How not to get burned on appliance repairs

Posted at 6:19 PM, Mar 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-30 00:31:10-04

When their freezer started leaking, a New Port Richey couple called the first appliance repair business they found. That decision cost them.

Days after the no-name repair service left their home, the Powers realized the repair company took advantage of them. They spent hundreds of dollars and got nothing in return.

It took Bud Kuhlmann, the owner of Reliable Appliance Repair, all of 10 minutes to diagnose the problem. Turns out a clogged drain line caused the freezer to leak into the fridge.

Robert and Pat Powers say the first repairman they called, a stranger they plucked out of the yellow pages, diagnosed a bad thermostat as causing the leak. The repair cost the couple more than $300.

Days later the freezer started leaking again. This time the Powers called Kuhlmann who discovered the thermostat had not been replaced.

Neither the invoice nor the yellow pages ad actually lists a business name and only the name Donnie appears on the bill.

I called the business and asked about the repair and the bill. It offered no explanation but quickly promised the Powers a full refund, which arrived just a few days later.

Never hire an appliance repair person without getting a recommendation or referral from someone you trust. Run a quick check on their complaint history via Angie's List or the Better Business Bureau at Pay by credit card. In the event anything does go wrong, you are protected.