Repaircare Review

Repaircare are a National appliance repair company offering fixed price repairs. This review was written only several months after they began trading. Things may, or may not, be different now.

Their fixed price appliance repairs include call out, parts, labour and VAT. Repaircare are part of Connect Distribution who are the UK’s largest distributor of appliance spares and accessories.

They supply much of the independent repair trade. Their website is easy to use and features 3 simple steps to get a quote. It’s incredibly simple and well designed.

How do they do fixed repairs? What’s the Catch?

I’m naturally pretty sceptical and not easily impressed – always looking out for a catch. It shouldn’t be possible for Repaircare to be able to include the spare parts in their repair charges but they are the UK’s largest spare parts distributor so they have access to much cheaper parts than most and they obviously think they can.


Repaircare advertised fixed price repairs, but unfortunately the truth is they did not fix every appliance for the price initially quoted. They covered themselves against the more expensive repairs with a clause in their terms and conditions allowing them to charge extra.

They did claim that most repairs should be covered by the amount advertised, but after a few months (of complaints) they were forced to change their terms and conditions to remove their right to charge extra for certain parts. Offering fixed price repairs is a big ask.

But Repaircare should have access to very cheap spare parts because of their massive buying power as part of the UK’s largest spares distributor 4Ourhouse. However, they don’t employ their own engineers.


They instead use a network of independent engineers, which appears to cause some problems at times where people have complained of poor customer service.

Complaints

Repaircare have been accused of washing their hands of some complaints when (presumably) a customer and the independent engineer have been telling them different things.

However, I don’t believe they can do this because a customer’s contract is with Repaircare, and not the engineer that Repaircare subcontracted to do the repair.

It sounds like Repaircare have been frustrated by different accounts from the engineer and customer and want them to sort it out between themselves. But if a customer can’t, then Repaircare must.

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Margins must be small and this operation probably relies on economies of scale. As it is covering all of the UK they may be able to achieve the quantities of repairs necessary to be viable. However, they need most repairs to be relatively minor to balance out the expensive repairs.

If only people suspecting they have a serious fault use them, the system just won’t work. There have been a lot of complaints in the comments of this article (and elsewhere), which is disappointing.

They may have been struggling to cope with the work load at the early stages as they had promoted themselves very heavily. It’s also fair to say that appliance repairs tend to attract a lot of dissatisfied customers due to the length of time it can sometimes take to get them repaired.

Repaircare did eventually respond pro-actively to public complaints and put in place a system to allow people to complain directly to a manager. People with complaints previously felt they had no option but to complain on the Internet because they couldn’t get past the call centre staff to complain to a manager.


If you are the type of person who takes comfort in prices being fixed and inclusive, then fixed price repairs may be attractive for you. Sadly it’s become the main way large repair companies operate now.

You can end up paying a lot more than necessary if your appliance turns out not to need any parts, or only needs inexpensive parts, (most repairs).

You can save money if it needs an expensive part but if it’s quite expensive most repair companies just tell you it’s beyond economical repair. This can make it difficult to get a “win” on these schemes.

Make sure you read and understand the terms & conditions. It will probably state that if parts are “too” expensive they can say the appliance is not worth repairing, which may still cost you a fair amount of money.

Make sure you understand how much it will cost you in that scenario.

Alternatives?

Some manufacturers also offer fixed price repairs now at rates competing with Repaircare. For example Hoover / Candy, Ariston, Indesit, Hotpoint, Creda and even the obsolete Dyson washing machine have fixed price repairs. Also, AEG, Electrolux and Zanussi have relatively low and reasonable labour charges.


Only 3 months guarantee

A mere 3 months guarantee on repairs is very poor indeed. Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (previously the Sale of Goods Act), any repair should last a reasonable time, as should any new parts fitted. 3 months (90 days) is nowhere near a reasonable time for almost any repair, especially if new parts are fitted. However, that’s all you get.

So you would have to pursue your claim in the small claims court or through a consumer help body if a repair by a company offering only 3 months guarantee failed after an unreasonable time outside 3 months.

