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Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Appliance Repair Service in New York City

Residents of New York City pay an average of $235 to repair a household appliance. Indeed, repairs will save you the enormous cost of replacing your refrigerator, washing machine, or oven with a new one. However, having your broken or malfunctioning appliance handled by an untrained handyman may leave you feeling ripped off as you may have to bear the cost of another repair from poor workmanship. Therefore, to ensure you are contracting a qualified appliance technician in the city, who will complete your repairs expertly, safely, and without voiding any existing warranties, ask the following questions:

Are You Licensed to Practice as an Appliance Repair Service in New York City?

Individuals that are involved in the repair or servicing of electronic equipment and home appliances in New York City are required to possess an Electronic and Home Appliance Service Dealer License. This is regardless of whether or not the repair or servicing work is done on the consumer's premises or at an off-site location. The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) is responsible for issuing these licenses, and appliance repair men that wish to obtain one must submit a Basic License Application form via the department's Online Services Portal. The creation of a user account is typically required to complete the online submission process via this portal. Alternatively, a pdf version of the form can be completed and submitted in person at any of the following locations:

DCWP Licensing Center
42 Broadway
New York, NY 10004
NYC Small Business Support Center
90-27 Sutphin Boulevard
4th Floor
Jamaica, NY 11435

Note that appointments will have to be scheduled with these offices via email or by calling (212) 436-0441 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays. before making in-person submissions. Likewise, applicants will also be required to pay a license fee and submit other necessary documentation, such as a Sales Tax Identification Number or an Application Confirmation Number, and copies of fingerprint cards.

Finally, in addition to obtaining a locally issued Electronic and Home Appliance Service Dealer license, appliance repair men that work on refrigerant-containing equipment are statutorily required to undergo EPA-administered certification. Technicians that fail to comply with local and federal licensing and certification requirements can face criminal and civil sanctions and penalties, such as city-imposed fines of up to $500 per violation. You can get more information on the licensing and certification requirements for New York City appliance repair men by calling the DCWP at 311 or (212) 639-9675. You can also confirm whether or not your preferred technician has fulfilled these requirements by utilizing the DCWP's Check a License online platform to carry out a license search. If your technician possesses additional non-mandatory certifications from associations like the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET), then you should also authenticate these certifications by contacting the issuing organizations.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Appliance Repair Services in New York City?

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that appliance repair men in New York City earn approximately $27 per hour. Nonetheless, the specific cost of hiring these technicians for a job is usually influenced by factors like the type of appliance that needs repair or servicing and the cost of parts that may be needed for the job. It is always a good idea to compare costs by getting quotes from at least three different appliance repair men in the city before making your decision to which one to hire. However, it is important to note that you should not base your hiring decision solely on the appliance repair man's charges. Always make sure that your preferred technician is duly licensed and also properly equipped for the job.

Appliance repair men in New York City earn an average annual wage of $56,270. Provided below is a comparison of the hourly average wage for appliance repair men in New York City with those of these technicians in other areas of New York State and several other locations across the United States:

New York City Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
New York State Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
Los Angeles Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
Boston Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
Houston Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
Phoenix Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
Seattle Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are You Certified by the Manufacturer to Repair the Appliance in New York City?

When searching for appliance repair services in New York City, it is important to make sure that you select a technician that has been factory-certified by the manufacturer of your malfunctioning appliance. The term œfactory-certified refers to situations where an appliance repair man or an appliance repair company has been deemed qualified by a manufacturing company to provide advanced or specialized services on their brand of products. Working with factory-certified technicians gives you a measure of confidence that the repair work will be done in accordance with the specifications of your appliance's manufacturer.

