Or should I say, how easy is it to get a simple estimate over the phone before so you can assess how much cash you’ll need?
Unless you know about Antique Stove Heaven.
The fun and games started when my oven died. I did a search for LA Oven Repair. I called at least 6 repair places: AAA Appliance Repair, West Coast Chief Repair, AAA Service Repair, Ameripro… the list goes on.
Every single one refused to give me an estimate before coming out. Even a broad, ‘I promise I won’t hold you to it estimate’ was met with a horrified, “absolutely unheard of! No one in Los Angeles will do that!”
Seems talking money is a big no-no when you want to get something fixed these days. Ameripro even hung up on me! I guess I was asking too many questions. When I called back immediately, the same guy who hung up on me affected a ridiculous fake British accent (this really happened) and then put me on hold for 8 minutes til I gave up!!!!
Mind you, I was very cordial and said I just wanted a super general idea of the price for the specific problem. Every single place I called, except Antique Stove Heaven, refused to quote prices over the phone, would not give hourly rates, wouldn’t give the price of the part (I knew what I needed…and had actually looked up the part price online just for info, and was willing to pay retail). The standard answer is, “We charge a flat rate, say a minimum of $165, but could be up to $500 but we can’t give an estimate til we see problem.” Even though I knew what the fix was.
They offer to come and check out the issue for $25-45 which is credited to the repair should you hire them, but you can’t figure out the approximate cost before they come out.
Is it only me, or does this seem crazy? Clearly it works for the repair company but not for the consumer. Once they are there, you are pretty much locked in.
Then I remembered that years ago, I needed a repair on my old O’Keefe and Merritt stove (a dream stove if there ever was one) and Antique Stove Heaven fixed it fantastically! They are a local company, family owned and have restored old stoves for the past 30 years. My current stove was an entirely different animal, newer, but still… broken.
So I called expecting the standard, “we don’t quote prices over the phone” routine. And voila! Completely different experience. Not only did Antique Stove Heaven quote me the exact price it would cost to fix it, but they came right out and got it up and running immediately!
Yay!!!! for a business in LA who will actually give you a straight answer and do what they advertise. And a big relief to have an idea of what something will cost before you dive in!