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Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Appliance Repair Service in Chicago

The average cost of appliance repair in Chicago is $194, but this can quickly rise if you hire an untrained expert to do the work. This is because shoddy work will cost you extra money in repairs, not to mention leave you feeling frustrated. Ask the following questions to verify you are hiring a trained appliance technician in the city who will complete your repairs expertly, safely, and without voiding any current warranties:

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

To install, alter, or repair any wiring or equipment for the use of electricity for light, heat, power, signaling, or communication, or any other equipment controlled by the Chicago Electrical Code, an electrical contractor license is necessary. This requirement applies whether or not a permit is required. One can apply for one of two types of electrical permits. A "general" license lets the licensed business and its staff do any type of electrical work, with some exceptions. A "low voltage" license only allows the licensed business and its workers to work on remote-control, signaling, and power-limited circuits, as well as communications circuits in Class 1, 2, and 3.

A one-year electrical contractor license can be obtained by submitting an application to Continental Testing Services, which handles electrical contractor license applications on behalf of the Department of Buildings. If there is no valid supervising electrician license connected with an electrical contractor license, it is immediately inactivated.

All individuals who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of refrigerants in the United States must be certified. Certification, in this case, demonstrates that mechanics are knowledgeable about refrigerants. Mechanics must pass a written exam to get certified. Exams are given by EPA-approved organizations such as trade schools, unions, and employer associations. Certification does not require any formal training.

To verify if your appliance repair technician is duly licensed, you can check Chicago's list of licensed electrical contractors. To get more information about licensing in Chicago, contact the Continental Testing Services (CTS) at (800) 359-1313 or the Department of Buildings at:

Chicago Department of Buildings
2045 West Washington Boulevard,
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: (312) 743-3600

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

The cost of hiring professional appliance repair technicians for a job is usually determined by criteria such as the type of appliance that needs to be repaired or serviced, as well as the cost of any parts that may be required. Before deciding which appliance repairman to contact, it is always a good idea to compare rates by receiving quotations from at least three different appliance repairmen in Chicago. It is crucial to remember, however, that you should not hire an appliance repairman exclusively on the basis of his fees. Always double-check that your chosen professional is appropriately licensed and equipped for the job.

Appliance repairmen in Chicago earn an average annual wage of $35,690. Provided below is a comparison of the hourly average wage for appliance repairmen in Chicago with those of these technicians in other areas of Illinois and several other locations across the United States:

Chicago Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$17.16
Illinois Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$16.51
Los Angeles Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$23.44
Boston Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$25.69
Houston Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$22.60
Phoenix Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$29.43
Seattle Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$23.82
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are You Certified by the Manufacturer to Repair the Appliance in Chicago?

When seeking appliance repair services in Chicago, ensure sure the expert has factory certification from the item's manufacturer. "Factory-certified" is used to refer to situations in which a manufacturer has certified an appliance repairman or an appliance repair firm to perform advanced or specialized services on their brand of products. Working with factory-certified technicians ensures that the repairs are conducted according to the manufacturer's specifications.

Factory-certified technicians have extensive specialized knowledge in resolving a wide range of problems associated with specific appliance brands and are frequently validated by the equipment manufacturers. They also offer direct access to the technical and administrative support of these manufacturers, ensuring that your repair is done as quickly as possible. They typically have access to genuine parts and are up to date on the latest diagnostic, maintenance, and repair techniques. Working with a factory-certified technician also protects your appliance's warranty.

The fact that an appliance repairman or repair organization is not factory-certified does not mean they are unqualified to repair or service your equipment. Because some manufacturers limit the number of repairmen who can be certified within a certain geographic area, certain qualified professionals may not be certified. Many non-certified technicians have extensive training and experience in the repair of a wide range of appliances. As a result, if your appliance's warranty has expired, you can engage a non-factory-certified repair professional to restore it as long as the individual is fully licensed, has the right tools, and can provide original parts.

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

Before selecting a repairer in Chicago for your dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, washing machine, dryer, or any other home appliance, you should always inquire about the parts that will be used. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts and generic parts are the two types of appliance and equipment parts available. OEM parts are those designed and manufactured by the appliance's manufacturer while generic parts are manufactured by a third party who may or may not be linked with the original appliance maker. When repairing a broken appliance, it is always a good idea to utilize OEM parts, as these are usually of higher quality than generic parts.

Furthermore, while OEM parts are more expensive than generic parts, they are more durable and last longer, saving you money in the long run. However, in certain cases, the parts you require for the repair procedure may have been discontinued by the manufacturer of your appliance. If this occurs and your repair expert is unable to obtain the needed OEM components from other sources such as the Internet or local supply stores, a generic part might be used.

It is worth noting that if your appliance repair necessitates the purchase of any parts or accessories, you should always request warranties for both these items and the repair work performed. These warranties are legally enforceable assurances that the parts are of excellent quality and that the repair was completed in the most professional and efficient manner feasible. To guarantee that you do not invalidate the warranty's terms and conditions, you should carefully read and understand them before signing it.

What Kind of Appliance Repair Services Do You Offer?

Domestic appliances that appliance repair technicians in Chicago may fix and install include central vacuum systems, refrigerators, microwaves, washing machines, trash disposal devices, and kitchen hoods. Blown microwave fuses, water leaks in refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines, dryer problems that cause clothing to not dry, defective fridge compartments, and the installation of new electrical or gas appliances are just a few of the services accessible.