I have to be honest and say that I personally would never use any repair company that only gave a 90 day guarantee, which I consider pretty disgraceful, and a very poor show of confidence in their own work – Is a 3 month guarantee on repairs reasonable?)

More appliance repairers

There are some appliance repair companies listed on site Book washing machine (or other appliance) repair page including companies offering a much more desirable 12 month guarantee on repairs.

Repairs
Fixed-price repairs, Pay monthly, Repair & protect..
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173 thoughts on “Repaircare Review”

  1. It is when calls are refused or rejected by the repair agents is when the main issue comes to light. They are returned electronically, and can stay in abeyance until Repaircare find an alternative agent who is prepared to carry out the work.

    All us repairers have our own loyal customers, who pay us our normal rate, and those customers tend to get priority. The Repaircare contract is a “Schedule Filler”. Pays us less money, very often makes we are unfamiliar with which gives us a supply issue re spares. Sometimes you read the nature of the fault, and know you may be faced with an issue.

    We have had, Machines in Residential Homes, Pubs & Hotels. Appliances where someone else had tinkered and put more faults on. Instances where we are given a basic problem, arrive and find a catalogue of unreported faults.

    We had a Whirlpool Commercial dryer at some stables, and when we spoke to our friendly Whirlpool eng for advice, he told us he wrote it off the week before. We have met other machines where parts are missing.

    Machines that are obsolete, or 12 years old. Machines out in the back garden, and we are expected to drag it in to investigate.

    If the repairer is busy he cannot oblige a pre-booked appointment in less than 2 working days. Very often in the lead-up to Christmas we can have a week service delay. Yet in the Summer, keep tripping over under-utilised engineers.

    We find as a repair company, the contract is not the best by any means, and therefore not looked upon as a valued part of the business. Regretfully the customer can end up as a “second class” consumer.

    Thanks to a poor relationship some repairers have with Repaircare, the poor old customer gets forgotten at times, and can become part of a dispute which is not their fault.

  2. This article is now closed to new comments. Here’s why, and a summary of previous comments –

    The article was written in June 2009 shortly after Repaircare launched to the public and early comments referred to initial problems long since fixed. For example, some people posted complaints that Repaircare advertised fixed prices but had a clause in their terms & conditions allowing for them to charge extra to cover particularly expensive parts, or appliances needing a lot of parts. After some months they abandoned the clause and as far as I know no one is asked for extra money any more so this issue is resolved.

    The comments have slowly filled up since then with some positive feedback but lots of negative comments. However, as most people are unlikely to read all 173 comments (some, especially mine, of which are pretty long) it’s easy for newcomers to assume hundreds of people have complained but 55 of the comments are my replies, and many people have multiple comments on one issue, plus dozens of comments are from Repaircare apologising and offering to sort out issues. So although it now looks like there are hundreds of complaints the true number is considerably less.

    Having said that there have been complaints, and a few issues have been recurring, the worst of which was when several customers had complaints, but were told to sort it out between themselves and Repaircare’s agent, which was incorrect as the contract was between the customer and Repaircare.

    Many of my comments have sympathised and agreed with complaints but I’ve also pointed out when I felt many might have been a little unfair, or were not issues confined to Repaircare and so were (sadly) typical complaints applicable to hundreds of repair companies each day due to the nature of the repairs industry.

    Unfortunately, problems such as as engineers breaking appointments or misdiagnosing faults, parts ordered that don’t fix the fault, and delays in obtaining a part are all very common issues within the appliance repair industry and likely to be encountered using any large repair company, which is why I wrote Why are there so many repair horror stories? to try and explain the reasons behind such problems. The article isn’t meant to excuse issues, only look at the realities of the way things are.

    Complaints have reduced to a slow trickle but as all large companies inevitably have a small percentage of dissatisfied customers it seems unfair that this article be left available to slowly fill with all Repaircare’s negative feedback indefinitely.

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