Ontarians need to research before booking appliance repairs, experts warn
TORONTO -- When it comes to appliances some people feel they just don't make them like they used to and when they break down they can be expensive to fix.
However, when a washer or refrigerator needs a repair you might be in a hurry to have a service person come and fix it, but you may want to do some research first.
“When I did an internet search the first one that came up was The A-Team," Brampton resident Robert Dworak said.
Dworak and his wife, Sharon Morrison, said the company The A Team Appliance Repair said they could come right away to diagnose the problem with their washing machine for $80 dollars.
Dworak said at first he was told it could be repaired for $600. Then it required another repair for $400. In the end Dworak said the repairs came to $1,400 and the washing machine still didn’t work.
“I said to him can you fix this? And he told me that he couldn't," Dworak said. After complaining to the company he was refunded $800.
Toronto resident Sandy Stotnicki said she also called The A Team Appliance Repair when her refrigerator broke down.
“They said within 15 minutes I needed a new compressor which was $2,600 dollars. That's a lot of money when you can buy a new freezer (fridge) for that," Stotnicki said.
After initially agreeing to repairs, she canceled within hours and another company was able to repair her fridge for $300 dollars.
She says she was still charged almost $800 dollars for the visit and restocking fees for the part she never received.
“I’m mad. I’m mad is how I feel,” she said.
Isaac Chen of Markham had his fridge developed a leak and the ice maker quit working. He called The A Team Appliance Repair and said he was charged $1,100 for repairs.
Chen said his fridge still leaks and his ice maker doesn't work. When he complained, he was refunded $100.
‘My fridge and my ice maker still do not work properly,” Chen said. “I'm really angry because I have wasted so much time on this."
The Better Business Bureau of Central Ontario has an alert for the company, which also goes by the name Appliance Repair Team Inc., and said on their website there is a “pattern in the complaints, they're unable to properly diagnose and repair appliances effectively and the cost of parts are grossly inflated.”
“We have 156 consumer customer reviews of this company and 154 of them are negative. They have an F rating,” Monica Braz, with the Better Business Bureau, said.
“The onus is on the consumer to do their research before they purchase from anyone especially, if you are going to have a service done in your home."
CTV News Toronto reached out to The A Team Appliance Repair and the company said, “It is unfortunate these files were not successfully completed in their repairs, but they were either closed on our end in a mutual way with the customers or multiple attempts were made to resolve the customer files.”
When asked about the customer complaints, the company added it was happy to address any concerns.
“In the case of Sharon Morrison, there was a refund given to the customer, which was approved and agreed upon by the customer verbally. We tried in multiple attempts to solve the issues but the job itself was over an extended time that was not amicable to the company or the customer so both parties agreed to settle on the refund,” the company said.
“In the case of Sandra Sotnicki, we could have definitely solved the issue, but the customer decided not to go ahead with the part. Payment was made with two payment methods, so we were able to give a refund but split into those different methods. Unfortunately, the customer made us aware that the MasterCard used was subsequently cancelled so our accounting department has been looking into how to refund this due to our policy which states that the refund must be issued on the card the purchase was initially made from. We have reached out to the customer to amend this with no response as of yet.”
“Lastly, in the case of Isaac Chen, there were countless attempts made to solve his issue and multiple offers made to resolve the file including a goodwill refund and to order additional parts at no cost. The customer was not very happy about the two weeks that this had already taken and declined all parts along with severing all communication with our company. We are still continuing to reach out to those customers as we do make an effort to ensure our customers are not left unhappy about services rendered.”
If you need to have an appliance repaired check with the Better Business Bureau and read reviews on multiple websites to see what other customers have to say.
If you have an appliance break down, you can check with the brand’s website to see if they recommend repair companies in your area.
Also if the cost of a repair is more than half the cost of a new appliance you may want to see if its worth replacing it instead.