In Chicago, many repair technicians specialize in one or more appliance repairs. As a result, it's vital that the technician you hire is familiar with both the type of device you need serviced and the brand of appliance you have. Always confirm this with the specialist and find out how much this repair service will cost you before concluding any hiring plans. The following are price estimates for some of Chicago's most popular appliance repair services:

Central vacuum system installation
$1,690.42 - $2,509.91 (for existing typical four-bedroom home)
Dishwasher repair/replacement
$114.00 - $1,152.00
Dishwasher water installation
$133.04 - $153.14
Electrical appliance installation
$127.79 - $174.41 (for basic appliance hookup only)
Garbage disposal unit repair/installation
$356.09 - $449.44 per hour (labor only)
Gas appliance installation
$55.00 - $87.50 per hour
Appliance water line installation
$132.49 - $185.59
Kitchen hood repair
$45.00 - $75.00
Kitchen hood installation
$90.00 - $275.00 (plus cost of hood)
Microwave oven installation
$129.70 - $144.50 (labor only, for basic microwave installation)
Small appliance installation
$55.00 - $132.00
Oven repair
$293.00 - $318.00
Refrigerator repair
$292.00 - $317.00 (commercial)

How Do You Handle Issues of Product Repairs Going Wrong?

Even when your appliance is repaired by a fully licensed and factory-certified appliance repairman, things might go wrong that will leave you dissatisfied. If this happens, you should always inform the repair service of your displeasure and point out the parts of the repair job that were improperly repaired. Many skilled repair professionals will collaborate with you to discover a cooperative and affordable solution to the issues that have arisen. This may entail referring you to a different repair specialist or refunding some or all of your money.

If the technician refuses to act reasonably in resolving your problems, or if you feel the technician is being shady in their interactions with you, you should seek help from reliable third-party consumer-oriented groups such as the Better Business Bureau. The Chicago and Northern Illinois offices of this organization can be reached at:

330 North Wabash Avenue
Suite 3120,
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 832-0500

You can also file a complaint with the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, which is responsible for protecting the people of Chicago from acts of consumer fraud, unfair methods of competition, and deceptive practices, by contacting them at:

Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
121 North LaSalle Street
8th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (312) 744-6060

If these authorities are unable to assist you in securing adequate compensation for the technician's activities, you may file a claim in the Circuit Court of Cook County's Pro Se Small Claims Court. Only $3,000.00 in monetary damages can be sought by any individual. Defendants can defend themselves or hire an attorney to defend them against the complaint. However, if the problem's value exceeds this amount, you should consult a consumer attorney to identify the best legal course of action. The web directory of the National Association of Consumer Advocates can assist you to find consumer attorneys in Chicago.

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

Home appliance repairmen get injured on the job, despite the fact that it appears to be a fully safe profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home appliance repairmen in the United States had 1,000 nonfatal occupational injuries in a single year. As a result, checking your preferred appliance repairman's insurance status is an important part of determining their suitability for your repair task. Hiring an insured expert protects you not only from financial and legal implications if an accident occurs on the job, but also covers the financial costs of any damage to your property caused by the technician.

Chicago requires licensed home appliance repair technicians to obtain commercial general liability insurance, with limits of not less than $300,000.00 per occurrence, for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage arising in any way from the issuance of the license or activities conducted pursuant to the license. Throughout the course of the licence period, the technician must keep the requisite insurance in full force and effect. Proof of insurance should be kept on the licenced premises and made available to any authorised city official upon request. Obtain proof of the technician's insurance coverage and verify any documentation provided by the technician with the applicable insurance company.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Appliance Repair Service in Chicago

In February 2021, the Attorney General of Illinois issued criminal charges against the owner of a repair service over allegedly defrauding customers out of thousands of dollars by neglecting to execute agreed-upon repair jobs. The Illinois Attorney General's office filed a civil action against the alleged con artist in October 2018, accusing him of scamming clients out of thousands of dollars by selling defective equipment. The same person was indicted in August 2018 on counts of aggravated home repair fraud and theft against a different group of victims by the Attorney General's office.

Technicians lying about their licensing status, misrepresenting the level of damage to your appliance to gain more money from you, or seeking full payment before conducting any work and then disappearing are all examples of home appliance repair scams. The following pointers may aid you in avoiding these scams and deciding whether or not your planned Appliance Repair is legitimate:

  • Never pay in advance for a repair: You may be looking at a typical scam if your repair professional requests payment before they finish the task. In this fraud, your repair person may provide persuasive reasons for requiring advance payment, such as a difficult-to-find part. These are only pretexts. Withhold payment until the end of the repair, as paying too soon may force your repairman to disappear without completing the work.
  • Make sure your technician is licensed: Competent technicians would gladly show you their credentials and licenses. Learn about the licenses that Chicago requires. Then you can check to see if the technician you're considering is qualified and certified. In the long term, hiring an unlicensed contractor might be costly. Also, any expert you work with should have insurance, so make sure to ask for confirmation before signing any contract. Don't be fooled by language like "factory-approved service" or "factory authorized," as these terms have no meaning without a license.
  • Be watchful for additional fees: Make sure you or another member of your household is present throughout the service call to avoid deceptive upcharges contrived by an unsupervised technician. A repair specialist may start working on your appliance as agreed, only to discover extra damages that they caused themselves. Keep an eye on them as they inspect the equipment, but don't hover or interfere. A reputable service professional will feel at ease answering your inquiries.

If you have been victimized by a home appliance repair technician through deceptive or unfair methods, promptly lodge an online complaint with the Consumer Protection Division of the Illinois Attorney General's office.