We often see people online, in comments, through email and offline over the phone desperately seeking free technical support to help repair a busted machine
Here's the thing, free support does exist but it requires you to put a bit of work in.
Or, it isn't free.
We'll explain how and why that is. Of course in our usual down to earth way.
On this website, virtually all technical support is done through the forum.
This is because if you send a message looking for help to fix something on a webpage the guys probably won't see it and, if any do, goodness knows if they would be able to answer your query or not.
When you use the forum you get exposure to multiple technicians who might not always be able to give you a specific, "this is the problem, do this" answer but, they will probably be able to offer you some sort of idea on where to start.
Any other way and you will almost for sure have one person's opinion only.
Time Is Money!
Long story short even if you decide not to read the rest of this article, paying staff to answer your questions costs time and that time needs to be paid for.
Tech support over the phone, email or whatever takes time and it can take a lot of time!
You nor anyone else gets up and goes to work for free and tech support staff don't either and all their time needs to be paid for somehow.
Which is largely why free direct tech support for many products (not just appliances) simply doesn't exist.
And why that a community like our forums, does.
Manufacturer Technical Support
For those of us a bit longer in the tooth in this industry, we know that getting technical support and even more so good technical support from a manufacturer or brand owner is akin to looking for unicorn poo on the dark side of the moon. Actually, that's probably sometimes easier.
The chances of you picking up the phone or dropping an email and getting an answer anytime in the current decade from somebody that can help you is… well, we're sure you've got a handle on your chances of that by now.
There are some that will help you of course but they are rarities not the rule.
Most won't help you at all and many will tell you flat out they won't.
There are good reasons for this, the main one being that tech support from manufacturers is geared towards supporting their own field techs or service agents to fix stuff in warranty, not hold people's hands repairing their own appliances.
Sorry if that sounds harsh but, if you want the truth, the reality often is harsh. What people often ask the manufacturers for is like calling up the maker of their car and expecting to be talked through an engine strip-down for free and the reality is, that ain't happening.
Paid For Services
There are services that employ "experts" to answer people, of course, much in the same way as our forums work.
Some say the forums on UKW are better. We don't like to brag about what we do but, the guys and ladies that answer you in the forum are most often brilliant, just brilliant.
They are not getting paid at all, they are helping people because they want to and help when they have something to say that can help you.
Paid for services depend on who they employ and what access they have to technical info, parts info and so on. But let's put it like this, the trade forums are no stranger to such people asking for help to in turn help someone they're being paid to help.
That's a lot of help on a long path.
Other Technical Support Outlets
Ehm, we're struggling here.
You could try some of the local repairers as, if they can help you quickly they will but all too often they can't. Let's face it if you call the local repair person and their head's under a washing machine they're not going to want to be having an in-depth conversation about your busted machine, are they?
Point being, their focus is on the customers that are paying them to repair stuff, not handing out free advice, under pressure, that earns them nothing.
Spare Parts Support
That's what we do.
By email, online helpdesk, the live chat where possible and the forum.
Please don't phone to get technical support or ask what part you need to sort out XX problem as the guys on the phone probably won't be able to help with that.
Of course, they'll do their level best to help or advise you wherever they can but, technical support for what you ask may well be beyond what they can do.
We use email primarily as using that we can send you images, blowout drawings, links and so on, we cannot do that on the phone!
Free Technical Support
So, free technical support and help to repair you can get but, you're best to use the forums if you're trying to figure out what the problem is, what part or parts to replace, if it's worth fixing and so on.
It's free and about as fast as it gets.
You can use email and the guys on the spares desk may be able to help, a lot of times they can but, they may have to redirect you to the forum if they can't.
Other than that, there's probably no way to get free tech support.