When you have selected a service company, be sure to check it out by submitting the name of that business to the Better Business Bureau or other consumer-information agency and ask for the following:

    (a) Name and business address of the owner or business principal.
    (b) Length of time in business and at what address(es).
    (c) Record of satisfactory responses to consumer complaints.
Then, and only then, should you select and contact a company based upon your knowledgeable comparisons.


When you request service from your carefully selected company:

  1. First, make sure that the unit is not working. You will most likely have to pay for the service whether it is, or not. (This is especially true if it's in warranty, since "no trouble" or "adjustment" calls are not normally covered.) Check your plugs and other external sources.

  2. Inquire if the company has experience with and access to parts for your particular equipment.

  3. If in warranty, or covered by a service contract, gather and have ready all necessary papers to substantiate place of purchase, purchase date, model and serial numbers, and warranty coverages.

  4. If not covered or not fully covered by a warranty, ask about basic and normally anticipated service fees -- and what services the fees cover for either in-home or carry-in. (Get it in writing.)

  5. Ask if "estimates" or "range of repair prices" are quoted before you are obligated for major repair expenses.

  6. Ask about the extent of the service company's guarantees on services performed and parts installed.

  7. Determine the maximum amount you will have to pay for service. If it's for home service, how much is the service call fee? How much time and what other services are included? What other fees could you be charged (mileage, etc.)?

  8. Inquire in advance about anticipated use of checks, credit cards or charge plans.

  9. When you make contact with the receptionist, manager or technician, request visual documentation (wall certificates or wallet I.D. cards) to verify claims of currently valid trade association memberships, factory authorizations, and employment of ISCET-Certified Electronics Technicians.
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