Few things are as frustrating and stressful as a malfunctioning home appliance. Whether your dishwasher leaks, your fridge is not cold, or the air conditioner won't turn on, it’s a serious problem. The first step to solving your appliance issues is to call an appliance technician who can assess your appliance problems, provide an estimate, and complete the repairs. But before you can get the appliance fixed, you need to make a service call, which comes with its own fee.
On the other side of the transaction, if you’re an appliance repair pro - or if you’re looking to start your own appliance repair business, you need to have a handle on how much you can expect to charge for going to a customer’s hope to perform repairs. You want to at least have competitive rates for your services.
As of January 2023, according to Thumbtack.com, you can expect anywhere from $0-$125 for a service call fee.
The service call fee is dependent on multiple factors including:
Many other factors play a role in the service call fee, so keep reading to learn about the different considerations, so you know what you will pay for the call. Repairs are costly, and the service call fee sometimes catches people off guard, so this article will help prepare you for the expenses.
A service call is an initial call to an appliance repair company when one of your appliances malfunctions. So if your fridge is not cold or your oven won’t turn on, then you place a service call for an appliance technician to visit your property and inspect the appliance.
This service call should result in a diagnosis of your appliance problems and usually an estimate of the repair cost.
This section will break down the factors associated with service call fees, so you can understand the price for appliance repair.
Some places have a standard service call fee, where they charge you to come to assess the problem and provide an estimate for repair. Other companies may charge an hourly rate for a service call.
So the farther your home is from the company location and the longer it takes for the technician to determine the appliance problem, the more the service call will cost you. Hourly rates are typically more expensive.
Remember, the trip fee or service call fee is different from the repair cost. You may pay $75 for the service call and then pay another $100+ for the appliance to be fixed.
Most companies will offer you a quote at the time of the service call, so you know what to pay. But the service call fee rarely contributes to the cost of the repairs. It is a separate charge you need to budget for.
The repair cost will almost always be higher than the service call unless the repair is incredibly minor, like a replaced washer on a bolt. When you place the service call, you are not obligated to schedule repairs, so the two services can be separate.
For appliance repair companies, you need to be perfectly clear about the difference between your service call fee and the repair cost. You can actually use your trip fee as a way to get more business. The service call fee is much more palatable to the customer if they know that this fee is applied towards the repair of the appliance - instead of an additional cost for you to just come out and do a quick inspection.
The appliance company service area will often play a role in the service call fee. If the technician has to drive twenty miles versus two, your fee will be higher.
Also, if you are not in the company service area, they may make an exception for you but charge a higher rate. If you want to save money on a service call, choosing a repair service closer to your property can help keep costs low.
From an appliance repair company’s perspective, you’ll obviously charge more for more time spent in the car. It may not be economically feasible for you to drive an extra thirty minutes one way to perform a service call out in the boonies.
When you select an appliance repair service, you should find out if they charge additional fees after the initial call-out fee for appliance repair. Some companies may have hidden fees like gas, mileage, and more.
You can ask the appliance repair service directly if they charge for anything beyond the standard or hourly service call fee for appliance repair.
Appliance repair companies with lower service call fees often have hidden charges. The low price reels you in, but they still charge you the typical service call fee.
The lesson here for appliance repair companies is to be transparent in your pricing. If you don’t have prices published on your website, you’ll at least want to be upfront with customers about all of your fees. Hitting the customer with unwanted surprises can lead to negative reviews which can damage your reputation and your business.
Since this article is about service call fees, you may be excited to find a company offering free service calls! But beware, as they usually aren’t actually free.
As mentioned above, cheap or free service calls typically come with extra fees and hidden charges, so be careful when selecting a service repair company. While a free service call may seem like a stellar deal, there is no such thing as a free lunch, especially concerning appliance repair.
That is not to say every free estimate for appliance repair is poor quality, but be cautious when using a new company.
In reality, a service call shouldn’t be “free”. Everyone working person deserves to be compensated for their time. An appliance repair tech has to drive to your location and perform an inspection. The appliance owner is receiving value from a professional service and should expect to pay for it.
Non-working appliances with simple fixes can be good for both homeowners and appliance repair companies. A good appliance repair company can build trust with consumers by helping them to diagnose common problems that are easy to fix.
An appliance repair tech can help guide a customer through simple troubleshooting over the phone for a few minutes - or better yet on their company website. Your website can provide step by step solutions to common, easy fixes.
While the appliance repair company won’t receive compensation for the “repair” that the customer performs by themself, they build trust with the customer. This helps to build a positive relationship between consumers and the appliance repair company - that can ensure the appliance repair company is first on their list to refer to friends when someone runs into an issue with their appliances.
Some appliances are more expensive to diagnose and fix than others.
The sections below provide you with a very rough estimated average cost of a service call for some of the most common home appliances, including refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, and HVAC appliances.
Refrigerators are one of the most common types of appliance repairs. Refrigerators are complex appliances that can stop working if refrigerant leaks or parts suffer from wear and tear. Luckily, diagnosing fridge problems is typically straightforward.
A typical service call fee for refrigerator repair will be under $100. Refrigerator service calls include issues with your fridge and your freezer, so these typically cost the same. While a broken icemaker isn’t usually an emergency situation, a refrigerator or freezer that isn’t properly keeping things cold might be. In these cases, you can lose hundreds of dollars or more of perishables if the appliance isn’t in working order. You might have to pay more for emergency service calls in this situation.
