|View single post by rick_dallas|
|Posted: Sat Jan 14th, 2006 06:24 pm||
|Let me first say that I'm a consumer first and sorta repair guy second.
My son had a Maytag dryer that wouldn't turn on one day. After checking the obvious power, breaker stuff, we called an appliance repair company that had been in business for several years. They told us over the phone that most likely it was a thermal switch and quoted us $150 to fix it. So call was scheduled, they came out and did the work and we paid them. The dryer is only 2 years old (bought when the house was built) so while we were there we asked them why they thought the switch was bad on a dryer that was fairly new. They said we weren't cleaning the lint filter often enough. I replied that we habitually clean it after EVERY load (which is much more often than most people do). Then they said the dryer vent must be partially blocked. The house is two years old and the dryer vent goes directly to the outside so we all (including the tech) took a look at this to see if it was true. Of course, the dryer vent looked fine so they said they didn't know what else would cause the problem and they left.
Our thoughts were "at least they knew what was wrong" but my gut feeling was that they treated the symptom and not the problem.
About 8 months later, same scenario. Blown again. Called the same people. Another $150. Asked about about what could be causing this. Got basically the same response.
5-6 months go by, dryer is dead again. We call the appliance repair people and I wanted them to come out and FIX the problem which in my opionion had not been done to date. They refused to come out and that was the end of that. You might be able to understand our frustration with the repair people.
So I tore into the dryer myself, found the thermal switch, tested it (it was certainly bad) and went to buy a replacment at the same repair center. Cost was $14 including tax.
While I was there, I talked the the service manager about my problem. Didn't mention any specifics. Didn't tell him anything about my experience with his guys. Just told him that I had a thermal switch that kept blowing every few months and did he have ideas how to "fix this problem once and for all". He told me basically the same things his tech did. BUT he did add one additional thing. He said to check my dryer vent hose to make sure it wasn't collapsing between the dryer and the vent. He said that if that hose was partially collapsed due to being snaked around behind the dryer, this could cause the thermal switch to blow.
So I went back installed the new thermal switch, cut and rerouted the dryer hose and we've had no more blown thermal switches since.
So what's to be learned here?
The dryer was installed incorrectly to begin with by the movers.
The technicians knew what was wrong with the dryer and what was needed to make it run again but they treated the symptom, not the problem.
My son spent way too much money paying for symptom repair.
I had to take it on myself to correct the problem that I feel the technicians who came out should have known.
Kinda gives you an idea of why repair guys sometimes have the reputation they do.
Now before anyone gets there feathers ruffled, I spent lots of years repairing cars and eventually owning two auto repair shops so I've been on both sides of the coin.
My experience with these particular appliance guys is the same the people encounter in virtually every area of repair. Far too many people want to replace parts without knowing if they are bad or not. Old fashioned "determining the root cause of the problem" has been replaced by let's throw money and parts at it and hope it works. Repair people in all fields treat symptoms. They don't stop and think about why it broke. Real shame.
I hope that shop owners are training their guys to understand why problems occurred and fixing things "correctly" but understand that this is likely only occurring in a small percentage of shops around the country.
I see lots of good advice given here and the advice I've received from here has been extremely helpful. But I would encourage each of you to spend an extra 5 minutes talking to your employees about the issues I've described here.
It could only benefit you to do so.