of fixing it yourself sounds like a bad one (don't do it yourself if it's still under warranty because it will terminate it)then the first thing you need to determine who is the most qualified person to fix your particular refrigerator? So start by asking yourself the following 4 questions:
1. What is the exact make and model of your refrigerator?
If you can, try to locate the make and model of your refrigerator. At the very least, determine the brand. You'll want to start by finding someone who has experience fixing YOUR particular type of refrigerator. You might start by contacting the manufacturer to see if there are any service technicians in your area who are AUTHORIZED by them to fix their brands. You can also track this information down via the store where you made your initial purchase (assuming it's still in business).
2. Is it still under warranty?
Hopefully you make it a habit of keeping your receipts and paperwork for large scale purchases such as a new refrigerator. If so, now's the time to double check and make sure whether or not it's under warranty. It can save you hundreds in repair or replacement costs should they arise.
3. Is it something you can fix yourself?
Think this through before you automatically say, "no." If it's just a light bulb replacement or a simple door gasket adjustment, these are repairs you might be able to accomplish on your own. You'll not only save money on the repair labor costs, but also on the inflated parts costs that usually come with many service calls.
NOTE: Be sure to see our list of Refrigerator Parts to help you determine what you need and the cheapest way to get it.
4. What the cost to fix it vs. getting a new one?
Many repair bills can run hundreds of dollars. You may want to weigh the option of considering purchasing a new fridge should the repair costs simply not pencil out. Considering that the average cost of a brand new fridge is about $1,200.00, this is something to keep in the back of your mind as the repairman hands you an estimate.
Which Refrigerator Repairmen Do You Trust?
Repairmen come in all shapes and sizes and of course different price ranges. But as we stated above, randomly selecting one from your local yellow pages isn't your only option nowadays. One of the great advantages to having a tool like the internet is that you have a number of different ways of identifying a trustworthy refrigerator repairman.
Some of the services you may want to consider using are:
- Angie's List: Angie's List started out as a way for women to recommend different contractors to each other and has quickly blossomed into a resource for all kinds of service and repair professionals. Find thousands of unbiased ratings on the best – and worst – service companies in your area. Try Angie's List.
- Service Magic: Service Magic is one of the most comprehensive databases of service people on the internet. What's great about this particular site is that users both past and present can rate and comment amount a particular service professional. There's no fee for using the service and you'll find lots of great support information there on finding someone reputable in your area. Check them out at ServiceMagic.com
- Refrigerator Manufacturers: Just like when your car breaks down, as we said above you want someone who is trained to handle your particular make and model. The same goes for your fridge. Especially, since refrigerators are becoming much more high tech. You want a specialist. Some of the best ways to track down a person of this nature is to contact the Manufacturer directly. Often they have a resource of qualified individuals who have set up shop in your area. Check out our Refrigerator Manufacturer's Resource Page for more information.
- Refrigerator Repair in Maryland: If you live in Maryland and need your refrigerator repaired check out Star Appliance for your service needs.
Refrigerator Repair "Don'ts"
Your job as a consumer is to do your homework. Not only do you want to find the most reputable and reasonably priced repairman, but you need to be smart. So, here are some definite things NOT TO DO when it comes to getting your refrigerator fixed.
- Don't Try to Fix it Yourself - Contrary to what we've said above, unless you can absolutely, positively identify the problem. Not only do you run the risk of making the situation worse, you can put yourself in serious danger. And, as if this wasn't reason enough, you can also void your warranty.
- Don't Pick the First Repairman You Find - get a couple of references from friends, family members, co-workers or even the local appliance retailer. Don't assume that just because the manufacturer recommended them that they are 100% every bit as good as you hope they might be. Check them out if you've never used them before. A quick call to your local Better Business Bureau can save you a lot of hassle down the road.
- Don't Pay in Cash or Up Front - Make sure the problem is 100% solved before any money ever exchanges hands. You have no leverage when you pay up front should the service call go sour.
Fixing Your Refrigerator doesn't have to be such a scary proposition. If you take the right steps, you can be certain that the job will get done quickly and most importantly, get done right.
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