The 8 LED lights in my 2 year old Kenmore fridge don't light up so I called Better Care Appliance Repair on Monday late morning and made an appointment for an AM time slot the next day. Around lunch time I found the fridge manual online and discovered that the LEDs are in serial so if one breaks they all break. So I called BCAR again to ask them to send the technician with a new LED. They said they'd find out about the part and call me back. I called back a couple of times that afternoon but all I got was promises to call me back but nobody did. Finally I called in the evening and cancelled the appointment for the next day. The next day -- Tuesday -- somebody called me around 4 PM in the afternoon and said they managed to find the LED and they quoted $85 for that part and $180 for the installation. I found it for $60 online so BCAR charge a hefty mark-up; nearly 50% above consumer prices just on parts. I gave them my credit card to order the part, and they said they'd call me to arrange the install date when it arrives. They reminded me that if it turns out that the LED isn't the issue then I must eat the $85 myself and keep the part. This is already pretty sucky service because if I ordered the part myself on Amazon and saved $25 then I could get a refund if necessary from a normal supplier. This is my first time using BCAR and I didn't want to over complicate things. I'm also surprised at the steep $180 fee just to install the LED light... but I decided to wait until they actually do the work to make the final judgement.
On the Wednesday at 9:12 AM I received a text message notifying me about an appointment 9 minutes earlier at 9 AM... an appointment that I never made! Also, my credit card had not been billed for the part. So I called BCAR to ask about the strange text message and why the part had not been ordered yet. They said please ignore the text message. And that the part will be ordered by 11 AM. At 11:15 AM I called again because the credit card was still not charged. They said they would order it 'in 2 minutes'. At this stage about 2 days have gone by since I first told them about the LED part. And they're saying it's going to take another 2 days for their supplier to deliver once they get around to ordering. Because of their delay ordering then it's unlikely to arrive before Xmas and that'll delay everything by another half a week... sigh. At 11:19 AM they finally charged my credit card. The amount was $85 exactly... so their quoted price is including taxes?
At 12:05 AM we opened the fridge door and mysteriously all the LED lights were working again! Somehow the problem had resolved itself. So I called BCAR to ask if they can cancel the part. They said they couldn't and that when it arrives they will charge more money to send it to me by post. They did explain their consumer unfriendly conditions to me before so I cannot be surprised... but it is annoying.
All in all, I cannot recommend BCAR. Although they are consistently very friendly on the telephone and pick up very quickly, these negative experiences leave a bad taste in my mouth: (a) promised to call me back and didn't, (b) after learning about the part, still took 48 hours for them just to order the part, (c) parts are non-refundable... it's probably better for you to order the part yourself, e.g. my part could even be ordered on Amazon, (d) they charged an extra 50% on top of the cheapest I found the part for in the internet, (e) they estimated $180 to install the LED light... which is as simple as clicking it out, unplugging it, plugging in the new one, and clicking it back into place.
I found it very annoying having to call them all the time to find out what's happening. Email would have been better but they don't seem to support email. I think it would be better for them to have a more transparent business model, e.g. charging a fee per hour? BCAR seems to have excellent people on the phone but a not so good business model. If they tweaked it a bit in favour of the consumer then they might have a winning formula.
Update: At 1 PM BCAR called me after reading this review and politely offered to refund the $85 part for which I am very grateful. They also promised to make their part ordering process better and faster. They also explained that their minimum labour charge for a non-diagnosis visit is $180 whether the visit takes 2 minutes or 3 hours. So they currently have no way to minimize the amount if the install only takes 5 or 10 minutes. I had the impression that they genuinely care about providing a good service and therefore I updated this review to reflect their feedback.