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Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Appliance Repair Service in San Francisco

Appliance repairs in San Francisco cost an average of $235 per job. Though, this maintenance cost can spare you the cost of replacing your broken refrigerators, dryers, ovens, and other household appliances presently, you may end up with a totally damaged appliance if your repair is handled by an untrained workman. To guarantee a cost-effective and long-term solution to your appliance problems, and also protects any existing warranties on your appliances, it is best to hire a qualified appliance repair man in the city. When in search of a top-rated appliance repair service in San Francisco area, getting answers to the following questions can help ensure that you hire the most qualified repair technician for your appliance repair:

Are You Licensed to Practice as an Appliance Repair Service in San Francisco?

The California Electronic and Appliance Repair Dealer Registration Law regulates the installation, repair, servicing, and maintenance of electronic equipment and household appliances like refrigerators, microwave ovens, dishwashers, and computer systems in San Francisco. Per the provisions of this law, individuals and businesses that wish to offer appliance repair services in the city are required to register with the state's Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS). Appliance repair men that fail to register with this agency before offering their services to interested parties can face misdemeanor charges, which are punishable by fines of up to $1,000, jail time of up to six months, or a fine and jail time combination. However, individuals that hold electrical contractor or low-voltage communications systems contractor licenses issued by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) are exempt from this registration requirement, provided that the appliance repair services they offer are within the scope of their CSLB-issued licenses.

The BHGS's appliance repair services registration process can be initiated by completing and submitting a Service Dealer Application for Registration Form, along with all applicable fees and relevant documentation, to:

Department of Consumer Affairs
BHGS Licensing
P.O. Box 980578
West Sacramento, CA 95798-0578

These documents and fees can also be submitted to the BHGS via overnight courier to:

Department of Consumer Affairs
BHGS Licensing
1625 N. Market Boulevard
Suite S-100
Sacramento, CA 95834

Note that appliance repair men in the city are typically required to register under one of the following categories:

  • Electronic Service Dealer: This category authorizes the registrant to install, repair, service, and maintain electronic equipment like computer systems, televisions, private vehicle systems and ignition devices as well as microwave ovens
  • Major Home Appliance Dealer: This category authorizes the registrant to repair, service, and maintain refrigerators, washers, dryers, room air conditioners, stoves, and other appliances used in homes or private motor vehicles
  • Combination Service Dealer: Appliance repair men that register in this category can provide both electronic equipment and home appliance repair and maintenance services

Note that appliance repair men in San Francisco typically have to comply with additional regulatory requirements. These include registering each place of business and equipment and appliance drop-off location that they operate, irrespective of whether actual repairs are performed at these locations. Also, appliance repair men that work on refrigerant-containing equipment must undergo EPA-approved technician certification. Queries concerning the BHGS's electronics and appliance repair services registration procedures and requirements can be directed to the bureau at (916) 999-2041 or via email.

Always confirm that any appliance repair man you intend to hire in San Francisco has been properly registered by the BHGS by utilizing the online license/registry search portal that the bureau provides and maintains for this purpose. If your intended appliance repair man claims to hold a CSLB-issued electrical or low-voltage communications systems contractor license, you can equally verify this license by using the board's Check a License platform. Finally, you should also authenticate any voluntarily-obtained certifications that appliance repair men in the city claim to hold by contacting the relevant issuing organizations. Some reputable organizations that offer certification options to appliance repair men in San Francisco include the International Society of Electronics Technicians and the United Appliance Servicers Association.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Appliance Repair Services in San Francisco?

Before hiring any technician for your appliance repair job in San Francisco, you should always consider getting and comparing written cost estimates from several appliance repair men in the city. Doing this gives you an idea of the average cost of your required repair services and also protects you from unscrupulous technicians in the city.

Note that appliance repair services in San Francisco are largely dependent on factors like:

  • The specific type and brand appliance that requires fixing
  • The nature of the damage to the appliance
  • The cost of parts needed for the repair
  • Your location within the city

It is advisable to have the appliance repair men inspect your faulty appliance before providing their estimates, to ensure that it is as accurate as possible. However, note that you may be charged an additional diagnosis fee for this. Also, make sure that no work is done on your appliance before you specifically authorize your preferred appliance repair man to commence the necessary repairs.

