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New tech Company Helped Me Fix My Fridge

4241 2828 Sean D

New Tech Company Helped Me Fix My Fridge in Under 5 Minutes

It was a scorching North Carolina afternoon when I expectantly pressed the ice dispenser button on my fridge door.  The motor tumbled around as if it was going to send down some desperately needed ice.  What? No Ice?  Ok, well I still have the cooled refrigerator water to drink. I pressed the water button, and….nothing!  I stared disappointedly at my ice-less, water-less empty, glass. Frustration and annoyance grew quickly as I realized I’d have to live with tepid sink water, forever, if I didn’t want to shell out the money to fix the machine. As a mom with my husband gone on a military deployment for the next year, I did not need anything else to add to my list of problems. It may seem like a small one, but when they pile up, they don’t seem so small.  Like anyone, I just wanted my icemaker and water dispenser to work! I spent quite a bit on my fridge a few years ago, and although the warranty period had expired, I didn’t want to spend more money to fix it.   Is a freshly filtered cold glasses of ice water too much to ask on a product that I had already spent a good amount on money on?  Ok, so what were my options?  I called a few local repair places for the cost to send a guy out.   The cheapest quote was no less than $85 for the in-home service call and that did not include the parts.  He estimated the total to be $100 (not knowing the problem). “Well, there goes that plan” I said aloud. It was over. Tepid sink water it was, or buying one of those pitchers that I would have to keep refilling. (You know your kids aren’t going to do it).

An alternate solution soon appeared. I was on Facebook and friends I trusted kept sending me shares and likes of a company called Tin Lizzee, a DIY online appliance repair company for under 25 bucks.

Now, I was a bit of a skeptic. I am not a big DIYer and I did not know anything about appliance repair so up until now I didn’t even attempt the YouTube route. Still, I was willing to try it out, ice cold water was at stake in the hot NC summer.  I went to their website and was immediately impressed by how professional it seemed. The message was clear, the promises tempting, and the price an absolute steal. Just $20 dollars for a “diagnosis” to find the problem and $25 for a “repair”.  That I could afford, and who knows, my husband would even be impressed if I repaired it myself. I clicked on the site’s chat button and I was immediately connected to an appliance technician named John. His chat was very friendly and he started asking me questions about my fridge model and exactly what issues I was encountering. Yesterday, what seemed like an insurmountable problem, was solved in less than 5 minutes!  “With these LG fridges, the ice maker motors give out. I see it all the time,” he assured me.  “You need a replacement motor and a water valve”, he explained.  John emailed me the part numbers and a link to buy the parts I needed for the repair. I even order the parts through the Tin Lizzee website and got a 10% discount on my order. He let me know that if I wanted help with the repair when my parts came in, jump on the website or make an online appointment when I was ready and they could walk me through the process. I asked if it would be difficult to do myself. He said with the free Tin Lizzee Virtually There™ camera sharing APP he would be able to see my phone screen and draw on it to show me what to do!  All that for less than $25 bucks.

As of this post I haven’t yet done the repair, but the part has been ordered and I’m actually kind of excited to try it out. This experience was a very pleasant surprise. There were no hidden fees, just the $19.95 up front, and I was connected to a real technician who solved my problem in almost five minutes.

Considering that I’m not exactly a handyman, I’m planning on using Tin Lizzee again to help me through the repair. John really made the whole process so easy, and I’m still surprised by how affordable it was. I didn’t have to play any games like trying to get a technician to come to my house or pay a ton of money for the repair. I really felt in control of the situation, almost like a true DIY-er! I will make another post about my experience with the repair when I get the parts.

Super Mom fixes washer, saves family!

