Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dishwasher D-I-Y Repair Dreams

Our dishwasher wasn't that old, and it didn't just crash. It sputtered a bit, worked some more, but finally landed gently and then would not respond at all. We relented and bought a dish rack, the plastic hour glass shaped bottle of dish detergent, fluffy and absorbent dish towels too. Times are tough, we could adjust.

After two months we reconsidered and called the highly recommended appliance repair shop some family members relied upon. He showed up the next day. Seeming competent enough, he said the control panel had to be replaced and the total cost would be two hundred dollars. Following our agreement he made a convincing display of ordering the part and securing a repair date. Three days, tops, he said.

Well beyond three days a call back resulted in an anxious dispatcher admitting the appointment was not secured and the technician had not ordered the part. It was a fond farewell that we bid the dispatcher, with specific instructions not to send anyone to follow up.

The dishwasher model number on the door and "control panel" with the appropriate comma secured a dossier from Google search. I had the suspect and all his characteristics carefully listed with photos and diagrams. And in just a very few minutes.

Google produced several sources of information. Of them, Sears provided the most complete and easily readable folder. With the best price, $56.99. The price of a service call is $55, forfeited by the negligent technician for standing us up.

Sears Parts Direct whet my appetite and got me thinking. Having such an extensive parts database with assembly drawings, part numbers, and photos could be a real asset to an appliance repair small business plan. Sears also has a commercial parts website, even more interesting. In addition to an affiliate sales program. All very interesting.

Count me in, the process that is. I am now waiting while Sears examines my worthiness. I do have some experience regarding customer service, at least in terms of what not to do. I will not work for Sears. But I will get parts from Sears Parts Direct. Digging further I found another niche regarding lawn equipment and small engine repair. Yes, I have the experience. I am thinking there will be less of that "toss it and get a new one" going on, you think? The key here is the data, of course the parts, the online repair information--the same day shipping. My guess is, at most repair shops the shelves are empty and a computer is back there!