Consumer Reports: What to do if appliance breaks during COVID-19 pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – In normal times when an appliance breaks a dishwasher or stove, for example, consider how old it is, how reliable it was, and how much the repair cost would be compared to the cost of buying a new appliance. However, these are not normal times. Consumer Reports has some advice on what to do if a critical device in your home goes down during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Companies like Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, GE, and LG have instructed their technicians and third-party vendors to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when making service calls. This includes wearing masks, hand washing, and social distancing.

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According to Consumer Reports, if you are using an independent or local repair service, it is important to ask about precautions before you arrive.

If it doesn’t pay to repair and you need to buy a new essential piece of equipment, the process will likely be different. During this difficult time, you may need to be more flexible with what is available. A safer option for some people might be to skip stores altogether and shop online.

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Home Depot and Lowe’s have on-site inventory and offer roadside pickup or delivery. Check availability and delivery time before placing an order.
According to CR, at this time some companies may choose to install or maintain only essential equipment, and this can be based on a customer’s location. Many companies also ask customers if everyone at home is healthy to make sure the technician doesn’t get sick.

Another option is to do the repair yourself. You can contact the device manufacturer’s customer service or search for do-it-yourself videos on the website. You can always try calling your local repair shop to see if they offer free advice or guide you through minor repairs.

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