A Lesson Learned From My Broken Dishwasher

dishwasher-repairOur Samsung dishwasher had broken down a few days ago.

I realized just how important this household appliance really was to my family once it broke. Having to hand wash dishes after every meal is just awful!

In order to fix it I was trying to get in touch with an old referral, but had no success.

So I went online to look for the best local guy that could fix my problem.

The first serviceman I called was a Samsung certified technician. He asked me a few questions and immediately nailed it down to one or two scenarios. He quoted me $120 to come out. That sounded pricey to me.I’ll never make the mistake again!

Being an accountant, of course I had to get a few more quotes for comparison.

The second company I called was one of our neighbor’s referrals. Unfortunately, they no longer serviced Samsung dishwashers.

The third person I called had the same answer and explained that Samsung changed their policy to restrict selling their parts to only authorized technicians.

I couldn’t even find someone to do a price comparison!

Finally, the fourth company called me back. I asked if they were licensed (that’s what they said on their online posting). He said he is licensed for installing HVAC. Mmmm, that was a big red flag.

But he quoted me $35 to come out to check the dishwasher. Being a bean counter, that was enough for me to give him an opportunity!

Although I felt skeptical, I scheduled an appointment with him for Thursday at 11am. I asked him again if he actually knew how to fix my dishwasher and he assured me that “appliance repair was their business” and it was “all they do.”

Thursday came around and nobody showed up at 11am. Nobody showed up throughout the entire day. I didn’t get any phone calls changing the appointment. It was simply a no-show.

After getting fed up with washing dishes after every meal, I decided to bite the bullet and called the first licensed Samsung technician back. He still quoted me the same fee and mentioned that parts would cost extra, but it was unlikely extra parts would be needed.

He showed up two hours later at my house with a sweater with a Samsung logo on it. He immediately got down to work.

He drained the water, turned off the breaker, disconnected the hose, opened a few parts, found the small piece that got stuck within the fan, put everything back together and tested it. Still some weird noise.

So he repeated the same process. 15 minutes later, we got a working dishwasher! Magical!

He used to work for Samsung as an engineer for 6 years. He decided to go out on his own. We talked about how it was difficult for other technicians to order Samsung parts. Turned out that Samsung only sells their parts to licensed technicians.

Yes, he is probably the most expensive technician I could find, but he was worth it. I was so close to giving up and just buying a new dishwasher. Good thing I finally found this technician to help solve the issue.

But he showed up and got the job done. He had worked for Samsung for 6 years and was a licensed professional.

He was an expert. He knew his stuff. And he got results. After all this back and forth and finally getting it fixed. I know they are out there and they make sure you’re happy with the end result!

This reminded me of a couple I met a few days ago. They were both real estate investors. They had read my article on using capital cost allowance to offset against their income and they were extremely interested in using that strategy for their five properties.

They met with their accountant once a year.

Under the advice of their accountant they didn’t deduct capital cost allowance against their rental income.

Instead, they were advised to report their first rent to own closing as business income on the basis that the tenant decides to exercise the option early.

Their advisor knew very little about rent-to-own programs and didn’t have any investment properties himself.

He’s still licensed. Similar to the fourth company that I contacted for my dishwasher; they were licensed tradesmen, but they aren’t licensed to fix Samsung appliances specifically.

When it comes to building your real estate portfolio, it is important to build yourself a team of specialized experts. You may pay more, but the experts know their stuff and they are reliable.

This includes real estate specific agents, lawyers, property managers, and most importantly, your accountant!

I asked the Samsung technician why my dishwashing capsules (they’re called Powerballs) sometimes would not melt in the wash cycle. He told me that, “these capsules are meant for heavy-duty, the water temperature has to be hotter and the water must be ‘soft water’ to achieve optimal results.”

We have a water softener at home, but we rarely set the dishwashing cycle to heavy, and hence, the temperature was never hot enough.

He recommended us to use liquid dishwasher gel instead. Perfect for all kinds of water.

Yes. He’s an expert!

Next time when you are in your professional advisors’ office, make sure you ask them if they own any investment real estate. Ask if they know the rent-to-own strategy and question how they are reporting your information for your last year’s tax return. If you’re with a good advisor they should be able to explain things to you confidently and clearly.

Remember – an expert knows their stuff!

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