Inefficient appliance repair.

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John Brown

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Our two year old oven has a five year warranty, and developed a minor fault. The fan in the top oven was staying on for ever(I admit to not testing this hypothesis thoroughly). Phoned the company, reported the fault a couple of days ago. I was led to believe the guy would text me before turning up, as the 9 to 5 time window can be a bit restrictive, especially in this weather, but luckily I was in the kitchen when he knocked at about 4. He was here for 5 minutes. Has to order a new temperature sensor. I find this totally ridiculous, they know the model number, the fault can realistically only be the sensor(which is almost certainly common to several models, if not makes) or the main PCB, but now the guy has to make another call!
Many moons ago, in a previous life, I used to fix video games in pubs. I prided myself on diagnosing the fault before I left the office, and trying to ensure I carried the right spares.
The thing that really p!$$es me off is that I can't blame Boris, Brexit or The Donald, it's just sloppy wasteful practice.
 
Depends on your mindset I guess; if you're an independent repair guy then you want to be efficient, get the job done, get paid, and go. If you're working for a company then I guess you just paid the same whatever; and it may even be advantageous (in terms of some company metrics) for the guy to attend more sites per day - even if he later needs to return to the same site with a part at a later date.

But yes, with modern technology it would be easy to have a database of most common faults per model, and carry spares for the most frequent jobs.
 
I had much the same with a dishwasher under an insurance contract. After waiting for ten days he chap was here for less than five minutes, asked the same questions as I'd answered over the phone then told me without looking at the machine that the problem was a circuit board that would be another two weeks.
 
I was a TV and radio repair man, working for Rediffusion TV Rentals, back in the early 70s. We carried spares in the van for most eventualities and prided ourselves in being able to diagnose and rectify almost all problems at the renter's property. A soldering iron and a lab coat with pockets stuffed with capacitors and resistors was usually all you needed. This was before solid-state and printed circuit boards, when TVs were a jumbled mess of valves, discrete components and point-to-point wiring, with voltages that would seriously turn your headlights on if you weren't concentrating. We rarely had to bring a set back to the workshop. Plug-in solid state printed circuit boards put an end to that, and wages dropped accordingly. It did set me off on a career in industrial control system though. Fault-finding complex circuits is, like many things, a lost art now.
 
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So many situations that it is still appropriate to since they performed it.. I'll bet the guy who came out to do the repair ( and his bosses ) would have no idea who they were...so many things being forgotten..
 
they will get paid from insurance for every visit.......

most white goods are not worth fixing out of warrenty.......

If we get a three year period from any apppliance, after that it gets binned......

I hate waste but it's spiral of future repares.......

with electronic controls that cant be fixed......

last week her indoors bought a new 14kgs washing machine of which 90% could be controlled with bluetooth.....!!!!!!!

why......just another add on to go wrong....

no thank you.........

Just like modern cars, white goods should come with an unconditional 6-8 warranty on all electronics.....

then they wont make them outta CR@P........
 
What's often forgotten is that when you phone to report your fault, the call is taken by a worker in a call centre, they are call handlers not engineers, they just book a repair call on the next available slot, irs not their job to either diagnose your fault or order parts to cover every possibility for that fault, providing the customers diagnosis is correct, a washing machine not spinning for example could have 6 Common issues all resulting in no spin but all completely different in the eventual fault, it's not possible for every engineer to carry every spare part for every model made.

Plus you also have to remember, the engineer may have only been told about your job, the day before or even on the morning of your visit.

Repairs are not always as easy as customers like to think they are.

Just offerering a view from the other side, having once worked for a large appliance repair company repairing appliances.

Give the engineer a break they are just trying to do their best working with the restrictions imposed by their employer.
 
What's often forgotten is that when you phone to report your fault, the call is taken by a worker in a call centre, they are call handlers not engineers, they just book a repair call on the next available slot, irs not their job to either diagnose your fault or order parts to cover every possibility for that fault, providing the customers diagnosis is correct, a washing machine not spinning for example could have 6 Common issues all resulting in no spin but all completely different in the eventual fault, it's not possible for every engineer to carry every spare part for every model made.

Plus you also have to remember, the engineer may have only been told about your job, the day before or even on the morning of your visit.

Repairs are not always as easy as customers like to think they are.

Just offerering a view from the other side, having once worked for a large appliance repair company repairing appliances.

