We had someone come in to repair a broken appliance today. While he was working on the oven, I started a conversation asking him about his job.
I found out that one of his biggest problems is that his schedule is dictated by the local office manager. He is typically assigned 10 to 12 service calls per day. And the frustrating part is that there doesn’t appear to be any logic regarding the location of each call.
He had to modify his assigned schedule to work us in when he did. If he had followed the call order given to him, he would have driven 45 minutes to another town and then had to turn around and come back to our house. And then he would have had to drive back near the other job again for the final call of the day. That’s over two extra hours of driving as compared to the 45 minutes he had after changing his schedule.
But the real kicker is that in addition to repairing whatever it is they’ve been sent out to work on, the technicians are also encouraged to sell a home warranty on each service call. He gets pressured to sell a home warranty on at least 4 or 5 of his 10 service calls every day.
The home warranty covers all of your household appliances and essentially gets you half-price on service calls. The cost of my service call was $219, all of which was labor. That’s a pretty ridiculous hourly fee for what was done. And I discovered that the reason they charge so much is so they can convince people to buy the home warranty.
The home warranty would have cut that fee in half but the least expensive home warranty was $49 per month with a minimum commitment of 1 year. So I could have paid nearly $500 more today if I had purchased the home warranty.
Most of the appliances in our house are 10 years old or more. So while I wouldn’t be surprised if they start needing repairs, at some point, it will make more sense to replace rather than repair. So paying an extra $500 for a home warranty just doesn’t make any sense to me.