Appliance repair men in San Francisco earn an average annual wage of $52,930. Provided below is a comparison of the hourly average wage for appliance repair men in San Francisco with those of these technicians in other areas of the State of California and several other locations across the United States:

San Francisco Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$25.45
California Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$23.23
Los Angeles Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$23.44
San Diego Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$21.96
Chicago Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$17.16
Houston Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$22.60
New York City Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$27.05
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are You Certified by the Manufacturer to Repair the Appliance in San Francisco?

One way to ensure that your appliance repair services in San Francisco are delivered satisfactorily is by looking out for technicians that have been designated as factory-certified by your appliance's manufacturer. Factory-certified technicians are appliance repair men that have been vetted, trained, and approved by appliance manufacturers to provide advanced repair services on their specific brand of products. These factory-certified technicians typically have certain advantages over non-factory-certified technicians, such as:

  • Direct access to authentic appliance components and accessories
  • Direct technical and administrative support from appliance manufacturers
  • Continuous training on appliance updates and appliance repair techniques

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, hiring a factory-certified technician also ensures that the warranties on your appliances are not invalidated. However, in situations where you are unable to find a technician that has been factory-certified on your specific type and brand of appliance, or if the warranties on this appliance are expired, you can consider hiring a non-factory-certified technician for the job.

Note that factory certification should not be your sole reason for hiring an appliance repair man in San Francisco. Always verify that your intended appliance repair man has also been registered with the state's Bureau of Household Goods and Services and that they have the right level of experience and tools to get the job done properly.

Will You Get the Appliance Parts and Accessories Required by the Manufacturer?

Refrigerator, stove, microwave oven, dishwasher, washing machine, and other types of home appliance repairs in San Francisco typically involve the replacement of faulty components and accessories. To this end, you should always find out the types of appliance parts that will be used for your repair job and make sure that they are original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. OEM parts refer to appliance parts and accessories that are made and supplied by the original manufacturer of the appliance in question. Alternatively, appliance parts that are made and supplied by any firm or company that is not the appliance's original manufacturer are referred to as generic parts.

Although OEM parts are typically more expensive than generic parts, they have a higher quality and are also more durable and appliance-compatible, making them the better choice in the long run. Many appliance manufacturers also specify the use of OEM parts for repairs in their appliance warranties, and using generic parts for your appliance's repair may void its warranty.

However, if your appliance repair man is unable to get the necessary OEM parts for your required appliance repair service, you may have no option but to use generic parts for the repair. This usually happens when the appliance manufacturer no longer produces the necessary OEM parts and they are no longer available via other sources like online supply stores and local appliance marketplaces. Nevertheless, make sure that your appliance repair man gets your approval before using any generic parts for your repair job. You should also request warranties for the job done as well as the parts used, irrespective of if they are OEM or generic parts.

What Kind of Appliance Repair Services Do You Offer?

Professional appliance repair men in San Francisco offer interested residents of the city a wide range of electronic and home appliance-related services, the most common of which are refrigerator repairs, stove repairs, microwave oven repairs, computer repairs, and washer and dryer repairs. To ensure that you get optimal services from appliance repair men in the city, always confirm that they offer the specific type of repair service that you require before signing any contracts with them. In addition, make sure that the appliance repair man specializes in your specific type and brand of appliance, and get a written estimate for the repair service before any work commences.

The list below provides cost estimates for common appliance repair services offered by professional appliance repair men in San Francisco:

Central vacuum system installation
$2,067 - $3,069 (for existing typical four-bedroom home)
Computer system repair
$70 - $550
Dishwasher installation
$163 - $187 (labor only)
Dishwasher repair
$90 - $305
Dryer repair
$100 - $300
Electrical appliance installation
$156 - $213 (for basic appliance hookup only)
Electronics repair
$55 - $550
Garbage disposal unit installation/repair
$435 - $550
Gas appliance installation
$175 - $345
Ice maker water line installation
$160 - $225
Microwave oven installation
$158 - $177 (labor only, for basic microwave installation)
Microwave oven repair
$105 - $300
Refrigerator water line installation
$162 - $230
Washer repair
$110 - $340
Stove repair
$100 - $350
Refrigerator repair
$120 - $450

How Do You Handle Issues of Product Repairs Going Wrong?

