By Alan Wolf, YSN
With stay-at-home rules in effect across the country, consumers are using their appliances more than ever, giving their machines the workout of their functional lives.
As A.J. James, owner of Pegasus Appliance Repair in Dallas told the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), “People are using every appliance more. [Those] who normally cook once or twice a year are now using their ovens every day; they’re running dishwashers at the highest sanitization setting; their fridges are stocked to the gills with all the stuff they’ve been buying.”
As a consequence, James, like most servicers, has established a strict set of protocols to keep his staff and his customers safe during the anticipated rise in home visits. A winner of the 2019 Most Professional Servicer Award from the Appliance Service Training Institute, his new rules for service calls include mandatory handwashing and maintaining a distance of 10 feet at all times between the customer and the technician, providing an added margin of safety beyond the recommended six.
“Social distancing is a key factor,” James explained in an AHAM blog. “We’re asking customers to stay in another room. Any coughing [or] an accidental sneeze is kept in that other room.”
Pegasus also requires a readily accessible place in customers’ homes where technicians can wash their hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water and dry them with disposable towels, both before and after the repair. That’s in addition to the masks, gloves, booties and disinfectant that the staff is already outfitted with.
Customers, James said, are largely OK with it. “It’s the new norm, and people get it,” he noted. “We aren’t going to put anyone in a situation where they put themselves or others at risk. I need to make sure we’re not taking something from house to house.”
And for those who don’t “get it”?
“Now is not the time to be nice,” he advised. “If the customer won’t stay 10 feet away, grab your tools and parts, exit the house. We’ll call the customer.”
The complete column, along with repair triage and other best practices from the acclaimed Fred’s Appliance Academy, is available on the AHAM Blog page.