Need a new appliance or repair? Expect long delays during pandemic


AUSTIN (KXAN) — More people are working from home, and that means home appliances are getting used more as well, leading to more repairs and the need for new appliances.

But this is not the best time to get something if you need it immediately. Taylor Ross found that out the hard way. Needing new appliances and repairs for his rental house, Ross called his dad for advice.

“He was like, ‘good luck because I just had to go buy a refrigerator and the back orders were insane,'” Ross said. “That was the first time I thought about it and realized, ‘wow, this is not ideal.'”

Sacha Barnes with FBS Factory Builder Stores says the down time at home has led to more people deciding to remodel or replace appliances, not realizing there can be delays. She advises customers to be patient when shopping.

“It is about four weeks at the minimum, and that is if something shows it is in stock at the manufacturer,” said Barnes.

What’s causing the delays?

Manufacturers have trimmed product lines, and supply chain disruptions aren’t helping.

“We have several holes here (in showroom) because we have had to start taking things from the floor to fill orders we have,” Barnes said.

It’s also hard to find parts for repairs with increased demand. Ross says when he tried to call a repairman to come out, there was no one readily available.

“Even though they had the part it took almost two weeks, a week and a half to get the repair guy out there because they said our repair guys are just so backed up,” Ross said.

Ross also needed an oven, but had to compromise for the time being.

“There was a ding and dent wall oven, and it had a little dent in the back, so I was able to get it put it in my car and take it over there (to the rental house),” Ross said.

Barnes says prices are also rising for appliances.

“For 2021, we are looking at price increase across the board at 5-6%.”

Barnes says they don’t expect the maintenance calls or delays for new appliances to slow down until well into 2021.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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