Domestic Appliance Repair Costs: Australia Versus UK

Sometimes things go wrong. It doesn’t really matter where you live; England, Australia, the USA or even in your own idea of Utopia, things will still go wrong. When they do, we have to pay to get them fixed.

I (or we really, this includes Mrs Bob) have had a fortnight of things going wrong including but not limited to the dog, one of our cats, a hard drive, the swimming pool, my knee, the kitchen ceiling, the dishwasher, my finger and the catflap.

Now, of course, I do realise the irony of a list of things going wrong that includes the words “swimming pool” when put into a global context, but even so it’s been a tough couple of weeks for us compounded by my wife losing her business due to a rule change in Australian quarantine.

That’s not the complete list either; I decided to keep quiet about the wart that has grown on the fingerprint of my right index finger (really painful when I scroll my mouse on the computer) on the basis of it being simply too embarrassing to go public with, but I do want to talk to you about…

fridgeFixing the fridge

Well, although I will be talking about fixing the fridge as an example, this could be about calling somebody out to fix any domestic appliance here in Australia compared to the UK.

To cut a long story short (yes Bob, please do) our Samsung side-by-side fridge broke down at the very beginning of this unlucky streak; freezer = good, fridge side = bad. Fridge side, in fact, behaving like a cupboard.

Life without a fridge in Australia during summer is not recommended. The key here is fixing it fast.

Domestic appliance repairs in Australia

So, without delay, I was searching Google for someone nearby who could fix it. The first company I came across said something like ‘We are affordable and fast, we know how important your fridge is.

Sounded like my kind of people, so I rang them. I wanted to know about their ‘affordable and fast’ and exactly what that meant to me.

We charge a $89 callout fee, and then we charge $60 per half an hour with a minimum charge of half an hour. So your minimum cost for us to visit is $149. We can get to you the day after tomorrow.”

So, in my view, neither fast nor affordable, additionally there was no guarantee it would be fixed, but if it could, however long it took to fix it was charged at $60 per half-hour plus, of course, the price of spare parts assuming they could get them.

Second quote

The second company I rang said it was $132 to turn up and diagnose the problem no matter what it was or how long it took to decide what was wrong. Then they would quote a fixed price to repair on-site immediately or return with the part required if they didn’t carry it on board at no extra charge i.e. no additional call out fee.

They could be with us the next morning; so, significantly faster and slightly cheaper.

So that’s who we chose, their engineer turned up on time, diagnosed the problem within about 20 minutes, had the spare parts on board, quoted us a fixed price of $447 (which included the $132 callout) and asked us if we wanted to go ahead.

One hour and 10 minutes later he was gone, our fridge was fixed, and we had been relieved of 447 bucks.

The problem

Turned out to be the auto defrost unit which sits behind the white plastic wall on the fridge side. I’ve looked online for spare parts and the most expensive Samsung auto defrost unit I could find was $121 plus $7.50 for postage.

Yes, that was on eBay, but it was a genuine Samsung part.

So it would appear that our repairers cleared something like $300 for a job that took one hour and 10 minutes on site. Not bad, eh?

Domestic appliance repairs in the UK

I had many an occasion to call out a domestic appliance repairers in the UK, including but not limited to fridges. Yes, things used to go wrong back there as well.

I wondered how much it would cost these days for somebody to repair my fridge, had I still been in the UK.

Back to Google and I found these…

First up, Domex. I had a go at their ‘online quote’ system, it didn’t tell me much apart from this…

domexThey claimed no callout charges at all, which is a big bonus. That means they are diagnosing the fault in their own time and, not only that, when they quote you a fee to fix it, it better be good otherwise you could say thanks, but no thanks.

If that’s really how it works it’s a much better deal than the one I got.

Next up, Glotech

glotechI realise this may be a little difficult to read, but let me tell you it says that for side-by-side refrigeration; their callout charge £69.95.

This is a one off labour charge fee and covers the engineer for no matter how long he spends or how many visits it takes him to get your appliance repaired. The only additional cost is for parts.

Huby’s were the same…

hubysA one-off fee of £69.95 for labour and just parts on top? That really is a good deal.

Conclusion:

We already know the repair here in Australia cost $447.

We are kind of guessing on the cost of the spare part, but I think it’s fair to say it’s about $130 here in Australia and probably about £60 in the UK.

By the looks of things, I could have got my fridge repaired in the UK for £69.95 plus £60 for the part, so in round figures, £130.

At current rates, that’s about $242. Even if the spare part was £100 in the UK, the total cost would have been around £170, equivalent to around $316.

So, as you can see, domestic appliance repairs here in Australia are more expensive, much more expensive. Anything from 40% to 85% more expensive, depending on the cost of that part. That doesn’t just go for fridges, it’s TVs, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, washing machines and more.

On the plus side, it’s because wages are higher here and our engineers earn more money here, and that’s why it’s always important to consider the hard yakka.

No matter about that though, this is a clear victory for the UK.

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{ 18 comments… add one }
  • fridge mechanics November 17, 2016, 5:05 pm | Link

    I am excited with your thoughts they amazing and very useful to us You made a great site it really gives us the best posts they very help us thanks for sharing the posts

  • Jack September 25, 2016, 9:10 pm | Link

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  • intelligents August 18, 2016, 2:12 pm | Link

    If you are living in Chicago then get suitable price on Refrigerator Repair Chicago and sorrounding.

