What is the best way to choose a professional service company for a consumer
electronics repair? There are many possible criteria, but a common sense approach still works best.
Friends, relatives and neighbors are usually the source for a referral. Ask questions about the quality of
the repairs and the company's customer service skills as well. Did the service technician explain what was done
and why? Did the technician give an itemized invoice? Was he or she prompt and courteous? Was scheduling a
service call relatively easy or an ordeal? Choose a company you feel comfortable dealing with.
If you cannot find a suitable reference from a friend, contact the manufacturer of the product to be
serviced and ask them for an authorized independent servicer in your area. The advantages of choosing an
independent factory-authorized facility is that servicers affiliated with a particular manufacturer will have
established access for parts, service data, technical support and training for that manufacturer. The
manufacturer's authorized service center will also be aware of approved upgrades and modifications as well as
the occasional extensions of the original warranty for certain issues. Also, if a manufacturer recommends a
service facility, and a problem arises, the manufacturer will usually investigate why.
Is the company you are considering affiliated with a local or national trade association? Companies usually
join trade associations because they are very serious about the professional aspects of their craft.
Contact potential service companies and ask these important questions. Ask them to explain how they charge
for service, whether hourly, flat rate etc. Ask if they have experience with the brand of your unit and the
type of technology you need serviced. (plasma, LCD, DLP etc.) Is the company easy to reach or are you forced to
leave messages and wait for a response? How long have they been in business in your area? Ask about the
warranty on the work performed. Do they have insurance that protects against the loss or damage of your product
or premises? Does the service facility employ certified electronic technicians? BEFORE you choose, investigate
online resources, such as the Better Business Bureau, even if you just do a Google search for the company.
Quality service is a combination of great customer service and trained technical expertise. Realize that
companies with low prices probably WON'T provide these benefits.
Consumers are entitled to prompt, competent and courteous service; a receipt that clearly lists the name,
part number and price of each part installed; and the warranty terms of parts and services provided.