Once you’ve identified repair services that offer high-quality work, consider price.

Our Ratings Tables show our price comparison scores for each company. To calculate these scores, our undercover shoppers contacted each company for prices on five different repair jobs. The scores show how each company’s prices compared to the average price for all surveyed companies. Scores are adjusted so that the average price comparison score is $100. Prices charged by a company with a score of $90, for example, were 10 percent lower than the average.

As the table below indicates, shop-to-shop price differences can be substantial. For example, we found that the amount to replace the bake element on a GE Café Series oven (model C2S985SET6SS) ranged from $130 to $399 at different services in the area, and prices to replace the washer door boot seal on a front-loading LG washer (model WM2140CW) ranged from $163 to $500.

In addition to price comparison scores, our Ratings Tables report each company’s “minimum charge for a service call” and indicates in parentheses what this charge covers.

In this industry—as in so many we have studied—we found no evidence of any relationship between price and service quality. In fact, companies with below-average prices tended to score higher on our customer survey than companies with above-average prices.

Even if you’ve been unlucky and have had bad experiences with unreliable appliances, don’t buy an extended warranty when you buy a new machine. Each year consumers waste billions of dollars on extended warranties, also called “protection plans” or “extended service plans.” Retailers increasingly count on the sales of extended warranties for most—or even all—of their profits. These warranties are incredibly bad deals for most consumers.

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