Quietly some companies have been up to stuff with repairs, some we knew about and some we've just found out about. Some is investing and some, to us, is just plain daft.
Let's begin with Service Force.
For those that don't know Service Force is what Electrolux branded their service operations the last time, the messed it up in the '90s when they went from dedicated Zanussi service agents and directly employed service to a hybrid franchise type affair. That was then scrapped and they moved back to service agents as there was no money in it.
When that all started to go pear shaped they got into using Respond Service and 0800 Repair covering huge swathes of the country. We've no idea what's going on there but as they are now implying repair techs direct, it kinda tells us all may not be well in that camp.
You'd think they'd have learned by now that it's not economically viable other than in high population density areas and, if they ask agents to cover the rural without any of the densely populated areas, the price rises accordingly.
But heh, what do we know. We've only been involved in service for decades.
Then there's a little issue of getting field techs, as others have found out, it ain't easy and it sure ain't easy getting good guys as, if they're that smart they've climbed the corporate ladder or gone off to work for themselves. Just ask Whirlpool (more below), Beko, Hoover, 0800 and pretty much anyone else.
For our regular readers that happen to be independent service techs, please charge accordingly as you'll get the dregs no doubt, the recalls and probably on a three-month termination so, make it worth doing or don't bother is our take.
D&G Whirlpool Service
Word has reached us that Domestic & General (DAG), yeah, the appliance insurer or service plan or whatever they call it these days has employed Whirlpool Service, as in the old Hotpoint Service to do all repairs across all brands meaning a bunch of our guys lost that work.
We'd not panic, it probably won't last.
Again, the initial comment was, you'd think that there'd still be someone at DAG that recalled the utter disaster that this was the last time Hotpoint was used for multi brand service. It was an unmitigated tragedy of epic proportions that, if memory serves, was binned in under a year!
See, techs that are single brand or group are not interested in much that they don't know because, well, they don't know it. Much of it they won't have access to tech support for (probably not parts either) and these guys are normally overloaded with work anyway so don't have time to research or diagnose correctly.
That means they haven't a clue, lack confidence and just order stuff up to play parts bingo or, say it needs so much it looks to be unviable to repair, the write-off rates normally rocket.
Hence the comment that it probably won't last, once DAG works out it's costing them a fortune.
The reason for this move is a bit unclear but the scuttlebutt is that it's due to GDPR or something and that Whirlpool was the only company that would indemnify DAG against breaches and loss.
Whirlpool meanwhile probably thought this would be a money spinner and prop up the service department.
Oh dear, we can't see it going just quite the way that all thought it would.