In addition, factory-certified technicians are typically vetted by the product manufacturers and are also provided direct access to technical and administrative support from these manufacturers, thereby ensuring that your repair is done the best way possible. Other reasons why it is advisable to always work with factory-certified appliance repair men include:

  • They have extensive specialized experience handling a wide variety of problems related to specific appliance brands
  • They generally have access to authentic parts
  • They are up to date about the latest diagnostic, maintenance, and repair techniques
  • Working with a factory-certified technician ensures that any warranties on your appliance are not voided

It should be noted that a lack of factory certification does not automatically mean that an appliance repair man or repair company is unqualified to repair or service your appliances. This is because some manufacturers limit the number of technicians that they grant certifications to within a specified geographical location. Nonetheless, many non-certified technicians have extensive training and on-the-job experience with regard to the repair of various types of appliances. As such, if your appliance is no longer under any warranties, you can consider hiring a non-factory-certified repair technician to fix it, provided that this technician is duly licensed, has the right tools, and can provide authentic parts for the job.

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

Before hiring any repairer for your dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, or any other home appliance in New York City, you should always find out the types of parts that this individual will use for the job. Appliance and equipment parts can be grouped into two categories, namely Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, and generic parts. OEM parts refer to parts that were made and supplied by the manufacturer of the appliance in question. On the other hand, generic parts refer to parts that are made by a third party that may or may not be affiliated with the original appliance manufacturer. It is always a good idea to use OEM parts when fixing your faulty appliance, as these parts are usually of higher quality than generic parts and also help protect your warranties.

In addition, while OEM parts may be more expensive than generic parts, they tend to be more durable and longer-lasting, thereby saving you money in the long run. Nonetheless, in some situations, your appliance's manufacturer may have discontinued the production of the parts that you need for the repair job. If this happens, and your repair technician is unable to get the required OEM parts from other sources like online marketplaces or local supply stores, then you can consider using a generic part for the job.

Note that if your appliance repair requires the purchase of any parts or accessories, you should always make sure that you are given warranties for these items, as well as for the repair job done. These warranties are legally-binding guarantees that the parts are high-quality and that the repair job was done in the best and most professional way possible. You should always read and understand any warranty that you are given before signing it to ensure that you do not void its terms and conditions.

What Kind of Appliance Repair Services Do You Offer?

Appliance repair men in New York City generally offer repair and installation services on a wide variety of household appliances, such as central vacuum systems, microwaves, washing machines, garbage disposal units, and kitchen hoods. These services include, but are not limited to, fixing overheating microwaves, resolving water leakage in dishwashers and washing machines, and installing new electrical or gas appliances.

When faced with any of these problems, it is necessary to make sure that the technician you hire has ample experience in handling the type of appliance that you need to be repaired as well as your specific brand of this appliance. Always get confirmation on this from the technician before concluding any hiring arrangements, and also find out how much this repair service would cost you. The cost estimates of some commonly requested appliance repair services in New York City are listed below:

Central vacuum system installation
$2,000 - $3,300 (for existing typical four-bedroom home)
Dishwasher repair/replacement
$50 - $200
Dishwasher water and drain line installation
$115 - $190
Electrical appliance installation
$155 - $210 (for basic appliance hookup only)
Garbage disposal unit repair/installation
$95 - $115 per hour (labor only)
Gas appliance installation
$20 - $40 per hour
Ice maker water line installation
$130 - $200
Kitchen hood repair/installation
$150 - $300 (labor only)
Microwave oven installation
$165 - $190 (labor only, for basic microwave installation)
Microwave oven repair
$40 - $250
Refrigerator water line installation
$130 - $200
Washing machine water line and drain installation
$145 - $245
Stove repair
$120-$400 (labor only)
Refrigerator repair
$125-$200 (labor only)

How Do You Handle Issues of Product Repairs Going Wrong?

In some situations, even after hiring a duly licensed and factory-certified appliance repair man, you may end up unsatisfied with the outcome of your product repair job. If this happens, it is always a good idea to express your dissatisfaction to the technician and point out the aspects of the repair job that you are unsatisfied with. Many professional repair technicians will try to you resolve the issues that are pointed out as amicably and reasonably as possible. This may include referring you to a different repair technician and refunding part or all of the payments that you may have made for the job.

