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Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Appliance Repair Service in Austin

Appliance repair men in Austin charge $23.44 per hour to repair or service an appliance, so hiring one not only ensures that you spend less than what is necessary to purchase a brand new appliance, but also protects you from accidents that often occur when you attempt to repair an appliance on your own. However, before reaching an agreement with an appliance repair man in Austin, it is very important to ask specific questions to determine whether the individual is qualified, experienced, and competent enough to do your work. These questions include:

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

Appliance repairmen in Austin do not require a locally-issued occupational license to operate, regardless of whether they will be providing their services in the consumer's home or at a business location. However, it is unlawful to perform specific appliance-related repair or installation in Austin without holding the appropriate state-issued license for such work.

For example, appliance repair men who wish to work on a refrigeration system in Austin must obtain an Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractor License issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Repairing or servicing a refrigeration system without the right license is an offense punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.

To be eligible for this license, appliance repair men must provide proof of acceptable educational and work-related experience, register for and pass the appropriate licensing examination, show proof of insurance coverage, and pay all licensing fees.

Austin appliance repair men can obtain an Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractor License by completing and submitting an application form to the TDLR at:

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
P.O. Box 12157
Austin TX, 78711-2157

Likewise, appliance repair men who want to perform home appliance installation services, must also obtain a Residential Appliance Installer License from the TDLR. Appliance repair men can obtain the above mentioned license by filing out and submitting printable application form, along with the right application fee to the TDLR at:

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
P.O. Box 12157
Austin TX, 78711-2157

Applicants must be aware that the TDLR will not issue a Residential Appliance Installer License to anyone who has not sat for and passed the appropriate licensing examination. In addition, appliance repair men who intend to engage in residential appliance installation on a full time basis must also apply for a separate Residential Appliance Installation Contractor License from the TDLR.

Interested persons are encouraged to contact the TDLR at (800) 803-9202 for calls within Texas and (512) 463-6599 for calls outside the state for more information about the requirements for obtaining any of the aforementioned appliance repair and installation related licenses.

While it is not every appliance-related service that requires an occupational license, homeowners in the city should always confirm whether the type of service they need is exclusively reserved for licensed professionals, and if the individual they intend to hire has obtained the appropriate license for their work. For instance, as a homeowner, before you hire anyone to service your refrigeration system or carry out home appliance installation service, you should confirm their license status via the TDLR online License Data Search tool.

In addition, you should also confirm if the individual you intend to hire is holding a professional certification related to appliance repair and installation services by asking for their certificate number and contacting the organization or association that issued the certificate.

Hiring an appliance repairman that is certified not only means that you are dealing with someone that is familiar with common repair issues, but also someone who can access a team of other repair men when they are stuck on an appliance. Examples of associations that certify home appliance repair men include the International Society of Electronics Technicians, the United Appliance Servicers Association, and the Professional Service Association.

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

Appliance repair men in Austin charge $23.44 per hour. This service cost will typically include labor, the nature of the repair, and extent of the damage. However, some appliance repairmen may charge you for diagnosing the appliance in addition to the actual repair cost. As such, it is always crucial to find out how your appliance repairer arrives at the repair price they are giving to you.

Homeowners must understand that the cost of fixing a broken appliance in the city varies depending on the repairer. As a result, it is wise to get and compare estimates from different appliance repair men as this is the only way to ensure they are getting a fair price for the repair.

Obtaining estimates from your potential appliance repair man is not only a standard practice in Austin, but also a necessary measure to protect consumers from price gouging. Appliance repair men in Austin earn an average annual wage of $48,750. Provided below is a comparison of the hourly average wage for appliance repair men in Austin with those of these technicians in other areas of Texas and several other locations across the United States:

City of Austin Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$23.44
Texas State Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$22.78
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

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

When considering hiring an appliance repair man in Austin, you should always confirm if the individual is factory-certified. A factory-certified repairer is anyone who is authorized by an appliance manufacturer to perform both basic and advanced services on their brand of products.

These individuals are certified after scaling through rigorous appliance repair and technical support training and several background checks. As a result, factory-certified technicians not only have the much needed know-how to provide quality services, they also know about the manufacturer's warranty policies. In addition, factory-certified repairers can easily access the manufacturer's support team and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts to facilitate quality repairs.