1014 408 Sean D
Well, our company’s beginnings weren’t exactly that dramatic, but at the time they sure felt like it. Our founder, a mom of four, went to do laundry one night when- shock and horror!- the washing machine started making an awful noise and stopped working. At the time, we just didn’t have the money to get a new machine, and did not want to pay for another expensive in home repair service. Out in rural North Carolina, there weren’t any laundromats close by, and no guarantee that a repair man could come anytime within the week. Instead, our fearless mother was determined to figure out what was wrong with the machine herself.  She tried searching on the internet for answers but it took over 5 hours on a Sunday to figure out what she thought might be the problem.  With every search, countless videos and articles appeared, all of different washers with different problems, none the one she needed.
“I just wish I could show someone this problem!” She repeated this to me many times in her frustration, trying to name the mystery noise. After hours of searching through videos, she found a video of the same model washing machine making the same noise that told her the issue was a faulty water pump, but no video on how to fix it.  After more searching, (a lot of searching), she was able to order a replacement pump but was still not sure this was the problem or the correct part. Now came the next step- try to fix the machine without ruining it. Back to the videos! After more searching and watching, she found one video that talked about replacing a water pump, but it was not the same brand or part. We did manage to replace the pump through trial and error, but the process was frustrating and time consuming.  She kept saying to me, “If I just could have shown a technician my problem with my phone, I know the tech would have known in a minute or two what the problem was and how to fix it.”
She was elated that we were able to fix it ourselves, but convinced that it took way too long and that finding accurate, reliable information on the internet was far too difficult. Thus, the idea for Tin Lizzee was born.  An easy, cost effective way to diagnose problems and repair appliances by connecting people to qualified technicians who can help all those DIY-ers like our fearless mom.

Your Next Appliance Repair May Feature A Technician On The Other Side of the Country, or the World

150 150 Sean D

As an online recruiter for an innovative new business, I speak to people from all over the country, and I hear many different takes on the businesses they are in.  I began recruiting in 2005, so you would think there would be few surprises in store for me, but the current group of guys I’m dealing with have completely changed my perspective. Everyone would like more pay, better conditions, and a boss they just love. These guys universally believe they have found all three, and aren’t shy about telling you.

Before I tell you about these enthusiastic and excited guys, I need to give you some background on the business they have joined. I am the lead recruiter for an online, DIY appliance repair company called Tin Lizzee. This company has a radical new take on repairing home appliances, partnering DIY home owners with appliance repair technicians who have years of experience and expertise. Using Tin Lizzee’s new technologies, the technicians guide the customer through a diagnosis or a repair of their broken appliance using chat and live camera sharing. The camera sharing, using Tin Lizzee’s Virtually There™ APP, allows the technician to literally see what the customer sees, to freeze the customer’s screen and then mark on it to highlight key points.

Customers save a great deal of money by not paying for an in-home service call.  They pay only $19.95 for diagnosis and $24.95 for repair.  Doing it themselves also allows the DIYer to do it on their own schedule and saves taking time off from work. Obviously, Tin Lizzee’s customers think this is a serious win-win, with little downside.  But what do the on line technicians think?

Who are these Tin Lizzee Technicians, and what do they think of this new way to conduct their business?  They are highly experienced technicians, with an average of 15 years in their trade.  For the most part, they have worked with major appliance repair companies, but many are independent contractors in their own right, some even owning their own appliance repair businesses. 

What is it they find so appealing about Tin Lizzee and its unique business model?  The answers are as varied as the technicians themselves, who come from all regions and lifestyles, but some basic themes emerge.  John, a 16-year appliance repair technician who specializes in repairing refrigerators, freezers, and icemakers, sums up what many Tin Lizzee Techs think in one sentence, “I’m sick of being on the road.”  It is common for appliance repair technicians to spend half their day driving from one in-home service call to the next.  Tom, a tech from Bedford, Virginia, noted, “Just today I drove over 250 miles to answer 12 calls.  I was ready to get off the road.  With Tin Lizzee, I can earn money when I would have been stuck in a traffic jam.”  A Tin Lizzee Technician can literally sit in his living room while answering the calls of Do it Yourself Appliance repair customers.  Since the Technicians communicate only by chat, they can stay in their homes while helping a customer fix a dishwasher or repair a washing machine that won’t drain.

The flexibility Tin Lizzee provides its customers then, extends to its technicians. David, an appliance tech who hails from the Bronx, NY, told me he is especially excited about the ability to reach customers anywhere in the world.  “Not only has Tin Lizze broadened my customer base beyond the limit of where I can drive, it actually gives me global reach.  Since Tin Lizzee’s chat features language translation, I can conduct a chat with a customer in Finland, in his own language!”  Flexibility indeed, when you can work from anywhere you like, regardless of where in the country, or the world, your customer is located!

