Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Appliance Repair Service in Columbus
Appliances like refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers, microwave ovens, and garbage disposals typically have an average lifespan of 10 - 12 years. As a rule of thumb, any of these household appliances that is faulty within its half-life and cost less than 50 percent of its replacement cost to repair should be fixed. Hiring a good appliance repair service in Columbus may help keep your appliance maintenance costs low during its lifetime.
As such, to ensure that you hire a professional appliance technician in Columbus that provides competent and warrantied appliance repair services, always ask the following questions:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as an Appliance Repair Service in Columbus?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Appliance Repair Services in Columbus?
- Are You Certified by the Manufacturer to Repair the Appliance in Columbus?
- 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 Columbus?
- How to File a Complaint Against a
There are no occupation-specific licensing requirements for appliance repair men that ply their trade in Columbus. However, as stipulated by Section 608 of the Clean Air Act, technicians that maintain, repair, or service appliances that contain refrigerants are required to undergo EPA-approved certification. Also, per the provisions of Chapter 4740 of the Ohio Revised Code, individuals that wish to repair or maintain refrigeration systems within the State of Ohio must obtain a Refrigeration Contractor License from the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB). Appliance repair men that wish to obtain licenses from this board must meet certain requirements, which include:
- They must be United States citizens or legal aliens that are at least 18 years of age
- They must either have at least five years of on-the-job refrigerator repair experience or have been state-registered engineers with at least three years of business experience in refrigeration-related work
- They must provide proof of contractor liability coverage
- They must pass a state and federal background check
- They must pay all applicable fees and pass a licensing examination
Applications for state-issued refrigeration contractor licenses can be made by completing and notarizing a Test Application Packet and mailing this document, along with the stipulated fees and other relevant documentation, to:Division of Industrial Compliance
Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board
6606 Tussing Road
P.O. Box 4009
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068-9009
Queries concerning the OCILB's licensing requirements and procedures can be directed to the board via email or by calling (614) 644-3493. Note that performing refrigerator repairs in Columbus without possessing a state-issued refrigeration contractor license is considered a minor misdemeanor for first offenders and a fourth-degree misdemeanor for repeat offenders. These offenses are punishable by statutory penalties of up to $250 in fines and 30 days in jail. Offenders can also receive administrative sanctions of up to $1,000 in fines per day per violation.
Finally, although appliance repair men in Columbus do not generally require locally-issued licenses, many of these technicians obtain voluntary certifications from organizations like the United Appliance Servicers Association and the International Society of Electronics Technicians. These certifications are usually an indication of advanced knowledge and experience in appliance repairs, and it is a good idea to look out for certified technicians when searching for appliance repair men in the city. However, you should always verify claims of certification made by any appliance repair man that you intend to hire by requesting proof of this certification and validating it with the appropriate certifying organization. Similarly, you can verify state-issued refrigeration contractor licenses online via the OCILB's eLicense Center.
Per Section 109:4-3-05 of the Ohio Administrative Code, consumers in Columbus have the right to oral or written estimates for repair services that will cost more than $25. Nonetheless, it is advisable to always get and compare written estimates from multiple technicians in the city when looking to repair faulty appliances in the city, regardless of the anticipated cost of the repair. When comparing these estimates, take note of technicians with charges that are significantly higher or lower than others. In many cases, this is usually a sign of fraudulent activity on the part of the technician.
Note that factors like the type of appliance that needs repairing, the extent of the damage, and the cost of required parts will affect the total costs of your appliance repair. However, in situations where the estimated cost of your appliance repair is $50 or less, the technician that you end up hiring is required to get verbal or written authorization from you for any additional costs that exceed $5, excluding tax. Likewise, if the estimated cost of your repair is more than $50, the technician must equally get your verbal or written authorization before beginning any additional repairs that will bring the total cost of the job to at least 10 percent more than the original estimate.
Appliance repair men in Columbus earn an average annual wage of $46,380. Provided below is a comparison of the hourly average wage for appliance repair men in Columbus with those of these technicians in other areas of the State of Ohio and several other locations across the United States:
When you need to service or repair major home appliances like refrigerators, stoves, microwave ovens, and washers, it is often a good idea to seek out factory-certified appliance repair technicians. These technicians typically receive ongoing training on specific brands of appliances directly from the appliance's manufacturer, making them the best option for repairing any damages to these appliances. Advantages of hiring factory-certified technicians in Columbus include:
- They are knowledgeable in appliance diagnostics, maintenance, and repair
- They have a direct line to manufacturers, which comes in handy during repairs
- They use original or manufacturer-approved appliance parts
- They typically offer comprehensive warranties on their services
- They have good customer relations
It is important to note that a lack of factory certification does not automatically translate to inexperience or poor service delivery on the part of an appliance repair technician. Many professional appliance repair men in Columbus are aptly experienced in repairing several types of appliances and also have access to original and authentic parts that are typically needed for these repairs. You should always consider these factors, as well as the technician's costs, insurance coverage, and the terms and conditions of any existing warranties on your appliance when looking to undertake appliance repairs in the city.
The types of appliance parts and accessories used when repairing refrigerators, washers, dryers, microwave ovens, and other home appliances goes a long way in determining the outcome of your appliance repair job. While purchasing generic parts for appliance repairs may seem like the cheaper option, it is always in your best interest to ensure that the appliance repair man you hire utilizes Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts for the job.