While factory-certified repairers have proven to be a more reasonable option for appliance repairs, homeowners must understand that most non factory-certified repairers also possess adequate training and on-the-job experience to perform repairs. More so, some of these repairers have undertaken different certification programs and obtained voluntary certifications from reputable trade organizations. It is also important to note that some repairers may deliberately decide not to participate in a manufacturer's certification program so as to control the price of their repairs. Nonetheless, it is safer to use non factory-certified repairers for products with expired warranties or those that are not covered by a warranty.

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

At some point over the life of an appliance, it will almost certainly require repair, and in most cases, a part must be removed and replaced to get the appliance working again. As a homeowner, it is always crucial to ask your potential appliance repair technician if a repair requires replacement of some parts and if they will be purchasing Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts for the repair.

OEM parts are produced specifically by the appliance's manufacturer to make repairs of their brand of products easier. These parts are generally made to be stronger and more quality than generic parts. Note that generic parts are manufactured by a third party who often do not have any affiliation with the appliance manufacturer.

OEM parts can be purchased directly from the manufacturer, online, and in big repair shops, and they always come with a warranty, making them safer to use for repairs than generic parts. Nonetheless, before authorizing the purchase of OEM parts, homeowners should read the terms of the product's warranty.

Even though it is safer to use OEM parts, it is important to note that these parts may not always be available in the market. This usually happens when the appliance manufacturer stops producing the needed parts. If this occurs, your appliance repair professional may have little alternative except to use generic parts to complete the repairs. It is worth noting that generic parts are equally safe to use for repairs.

What Kind of Appliance Repair Services Do You Offer?

The Austin appliance repair industry is made up of professionals who repair and service both household and office appliances. These professionals typically offer to repair, maintain, and install a wide variety of appliances including washers, dryers, dishwashers, trash compactors, microwave ovens, and air conditioners. Other appliance repair services offered by professionals in the city include, central vacuum systems installation, electrical appliance installation, gas appliance installation, and stove repair.

It is worth noting, however, that the appliance repair industry includes professionals that specialize in repairing and servicing various equipment, as well as persons who specialize in specific household appliances. Homeowners in the city should understand that it is very important to hire an appliance repairman that specializes in repairing and servicing their brand of appliance.

Specialized appliance repair men are not only trained to perform repairs on specific brands of appliances, but they also provide advanced services and are often affiliated with your appliance manufacturer. Hiring an appliance repair man that specializes in repairing and servicing your brand of appliance is therefore necessary to guarantee quality and effective repairs.

However, it is always good to be mindful of the fact that unscrupulous individuals may also claim to specialize in providing the specific services you need. As a result, you should always inquire about a repairman's years of practice and on-the-job experience before finalizing any agreement with them. Furthermore, you should also request references from satisfied previous clients, and contact these people to receive a first-hand account of the repairer's work.

Finally, it is in your best interest to inquire about the cost of a repair or installation service from your preferred appliance repairman. This will assist you in deciding whether to hire them or look for another qualified repairer. The following are cost estimates for some of the most regularly requested appliance repair services in Austin:

Central vacuum system installation
$1,400- $2,100 (for existing typical four-bedroom home)
Cost of appliance water line installation
$110 - $160
Dishwasher repair/replacement
$35 - $100
Dishwasher water and drain line installation
$111- $140
Electrical appliance installation
$106 - $130 (for basic appliance hookup only)
Garbage disposal unit installation
$297- $350
Gas appliance installation
$75 - $100
Ice maker water line installation
$90 - $170
Kitchen hood repair/installation
$110 - $130 per hour
Microwave oven installation
$108 - $130 (labor only, for basic microwave installation)
Washing machine water line and drain installation
$110- $190
Stove repair
$90-$170 (labor only)
Refrigerator repair
$110-$180 (labor only)

How Do You Handle Issues of Product Repairs Going Wrong?

When considering hiring an appliance repairer in Austin, bear in mind that there is no assurance that the repair will get the appliance running smoothly again. This is true regardless of whether the repair was completed by a factory-certified or non factory-certified repairer.

The outcome of an appliance repair imay be unfavorable when an appliance did not improve after an attempt to fix it or when an appliance develops another problem immediately after a repair. In any case, it is always good to notify the repairer that performed the repair about the appliance's current status. It is the responsibility of the repairer to look for a favorable way to resolve the issue.

