Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Appliance Repair Service in Washington D.C.
Hiring a professional appliance repair service in Washington D.C. to fix your faulty refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, dryers, and stoves saves you the time and energy of incorrectly attempting these repairs yourself. At an average cost of $245 per repair, appliance repair services also spare you the expense of breaking the bank to replace faulty appliances. However, not every appliance repair technician in the district can deliver satisfactory services. Thus, to ensure that you hire a qualified appliance repair technician that has the necessary experience, skills, and tools required to properly and satisfactorily repair your faulty appliance, you should always the following questions:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as an Appliance Repair Service in Washington D.C.?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Appliance Repair Services in Washington D.C.?
- Are You Certified by the Manufacturer to Repair the Appliance in Washington D.C.?
- Will You Get the Appliance Parts and Accessories Required by the Manufacturer?
- What Kind of Appliance Repair Services Do You Offer?
- How Do You Handle Issues of Product Repairs Going Wrong?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Appliance Repair Services in Washington D.C.?
- How to File a Complaint Against a
The Washington D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) regulates appliance repair services in the district. Per this agency's requirements, individuals and businesses that wish to provide these types of services must first obtain a Goods Repair License by completing and submitting an Application for DC License Consumer Goods Repair Form to the DCRA at:1100 4th Street SW
Washington, DC 20024
Applications for this license can also be made online via the DC Business Portal. Applicants that operate more than one place of business that provides appliance repair services are typically required to submit a separate application for each location. Parties that wish to obtain the DCRA-issued goods repair license are also expected to meet certain eligibility requirements, which include:
- Paying a stipulated fee
- Registering with the DC Office of the Zoning Administrator and obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy to this effect
- Providing proof of compliance with local tax registration requirements
- Providing proof of surety bonding
- Submitting any necessary documentation that the DCRA may require at the time of the license application
Note that, depending on the specific nature of the appliance repair services being rendered, appliance repair men in Washington D.C. may have to comply with additional regulatory requirements. For example, technicians that intend to work on refrigerant-containing equipment must complete an EPA-approved certification program before doing so. Inquiries concerning goods repair licenses and other regulatory requirements for appliance repair services in Washington D.C. can be directed to the DCRA at (202) 442-4400, online, or via email. You can also verify that your intended appliance repair technician has been authorized to operate in Washington D.C. by calling the aforementioned phone number or by utilizing the DCRA's Access DC online portal.
Note that some technicians in Washington D.C. also obtain certifications from organizations like the International Society of Electronics Technicians, the United Appliance Servicers Association, the Professional Service Association, and the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. While these certifications are not mandatory, they usually indicate professionalism, experience, and competence on the part of the technician. Nonetheless, you should always contact the relevant certifying organizations to verify claims of certification made by technicians in the district.
According to data published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, appliance repair men in the Washington D.C. area are estimated to earn average wages of approximately $24 per hour. However, the total cost of fixing faulty appliances in the district is dependent on several factors, such as:
- The type and brand of appliance that needs repairing
- The cost of parts needed for the repairs
Per the provisions of Chapter 16-6 of the DC Municipal Regulations, appliance repair men in the district are required to provide potential customers with written estimates and also receive written authorization from these customers before commencing any appliance repairs. Nonetheless, it is advisable to get and compare estimates from at least three different technicians in the district before authorizing one of them to handle your appliance repair. These estimates should include a statement indicating that the final bill for the requested appliance repair service will not exceed the total estimated charges by more than 20 percent for repairs estimated to cost $300 or less unless you authorize any additional charges. If the estimated cost of the repair is more than $300, then the statement should indicate that the final bill will not be more than 10 percent of the estimated repair costs.
Appliance repair men in Washington D.C. earn an average annual wage of $50,670. Provided below is a comparison of the hourly average wage for appliance repair men in Washington D.C. with those of these technicians in several other locations across the United States:
A good way to ensure that you receive satisfactory appliance repair services in Washington D.C. is by hiring a factory-certified technician. The term factory-certified is a designation given to appliance repair technicians or companies that have been vetted by an appliance manufacturer and deemed qualified to offer specialized and advanced repair, servicing, and maintenance services on their brand of appliances. The advantages of hiring factory-certified technicians in Washington D.C. include:
- They perform appliance repairs per the specifications of the appliance's manufacturer
- They receive direct technical and administrative support from appliance manufacturers
- They undergo continuous training on a wide range of appliance repair-related topics and are typically up-to-date on current appliance diagnostic, repair, and maintenance techniques
- They ensure that existing warranties on your appliance are not voided
You can find factory-certified technicians in Washington D.C. by contacting your appliance's original manufacturer. Note that the availability of these technicians within your vicinity will be influenced by the make and model of your faulty appliance. Also, while it is advisable to hire factory-certified technicians, retaining the services of non-factory-certified technicians in the district does not automatically mean that your appliance repair will not be handled professionally or satisfactorily.
When fixing appliances like refrigerators, microwave ovens, stoves, and dishwashers, it is usually necessary to replace components and accessories in these appliances to get them functioning efficiently again. To this end, you should always make sure that your appliance repair technician uses Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts for these replacements. OEM parts refer to appliance parts, components, and accessories that are manufactured and supplied by the original manufacturer of an appliance. On the other hand, generic appliance parts refer to parts that are manufactured or supplied by third parties. In some cases, these third parties may be affiliated with the original manufacturer of the appliance in question.