Troubleshooting a LG/Kenmore Refrigerator Dispenser by AppliancePartsPros (for simple homeowner DIY Fixes)
Stoves and ovens are also relatively easy to diagnose, especially electric ones. Most electric ovens are straightforward to diagnose and repair, so these service fees are some of the lowest.
The average stove repair service fee to inspect the appliance and assess the problem is typically between $50 and $100. Gas stoves may have higher service fees because gas ovens are more complex.
Service call and repair fees may go even higher if you have an out-of-date gas oven.
A service call for an older gas stove may be over $100, as newer technicians are unfamiliar with gas appliances. But older appliance repair companies may not charge you more for gas appliances if they have plenty of experience and knowledge about them.
The Ins and Outs of an Electric Stove
Dishwasher appliance service calls can range wildly. Dishwashers continue to get fancier, so some have added features that make diagnosing and fixing the problem more complex.
A dishwasher service call is usually between $75 and $125, but depends heavily on the type of dishwasher you have and what is wrong with it. A leaking dishwasher is usually a more pressing situation than a dishwasher that won’t turn on.
Washing machine and washer repair is a fairly common occurrence. Your washer may not be filling with water or turning on, which is usually a simple fix. However, washing machine repair service calls can be pricey.
They typically cost over $100 but can be cheaper if the washing machine is simple. Like dishwashers, washing machines can be super simple or extra fancy. So the machine model will determine how costly the service call will be and influence the estimate for appliance repair.
According to Consumer Reports (June 8, 2022), Speed Queen is One of the Most Reliable Appliance Brands Due to the Durability of Their Washers and Dryers
Dryer repair service calls are typically under $80, as dryers are typically simple to fix. Because they don’t have a plumbing system like washing machines, the process of diagnosing and fixing a dryer is more straightforward and only concerns electrical components.
While two-in-one washers and dryers are rare, it’s worth mentioning that those are some of the most expensive appliances to fix. They are more complex, so expect to pay at least $100 for a two-in-one service call.
HVAC repair is typically the most expensive type of service call and appliance repair. HVAC appliances can be super finicky, so usually, the appliance repair service has to send a technician with certified HVAC knowledge and experience.
Sometimes appliance repair technicians only know how to fix plumbing or electrical items, not HVAC systems. Keep this in mind when making the service call, as it may cost more than you expect.
The average cost for an HVAC repair service call is about $125, which is higher than most service call fees. Not only is diagnosing an HVAC problem more difficult, but service technicians usually have to put in more effort to assess the system.
Most home appliances come with a decent manufacturer warranty. Whenever you buy a new appliance, make sure you save the warranty paperwork, so you know what the manufacturer will pay for or replace when the appliance malfunction. It’s always helpful for a household to have a designated warranty folder so you can always find your warranties.
When your appliance breaks, refer to your warranty, as the repairs may be covered, meaning the manufacturer will pay for any repair and service fees. Most warranties only cover unexpected malfunctions, but some cover wear and tear damage too.
If you did something that caused your appliance to break, the warranty usually will not cover the repair costs. For example, if you open your oven door and stand on it if the door breaks a manufacturer's warranty will not cover it.
So if you find your warranty and feel like it should cover the damages, what do you do? Well, it depends on the warranty! The details of repairs and servicing should be outlined in the warranty, but the first step is always to contact the manufacturer.
Some manufacturers will ask you to call a repair company of your choice, schedule an appointment and repairs, and then send them the final bill so they can reimburse you. Your appliance manufacturer may have a list of approved appliance repair companies, like how insurance companies have in-network doctors.
Other manufacturers have their own technicians who they can dispatch to assess the appliance and make the necessary repairs. This type of warranty is usually the easiest for homeowners, as the manufacturer will do most of the legwork and take care of the financial aspect.
If you do not have your warranty information, you can also refer to the manufacturer’s website for their warranty terms. You can also call the manufacturer and inquire about your warranty. Most warranties will cover standard repairs or replacements.
Many people still have questions concerning home appliance repair and service calls. Below are a few related questions that will provide you with more information.
Yes! If you consider yourself a smart and handy person, you can try diagnosing your appliances, so you can avoid the service call fee.
Try looking up information about the appliance problem you have, as you may find advice from other homeowners or easy hacks to solve the issue. Youtube also has a wealth of information concerning appliance maintenance.
Unless you have experience with appliance repair, it’s inadvisable to try and fix things on your own. You can always explore the internet to find solutions that may be simple, but it’s usually best to call a professional appliance service company.
Appliance repair companies can be profitable if they build a decent client base and do decent work. Service call fees are important for these companies because they need to be paid for their time.
Believe it or not, most experts say refrigerators are the easiest appliances to diagnose and repair without professional help. Broken fridges usually are victims of very common fridge malfunctions that you can look up solutions for.
Dishwashers are high on the list of breakdowns - especially if they aren’t used frequently. Refrigerators are also one of the most common appliances to break down in the home. They run 24/7 and contain many different components which can malfunction and require TLC.
Replacing a single component can take minutes, cost little, and save you the effort of hiring a repair technician.
Many people consider Bosch to be the most reliable appliance brand. Bosch appliances are durable and long-lasting and their warranties and repair services are convenient and generous. Speed Queen gets high marks for their washers and dryers. Behind these two, people recommend Danby, GE, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, and LG.
A typical appliance warranty is one year or 12 months. Some may be two or three years, but if you are unsure about your appliance warranty, you should assume it is one year.