Your Guide to Appliance Repair During COVID-19: AHAM Guest Blog
Editor’s Note: This blog post was kindly provided by AHAM, the Association of Home Appliances Manufacturers. You can find more information about AHAM at https://www.aham.org/.
As millions seek shelter in their homes while they work to slow the spread of COVID-19, households rely on their devices more than ever. And that applies to all appliances, from refrigerators to washing machines to blenders.
“People who normally cook once or twice a year now use their ovens every day,” said AJ James, owner of Pegasus Appliance Repair in Dallas, winner of the Appliance Service Training Institute’s 2019 Most Professional Servicer Award. “People are using every device more. You operate dishwashers with the highest disinfection level. Their fridges are filled to the gills with all the stuff they’ve bought. We got more calls for freezers. Every place I know is sold out. “
It is never practical when a device fails. But COVID-19 has added another layer to the usual routine of making an appointment to meet with an equipment technician and possibly rescheduling part of your day. What steps do we need to take to make the repairs we need to make sure our equipment is still there to help us through this troubled time while we continue to do our part to flatten the curve?
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Equipment repairs and related services have been identified as essential for home stay assignments in most areas, and repair technicians are still in operation. Bringing someone into your home increases the chances of exposure. However, some repair companies take precautions to reduce the risk. Call ahead and ask about the procedure. Questions to ask are:
- Will the technician wear gloves, disposable boots, and a mask?
- How is the payment processed?
- What company rules apply to hand washing and disinfecting equipment?
- Is the technician willing to keep a certain distance from the customer during the visit?
- Is the technician an authorized service provider for your brand of equipment? Authorized technicians are trained by the device manufacturer and have access to the parts, technical information and, in some cases, software specific to your device type.
James has implemented strict protocols ranging from mandatory hand washing to holding 10 feet – wider than the recommended six feet – between clients and technicians for the duration of the visit. Handshakes are out.
“It all goes back to the guidelines of the CDC,” says James. “Social distancing is a key factor. We ask customers to stay in a different room. Any cough, an accidental sneeze, is kept in this other room. “So far, customers have understood. “It’s the new norm and people understand it. We will not put anyone in a situation in which they endanger themselves or others. I have to make sure we don’t bring anything from house to house. “
Customers can prepare for the visit by providing an easily accessible place to wash their hands. “It should be done as soon as the technician comes in,” says James. “We ask the technician to wash their hands with hot soapy water and disposable towels. At least this is done before and after the repair. Some will wash their hands several times. Customers did a very good job of making this available to us. “Technicians wear masks, gloves, and ankle boots and wear disinfectant, but rely on hand washing as the primary defense.
A bad flu season helped prepare technicians to take precautions against the spread of coronavirus, says Alex Hallmark, an instructor at Fred’s Appliance Academy in Ohio. Fred’s Appliance provides local repair, maintenance and training for equipment technicians in the US and worldwide. Your personal training has been interrupted.
“We already did handwashes because that’s the only way to stop the flu,” says Hallmark. “Our technicians were trained on this right from the start.” They rely on customers to determine their comfort. “If the customer insists, do it three times. There is nothing wrong with peace of mind. If a customer is feeling uncomfortable in any way, the best advice we have is not to get any service until the home stay orders are cleared. “
Customers should establish the ground rules before the technician arrives.
“Some will say,” Stay three feet from me, let me know when you’re ready to pay, “says Hallmark.” We’ll make a note of it. Make sure you’re comfortable. We don’t talk that all the same. ”If someone starts having symptoms at home, postpone the appointment.
Customers and technicians should be comfortable abandoning a visit if they are not satisfied with the precautions that have been taken. “This is not the time to be nice,” says James. “If the customer doesn’t stay 10 feet away, grab your tools and parts and get out of the house. We call the customer. “
While the service is running, the types of calls that technicians answer can be prioritized. Someone calling about a non-essential service, such as B. a broken refrigerator handle, you may be asked to postpone the call until the pandemic is over. However, make sure you understand why the repair needs to be done. A wine cooler is usually not considered a priority, but that can change if it’s used to store medicines.
“If a refrigerator has a dent on the door, we sit on these jobs,” says Hallmark. “We want to take care of customers whose fridges do not cool food. This is one way to reduce the risk to our team and our customers. “
See also: Brama Outdoor Refrigerator from Vinotemp
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