September 3rd, 2014
A few weeks ago I had an informal lunch meeting with my Fisher and Paykel Tech rep Matt. He’s a young guy that comes from an appliance repair family. (His dad was a servicer and Matt got into it, following in Dad’s footsteps). So, over fish and chips and ale at Penny Lane in San Marcos, we amicably chatted about many things. We got along just peachy. Once the subject of honesty and integrity came up, Matt told me a tale that was amazing and I feel you all ought to know what happens out there.
This is a simple enough scam that reaps a “servicer” as much as $1000 a day without doing a thing!!!
Without naming names, these servicers are usually Russian or Ukranian. I don’t want to cast aspersions on a group as a whole, but from what I hear from my customers… well, to coin an old saying: “If the show fits, wear it.” I’ve heard enough horror tales from my customers about there guys and it seem they are invariably of that Geo-political suasion.
You call the company and they tell you their diagnostic or service fee is quite high (usually $75 to $95 dollars) They come out and (often without even opening up their tool bag) tell you it will cost you an OUTRAGEOUSLY ASTRONIMICAL fee to get it repaired.
You being a reasonable, rational and level headed person out of hand will reject the appraisal, you pay them their “fee” and they leave.
And that’s it. You’ve just been scammed.
Here’s the scam.
They (the servicers from the company) really had no intention of ever fixing your appliance from the get-go. In many cases, they have no skill or experience on your high end whateveritis.
ALL THEY WERE LOOKING FOR WAS THE SERVICE OR THE DIAGNOSTIC FEE that you paid them for coming out and “diagnosing” your problem. If they make 8-10 service calls each day, spending no more that about 15 minutes in your home, they’ve just made as much as $900 in a day for essentially doing nothing!
They make it a point to quote you an OUTRAGEOUS price to assure that you wont be calling them to fix your machine. And, even if you were ever foolish enough to actually have them fix the machine, you can bet on even money that they just won’t show up. I have heard this from my own customers.
But how on earth can they possibly survive in this age of social media and online reviews you may ask…
Well, these guys know that with this lousy “service” they provide, very negative reviews are bound to arise, but Aha! They are ahead of you there. They pay hefty sums of money to SEO (search engine optimization) companies to monitor their name and websites to constantly scrub and bury negative content on a daily basis.
What can you do to protect yourself from these pirates? Tough question. Check them out from top to bottom. Ask your friends. Call the BBB. Ask them a lot of questions and see if they seem to know what they’re talking about.
Sometimes you have to go by a gut feeling. I’ve often heard these guys described by my customers as arrogant, condescending, and rude. Often seeming to be in a rush to get out of the house with your check for their service call.
It’s a real shame these guys prey on unsuspecting customers. It gives the rest of us who are trying to provide honest service a bad name.