However, if the technician refuses to acknowledge your concerns, or if you suspect that the technician is being shady in their dealings with you, then you should consider getting assistance from reputable third-party consumer-oriented organizations like the Better Business Bureau. This organization's Metropolitan New York area office can be contacted at:

30 East 33rd Street
12th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 533-6200

You can also file a consumer complaint against the technician with the NYC DCWP. Complaints can be filed with this office online or by mailing two copies of a filled-out consumer complaint form, along with copies of payment receipts and other relevant documents, to:

NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
Consumer Services Division
42 Broadway
9th Floor
New York, NY 10004

If these aforementioned agencies cannot help you get satisfactory compensation for actions of the technician, you can take further steps by suing the offending party at the New York City Small Claims Court for up to $5,000. However, if the amount involved in the matter exceeds this figure, then you should consider consulting a consumer attorney on the appropriate legal actions to take. You can find consumer attorneys in New York City via the New York City Bar's Legal Referral Service or through the National Association of Consumer Advocates' online directory.

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Appliance Repair Services in New York City?

Confirming the insurance status of your intended appliance repair man is an important step to take when determining their eligibility for your repair job. Hiring a technician that has adequate insurance is necessary, as this insurance covers the financial costs of any damages to your property that the technician may cause. Hiring an insured technician also insulates you from financial and legal liabilities if a job-related injury happens during the repair job. According to figures published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home appliance repair man across the United States recorded a total of 1,000 nonfatal occupational injuries in 2020 alone.

Therefore, even though New York City does not have any specific mandatory insurance requirements for appliance repair man, you should always make sure to hire one that is properly insured. This insurance coverage should include general liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance if the technician has apprentices, assistants, or other employees. Request proof of the technician's insurance coverage and contact the relevant insurance company to authenticate any documents that the technician provides.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Appliance Repair Service in New York City

In October 2020, the New York Attorney General and State Police Superintendent jointly announced the arrest and arraignment of three local contractors for their involvement in a large-scale fraud scheme perpetrated against several homeowners and businesses across the state. This scheme included taking over $25,000 from one unsuspecting homeowner to carry out electrical and plumbing-related appliance installations and repairs, and absconding without performing the job. Between 2016 and 2020, the NYC DCWP docketed more than 14,300 consumer complaints from New York City residents involving a wide variety of matters, including scams related to appliance repairs. Some common examples of these types of scams include technicians lying about their licensing status, exaggerating the extent of damage to your appliance to get more money from you, or requesting full payment before doing any work and then absconding.

The following tips can help you avoid these scams and also assist you in determining whether or not your intended Appliance Repair is legit:

  • Always get and compare prices from multiple technicians
  • Always verify the licensing status of any technician that you decide to hire
  • Lookup reviews and testimonials on the technician online via websites like the Better Business Bureau, Google Review, and Yelp. It is also a good idea to get first-hand opinions on the technician by requesting references on past clients and contacting them
  • Be wary of unsolicited door-to-door technicians that offer repair prices that are lower than the going rates for these jobs within your area of residence. These types of technicians are usually more interested in obtaining money from you and typically end up providing unsatisfactory service or doing no work at all
  • Be wary of technicians that request upfront payment. You should also consider it a red flag if the technician insists on cash payments or for checks to be made out personally to them
  • Keep copies of all documents that are related to the repair job. These usually include warranties, invoices, and payment receipts

Victims of appliance repair and other consumer-related scams that take place in New York City can file a complaint concerning the matter with the city's Department of Consumer and Worker Protection. This office typically employs a mediation process to resolve complaints that it receives. However, if the matter cannot be resolved via this process, then you have the option of taking legal action against the technician at an appropriate New York City Court. Note that the NYC DCWP cannot give you legal advice or represent you in court, and you will have to retain the services of a private attorney for this.