Give the engineer a break they are just trying to do their best working with the restrictions imposed by their employer.
Just to be clear, I wasn't blaming the engineer, but rather the whole operation.
It just seems like a waste of our money, because whether it's paid by insurance or factored into the retail price, it's the consumer who foots the bill.

A lot of what you say may be true, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't be handled in a more efficient way.
 
Like the day I had 9 calls in Essex and London and one call in Yorkshire, I think you can guess which one got dropped that day 🤔
 
The days when most of the components in appliances were discrete and commonly available are long gone.

These days, while some brands may share some things, most circuit boards, sensors, cables and assemblies are proprietary. A simple sensor of old may have a supply and a control wire going into a large wiring loom, dragging sizeable current to and from it. These days, so much is digitally controlled via brand specific protocols that the simple sensor is no longer, simple.

It's not financially viable for an engineer or a small business or even a medium sized company to carry a broad range of brand specific components and assemblies which are relatively expensive and may or may never be consumed - certainly that's the case if the business is run properly.

While it may be inconvenient for the customer, if the logistics are set up correctly, the additional cost of a second visit is probably cheaper for the repair company than the cost of carrying a huge amount of inventory on the books.

Perhaps the exception is a repair company who specialise in a particular brand - perhaps allied to a small shop on the high street. They may have commonly failing small components held in stock. Trouble is, as people are less brand loyal these days, repair companies need to cater for a wide range of brands in order to survive and holding stock becomes unviable for them too.
 
What's often forgotten is that when you phone to report your fault, the call is taken by a worker in a call centre, they are call handlers not engineers ...
Yes, but the "engineers" should look at the info. given before the visit. There is no purpose in asking for it if they don't.
 
About a month ago, I made & fitted a new kitchen for my next door neighbours. As part of the job, they wanted all new appliances including an integrated Washing Machine which I also supplied.
The W/M was the last appliance to be installed and I was away on holiday for a week the following day.
After fitting it, I ran it through a quick 35min program, just to make sure it was filling & emptying correctly, which it was and it completed the program.

A week later, on my return from holiday, my neighbour knocked to say the machine has never completed a program since.
I went In and could see that there was indeed a problem.
I contacted the manufacturers own Service Department, gave them the FD and E-NR numbers from the machine label as they had requested and talked through the symptoms of the problem with the Technician, who then booked an appointment for their engineer to come and look at it.

He duly turned up at the correct time and was clearly very knowledgeable and experienced ( they are not all like this....!)
He also ran it through a quick program, and it went into pause mode halfway through the program, just as the Client had described.

He then ran it through a Test program, that tests all the various components within the machine and they all came back to say they were working correctly and there were no fault codes displayed.


He stated that he had "never seen this scenario before"...... And thought it must be a software problem and that he would need to order 2 new motherboards from Germany, as they didnt have them in stock in the UK......Expected time of delivery and a revisit was 3 to 4 weeks.

I wasnt happy about this timescale, as the Client had already been without the use of a machine for a week already, so I asked if he could recommend a new replacement machine on his Engineers Report.......He said that company policy was to repair, not replace an appliance, even though this machine had never worked correctly straight out of its wrappings.

After speaking directly with the manufacturer who supplies me direct ( I have a Trade Account with them ), I had to order another machine that was delivered 2 days later, for which they sent me another invoice.
I then had to deliver the new appliance, remove the faulty appliance, fit the new one and bring the faulty one back to my business premises, all at my own expense.

After 4 or 5 more phone calls and 2 failed collections where they didnt turn up on the days they said they would, the faulty machine was finally collected on Thursday this week......Obviously, I'm now waiting for a credit note for the faulty machine.

How the manufacturer could think the Client or myself would accept a faulty/ repaired machine straight out of the box, is completely beyond me....?

I will just add,...I have been dealing with this manufacturer for more than 15 years and this is the first time I have ever had to replace a brand new machine from them. The new machine is now working as it should be...🤞
 
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'JIT'? All stock carried bears a cost. Reduce carried stock, reduce costs. Provide it to the repair guy when needed and not before.
keeps the bean counters happy, less so the customers.
 
Reminds me of a time my boiler suffered a failure and I called Viessmann to request a call out and gave them the part number of the hose (source of the failure), and the expansion vessel (which I deduced had failed leading to the hose trying to accommodate expansion. I specifically instructed them to make sure the service engineer had both parts on the van and this was added to the job sheet.

He turned up empty handed and said he couldn’t fix anything until he got a hose and expansion vessel in stock…. What a waste of everybody’s time!

I wasn’t his fault but I wasn’t amused
 

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