     A common difficulty traditional appliance repair techs encounter is dealing with customers who are upset at the high price of appliance repairs.  The customers are often annoyed to learn that a second visit is required because the needed part was not already with the technician.  Frank, a Tin Lizzee technician from California, noted, “So many in-home service customers are surprised and angry when I present the bill.  They take that anger out on me.  With Tin Lizzee, they know the price is low, and they have already paid it up front.  I love not having to deal with that!”  Tin Lizzee advertises that with just a few tools and the experience of their techs, most homeowners can make their own repairs, saving themselves both time and money.  This innovative alternative does just that.

Another commonly expressed sentiment concerns the large companies for which many of the technicians worked.  Many technicians are frustrated with having to “up sell” or push extended appliance warranties that overpromise and under deliver.  “Tin Lizzee allows me to take care of my customers with integrity,” said Kevin, “I don’t feel like I have gone into their house on false pretenses.  The big companies don’t always care if the customer’s dryer gets repaired.  They would rather I sold them the extended warranty.”

Tin Lizzee offers a better way for homeowners to solve the problems caused by a failed appliance, whether it is a dryer that leaves clothes damp or a range that won’t heat up.  Tin Lizzee Technicians are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to turn a frustrating situation into an empowering one that saves both time and money. Even when the repair itself is beyond the capability of an untrained homeowner, the Tin Lizzee techs are a big help.  Fidel from New York captured this when he said, “Even if they can’t do the repair, if I talk them through the diagnosis and help them purchase the part at a better price, they already have saved money.  They also probably cut out one service call.  They don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of by the repair guy, they can just say, ‘Change this part for me.’

But what about the better pay, conditions, and a boss they love? The technicians can work as much as they like, or as little. With no time driving between appointments or prepping vehicles, that is more time devoted to helping customers. They have the ability to double the national average pay for an appliance technician. And what better work conditions than working wherever the heck you please? Since WiFi access is the only limit, they can work on a park bench or their couch at home!  That just leaves a boss you love. All Tin Lizzee technicians are independent contractors, so in effect, they are their own boss. So yes, indeed, they have a boss that definitely has their best interest at heart and who will do whatever it takes to help them succeed!

Tin Lizzee is a hit with both customers and the appliance repair experts who make this new and innovative way to repair your own appliance a success.  Once, a failed freezer or a damaged dryer ensured a days-long, expensive, and frustrating process.  With Tin Lizzee’s motivated and highly experienced technicians, appliance repair DIYers have help just a chat button away.  They merely ask a tech, and the answers to their problems are on their way.

What’s a MERV Rating?

150 150 Elizabeth Bonesteel

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, meaning this rating evaluates the effectiveness of air filters. Understanding these ratings will help you pick the best filter for you.

The scale ranges from 1-20, meaning the higher the number, the smaller the number of particles that can pass through it. MERV Ratings are set to measure a filter’s performance in a worst-case scenario. But a higher number does not necessarily mean the filter is better for you.

Most residential homes use a filter with a rating between 8 and 13. These filters are designed to capture hair, fibers, plant spores, molds, dust, some forms of smoke and smog, and (according to Wikipedia) pudding mix. These are many of the primary concerns of homeowners (no one likes air-born pudding mix).  Higher rated filters, from 14-20, are primarily used in hospital and healthcare settings where filtering out microscopic particles and bacteria is crucial. While these higher rated filters technically do a better job, they are much more expensive and must be changed more often than other filters. They can also restrict airflow and often won’t fit in residential HVAC systems. Because of this, a filter with a MERV rating between 8-13 is more cost effective and practical for residential homes.

If a filter advertises itself as “hypoallergenic” this typically means it has a MERV rating between 10-13. For people where allergies are a main concern, looking for this rating on your filter will ensure it performs at the level required for comfortable living. Pleated media filters are the most common residential type of filter available, and can have a MERV rating of up to 16 in higher efficiency models. Knowing your air quality needs will help you decide what MERV rating is needed for your home.

How to Best Load Your Dryer

150 150 Elizabeth Bonesteel

 These tips will help you get the best use out of your dryer.

  1. Read the Manual

While using a dryer may seem simple, the manual can have important information about how to best use your dryer. If you’ve tossed or lost your manual, most manufacturers have manuals available for download on their website which you can search for and find with your dryer’s model number.

  1. Vary Heat Levels for Different Fabrics

Hot is not always best. It may seem like the fastest, best way to ensure dry clothes, but high heat on certain fabrics can cause shrinkage and damage.