  • Sameer August 12, 2016, 3:09 am | Link

    Hiii Bob ,,, I really like your artical.. it is very informational.. I like it by the way me also a service provider in India.. dealing in refrigerator repair & Service…
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  • David May 23, 2016, 11:38 pm | Link

    Hi Bob
    We brought all our white goods with us to Oz. The last house we rented came with a similar Samsung fridge freezer to yours which made a party trick of turning into a cupboard. I did the research and it turns out it was a design fault that you can fix for about $50 and 30 mins with a pozidrive screwdriver. The owners would not be told and spent $200 getting a tradie out who actually did nothing except tell us to switch it off for 2 days to defrost it! Meanwhile, our 2004 hotpoint fridge freezer is on its 6th house (3 UK, 3 Aus) and hasn’t missed a beat. I just have to switch it off and then on again every time I move house. I have become very adept at fixing white goods to say nothing of our car (2004 Land Rover Discovery – also brought over with us). The rear suspension is pneumatic and periodically the airbags need changing. Local garage quoted $2K, I did it myself for $270 and about 2 hours of my time.

  • Nisha Chaudhry September 1, 2015, 5:59 am | Link

    Dear Bobinoz its really very good article about the Domestic Appliance Repair Costs: Australia Versus UK, all points are true and indicates that you have great knowledge of refrigeration market. We are also doing same Appliance repair services in Delhi, city of India.
    We’re also specialize in domestic appliance repairs and servicing for a wide range of gas and electric domestic appliances including washing machines, dishwashers, tumble dryers, refrigerators, cookers, ovens and more. read more http://www.fridgerepairs.in/fridge-repair-in-delhi.html
    http://www.delhirepairs.com/refrigerator%20repair%20in%20delhi.html

    • BobinOz September 1, 2015, 4:38 pm | Link

      Well, if ever I’m in Delhi with a broken fridge, I’ll give you a call 🙂

      • Nisha September 1, 2015, 6:02 pm | Link

        OMG! you replied me.. Dear BobinOz, I hope you be happy and healthy every day. Please know that you are my inspiration and I am a very big big big big fan of you. I like you so much my handsome guy !!!♡♡♡ i hope one day i can see you. this is my dream wish and hope it will be fulfill one days…

        thanks with regards!
        one of BobinOz Fanclub, Delhi, India

        • BobinOz September 2, 2015, 2:30 pm | Link

          You’re making me blush Nisha 🙂

  • Josey January 3, 2015, 9:50 pm | Link

    One thing Sydney does better than i have seen anywhere & that is having a surplus of Bargain basement & cheap factory seconds electrical appliance shops,Guaranteed
    i could great a great fridge for far less than $1000 with maybe a few scratches on it
    here or there.

    • BobinOz January 5, 2015, 3:07 pm | Link

      Good tip, we do have a few of these factory outlets here for white goods, but certainly not as many as Sydney by the sound of it.

  • Stuart January 1, 2015, 4:19 am | Link

    The cost of repair is not according to country name.But it according to which fault is in Fridge.

  • Ericb August 31, 2014, 11:40 pm | Link

    Good on yo mate pitty you had to fork out all that dosh justfor some cowboy to turn up and relieve you of it all i nearly fell for the same line there is no such thing has no call out charge or no fix no fee common sense should tell anyone there some sort of catch better to getan idea of costs for a bloke could travel around all day and every customer decide not to go ahead anyway got my fix free of charge the manufacturer sent out http://www.agsrefrigeration.co.uk a agent servicing the london area they only replaced one minor part all good.

    • BobinOz September 1, 2014, 7:18 pm | Link

      No, I only paid what I expected to have to pay after getting the quotes, and the bloke did fix the fridge, so I was reasonably happy with the service. It just would have been a bit cheaper back in the UK.

      Glad you got your sorted free of charge, fat chance of that happening to me, my fridge was yonks old.

  • mahyar March 8, 2014, 5:39 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    Good on you mate, you have done a great job to find a better dealer.

    Actually if I start my business in OZ I will inspect for free (of they are close), my skill is Electronics Equipment Trades Worker.

    We run free feasibility and inspection on our customers’ sites back in here in Iran, because we love them to call us back again.

    Take care and good luck with Autumn chilly weather.

    • BobinOz March 9, 2014, 8:56 pm | Link

      Thanks mayhar and I can tell you that your business will do very well here if you do a free inspection, almost nobody does that in Australia. Everyone has a minimum call out fee, and it’s very rarely less than $80, often it’s more.

      If you are offered a ‘no callout fee’ service here, I’d give you a call, but I’m hoping my fridge doesn’t break down again. 🙂

      Cheers, Bob

  • pete March 8, 2014, 3:59 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I’m in uk ,wouldn’t bother getting a fridge repaired, cheaper to buy a
    new one, small fridge that is, large fridge worth repairing maybe!!!

    • BobinOz March 9, 2014, 8:48 pm | Link

      Yes, if it had been a small fridge I could have bought a new one for less than the money I paid to repair it. But it is a big fridge, and to replace it would have cost over $2000. I had no choice really.

      Cheers, Bob

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