So you pretty much know how it works when you take the car in for an oil change or service. You dial up your favorite mechanic and the two of you put your heads together and come up with a date you can drive over, check-in, hand over the keys to wait in a roomful of stale coffee and out-of-date magazines while a service technician you’ll probably never meet and may have been a bag boy at the local supermarket last week goes about changing the oil in your precious multi-grand worth automobile behind some thick plate glass window or plaster wall. After years of the same ritual you’ve got it all down to an exact science.
Things were fine around the house until your washing machine decided to grind to a halt in the midst of ten loads of wash. Or the fridge began an ungodly chattering like an antique Model T. Or maybe the range locked shut during a self clean and has stayed that way all week. You scour the yellow pages and call Fred’s Appliance Repair because you want a professional, factory-trained technician to tackle the job and get it done right. So what can you expect when the tech shows up and rings the door bell?
Well for starters you know you have the peace of mind that comes with dealing with a locally owned, family run company. You’re not talking with a customer service agent in India or Texas. You’re not waiting on hold for hours of the day, passed from agent to agent, having to frustratingly repeat the same information over and over, biting your nails while a knot grows in your gut, hoping someone could just get a handle on your repair needs and send a tech over without a lengthy sales pitch for roofing, siding and windows along with it. You’re dealing one-on-one with someone you have learned by reputation can be trusted to send experienced help as soon as humanly possible.
When your technician arrives, he will need a few things from you. Take a look from his point of view a moment. He may never have had the chance to meet you before. He’s walking into a strange environment. Some guys are great with that, others may be a little shy up front. If you have animals they should be placed in a secure location away from the tech and work area to he can concentrate on his job and not be tripping over the family dog. Like the local postman, some techs may have had a bad experience along the way with dogs, and since most dogs are territorial, they can appear as a threat to a guy just walking in the house. So it’s in everyone’s best interest if dogs are confined somewhere long enough for the tech to complete his work.
Little kids can be another safety hazard. Many technicians have stories of a kid that wandered into the work zone while the tech was working live voltage or had sharp metal parts laying on the floor. Kids are known to be curious and will rummage through tools bags or stand too close, risking injury. Technicians need a lot of space to work, so kids need to be secured away from the repair space.
You may have a dozen questions for the tech as he sets about diagnosing your machine. Everyone wants to know why the machine broke down. There’s an assumption is America that appliances shouldn’t break. After all Grandma’s old fridge is still running in the cellar. This fridge shouldn’t have broken down. Forget everything you ever knew about how appliances are created, engineered and made. Today’s appliances are not your Grandma’s. Not even your Mom’s. Because they are mechanical items with lots of fancy electronics, your appliance WILL break. Maybe sooner, maybe later. But put money on it…it will break down. Probably nothing you did to make it happen, so don’t take it personally.
So your technician will begin to diagnose your broken appliance. He may move it away from the wall, so it needs to be accessible for repair. It can’t be wedged in behind the treadmill and last month’s recycling. He will need plenty of light and some time and patience as he goes about determining the extent of the repair. Just like you wouldn’t think of walking over to you car mechanic and stand over his shoulder to watch him work, asking a hundred questions, demanding to know if and when the car will be fixed, you know how absurd it is to treat your technician the same way just because he’s in your home and not a repair bay at some dealership.
He may ask you, though a half dozen questions to try and piece together the chain of events that led up to the appliance failure. Techicians have to have the detective skills Columbo, the observational abilities of CSI and the technical training and know-how to get your machine back up and running again. So he will prod and probe and get out test meters and run voltage checks and push buttons to run machine diagnostics and a hundred other things until a verdict is reached and he can confidentally go out to his truck for a part to replace the broken one or get on the phone and get one ordered right away.
He won’t be able to carry every part on his van that could possibly be needed to repair every appliance he’ll come across that day. He would need a truck the size of a warehouse to do so. But if the part is still available somewhere across this great Country of ours, he can get it. He knows how hard it is to be without your appliance. He’s been in dozens of homes this week. He sees the impact on families like yours not having the appliance available to use. But he is only one person with limited abilities and resources and sometimes the one part he needs to help you today is out of reach. But he’ll move heaven and earth to get the part if he doesn’t have it on his truck.
When the repair is completed the technician will explain to you what he discovered, possibly why the appliance failed and how you can play a part in ensuring your machine has a nice long life. He will clean up any mess he made. He will collect payment and wish you well and be off to the next family in need of service. But he will have left you with something greater than a fixed appliance, great as that is. He will have left you with total peace of mind you made the right choice calling Fred’s Appliance to get the repair done right. If you haven’t made the call, why not contact us and get the ball rolling?