Most appliance repair men in the city will either attempt to fix the problem for free or refer you to a different technician and refund some or all of your money for the work. Note that you may not be legally entitled to any of the above compensation if the technician is certain that they took reasonable steps to diagnose and fix the problem the first time.

However, if you suspect that the technician was negligent or incompetent during the repair, you should consider getting help on the issue from reputable third-party organisations like the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB serving the Austin area is located at:

1805 Rutherford Lane, Suite 100
Austin, TX 78754

Furthermore, if you suspect fraudulent behavior on the part of the technician, you can report the matter to the Texas Attorney General's Office. Fraudulent appliance repair men can be reported to the Texas Attorney General's Office by calling its consumer protection hotline at (800) 621-0508 or by filing a complaint online.

The Texas Attorney General's Office helps consumers get justice by investigating and prosecuting criminal activities. However, residents must understand that the Texas Attorney General's Office can not act as their private counsel in the matter. As a result, if they are not satisfied with the resolution of the Texas Attorney General's Office, they can file a lawsuit against the appliance repair man in a court. Note that it is important to speak with your attorney before deciding on the type of matter you want to file.

Lawsuits for the recovery of money damages, civil penalties, or personal property involving a total amount of $20,000 or less can be filed as small claims. Interested persons can file this lawsuit at Travis County Justice Courts.

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

There are no specific insurance requirements for appliance repair men in Austin. However, these professionals are required to comply with specific insurance requirements to be eligible for state-issued licenses. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation mandates any appliance repair man intending to engage in refrigeration repair and residential appliance installation as a licensed professional to maintain minimum liability insurance of $300,000 per occurrence or a minimum of $600,000 aggregate for property damage and bodily injury coverage, as well as minimum liability insurance of $300,000 aggregate for products and completed operation. Interested persons can find out more about the specific insurance requirements for appliance repair technicians from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation by calling (800) 803-9202 and (512) 463-6599 for callers within and outside the State of Texas respectively.

While insurance is not a mandatory requirement for appliance repair men in Austin, it is important to note that reputable technicians will get the appropriate insurance coverage to protect their customers from work accidents. As such, homeowners are encouraged to always inquire about the insurance status of their preferred appliance repair man.

Note that hiring an appliance repair man that is not insured exposes you to a variety of financial liabilities that may result from work accidents, which is very common in this line of profession. In 2020 alone, home appliance repair men across the United States recorded a total of 1,000 nonfatal occupational injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As a homeowner, you can plan for appliance repair-related work accidents by insisting on hiring an appliance repairer that is insured. To be sure, ask the repairer to provide proof of insurance and contact the company that issued the document to confirm the repairer's insurance status.

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

With the Texas Attorney General's Office receiving thousands of scam complaints each year, it is crucial to take some precautionary measures to avoid dishonest individuals who prey on residents that are in need of appliance repairs by collecting their money and performing shoddy repairs. In July 2017, an Austin-based contractor agreed to fix a family's broken water heater, but never did. The contractor collected money for the repairs and abandoned the work with more damages. According to KVUE news, however, the family was awarded $95,000 against the Austin-based contractor two years after the incident.

While a few homeowners get compensated after falling victim to appliance repair scams, it is important to note that most victims do not recover their money from these scammers. As a result, residents of Austin should always double check the appliance repair man they intend to hire before signing any agreement with them.

Listed below are some useful tips to help you avoid appliance repair scams in Austin:

  • Avoid hiring door-to-door solicitors
  • Always ask for referrals from family, neighbors, and friends
  • Get and compare estimates from different appliance repair men before choosing the best for the work
  • Check the Better Business Bureau to confirm if ant complaint has been filed against the appliance repair company in the past
  • Verify the appliance repair man's license if the task involves refrigerator repair or appliance installation
  • Do not hire anyone that refuses to provide information on their insurance status. If a repair man claims to be insured, make sure that you contact their insurance carrier to verify the information
  • Do not pay for repairs until the work is satisfactorily completed and you have inspected it
  • Ask if the repair involves replacement of parts, and how they will cost. Insist on warranties for all parts purchased as well as the work performed

If you suspect fraudulent behavior on the part of your appliance repairer, you should consider filing a complaint with the Texas Attorney General's Office. You can file a complaint with the office by calling its consumer protection hotline at (800)621-0508. Residents who prefer not to submit a complaint over the phone can either complete and submit a consumer complaint form online or by mailing a completed pdf consumer complaint form to:

Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548