Household appliances that used the last “forever” now seem to have a much shorter life. Consumers report this on small handheld appliances as well as on major ones. When a $30 mixer stops working two days after the warranty expires, you are likely to replace it, but when $1,000 refrigerator dies, you are likely to call for Houston appliance repair.
Planned Obsolescence In A Competitive World
Current appliance life is sometimes blamed on “planned obsolescence,” the reality that manufacturers might encourage replacement rather than repairs to keep their sales figures high. While most companies value their reputation for reliability, they benefit when you need to replace their products. Blaming declining quality on corporate greed is a bit too simple, however, as there is more to the story.
To meet the demand for low prices and to stay competitive with products made off shore, companies have often opted for the most economical production methods and materials, sometimes at the cost of quality. They may skimp on design, engineering, manufacturing, and testing to keep the cheaper products on the shelves.
To some extent, consumers are to blame for the decline of quality. Modern shoppers love bargains. Regardless of their income level, they expect low prices and shop online and at brick-and-mortar discount stores to get the lowest price. Most people are unwilling to pay for quality beyond a certain point. There are many times when a product of lesser quality will do the job just fine.
More Features, Higher Repair Costs
Even as quality has gone down, manufacturers try to meet customer demand for more features and functions. Whether you are talking about refrigerators, dishwashers, or washers and dryers, many appliances have more features and cycles on them, which can cause trouble if they break down. Companies have built customer demand for features such as automatic icemakers and beverage delivery systems on refrigerators, or more extensive temperature and water level cycle from washers and dishwashers, and consumers enjoy these extras (especially if the price is right.)
Ironically, regardless of what happens with appliance prices, the cost of repair gets higher. Repair shops who fairly pay their technicians for their skills, often charge service fees for someone to come out and diagnose a product. Fixing fancy electronic features is time-consuming and requires repair personnel with extensive training and skills. By the time the cost of parts and additional labor come into play, a customer may be charged a couple of hundred dollars for a repair visit, which causes some people to opt for a new product, rather than repairing an old one.
Shopping For Reliability To Reduce Appliance Repairs
When you’re talking about major appliances, replacement costs are too much for customers to get a new stove or refrigerator every time there is a need for a repair. The best approach for a consumer who wants to avoid high repair costs is to shop based on reliability, rather than price.
Every type of appliance has some top-of-the-line brands that are priced outside the realm of most consumers. But quality does not necessarily mean buying the most expensive product on the showroom floor. What it does mean, though, is looking for signs of reliability. How can you do this?
- Look for ratings in services such as Consumer Reports, which tests models of products made by various manufacturers.
- Read consumer reviews on sites such as Yelp or on websites such as Amazon.com.
- Talk to a reliable appliance repair service. Most repair companies who deal with various brands have a good sense of which are reliable, based on their track record in fixing them.
Your Houston Answer For Appliance Repair
In the Houston area, Houston Appliance Repair, with 25 years of experience in repairing appliances, can offer you helpful insights about what to consider when buying new appliances. When we come out to do a repair, we give you a free estimate along with an honest assessment of whether you should consider replacing your appliance. We work on all brands of appliances including JenAir, ASKO, Admiral, Amana, Bosch, Dacor, Estate, Frigidaire, GE, Hotpoint, Jenn, Kenmore, Kitchen Aid, LG, Magic Chef, Maytag, Roper, Sears, SubZero, Tappan, Thermador, Whirlpool, White Westinghouse, and Wolf, so we know how brands perform.
For service, just call (713) 574-9799 to set up a convenient service appointment.