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 your whole appliance..
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173 thoughts on “Repaircare Review”

  1. scott kirkpatrick

    2 1/2 sorry, They have called me this morning telling me they have had a delivery at their warehouse but they are unable to tell me if my part is in the shipment they will call on Tuesday to confirm! 3 days to look at a delivery note! I have demanded a full refund if the part is not in the shipment ,initially they refused but after getting very heated on the phone I was put through to the escalations team whom have agreed to give me a full refund if the part has not arrived. We will see!

  2. Thanks Scot: As I’ve pointed out before though, waiting 2 or more weeks for a part is totally normal for many white goods parts, which is why I wrote my article Why are there so many appliance repair horror stories?

    There are many, many millions of parts for all white goods, and no one could possibly stock even half of them. If a part is required and the largest holder of spare parts in the UK (ie. Repaircare’s parent company Connect Distribution) don’t have it then it has to be ordered directly from the manufacturer in other countries and it will take time. The engineer won’t necessarily know if the part will need ordering from the manufacturer or be available from Repaircare within a few days.

    Some makes in particular are nightmares to get spare parts for and nightmares to even get the right part, some such companies were mentioned a few comments back “Whirlpool, Smeg and Stoves” but there are others. However, that being the case a repair company ought to just stop repairing that manufacturer’s products because it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

    But basically I wouldn’t think a repair company having to order a spare part and it taking a few weeks to get it is anything other than totally normal throughout the white goods repair industry. It might be rubbish service from the customers point of view, but for the reasons I outline in – Why are there so many appliance repair horror stories? It’s just how it is. The problem is most customer’s don’t realise that’s what happens when repairers try to repair almost everything.

    The only chance of getting a slightly better likelihood of more parts being available to engineers, or at least being quicker to get hold of the ones not in stock are if you use the actual manufacturer’s repairmen or agents.

  3. Scott Kirkpatrick

    I think you misunderstand my moaning! The fact that parts are as you say difficult to come by does not excuse Repaircare for very poor customer service, I have been given 5 different sets of information when I have contacted them over 3 weeks whilst waiting for a confirmed date for repair. What makes this more difficult to understand is that these days we live in a age where gaining information and contacting individuals is instant am I to believe that when the order for my Bosch motor was placed Repaircare would not have been advised if the item was in stock or there was a 2 week wait. All I ask is that we are kept informed with precise information not and,if,but,maybe. Are you saying 4-6 weeks to repair a washing machine is acceptable?

  4. Hello Scott: I got the impression your main complaint was how long it was taking to get the part and the fact that they couldn’t tell you when it was going to arrive. I’m saying that’s not necessarily their fault. It sounds like they are trying to give good service sending a text message apologising for the delay but you thought that was a cheek.

    I’ve said many times before that how well a company keeps us informed is down to them so yes, if they have a bad system in place they are fair game for criticism. The problem is they won’t know when the parts are coming into stock if they order them from the manufacturer, so each time a customer rings there’s nothing much to say other than whether the part has arrived or not.

    I’m just saying 4 – 6 weeks to repair a washing machine or any other white goods appliance is how long it can take, and how long it does take for many customers if a part is out of stock although a couple of weeks is much more usual. It’s not acceptable, but it’s how it is, and how it will always be because of the ridiculous amount of different brands and types of appliance companies have to try to repair these days.

    Hardly anyone specialises any more so this is the status quo. If your appliance needs a part ordering and the part isn’t quickly available then that’s very bad – not just for the customer but for the people trying to fix it too. I’m saying most people have no idea of the difficulties in trying to repair so many makes, which is why I tried to explain them in the article I linked to.

    If they can’t fix it first time they are almost certain to lose money on the job. They can’t carry any where near enough parts to cover all repairs, and the best of repair companies repairing most brands and most appliances only achieve between 70 and 80% first time fix, which means almost every engineer out on the road will have to order parts for some of his customers virtually every day. In my opinion the only reason the entire repair system still limps on is because roughly 70% of repairs can be repaired in one visit. If yours isn’t one of them there’s a chance it could get messy and this is how it is for most repair companies these days. I’m just calling it as I see it.

