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Monday, February 9, 2015

Repair Or Replace?

We recently had to decide whether to repair or replace a broken refrigerator. It is a GE brand that we bought almost 7 years ago (it still looks almost brand new).

Word on the street, is that most appliances here last no more than 7 years- hence the need to decide whether to splurge on a new refrigerator or repair the old one.

It kept running, without stopping and the cooling was minimal. We thought it might be the gas that needed recharging, but couldn't be sure.

This is shows 1 week of frost build up while we were awaiting the correct part.
The visit to examine the unit was going to be $38 US dollars. But what would the repair cost? We actually considered buying a new unit, but eventually decided to bite the bullet and call for a repair.

They came on time, examined the unit and determined that the heating element that keeps the cooling fins clear of ice needed replacing. Because the call center gave them the wrong model number, they had to come back a few days later to complete the repair.

But eventually the repair was completed, and the refrigerator works better than ever. And the final cost, just under $100, including the original visit. So it payed to repair, rather than replace. Now if we can just get another 7 years out of it.....

I think that the cost to repair items is far lower here, than in the US. My father had someone come out to examine his refrigerator last year and it cost him almost $100 to find out that the repair wasn't worth doing.

I don't think I mentioned this before, but when we first came to Uruguay, I had purchased a brand new Sony 300 CD player. I forgot that it was 110V and when I plugged it in, I fried the unit. I took it apart (hoping to find some obvious part I could replace), but was unable to come to any conclusion, so I put the parts in a box and stuck it away.

Later, I decided to contact Sony repair in Uruguay and eventually sent it in, parts in a box and all. They tested it, put it back together and installed a new power supply (220V, this time). All for about $80. You couldn't even find anyone to look at equipment for that price in the US.

So it pays to repair. Hopefully that remains true for our 7 year old washing machine, that is currently waiting a service call....