OEM parts refer to appliance parts, accessories, and components that are supplied by the original manufacturer of the appliance that needed repairing, while generic parts refer to parts, accessories, and components that are supplied by third parties. Using OEM parts for appliance repairs has several advantages, such as:
- OEM parts are made with higher quality materials and are also more durable than generic parts, thereby saving you money in the long run
- Using OEM parts ensures that existing warranties on your appliance are not voided
- OEM parts are always compatible with the appliances that they are made for
Note that, sometimes your technician may not be able to obtain the required OEM parts for your appliance directly from the original manufacturer, and may have to source them from local stores or online marketplaces. If these parts are unavailable via these sources and their production has also been discontinued, you may have no choice but to use generic parts for the appliance repair. Whatever the situation may be, you should make sure that your technician always gets your approval before purchasing any parts for your appliance repair. You should also find out if you will be issued written warranties that cover the purchased appliance parts and the actual work done by the repair technician and make sure to properly review any documents that you are issued before signing them.
Appliance repair in Columbus involves a wide range of services, such as refrigerator repair, garbage disposal repair, stove/oven repair, dishwasher repair, washer/washing machine repair, and dryer repair. Therefore, to ensure that your appliance repair service is provided optimally, you should always find out the area of specialization of any repair technician you intend to hire in the city. Also, confirm that the technician has ample experience repairing your specific make and model of appliance. Finally, find out how much you will be expected to pay for the appliance repair service before any work commences. Doing this reduces the chances of getting into financial disagreements with the technician after your appliance repair has been concluded.
Listed below are cost estimates of some appliance repair services provided by professional repair technicians in Columbus:
Although professional appliance repair men in Columbus typically provide top-notch services, there is always the possibility that you end up unsatisfied with the work done by your technician. This may be because the fault is not properly fixed or the appliance suddenly develops a new fault. Whatever the case may be, you should always reach out to the technician involved and air out your grievances. Depending on the nature of the issue, as well as the terms and conditions of your warranty, the technician may offer any of the following solutions:
- Re-doing the repair work properly
- Referring you to another appliance repair man
- Offering you full or partial compensation for the unsatisfactory service
However, if you believe that the unsatisfactory services were either intentional or due to the technician's negligence, or if the technician does not offer a satisfactory resolution to the problem, then you can take any of the following actions:
- File a consumer complaint with the Ohio Attorney General's Office online
- Contact the Central Ohio Office of the Better Business Bureau at (614) 486-6336 to get consumer assistance on the matter. This office can also be contacted in person at:
Columbus, OH 43215-1005
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Mondays to Fridays
Note that none of these agencies can guarantee you satisfactory monetary compensation when you report appliance repair-related matters to them. Nonetheless, you can take further action to seek this compensation by filing a lawsuit against the repair technician in question with the Civil Division of the Franklin County Municipal Court. This division accepts civil matters where the amount in contention does not exceed $15,000 as well as small claims cases of up to $6,000. However, it is advisable to consult with a licensed consumer attorney before taking legal action against your appliance repair technician. You can get referrals to consumer attorneys in Columbus by utilizing online directories provided by the Columbus Bar Association and the National Association of Consumer Advocates.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that approximately 1,000 home appliance repair men reported on-the-job injuries in 2020. Hiring a technician that is insured protects you against liability if any of these injuries occur in your home during your appliance repair. As such, even though there are no city-mandated insurance requirements for appliance repair men that operate in Columbus, you should always request and validate proof of insurance from any technician in the city that you intend to hire. This can be done by requesting a copy of their insurance certificate and contacting the issuing insurance company to verify the technician's liability coverage and make sure that its limits are adequate to cover on-the-job accidents during your appliance repair.
Note that, if your required appliance repair involves refrigerators or any other types of home refrigeration systems, then the repair work must be done by a technician that holds a state-issued refrigeration contractor license. In these situations, the technician is statutorily required to carry contractor liability insurance of at least $500,000 or any appropriate amount as determined by the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board. Queries related to state-mandated insurance requirements for refrigerator repair in Columbus can be directed to this board at (614) 644-3493.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office received over 20,500 consumer complaints in 2021 alone, with professional services and property improvement ranking amongst the top causes of these complaints, and at least 40 of these complaints leading to lawsuits against the offending parties. To avoid being on the receiving end of unsatisfactory appliance repair services or falling victim to unscrupulous repair technicians in Columbus, you should look out for signs of a scam when searching for professional appliance repair services in the city. These signs include:
- The technician requests a large down payment or full payment upfront
- The technician is hesitant to provide you with any written information
- The technician pressures you to act quickly by using scare tactics to describe the extent of damage to your appliance
Following the tips provided below can help ensure that you retain the services of a legitimate appliance repair man in Columbus:
- Get recommendations to repair technicians in the city from friends, family, or online sources like the Better Business Bureau and Google Review
- Find out if any complaints have been filed against the technician via the Search Consumer Complaints portal provided by the Ohio Attorney General's Office
- Always get and compare written estimates for the appliance repair from at least three different technicians. These estimates should include an anticipated completion date for the repair as well as the technician's contact information
- Always verify that your repair technician holds a valid state-issued contractor license if the appliance that needs fixing is a refrigerator, freezer, or any other type of home refrigeration system
- Make sure that your preferred technician is insured
- Be wary of technicians that cannot provide you with verifiable references or letters of recommendation from past clients
- Never pay the full cost of your appliance repair upfront and be wary of technicians who request large down payments before they commence work
- Properly review any documents that you are asked to sign before doing so and keep copies of these documents
The Ohio Attorney General's Office is charged with resolving consumer issues that originate in Columbus and also protecting residents of the city from deceptive, unfair, and fraudulent business practices. You can file complaints concerning bad appliance repair services with this office by completing an online consumer complaint form or by calling (800)282-0515.