While professional appliance repair men in San Francisco typically perform their services competently, there are often instances where consumers are left unsatisfied with these services. If you find yourself in this type of situation, your first action should be to reach out to the appliance repair man and try to resolve the matter. Depending on the specific nature of the problem, your appliance repair man may proffer the following solutions:

  • Re-doing the appliance repair to your satisfaction
  • Referring you to another repair man better suited for the job
  • Refunding payments already made for the repair

If you still feel unsatisfied after these, or if you believe that your repair work was poorly done due to negligence or deceptive business dealings, you can take further steps by reporting the matter to the Bureau of Households Goods and Services (BHGS). Complaints can be filed with this agency online or by completing and submitting a pdf complaint form to:

4244 South Market Court
Suite D
Sacramento, CA, 95834-1243

You can get additional assistance on the matter by reaching out to the Golden Gate Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau at (866) 411-2221 between the hours 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

It should be noted that, while these agencies will take steps to help you resolve your appliance repair issue when you file complaints with them, they cannot guarantee you monetary compensation or other forms of personal remedy. However, you can seek remedies of up to $10,000 by filing a small claims lawsuit against the appliance repair man with the San Francisco County Small Claims Court. Note that small claims cases are typically filed without an attorney. Nonetheless, it is always in your best interest to get proper legal advice before taking any court-related actions. To this end, you can get referrals to licensed consumer attorneys in San Francisco by utilizing either the State Bar of California's Need Legal Help webpage or the National Association of Consumer Advocates' online directory.

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Appliance Repair Services in San Francisco?

Approximately seven percent of all fatal on-the-job injuries reported in the State of California in 2020 were recorded amongst repair and maintenance workers. Hiring an uninsured appliance repair man means that you can be held liable for any of these on-the-job injuries that occur in your residence. As such, even though there are no mandatory insurance requirements for appliance repair men in San Francisco, it is always in your best interest to hire one that is properly insured.

Note that appliance repair men in the city that hold CSLB-issued electrical or low-voltage communications systems contractor licenses are required to maintain license bonds of $15,000 throughout the validity period of these licenses. Regardless of this, always request a copy of your appliance repair man's insurance certificate before finalizing any hiring arrangements with them. Contact the issuing insurance company to authenticate the certificate and to also confirm that the appliance repair man's insurance limits are enough for your required repair services. If your appliance repair man claims to hold a CSLB-issued license, contact this board at (800) 321-2752 to confirm that they have complied with its mandatory contractor bonding requirements.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Appliance Repair Service in San Francisco

Over 2,500 consumer complaints concerning bad appliance repair services and unscrupulous appliance repair men were filed with the California Bureau of Household Goods and Services in 2020, with more than half of these complaints being referred for investigation. As such, when searching for qualified technicians in San Francisco to provide you with necessary appliance repair services, it is important to look out for unscrupulous individuals that scam unsuspecting residents of the city. These appliance repair scams include:

  • Falsifying registration/licensing details
  • Requesting cash payments upfront
  • Asking for checks to be made out to them personally
  • Intentional damaging another part of the appliance or exaggerating the extent of the appliance's damage to get additional repair fees

You can avoid falling victim to appliance repair scams in San Francisco by taking the following precautions when hiring appliance repair men in the city:

  • Never hire an appliance repair man before verifying their registration status via the BHGS's license/registry search portal. You can equally verify the licensing status for appliance repair men that claim to hold state-issued electrical or low-voltage communications systems contractor licenses via the CSLB's Check a License platform
  • Always get and compare estimates for your appliance repair from several appliance repair men
  • Be wary of appliance repair men that cannot provide you with at least three references
  • Look up reviews and testimonials on your preferred appliance repair man via third-party websites like the Better Business Bureau, Google Review, and Yelp
  • Never make full upfront payments
  • Be wary of appliance repair men that request cash payments or ask for checks to be made out to them personally
  • Always request a service receipt or claim check when your appliance is accepted for repairs and an invoice for the repair after it is completed
  • Make sure that you read and understand warranties, contracts, invoices, and any other documents that you are given before signing them

Complaints concerning bad appliance repair services and appliance repair scams in San Francisco can be filed with the Bureau of Household Goods and Services via an online complaint form. Alternatively, complaints can be made to this office by completing and submitting a pdf complaint form to:

4244 South Market Court
Suite D
Sacramento, CA, 95834-1243

Appliance repair-related complaints can also be filed with the San Francisco District Attorney's Office online.