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A Unique Approach for Responding to Negative Yelp Reviews

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Appliance Repair Service, Samurai Incarnate 16 December 2014 · 864 views
Yelp
Recently, someone posted a bogus, malicious review about our appliance service business on Yelp. We had never worked for the reviewer nor had a service call that went anything like what he described. We think it may have been posted by a competitor. But this doesn't stop Yelp from posting it or allowing it to remain.

There are two ways to deal with such reviews on Yelp, both of which are focused on perception damage control and so are written with the potential customer in mind. But they are very different strategies:

1. The Serious Business Approach: This is a direct approach where you politely explain that, although you don't know who the reviewer is, that you would be happy to refund all his money if he contacts you with his real name. Then go on to showcase how your business works. This is the approach that 99.9% of service companies take.

2. The Surreal Approach: This strategy employs the principle of Judo where your opponent's own force is used against him. In the context of dealing with a fake review, the idea is to extend the reader's experience of reading a bogus review into the surreal and, in so doing, lampoon the bogus review. It's the proven technique of illustrating absurdity by being absurd. Again, this approach is not for a typical negative review by an actual customer. This is for over-the-top, fictional reviews by people who weren't even your customer.

And for most service companies, the first approach is probably the best strategy. However, if you have access to a creative writer (you can hire my son, Stephen), you can take the second approach.

Here's the reply we posted to our 1-star "review" on Yelp:

Why bother to tell a tale, William E., if you are going to leave out all the best parts? Come, gentle reader, let me tell you the rest of the story.

Things admittedly got off to a rough start when I walked into his house and stepped on his dog and dropped my toolbag on the cat. I then tried to diffuse the situation by paying a compliment to his grandfather, who tearfully explained that she was his wife. When Mr. E started to complain about all of this, I interrupted him by loudly imitating goat noises. I do this periodically to connect with my totem animal. It’s a spiritual thing.

Mr. E showed me to the oven and left to comfort his wife. I then felt the call from The Beyond and began to meditate. I was carried off to the seventh Heavenly Realm where Fixituru no Dotukami, the Great Samurai Repairman in the Sky, dwells. There, we drank sake and had our back hair braided by cherubs. I then started up the path of total appliantological nirvana, but was rudely brought back to earth by the voice of Mr. E asking what the *bleep* I was doing. This is why I appeared angry to him: never interrupt a man who is hallucinating vividly.

After skillfully applying duct tape to the oven and making a random guess at what the problem was, I went to pull up the repair cost on my tablet, when I realized I'd mistaken a piece of cardboard for my iPad. Again. Punching the cardboard with my fingers and making beeping noises, I made up a price on the spot using my keen, appliantological wit.

After he told me “no way,” I quickly hid the piece of paper Mr. E thought the part numbers were written on because I didn’t want him to see the sacred doodles of divination scrawled on it. They are not for the eyes of the uninitiated.

We here at The Appliance Guru are sorry that, as Mr. and Mrs. E stood in their doorway and watched me soar away on my magical, flying toilet, wishing one and all a merry Kwanza and sprinkling enchanted pixie dust across the land, they were not thrilled by my services. If it pleases Mr. E, I can return to his home to perform ritual suicide—perhaps the sight of my steaming entrails spilled on his kitchen floor will be enough to repair any ill-will.

We thank you for using our business. Have a nice day.


Here's the link to our Yelp page with the bogus review and our response: http://www.yelp.com/...ru-new-london-3


Master Appliance Repair at the Samurai Tech Academy

learn appliance repair and 3 more...
Things are hopping at the Samurai Tech Academy as we now have a steady stream of students, and quite a few enthusiastic graduates already. Here's a new presentation video for the Samurai Tech Academy that we created for the Sample Course page at the Academy site to introduce the course to prospective students. My two sons, Stephen and Sam, put together the presentation and wrote the script and I'm the big-mouth talking it through. Check it out!



This Christmas, give the gift of learning to someone you love. Whether they're making a mid-life career change, a young person looking for an interesting and lucrative career, or an already experienced appliance tech wanting to back-fill their knowledge gaps and up their game, the courses at the Samurai Tech Academy can get them where they want to go.

If you have any questions about the Samurai Tech Academy that aren’t answered on our FAQ page, just contact us by phone or email.

Read about our current offerings of online appliance repair courses. Then take our sample course to get a feel for what it’s like to learn appliance repair online at the Samurai Tech Academy. Finally, enroll in the course or courses of your choice.

The Samurai Tech Academy
Learn more. Earn more.
MasterSamuraiTech.com


How to build your own custom library of tech documents on a Kindle Fire, iPad, or other tablet in 4 easy steps!

service manuals, tablet computer and 6 more...
Having the right technical document with you on a service call and knowing how to use it are the two key ingredients to getting an appliance properly diagnosed and repaired.

Does that mean that you should try to find a mobile device that is already pre-loaded with appliance repair technical documents? There are several downsides to this approach, including the fact that you don’t know how current or relevant the pre-loaded docs are.

