Author Topic: Appliance repair, a dying trade?  (Read 3588 times)

Offline whirlpooltech

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Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« on: October 13, 2008, 01:04:14 PM »
All the technicians I know are old guys that have been in the trade for years.

The few young ones I see start doing appliance repair don't stick around for more then a year or two.


Offline Repair-man

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2008, 01:40:46 PM »
Quote
The few young ones I see start doing appliance repair don't stick around for more then a year or two.

I can see how this might seem odd to you, but it makes perfect sense considering the changes in the industry these days. If you'll remember, back in the 70s and 80s when us "old guys" got started doing repairs, there were only 4 companies making appliances...GE, WP, Maytag ad Frigidaire.

Each of these companies had ONE style of washer, ONE style of dryer, etc. , and we all learned them because it was easy to keep up with. There was no solid state equipment to deal with, no advanced diagnostic capabilites required.

Now, you tell me what it's like today!....

The tech has to learn 30 or more different designs of machines, be able to diagnose complex electrical circuits and have an array  of specialty tools that would choke the average layperson. There is no real warranty on parts any more (90 days) and the public is generally frustrated with
 products which no longer perform for 10 years without breaking down. I think todays tech needs to study Psych 101 to even venture into the public realm these days.

The demands placed on a new technician working for a large servicer, such as Sears, are intolerable. What used to be a place that  most tech would call "a good place to work" has now become a  low-benefit, long-hours and thankless grindstone that few are able to stomach. It is for this reason that I and others like AJ have turned to helping the consumers directly with minor issues, thereby eliminating the corporate snakes from the picture. Most people would rather pay for good advice rather than wait 2 week for inept service. As we have demonstrated on these forums, none of this is rocket science...it just needs a little 'splainin.

Teaching an old dawg new tricks is a heck of a lot easier than teaching a new dawg old tricks and new ones besides...
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 06:16:15 PM by Repair-man »
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Offline JWWebster

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2008, 05:47:02 PM »
Maybe today's consumer will quit buying crappy built high tech expensive junk and wait on some of the old stuff to re-appear. If it was a washer that was ever the baddest to the bone it was the Old style GE with the boot over the tranny and the skinny splines the 4 hose pump with the basket filter. Now that was a sweet machine.
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Offline Repair-man

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 06:57:21 PM »
Quote
Maybe today's consumer will quit buying crappy built high tech expensive junk and wait on some of the old stuff to re-appear.

I've got some ocean-front property in Arizona...interested?
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Offline Icehouse

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2008, 12:43:30 PM »
The problem is twofold. First the guidance counselors at schools are not letting students know that this is an excellent field to enter, they are busy pushing everything.  >:(
The second part is our own fault. Why look at the knowledge we need to repair today's appliances and the salaries.
When I was still active in the field a large company who shall remain nameless offered me a position, only problem was the pay was half of what I was already making.  :tickedoff:
Another company said I had a lower credit score then is acceptable to work for them, caring more about that then my experience.  :( :(
NATE, NCCER, PHCC,HVAC Certified Instructor
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a tragedy has happen to me : http://web.me.com/zenzoidman/Bobice/

Offline Repair-man

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2008, 01:50:31 PM »
Quote
The problem is twofold. First the guidance counselors at schools are not letting students know that this is an excellent field to enter, they are busy pushing everything.

I consider myself fairly literate.  I fail to see you demonstrate a valid point here. Trade schools push A/C & appliance repair all the time. Heck, you can be a CSI now.


Quote
The second part is our own fault. Why look at the knowledge we need to repair today's appliances and the salaries.

huh?


Third, I never heard of your credit score being a job pre-requisite. Most folks are broke if they are looking for work anyway  :)
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 01:52:31 PM by Repair-man »
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Offline Icehouse

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2008, 02:20:09 PM »
I just recently had this discussion with a large appliance manufacturer as they would like to set up a program here on Long Island. The biggest problems they have seen is the guidence counselers steering students away, however the local Boces is all ears.  O0 O0 O0
Secondly this was a "Nationwide Sales" company that based their decission on my credit score. They will remain nameless as I would not embarass them the way they did me.  :embarassed: :embarassed: :embarassed:
NATE, NCCER, PHCC,HVAC Certified Instructor
Member RSES, US Army Refrigeration Specialist(Retired), Former Refrigeration Teacher NYC Board of Ed.
a tragedy has happen to me : http://web.me.com/zenzoidman/Bobice/

