I woke, last Saturday morning to a refrigerator that was only slightly cooler than my kitchen. I knew something was wrong but couldn't tell what.
I tried to ask friends and family for a referral of a good shop to call but nobody was home and I jus couldn't wait so I pulled out the yellow pages. I called ARC & USA Appliance repair because they had a local number and (bad criteria for choosing a repair shop) the picture of the staff looked like they were a friendly bunch - even included the family dog! So I called; they said someone would be out in a few hours.
They came at the appointed time. The repair guy, Mikhail, said it was either the compressor or a "starter for compressor" and that it would cost either $195 for the starter or "around $300 if it is compressor." I told him if it was the compressor, we would just have to go out and get a new fridge since we'd only paid $500 for it, new, eight years ago.
I thought the price for (what I found out later was) a simple relay was a bit high but didn't have much choice at that point. After working on it for a few minutes, he got it running and said it was the "starter" and asked if we wanted to okay the repair. I told him I thought it was a bit steep but that we didn't have much choice so I said okay.
He fixed it and I paid the bill. While he was fixing it, I searched the internet, frantically, to see if we were being overcharged as I'd suspected. Since I didn't have the correct name or part number, I wasn't able to find it til after he left.
It turns out, the part is a start relay which I could have bought for $30.85 through RepairClinic.com.
Now I run a business myself so I understand mark-up and have no problem with it but charging $114.50 for a part costing them (at the most) $31 is, in my opinion, nothing short of robbery! Now, lest you say, "well, but they had to pay the guy to come install it," think again - they charged an additional $85 for the service call.
Again, I have no problem paying for the service and mark-up is certainly a standard business practice so I won't quibble with paying more than what I could have bought it for. But we're talking a mark-up of 370%!
I called to complain and was told, several times, they would check on it and call me back (which they didn't). Finally, today, I was told by "Mark" (who said he was the manager) that I shouldn't complain. After threatening to tell all my friends (and post this report), he said they could give me a $10 "discount." I said no thanks and so here I am.
I won't complain about the service. They came when they said they would and did the work. But I would NEVER recommend them to anyone in the LA area - unless you enjoy being ripped off!
West Hollywood, California