Not so long ago this question was only asked occasionally, back when televisions were more of an investment than an inexpensive commodity. As the price of televisions began to decline, so did a person’s expectation of what it would cost to repair it. This is not unique to the electronics repair industry, as many services in America and elsewhere have experienced what could be considered an “any service for $50 or less” mind-set. The dollar value may change according to different currencies; however, the concept is the same: today, people expect something for less, be it goods or services.
Much to the chagrin of our customers and those in our industry including ourselves, we now are forced to inquire about a person’s expectation of a repair cost. “What is the most you would pay to have this repaired?” is what we ask. Sometimes befuddled, a customer will oftentimes go in a round-about way to answer it without giving out an actual number. This is understandable, as either the person is not sure as to what they want to spend or thinks that whatever they say is their budget is what it will cost, regardless of what we would normally charge.
Not long ago, this wasn’t something we would ask because a person would not, in the back of their mind, consider replacing the television for what we would estimate to be the repair cost. As we wrote our in a previous article, the quality of televisions have fallen and regardless of the new technology available to give it new features, the components within are not expected to last as long as a television that was sold four or more years ago. The televisions of that time were also more expensive and the parts within them of higher quality than today. As time goes on, this trend will only continue.
Today, when someone comes in with a television that has had a failure happen after four or more years of casual use, sometimes complaining that they expected it to last longer and/or stressed by the cost to repair it, we remind them that the televisions on the marketing today are not meant to last even half that duration. Sure, you may be able to find one cheaper or about the same as the repair cost, but we expect them to have to replace that TV in half the time.
Quality is bought through the more money you spend. The less you spend, the lower the quality of item you get.
This could also be said of the service industry as well, with the aforementioned expectation of a lower cost of services rendered for a quality outcome. This is never the case and should not be expected of any industry, of any service or of any good sold. So, when something happens to your TV, take time to ponder what you would honestly pay to have it fixed. What is your budget? How much would it cost to replace it with something of comparable quality and including the features you have grown accustomed to?
Lastly, we recommend dealing with authorized, licensed repair specialists. Check their reviews, ask about what kind of parts they get and whether or not they cut any corners (such as refurbishing parts with cheap components, jury-rigging something to work, using cheap parts from Indonesia, etc.) and make sure they are truth worthy. Then, be honest when they ask how much you want to spend and don’t be offended by being asked. If they don’t ask, make sure they know–it’s important to be clear about the total amount you wish to spend.
If they tell you the repair cost will likely be more, don’t be upset. Some expectations are less reasonable than others, but there are times where a failure is far too expensive to deal with anyway, in which case it may be time to move on and replace your set. Hopefully, you have made a reasonable expectation and now, with the considerations you have taking into account, you can make the appropriate decision.