Offline Repair-man

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2008, 02:26:08 PM »
You've got ITT Technical colleges in Buffalo, Albany and Syracuse NY


Are u by chance  related to JW?
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 02:27:59 PM by Repair-man »
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Offline Icehouse

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2008, 03:14:08 PM »
Not related to anyone here.  :) Just stating the facts as Sgt. Friday use yo say.  ;)
NATE, NCCER, PHCC,HVAC Certified Instructor
Member RSES, US Army Refrigeration Specialist(Retired), Former Refrigeration Teacher NYC Board of Ed.
a tragedy has happen to me : http://web.me.com/zenzoidman/Bobice/

Offline Repair-man

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2008, 08:59:55 PM »
"It's only expensive if someone else fixes it for you" -
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Offline jayman73

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2008, 09:30:47 AM »
The problem is twofold. First the guidance counselors at schools are not letting students know that this is an excellent field to enter, they are busy pushing everything.  >:(
The second part is our own fault. Why look at the knowledge we need to repair today's appliances and the salaries.
When I was still active in the field a large company who shall remain nameless offered me a position, only problem was the pay was half of what I was already making.  :tickedoff:
Another company said I had a lower credit score then is acceptable to work for them, caring more about that then my experience.  :( :(
I agree its not heard "when I grow up I want to repair appliances i fell in to this field but todays appliances are very wide spread Japan mexico korea the other point that i find is how do you justify a $50. call on a dishwasher that is 199 new with a warranty I do a lot of warranty work thank god because the c.o.d call are just not there like they were 10 years ago. they say its a green world some of todays appliances are going to the dump in very little time because the owner will just go and buy another rather than pay even the service call to see whats wrong

Offline appltech

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2013, 10:13:01 PM »
Great insight fellas!

I am a 23 year old technician. I don't remember having much of a choice of working on appliances in my earliest days, as my dad was/is a die-hard GE technician-turned-entrepreneur.

You are correct that high schools aren't making an effort to make kids aware of our field. So much effort is spent on HVAC technicians, that they've forgotten about our field.

Our company has picked up extra warranty work because you nailed it on the head when you said its hard to make a living on CODs when some of these appliances are sold for less than an average repair. Lets not even consider that today's consumers want a professional Grade A servicer at a Grade C price rate.

I foresee that sometime in my life, we'll only be servicing the higher-end appliances, as the prices of basic models continue to drop.

Any thoughts guys?

Offline RegUS_PatOff

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2013, 02:54:46 AM »
and today's cost of replacement parts !  :ignore:
 
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Offline Repair-man

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2013, 04:11:48 AM »
Things may take a dramatic upswing regarding appliance prices after new laws were inposed this month on the import of appliances. See the full article at: http://www.appliancemagazine.com/news.php?article=1645414&zone=0&first=1


This tax levy will probably affect the cost of parts in our favor, as more manufacturing will be done here in America rather than pay taxes to have them made elsewhere. Whirlpool has recently won a lawsuit against LG due to price-dumping, a practice which dramatically affected sales in the past 4-6 years. As more manufacturing returns to this country, we will see a decrease in parts cost as a result. Whirlpool profits were up 137% in the 4th quarter of 2012, so this is a good start already. Let's hope for our sake that the trend continues....
"It's only expensive if someone else fixes it for you" -
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Offline def

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Re: Appliance repair, a dying trade?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2013, 12:22:14 PM »
Maybe today's consumer will quit buying crappy built high tech expensive junk and wait on some of the old stuff to re-appear. If it was a washer that was ever the baddest to the bone it was the Old style GE with the boot over the tranny and the skinny splines the 4 hose pump with the basket filter. Now that was a sweet machine.

I like the old top loader washers with the simple transmission and the reversible motor. There are 25-30 year old machines (I have one, an old Maytag) that still perform like new and can be repaired with no instructions, low cost parts and 3-4 beers.

The new, high tech stuff with complex control boards and winking-blinking LEDs scare me. The engineers have done their best to make these things look like video games with little concern for reliability or serviceability. When the repairman shows up, its, "You'll need a new control board and the hoiten-groiten needs to be calibrated. The bill will be $500.00.

I used to be able to buy a whole new top loader for $500.00.
I used to repair RADAR then they discontinued vacuum tubes. Pity

 

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