  1. Separate Loads by Fabrics

If different fabrics have been washed together, like heavy cotton towels and lightweight shirts, they should be dried separately. The friction between these fabrics of different types during drying can damage the more delicate clothes.

  1. Never Overload

The drum should never be loaded more than ¾ full. This ensures the clothes have enough room to move and air can circulate. This also helps to prevent wrinkles.

  1. Hang Clothes ASAP

Getting clothing out of the dryer as soon as it’s done will help prevent wrinkles. For best results, flatten and hang clothing while still damp to have wrinkle free garments.

 

Got any advice to add? Tell us in the comments below! Or, add your own helpful tips.

How to Get the Best Use Out Of your Dishwasher

150 150 Elizabeth Bonesteel

Before trying other tricks, first read your appliance’s manual. If you’ve lost or tossed it, most manufacturers have them available for download online.

  1. Pre-Rinse, is it necessary?

Unless you run your dishwasher immediately after you use and load dishes, you should always pre-rinse. Any dish that has sat in the sink or in the dishwasher for several hours will need extra help removing dried food. If you know you won’t be able to load dishes immediately, a soak in soapy water can prevent food from becoming stuck.

  1. Load the Bottom Rack Strategically

Plates and bowels in the bottom rack should face the center towards the spray arm. They should angle dirty-side downward to ensure full contact of water and soap. Flat pans and cutting boards should sit along the back of the rack, also angled downwards. Don’t place them towards the door, it will prevent the soap from reaching the dishes. Moving the flatware basket to the center of the rack may give extra space for pans and casserole dishes along the side, so experimenting with moving the basket may help.

  1. Top Rack is for Small Items

Cups, bowels, and other small items benefit from being on the top rack. Place all items between the times – never on top. The prongs can prevent even cleaning and leave water spots. Angle cups as much as possible to avoid water pooling on top. Laying some long utensils flat on the top rack can keep them from blocking the spray arm on the lower rack.

  1. Only Use Fresh Detergent

Some people may want to save extra money and buy dish detergent in bulk, but the soap will only do its job if it’s fresh. In this case, stocking up does more harm than good, as you may end up rewashing dishes. Buy only what you can use in two months. Store detergent in a cool, dry spot. Storing it under the sink where it is too damp causes it to deteriorate and clump.

Be Aware Which Dishes Should Be Hand-washed

Cookware with special coatings often need to be hand-washed. Any cookware made with wood should also be washed by hand, as detergent can cause wood to become brittle and crack. Make sure to check all your cookware for markers indicating whether they are dishwasher safe or hand-wash only.

How to Best Load your Washing Machine

150 150 Elizabeth Bonesteel

Properly loading your clothes can ensure you are getting the best results from your washing machine

For Top Load Washers:

  1. Always add your detergent first.

This helps it spread more evenly and prevents excess sudsing. Whether you use liquid, powder, or single does pacs, the soap goes in first. This also lowers the risk of fabric becoming damaged by excess detergent sitting on it for too long. Some high efficiency top load washers come with a dispenser drawer; using this will allow the machine to use the detergent at specific times through the cycle.

  1. Never load clothes above the center agitator.

Instead, make sure all clothes are evenly dispersed around the sides. This ensures all clothes will be spread evenly enough to be washed. Overloading can also prevent water and detergent from thoroughly washing clothes that are too tightly packed together. This also helps prevent wrinkles and is easier on your washer.

For Front Load Washers:

  1. Use the detergent dispenser tray.

Most front load washers come equipped with a tray for detergent, using this will allow the machine to distribute the detergent at the appropriate times during the cycle. If you use single dose pacs, make sure they are put directly in the drum before the clothes to ensure they have enough contact with water to dissolve properly.

  1. Don’t load too close to the door.

Pile clothes high in the machine, but leave space between the load and the edge of the drum. This ensures clothes have enough room to move and will get full contact with the water and detergent. Clothing that is up against the washer door are extending past the drum and may not get full contact with the water.

Always Avoid Overloading

We all want to get laundry done in one load, but overloading your washer prevents clothing from being thoroughly clean. Water and detergent won’t be able to get to fabrics that are too tightly packed together. Overloading also causes fabric damage as it creates too much friction that can cause fabrics to pill. This can also cause washers to “walk” and shift out of position. Separating clothing into more exact loads is the best way to get the most out of your washer and prevent damage to your favorite fabrics.