The odds of getting your washing machine repaired right the first time aren’t great. Only 61 percent of all repairs were done correctly on the first attempt, according to a Consumer Reports’ survey. But first you have to snag an appointment and the washer repair pro has to show up. Here’s how to improve your chances.

In our survey, nearly 90 percent of consumers succeeded in reaching a washer repair service and scheduling an appointment. Calling or using an online scheduling tool was better than trying email, other online forms, or online chats. Having the technician show up wasn't a problem either—97 percent of the time they do. And then it’s downhill.

We asked 7,908 of our subscribers about repairs performed by the manufacturer, retailer, or an independent washer repair service. About half the time, manufacturers' technicians fix the problem on the first try. Retailers’ technicians are a bit better, fixing the machine properly 59 percent of the time. Better yet were the washer repair pros from independent shops, at 66 percent.

Still, you can see why many consumers choose to replace rather than repair broken washers that are no longer covered by warranties. Only 37 percent of broken top-loaders and 49 percent of broken front-loaders that are out of warranty get repaired. 

Best and Worse Washer Repair Services

  • The manufacturers LG and Kenmore were much better at repairing their washers the first time around than GE, Maytag, Whirlpool, and Samsung.
  • Retailers that sell large appliances typically make delivery and installation part of the deal. If we begin the clock on the delivery date, you can count on a smooth delivery and installation 90 percent of the time with Lowe’s; 85 percent with Home Depot; 84 percent with Best Buy, and 83 percent with Sears.
  • We also asked about bad delivery outcomes including failure to deliver a washer, delivering the wrong washer, delivering a damaged washer, or having a washer damaged during delivery and installation. While the incident of such problems was low they did occur in 6 percent of cases.

Need a new washer? Before you shop, see our washing machine Ratings for a look at how dozens of front-loaders, top-loaders, and stackable washers, also known as compacts, performed in our tests. Check the brand reliability information in the Ratings and scour the washing machine buying guide for advice on how to buy a washer. Email me at kjaneway@consumer.org if you have questions.