Our ratings of area appliance repair services reveal substantial quality differences between companies. Several appliance repair services were rated “superior” for overall quality by at least 90 percent of their surveyed customers. Several others received such favorable ratings from fewer than 50 percent.

Fortunately, some of the area’s lower priced companies are among the highest rated for service quality. In fact, on average, lower priced companies rate higher on service quality than their higher priced competitors.

And price differences can be substantial. Our mystery shoppers found some services charge twice as much as their nearby competitors for the same work.

If your appliance is still covered under its manufacturer’s warranty, use a shop authorized to do in-warranty repairs. But after the warranty expires, be sure to consider shops that don’t perform warranty repairs. We have found that, on average, independent shops rate better than factory repair services (although some independents do score low).

If you decide it’s time for a new appliance, our ratings of appliance stores will help you find reliable stores that charge low prices.

But even if you’ve had a poor track record with unreliable appliances, don’t buy an extended warranty. These warranties are incredibly bad deals for most consumers who buy them.