I sincerely hope that you’re not here because you have fallen victim to ApplianceRepairman.ca. But if you are, there is hope. I was able to get most of my money back within a week by following the steps as outlined below.
If you have not heard of this company before, let me fill you in. They operate in the GTA (Toronto), Hamilton, Barrie and Oshawa. They are based in Vaughan, Ontario and owned and operated by Chen Kachovi (Interestingly enough, if you google him, you will find nothing).
This is how they operate:
- They charge $80 to send a technician.
- The technician will look for a minute at your broken appliance and then state that in order for him to get a proper diagnosis of the problem, he will have to open up the machine and that this is considered labour so you will be charged extra for it.
- He will draw up a contract/waiver for you to sign outlining the “labour” charges and the cost for each. This is what mine was, for a broken washing machine:
- Watering system: $112
- Mainboard/Timer: $98
- Safety system: $70
- Total: $280 (yes, this is the “magic number” that is calculated with every single case)
- He will tell you that he will deduct the $80 initial fee if you give him the go ahead to service the machine. You do the mental math and think “$280 – 80 = $200. Worth it to get my machine working again”. You sign the waiver.
- He spends about 10 minutes taking the machine apart to look at it, then states that you need to buy a replacement part at an exorbitant cost (ex. $408.88 for a latch and lock assembly which is $97.33 online). Oh, there will be labour fees on top of that.
- When you balk, he claims that he warned you beforehand about additional costs and you shouldn’t have signed the waiver if you weren’t willing to spend more money to get it fixed. And that collections services will come after you if you don’t pay what you owe right now ($280).
At this point, you will pause and wonder “Is this guy a scammer? But he seems nice! Well, it’s a lot of money, but I guess this is how most companies operate. Plus, I did sign the waiver so I’ll do what decent people do and honour the contract”. You give him your credit card and he rings it through. If you’re really unlucky, you will have given him the go ahead to order the needed part, too. Thankfully, I didn’t.
He leaves. You are $316.40 dollars poorer and your machine still doesn’t work. You go online and your stomach sinks when you start to read the abysmal reviews and articles written about this company:
As of today:
- Homestars: 502 negative reviews, .6/10 rating (that’s less than 1/10 btw)
- Better Business Bureau: “F” rating
- Ellen Roseman/Toronto Star article
- TrustPilot reviews: 28 reviews, 100% bad
- ApplianceRepairGuys.org: 35 bad reviews (yes, this is the same company, different name)
- SiteJabber: 10 reviews, all bad
- Google reviews: 102 bad reviews (google “ApplianceRepairman.ca reviews”, scroll down to the right, click “View all Google Reviews”
OMG, you think. I got hosed. Big time. How do I get my money back? You call your bank right away. They tell you there’s nothing they can do. You call the company and they tell you the technician honoured the contract you signed, so, sorry. They might offer you a $35 refund if you call more than once.
I decided to follow the advice found on ApplianceRepairGuys.org, a website set up by another victim of this company. He suggested filing a consumer complaint with Consumer Protection Ontario. Wisely, the crooks at ApplianceRepairman.ca will respond once you set the ball in motion here because they do not want to be shut down.
Before filing a complaint you must write a letter to the company. Email the letter to email@example.com and in the subject line write: Complaint about service done: CONSUMER PROTECTION ONTARIO (this will get their attention). Note that you don’t actually have to file a complaint just yet. Write the letter first and send it off, then wait to see if the company responds.
In your letter to the company, make sure you describe your intention to file a complaint with Consumer Protection Ontario and outline how much money you want back from them. Also give them a time limit to respond (I gave them 48 hrs but they responded the next day). Click here to read my letter.
The company will state that you must sign a waiver to get your money back which is basically a gag order for legal proceedings. You can try to insist that you won’t sign it until you get your money back but you won’t be successful. They will tell you that they you will receive a cheque within 15 business days once the waiver is signed. Insist that the money be put back on your credit card immediately after you give them the signed waiver. Here is where you need to take a huge leap of faith: You need to give them your credit card number again before they can process the refund. If you prefer, ask them for a mailed cheque, but you risk having to chase them down for it. I gave them my credit card number and received the refund immediately after sending them the signed waiver (yes, I called my bank right away and made sure that the funds had indeed been credited back to my card).
So there it is. It was 5 days of pure hell, but a lesson well learned. Never again will I let a service person into my house until I do some research on them.
Here are some questions I have left to ponder:
- How do the employees at this horrible company people sleep at night?
- How does VISA allow this company to fraudulently charge innocent people at a frighteningly frequent rate?
- How is this company allowed to exist?
- How do we shut this company down?
I welcome your comments below. Good luck with your efforts to get your money back if you are a victim. Please let me know how it turns out.
Re posted : https://sylviaduckworth.com/2018/09/07/appliancerepairman-ca-scam-how-to-get-your-money-back/