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                                                      Why Does It Cost So Much To Fix It?

Interesting question. Usually asked when the owner of a consumer product is presented with an out-of-warranty estimate to repair a product. Variants on it are:

1. I didnít pay that much for it!
2. I can buy a new one for that!
3. You charge how much an hour?

Contrary to what some may tell you, a television set is one of the most complex electronic products ever made. In times past (referred to as the good old days), technicians would arrive with a number of parts caddys. A Zenith TV or an Admiral or an RCA used similar replaceable components. Tubes. A simple amplifier tube in one was the same tube in another. Since most of these parts were the same, the quality of the product was based on the quality of the manufacturing.
Remember the old ad ďThe quality goes in before the name goes onĒ? With rare exceptions, and usually in the very high-end products, those days are gone. Why? Manufacturers only want to manufacture. They have no interest in selling, other than generating more manufactured products. They donít care who sells or buys their products, just as long as someone does buy them and they make a profit. Then they can invent more products to manufacture.
Dealers are the sellers of those products. They donít care what they sell, as long as they have something to sell and make a profit at it. Neither manufacturers nor dealers want to talk about a product becoming defective. Why should they? They only want to make the product and sell the product. If a dealer goes back to a manufacturer, that manufacturer does not want to talk about service or support; Just how many products are the dealers going to buy this year. Dealers want to see you in their store every day, with checkbook open. Thatís what they are there for. If you come in with a service problem or defective product - they will go back to the manufacturer with it, usually through product buyers.
When a product is repaired under a manufacturerís warranty, that cost is charged back to the factory that made the product. Thatís an expense they do not want. When parts are needed, they have to divert from manufacturing a percentage of parts for service. Thatís an expense they donít want. They have to provide service literature (schematics), training on that product, a service administration department in their host country - all of which is an expense they donít want. All of this (in varying degrees of competence) is provided by each manufacturer to independent service companies who are authorized to service their product. Manufacturers state that they are factory ďtrainedĒ or factory ďauthorizedĒ implying that they are a notch above other service companies. That is not true. It simply means that a service company signed a contract for a fixed (reduced) price. And they try hard to avoid paying even that reduced rate. When there is a delay in service, who should you trust? The people who made it or the people who make a living servicing it? To whose advantage is it to delay service?
The labor cost to repair a $500 TV is the same hourly cost to work on a $5000 TV. They want you to throw away the $500 TV and buy a new one. The cost of purchasing parts, sitting on the phone waiting for technical assistance, new-defective parts (which have to be sent back and reordered) and training all drive up the cost of every repair. That is IF the manufacturer has parts available, service literature or technical assistance. And many do not!

Excepted from The Grump Report.  See the full article here.