  5. on October the 19th i left a comment on this site. Since leaving that saga of my experience things have change but sorry to say due to mis-communication between repaircare the engineer and the lawrence household a return visit has only resolved half of the oven …to the engineers credit the oven is now working but one of the grill/oven element ceased to function 1 day AFTER his initial inspection …on inspection the element is buckled and is blackened with use .On checking with the engineers office to see what would be rectified i told them of the element sparking and disintergrating …the lady there assured me that was on a list of parts ordered …she was wrong the element she was discussing with me was the fan oven element…on talking to the engineer and Repaircare today this is a second £124 pounds and a third visit to make my Neff oven 100% useable in 21 + days …so there you have it a comedy of errors leaving us scratching our heads as to who has’nt given the information to whom and who should repair what at who’s cost …do you want to have the same outcome ? decide for yourself !!

  6. Thought I would come on here to say I contacted repaircare on Tuesday, and booked an appointment for today (Friday) for someone to fix my fan oven. Paid the fixed price of £113, someone came & did the job (replacing the element) in 10 minutes.

    No problems at all; very good service if you want to know exactly what the repair is going to cost.

  7. James Harrington

    Not happy at all with Repaircare and won’t be using them again.

    When I originally called the company I told them my dishwasher didn’t work and the door didn’t shut. They gave me a fixed price quote for £118 to fix it.

    So I booked an appointment. The company cancelled it as the engineer was sick. Second appointment they didn’t turn up. Third appointment they didn’t have the parts. Forth appointment they finally fixed the door so it closes.

    However, the dishwasher still doesn’t work.

    Apparently the fault I originally reported was that the door didn’t close so the fact the dishwasher doesn’t work is a “different fault”. I asked how they knew that the work done to fix the door wasn’t the reason the machine wasn’t working. They said they would send someone out but if it was a different fault they would charge me for the call out.

    Not at all what I would expect. And to mention “contracts” during that discussion shows the company puts it’s concerns above those of happy customers.

    I mean… did they think I want a dishwasher door that closes so I can use it for storage? Wouldn’t any decent engineer test that the machine worked before they left the premises and if they didn’t wouldn’t they feel obliged to come back and test it with no obligation?

  8. Hello James: Engineers can be sick at any company so that’s not a fair criticism, but not turning up a second time is. (This seems to be a repeated occasional problem with repaircare’s system booking in jobs).

    The engineer not having the correct part is also pretty normal as I’ve discussed many times. The tens of thousands of different appliances and milllions of different parts mean any company attempting to fix most makes and most types of appliance will often need to order a part.

    If the door won’t shut on a dishwasher it wont work because when it closes it needs to operate the door micro switch. As an engineer I can’t imagine fixing any fault and not checking the appliance runs OK afterwards. That would just be plain pointless and asking for trouble.

  9. Based on our experience I would not use this company. We booked an appiontment, part was required which was no surprise or problem. We’ve chased repaircare who have been nice to deal with but they can not contact their contractor to come and finish the repair althought they have had the part for a week.

    So we’ve given up and decide to replace the fridge which is what I wish we had don in the the first place. I have no problem with the delay caused by having to order a part, but the problem seems to be with the attitude of the contractors that they use.

  10. Hello Aled: You put your finger on one of the weaknesses in this business model, which is that the relationship between the work provider and the people carrying out the work is not as dictatorial as it would be if you had them in an exclusive franchise, or employed them directly.

    Independent repairers are proud and work very hard, and of course can vary in quality considerably at times but the main thing is they work for themselves – and run their own business as well as supplementing it by doing work for Repaircare and/or other work providers. This presumably sometimes throws up conflicts of interests if the independent has a lot of work on from his “own” customers or if the agent feels he’s being treated unfairly or asked to do too much for the amount of money he receives for his services.

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