Dear UASA Members and Appliance Servicers,
Both as people and as an industry, this is an unprecedented event. It’s impossible to know exactly how it will play out and we’re all on edge.
In most municipalities that have enacted Shelter in Place orders or Stay at Home mandates, appliance services have been considered Essential Businesses that maintain the infrastructure of communities and are therefore not subject to shutdown orders. Of course, the challenge lies in the fact that many of our customers may not know we’re open, and that even among those who do, they may be understandably wary to allow our technicians into their homes. It’s up to each of our businesses to get the word out that we’re still here to serve our customers and that we’re taking all necessary measures to ensure that we can continue to do so safely.
It’s up to each of our businesses to get the word out that we’re still here to serve our customers and that we’re taking all necessary measures to ensure that we can continue to do so safely.
Things are unpredictable at the moment. Some of us may not be able to move forward and will be forced to close our businesses for a while, some perhaps for good. Many will continue moving forward, adjusting our operations each day based on the situations in our own communities. In large part, where each business stands at the end of this all may depend on whether its foundation was a firm one prior to this pandemic. All in all, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution. This time is about being dynamic and responsive to the realities that we are each facing.
Our greatest responsibility as business owners will be to set and enforce measures to protect our technicians, office staff and customers.
Regardless of anything, we know that appliances won’t stop breaking and our customers won’t stop needing them repaired. It may even be the case that with more folks working from home, we’ll see an increase in demand. To continue performing this service, though, our greatest responsibility as business owners will be to set and enforce measures to protect our technicians, office staff and customers. Some of our technicians, especially those who are older, may become uncomfortable being on the front lines during this pandemic. It is our job as owners to hear and listen to their concerns, offer them the option not to work during this time and to promise that they will have a job when they feel it is safe enough to return to work.
Practically speaking, we are facing a lack of protective equipment. The medical community naturally has priority in receiving these supplies, and as so many of us have heard, they, too, are enduring a critical shortage. As production ramps up on face masks, disposable shoe covers, eye shields, and other personal protective equipment, it may be up to us as owners to advocate for our companies to municipal authorities to receive these critical items in order to protect our technicians. If we are considered an essential service, our elected officials should assist us to ensure that our safety needs are met.
As some of you may know, Solar Refrigeration and Appliance Service, the company that my husband and I have owned for the past 38 years, was located in the part of the New Orleans metro area that was most severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was a tumultuous and uncertain time that forced us to utterly shift how we did business. But having experienced that crisis, what I can tell you is that, inevitably, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
This pandemic will eventually pass, and when it does, we will all move on having learned some important lessons. Right now, take one day at a time and understand that we are all in this together. Stay healthy, keep your families close, and know that UASA is here rooting you on!
Corrine C. Caruso, President
United Appliance Servicers Association
FAQs Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Appliance Repair Services
Can my appliance repair business operate during the COVID-19 Shelter in Place Orders or Stay at Home Mandates?
Yes! Appliance repair service is considered an essential business. We are authorized to continue operations for “maintaining the safety, sanitation, food preservation, and essential operation of residences.”
What are the recommended protocols for in-home service?
Protocols will vary from company to company, but we recommend including the following points in your prevention plan:
- Verify that no one in your customer’s home has COVID-19 symptoms prior to scheduling appliance repair appointments.
- Ask technicians and customers to follow CDC recommendations regarding social distancing. Ensure technicians maintain 6 feet distance from customers.
- Ask customers to isolate vulnerable residents, including children & elderly, in a separate room during the service appointment.
- Ask customers to provide a clean sink with warm water and soap for technicians to wash their hands.
- Wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant when supplies are available.
- Avoid leave-behinds at this time. Share receipts with customers via email. Collect payment via credit card (don’t accept checks or cash at this time).