Today I got my first real service call. (Thanks to the “dress rehearsal” last Thursday, I wasn’t half as nervous taking this one. )
It was a straightforward call. The customer said his wife had broken the door latch on their Whirlpool Duet washer (GHW9200LW).
I told the customer I’d come by at 1:00 PM, and actually got his address this time. This gave me about 3 hours to do my research.
I immediately found the manufacturer’s technician training manual posted on the internet. Also researched my part costs and shipping costs/times to give the customer some options.
I spent a few minutes turning my tool stash upside down looking for a torx 20, finally finding one as part of a kit of bits I bought at a yard sale.
Yes, I actually went on the call. I actually went into the customer’s house. It was a really nice house.
The customer showed me the laundry room and said, “There it is.” I looked over and the washer and dryer were stacked, and believe it or not for a few, faintly awkward seconds I didn’t know which one was the washer. But I quickly read wash/spin on the washer dial and began to work.
The diagnostic was so straightforward, it was over before I knew what happened. The customer had told me the washer had been very overloaded, went out of balance, breaking the hook. I had immediately seen the broken door hook and removed it. I told him my flat rate labor charge, gave him the part cost estimate and the shipping options. He wanted the next day. He wanted it fixed.
When I got home, I ordered the door hook along with the door lock, from repairclinic.com, which lets you return electrical parts. I didn’t want to be caught there with a repaired door hook and the door lock was still broken if this guy wanted it repaired the next day.
I then made out my first ever invoice, printed on my inkjet. (It had only been 3 days since my “dress rehearsal” call, and I had ordered my invoices, but they hadn’t arrived yet.)
I then hit my Uncle Harry training materials on those types of front loaders, and he had exactly what I needed – door latch replacement and detaching the boot.
Let’s see what happens tomorrow!
2 Replies to “My First Service Call (For Real) Part 1”
Glad you think you have it figured out. But I honestly feel this is just a simple task a kid could do. If your walking into a laundry room and you have to concentrate to determine which appliance is a washer and dryer, than maybe you should be someone’s helper for a while. How well can you read a wiring diagram?
Hi Jim – Hahaha I know what you’re saying, but I cut myself some slack since that was my first ever service call, I had a case of the nerves, and I was only unsure for a second there. It can appear easy on the surface, but I’ve since learned that appliance repair is not as simple as it looks! You do need training, which is why I’m so glad I found Harry. If you read my other posts you’ll see I tried very hard to find someone to apprentice with, but living in a remote rural area I was forced to learn the business through online training and trial and error alone. I was very good to my customers during my “on the job training” period, studying their problem very hard, charging a low flat rate, working until the problem was resolved no matter how long it took, and even giving a refund if I could not successfully repair the unit. I appreciate your comment – thanks for keeping me honest!