Gouged on repair part by appliance repair company?

My Kenmore refrigerator quit cooling. I called an appliance repair company. The tech said I needed a new "pc board." I don't know why he called it that, except it sounds more ominous than "defroster timer," which it really was, and was even so identified on the box that he brought the next day.
Anyway, he didn't have that part with him; said he'd return the next day with it. Before he left, I had to pay him $159.19 in advance for the part. When I asked him how he came up with $159.19 (he hadn't looked a any lists or made any phone inquiries), he said he remembered the price from the last time he had needed the same part.
Before he returned the next day, I checked with Sears and two other parts store in town and found that I could have bought the part--retail--for between $55 and $62. (I knew the part number, because Sears provides parts lists for almost everything mechanical it sells.)
So, he was charging me almost 3 times the retail cost for the part. I assume he could have bought it even for less than my retail cost.
QUESTION: is this typical of repair companies to charge exorbitant prices for parts?
This guy was not an independent guy; he worked for a large appliance repair company in town.
DH in Denver
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wrote:

Some of the new timers are all electronic. The older ones are usually black or white plastic and just a mechanical timer.

If they have a house account he probably paid around $40.00 for it.

If that $159 was including labor you did ok. If not (and the part you inquired about was the correct one at $55 your cost) you got hosed.
In most pricing books the "list price" is the manufacturers suggested price on what the customer should be charged. With an account in good standing the company will usually pay half that list price. If he paid $40, a reasonable price to charge would have been $80.00.
In my line of work (commercial HVAC) I change the markup depending on the price of the part. If it's a low priced part it will be doubled. More expensive parts get a reasonable 30% markup. Even if I truly despised a customer I would never jack the price up 4X.
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On Wed, 10 Dec 2003 03:50:17 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (vairxpert) wrote:

Unfortunately, there is nothing preventing him from charging what he wants.
You have the option to complain to the BBB, but that is not going to changed anything.
PJ
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<< You have the option to complain to the BBB, but that is not going to changed anything. >><BR><BR>
Other than the repair company's reputation. zemedelec
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Actually...the BBB has no authority to do anything.
Make a complaint, and the company can send back a reply of: We are not going to do anything at this time....and guess what? Complaints gone.
I still cant figure out why anyone would pay over $1000 a year to belong to an organization that does nothing for you....go figure... I guess thats another reason why all those other guys labor rates are high..have to pay those dues...
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<<

Actually...the BBB has no authority to do anything.
Make a complaint, and the company can send back a reply of: We are not going to do anything at this time....and guess what? Complaints gone.
Your local BBB must operate differenty from the one here in New Orleans. Granted, they have no authority to drag someone with a complaint against them into court--you have to do that yourself. But they do register complaints, and the complaints stay around a long, long time. zemedelec
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They only take complaints if they arbitrate it, and have no authority to garnish or inforce it. In 92 or 93 they tried to print THEIR phone book. they solicited funds 300 from me, Never printed, never refunded a dime. to anyone. BBB The BAD Butthead Bureau.
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It sounds like you have a beef with the BBB, so I'll take anything you say about it with a grain of salt. zemedelec
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Zemeldic, No beef , just the facts, I dont care about the BBB, As CBvac said the bbb wont do anything. I take my problems to small claim. There is inforcement in court rulings.
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vairxpert wrote?

How do you know you were gouged? Just because something was named differently doesn't prove that IMHO. For example; hot water tap versus hot water valve! How much did you pay for a) the part b) The visit or visits (it sounds as though two were involved?) including use of a vehicle, the amount of time, expertise of the technician and the tools available and used. If you were concerned about cost why didn't you diagnose and fix it yourself. That's what we did 25+ years ago with a non electronic defrost timer costing, then, IIRC about $40. Today an electronic one probably around $100-$150, say, plus labour and all the above time/work for an electronic timer? I'm guessing maybe around $250? Terry.
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DH in Denver posted for all of us....

Well... He's gonna charge you retail for the part. He's gotta run his truck and get paid and pay his bills and insurance & so on & on & on. He's really making 2 trip to your abode so look at it's $50 a trip + part & you got a diagnosis and repair in there. So unless you haven't told us something seems like pretty good deal. Do you work for free? Iknow it only seems like it. What would Sears charge to repair it?
--
Tekkie

Politicians & diapers are filled with it & both should be changed regularly.
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Unfortunately,many people still think 25.00 is reasonable for a service call.
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They are also called ICBs..so?

Oh god...you know...I know the prices off my head of about 100 parts that we use on a regular basis...I just priced out a YorkGuard IV module that I have not seen in over a year in use on an older unit, and I knew before I called to verify the price it was going to be over $400. Be glad the guy didnt pull out his flat rate book and give you a price...it might have been closer to $250.

If that price included labor..you did good.

Maybe..maybe not. Sears tends not to wholesale anything unless you are a Sears bot.

Answer: Did you pay it? Did he install it? Does your unit work now? If you did, too late. The time to bitch was before.

Ahh..there you go.. I believe that you got a fair price. Did you pay for the FIRST service call out? Lets break it down..using outdated labor pricing.
First service call: $50 Part: $60 Labor to install part $50
Total, $160
Problem?

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wrote:

What was the total bill?
Steve B.
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Did he charge any labor? If not, you got a real bargain.
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