The benefits of always using OEM parts for appliance repairs include:
- They are of higher quality than generic parts
- They are more durable and longer-lasting than generic parts
- They help protect existing warranties on your appliance
- They are more appliance-compatible than generic parts
Note that, while it is always in your best interest to use OEM parts, you may have to use generic parts for your appliance repair in some situations. This is usually the case where the production of the required OEM parts has been discontinued by the appliance's original manufacturer, and they are also unavailable via third-party affiliated sources like local supply stores and online marketplaces. However, regardless of the types of parts or accessories used for your appliance repair services, you should always request a warranty that covers these items as well as the work done by the technician.
Professional appliance repair men in Washington D.C. generally offer several types of appliance repair services, such as refrigerator repair, dishwasher repair, washing machine repair, dryer repair, microwave oven repair, oven/range repair, and garbage disposal repair. Finding out the types of appliance repair services that your preferred appliance repair man offers saves you the frustration of hiring a technician that is ill-equipped to fix your faulty appliance. It is also a good idea to confirm that your preferred appliance repair man has adequate experience fixing your specific brand of appliance. Finally, always get a written estimate for the job and agree on the appliance repair man's rates before authorizing any repairs.
Cost estimates for some commonly requested appliance repair services in Washington D.C. are provided below:
In situations where you are unsatisfied with your appliance repair service in Washington D.C., you should contact the appliance repair technician or company that handled the repairs, inform them of the situation, and request a remedy. Professional appliance repair technicians in the city typically offer remedies in the form of refunds, re-doing the work, or referring the aggrieved customer to another technician.
However, if you are unsatisfied with the remedy offered, or if you believe that the initial unsatisfactory appliance repair service was a result of deceptive or fraudulent behavior, then you should file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. Complaints can be filed with this office online or by calling (202) 442-9828. Note that you may be required to provide copies of documentation related to the appliance repair in question. This includes receipts, written estimates, and other correspondence with the appliance repair technician.
You can also get additional consumer assistance on the matter from the Better Business Bureau by contacting its Metro Washington DC office at:1411 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20005-3404
Phone: (202) 393-8000
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays
Finally, you can seek damages and other forms of personal remedy for the unsatisfactory appliance repair service by filing a lawsuit against the appliance repair technician or company with the Civil Division of the District of Columbia's Superior Court. Note that you should always consult with a private attorney before taking legal actions of any kind. You can find licensed consumer attorneys in Washington D.C. by utilizing the resources provided by the DC Bar via its Hiring a Lawyer webpage or by accessing the National Association of Consumer Advocates' online directory.
You should always confirm the insurance and bonding status of any appliance repair man that you intend to hire in Washington D.C., regardless of the nature and scope of your required appliance repair service. In 2020 alone, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded a total of 1,000 work-related injuries amongst home appliance repair men in the United States. Hiring an uninsured appliance repair man makes you liable if any of these injuries occur in your home during your appliance repair.
To this end, even though there are no mandatory liability insurance requirements for appliance repair men in Washington D.C., you should always make sure that your intended technician carries general commercial liability insurance that covers both on-the-job injuries and property damage. Note that appliance repair men that have employees are mandated to carry workers' compensation insurance for these employees. Likewise, appliance repair men with five or fewer employees must also post and maintain a corporate surety bond of $2,000, while those with more than five employees must post a bond of $5,000.
Request proof of insurance and bonding from your intended appliance repair man and validate this proof with the appropriate issuing organizations. You can also get additional information on mandatory workers' compensation insurance and bonding requirements for Washington D.C. appliance repair men by contacting the district's Office of Workers' Compensation and Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs at (202) 671-1000 and (202) 442-4400 respectively.
In 2021, the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia received more than 2,500 consumer complaints, representing a 70 percent increase in complaints from the previous two years. A majority of these complaints involved billing and refund issues, performance disputes, and outright scams. Examples of common appliance repair-related scams in Washington D.C. include:
- Requesting upfront payment for appliance repairs and failing to provide the required services
- Lying about licensing statuses
- Overstating the extent of an appliance's faults or deliberately damaging other parts of the appliance to increase the repair costs
The following tips can help you avoid falling victim to an appliance repair scam when searching for qualified and legitimate appliance repair technicians in Washington D.C.:
- Never hire technicians that go door-to-door offering unsolicited appliance diagnosis, servicing, or repairs
- Always get and compare written estimates for your appliance repair from at least three different technicians in the district
- Always confirm the licensing status of your intended appliance repair technician by calling the district's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs at (202) 442-4400 or by utilizing this department's Access DC online portal
- Always request references from technicians that you intend to hire. You can also utilize third-party platforms like the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Google Review to look up reviews and testimonials on these technicians
- Confirm the technician's insurance and bonding status
- Never make full payment for appliance repairs upfront and be wary of any technicians that ask for this
- Make sure that you are issued a Tender of Goods and Final Bill after your repair has been concluded. This document signifies that the technician has fulfilled all agreed-upon obligations
- Always read and understand any documents that you are issued before signing them
Complaints concerning appliance repair scams in Washington D.C. can be filed with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia via the following methods:
- By completing an online consumer complaint form
- By calling the office's consumer complaint hotline at (202) 442-9828
- By texting the word complaint to (202) 738-5212 and following the guided prompts
Appliance repair-related complaints can also be filed with the district's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs by completing and submitting a Consumer Protection Complaint Request Form online.