Instead, you can easily create your own information arsenal using a tablet of your choice and the powerful resource we describe in this video. It’s easy, cost-efficient, and effective.

Mrs. Samurai gives you a quick run-down on how to get the tech documents you need in the Downloads section here at Appliantology. Find out how you, too, can quickly and easily build your own custom library of tech documents on a Kindle Fire, iPad, or other tablet in 4 easy steps!


How the Energy Star Requirements are (unwittingly) Protecting the Appliance Repair Trade

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Appliance Repair Service 18 August 2014 · 1,993 views
appliance repair, regulations and 1 more...
Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of Big Gubmint-- it is far too impersonal, too easily bought and controlled by large corporate interests, and always anathema to individual liberty, security, and creativity. But, once in a while, Big Gubmint's meddlesome and doltish regulations have the unwitting effect of benefiting a narrow group of little people, like us. The Energy Star requirements are a case-in-point.

Thanks to the Energy Star requirements, manufacturers are making appliances that have a higher retail cost AND higher failure rates which translates into more frequent repairs, higher repair costs, and increased likelihood that the customer will opt to repair over replace. All of this bodes extremely well for the appliance repair industry and I know I have already been reaping the benefits of these regulations in my own service business. If you're a servicer, you probably are, too, but may not realize it.

Below, I'm re-posting an old opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal bemoaning the effects of the Energy Star requirements on top load washers. The deleterious effects on top load washers described in the article are spot-on. However, it's also undeniable that we, as appliance servicers, are reaping a windfall of business from these Energy Star requirements. So, despite my distaste for Big Gubmint and its relentless regulatory avalanche, I proudly embrace my hypocrisy when I proclaim, "All hail, Energy Star!"


***************************************************************


How Washington Ruined Your Washing Machine

It might not have been the most stylish, but for decades the top-loading laundry machine was the most affordable and dependable. Now it's ruined—and Americans have politics to thank.

In 1996, top-loaders were pretty much the only type of washer around, and they were uniformly high quality. When Consumer Reports tested 18 models, 13 were "excellent" and five were "very good." By 2007, though, not one was excellent and seven out of 21 were "fair" or "poor." This month came the death knell: Consumer Reports simply dismissed all conventional top-loaders as "often mediocre or worse."

How's that for progress?

The culprit is the federal government's obsession with energy efficiency. Efficiency standards for washing machines aren't as well-known as those for light bulbs, which will effectively prohibit 100-watt incandescent bulbs next year. Nor are they the butt of jokes as low-flow toilets are. But in their quiet destruction of a highly affordable, perfectly satisfactory appliance, washer standards demonstrate the harmfulness of the ever-growing body of efficiency mandates.

The federal government first issued energy standards for washers in the early 1990s. When the Department of Energy ratcheted them up a decade later, it was the beginning of the end for top-loaders. Their costlier and harder-to-use rivals—front-loading washing machines—were poised to dominate.

Front-loaders meet federal standards more easily than top-loaders. Because they don't fully immerse their laundry loads, they use less hot water and therefore less energy. But, as Americans are increasingly learning, front-loaders are expensive, often have mold problems, and don't let you toss in a wayward sock after they've started.

When the Department of Energy began raising the standard, it promised that "consumers will have the same range of clothes washers as they have today," and cleaning ability wouldn't be changed. That's not how it turned out.

In 2007, after the more stringent rules had kicked in, Consumer Reports noted that some top-loaders were leaving its test swatches "nearly as dirty as they were before washing." "For the first time in years," CR said, "we can't call any washer a Best Buy." Contrast that with the magazine's 1996 report that, "given warm enough water and a good detergent, any washing machine will get clothes clean." Those were the good old days.

In 2007, only one conventional top-loader was rated "very good." Front-loaders did better, as did a new type of high-efficiency top-loader that lacks a central agitator. But even though these newer types of washers cost about twice as much as conventional top-loaders, overall they didn't clean as well as the 1996 models.

The situation got so bad that the Competitive Enterprise Institute started a YouTube protest campaign, "Send Your Underwear to the Undersecretary." With the click of a mouse, you could email your choice of virtual bloomers, boxers or Underoos to the Department of Energy. Several hundred Americans did so, but it wasn't enough to stop Congress from mandating even stronger standards a few months later.

Now Congress is at it once again. On March 10, the Senate Energy Committee held hearings on a bill to make efficiency standards even more stringent. The bill claims to implement "national consensus appliance agreements," but those in this consensus are the usual suspects: politicians pushing feel-good generalities, bureaucrats seeking expanded powers, environmentalists with little regard for American pocketbooks, and industries that stand to profit from a de facto ban on low-priced appliances. And there are green tax goodies for manufacturing high-efficiency models—the kind that already give so many tax credits to Whirlpool, for example, that the company will avoid paying taxes on its $619 million profit in 2010.

