What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with an appliance specialist during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The best way to set up a consultation or appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic is virtually, with no in-person contact. After messaging the appliance repairman, you can ask to set up a video chat or phone call to discuss what work needs to be done. Make sure to ask them how they handle payments, keeping in mind that paying in advance may be safer than handling cash or credit cards until the pandemic is over. Ask the professional what procedures and precautions they have in place to ensure safety during this time.
If you decide to hire an appliance service specialist or repairman, check your local news for community guidelines and follow the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing. Discuss safety protocols with the appliance repairmen before they enter your home. And when they enter your home, stay at least 6 feet apart, don’t shake hands, sanitize all involved surfaces and use digital payments instead of cash or a check.
If you decide to postpone the work, consider buying a gift card from them or paying for future work. This is a great way to give back to the community, as many small businesses and individual contractors are feeling the economic effects of social distancing.
How can I find out if an appliance repairman or specialist is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?
The definition of an essential provider varies based on state, city and local guidelines. Visit the official government website of your state or city to see which services are considered an essential in your area.
For more information on a national level, read CISA’s publication on critical infrastructure workers. However, note that not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.
If the faulty appliance is located in your home (e.g., a washing machine, refrigerator, toilet, dishwasher, etc.), the appliance repairman will most likely need to come inside to complete their work. However, if your appliance is outdoors (e.g., a grill, outdoor kitchen, etc.), it may be possible for them to complete the work without entering your home and with limited person-to-person contact.
Many appliance professionals accept digital payments through Venmo, PayPal, Square Cash, Zelle and other online platforms. You should contact the business or individual before hiring them for the project to see how they handle payments, especially during this time of social distancing. Many businesses also list their methods of payment in their profiles.
You should contact appliance repairmen and specialists near you before hiring them for the project to see if they can offer their services remotely or virtually. Appliance repairs are typically done in person, but you can ask if it's possible to have a virtual consultation or an online walk-through. If you see that a pro is offering remote services in their profile, message them to find out what those services include.