Why Are Appliance Repairman So Expensive?

appliance repairman Why Are Appliance Repairman So Expensive?
Great article in the New York Times about why appliance repairman are so expensive. It still doesn’t lessen the blow when you get the final bill but at least this helps explain some of the charges that are passed along to you that you might not realize.
1. Travel and Education
“At least twice a year, I travel out of town to attend training on new products and service pointers,” Mr. Johnson said, adding that he is responsible for all his travel costs and hotel stays, if necessary.
2. Research
“I’m sometimes in my office until 9, 10, 11 at night trying to track a problem down.”


3. Fixed Costs
Insurance, liability, truck maintenance, office equipment, office space
4. Cost of Parts
The reason many parts seem awfully costly these days is because they are, said Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman, deputy home editor of Consumer Reports. “Appliances have many more electronic parts and circuit boards than in the past, and these parts can be more expensive than mechanical parts.”
A popular anecdote among repairman:
“A guy comes in to fix something and he hits it with a hammer, and says, ‘That’ll be $250.’ The customer says, ‘What for? You just hit with a hammer.’ The guy says, ‘That’s $50 for hitting it with a hammer, and $200 for knowing where to hit it.’ ”
Tomorrow we’ll share tips on how to lower your appliance repair bills.
photo: AJ Mast for NY Times

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Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.
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  • Paul D. Ulici

    it’s that expensive because most of them are $#&*^( charlatans and rip off artists. A part that with today’s technology costs 50 cents to make, gets sold easily for $50 and someone along the line makes a huge insane profit. It used to be that replacement parts were affordable, and it was in fact cheaper to fix your own appliances than to hire a repairman. Nowadays it’s not cheaper to fix your own, nor to get a repairman, it’s cheapest to totally replace the entire unit. This is legalized highway robbery and extremely harmful for the environment. A washer goes to the landfil because a little part that should cost $5 ends up costing $130, and to the owner it pretty much makes sense to just replace the whole damned thing. On top of it, the majority of people are dumber than rocks and find it too challenging to perform extremely simple repairs.