Amazingly, the consensus also includes so-called consumer groups such as the Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union. At last week's hearing, the federation touted a survey supposedly showing overwhelming public support for higher efficiency standards. But not a single question in that survey suggested that these standards might compromise performance. Consumers Union, meanwhile, which publishes Consumer Reports, claims that new washers can't be compared to old ones—but that's belied by the very language in its articles.

We know that politics can be dirty. Who'd have guessed how literal a truth this is?

Mr. Kazman is general counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Original article posted at http://online.wsj.co...202212717670514


Want an Interesting and Lucrative Career? Skip College and Go Into Appliance Repair!

appliance repair, career, college
I was born in 1960. Both my parents were first-generation Americans, offspring of immigrants; my moms's side from Greece and my dad's side from Ireland via Canada. When I was growing up, the Kool-Aid was that you had to go college if you were going to be "somebody who mattered." My parents, both of the post-WWII Baby Boomer generation, totally drank that Kool-Aid and relentlessly bathed me in the College-Industrial complex propaganda:

"Go to college and you'll earn more money."

"Go to college to get a meaningful and interesting job."

"You can't be a complete person unless you've gone to college."

There was just one problem: I had absolutely no desire to go to college. I hated school. And by "school" I mean the government-funded warehouses most people park their kids in during the school year. In fact, I hated school so much that I quit in my junior year in high school. But, being a government-indoctrinated blood bag, what was my big idea? To go into the Navy and fix airplanes.

Actually, there was a bigger plan there. I wanted to learn a trade. The trade I had in mind was what I saw as an up and coming field: aircraft electronics technician.

I had a great job in the Navy repairing navigational radar equipment for Navy P3 anti-submarine squadrons. I can honestly say that it was the most challenging and interesting job I've ever had in my life, including my life as an engineer with not one but two college degrees-- more on that later.

So the end of my enlistment term rolls around and I opted to get Honorably discharged from Uncle Sam's Navy. While I loved the job, I hated all the micky mouse Navy shit: "Get a haircut, Brown." "Shine your shoes, Brown." "Quit smoking dope, Brown." Hey, I was still a teenager in the 70's - what do you expect?

Anyway, my enlistment term came to an end and me a buddy rode our motorcycles back home from Moffet Field, California-- my buddy to Texas and me to Georgia.

Once back home, the parental pressure resumed: go to college and make something of your train wreck of a life ("train wreck" because I had quit high school, shaming and embarrassing them to their corporate work-a-day friends).

I eventually succumbed to my parent's relentless pressure and guilt-trips. I had taken college courses while in the Navy and scored well enough on the SAT to get accepted into the University of Georgia. This isn't saying much as it was known as Budweiser U back in the 80's, before it somehow got a reputation as an academic hot spot in the South (which I still don't believe). I graduated in 1984 with a degree in Agricultural Engineering under the misguided vision that I would start one of the first legal marijuana farms in the country.

Well, that didn't work out so well.

So I worked for a year as a process engineer at Michelin Tire Corporation in Greenville, SC. That pretty much sucked. So after a year of sucking tire fumes, I was brain damaged enough to go BACK to college. This time for a Master's degree in Environmental Engineering so I could design hazardous waste treatment systems.

I think I reinvented the definition of "naively misguided." Now, when you look up "unbelievably naive" or "pretty fuckin' stupid," you'll see a picture of me.

I ended up with shitty jobs at consulting firms and corporations, primping around in suit and tie, learning to talk that fake professional talk in endless, pointless meetings with blow-hard lawyers, corporate apparatchiks, and hopelessly ignorant yet endlessly arrogant government regulators.

Then, one day, came my day of Epiphany.

I was at a job at a Tombstone pizza plant on an ammonia refrigeration system I had designed (it's a long story how I got into doing that, I'll tell that another time). I struck up a friendship with the head pipe fitter for the job, a union member.

The piping in ammonia refrigeration systems has to be steel because ammonia and copper hate each other. As my dear old dad, Grant Brown once told me, "Any asshole can work with copper; it takes a highly paid asshole to work with steel." And this guy was very highly paid, as I soon found out.

We compared work hours and salary/wages. Turns out he had more time off than me, made waaay more money than me, and enjoyed his job a lot more than me. So I then asked myself, I said, "Self, who got sold a bill of goods here?"

And that's when it hit me.

Most college degrees are about teaching you to become a corporate bureaucrat; to endure arbitrary deadlines and crank out work that has little personal meaning to you.

What you really want to is to be self-employed, not to work for some soul-sucking corporation. I discovered that the initial impulses of my youth were absolutely correct: avoid the college scam, learn a skill, and start your own business. Starting your own business is the essence of the American Dream because it is an expression of personal freedom and creativity.

The day I realized that, I quit my corporate job and began my adventure as an appliance repair tech. It's been much more interesting and challenging work than anything I did as an engineer.

Yanno, maybe back in the day, when getting a job with a Big Corporation meant employment for life, it might have made sense to go to college. But not these days. Nawsir, the name of the game today is to go your own way, make your own path. And starting your own appliance repair business is one of the best ways to do that today according to this report:

Great News: Positive Job Outlook for Appliance Repair Techs!






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