The Attorney General provides Consumer Alerts to inform the public of unfair, misleading, or deceptive business practices, and to provide information and guidance on other issues of concern. Consumer Alerts are not legal advice, legal authority, or a binding legal opinion from the Department of Attorney General.
Thanks to Joe Gagnon, Michigan's "Appliance Doctor," and the legislature, Michigan residents enjoy more protection when it comes to home appliance repair, service and maintenance. The Joe Gagnon Appliance Repair Act requires a service dealer who works on a refrigerator, dehumidifier, freezer, oven, range, microwave oven, washer, dryer, dishwasher, trash compactor, or window room air conditioner, to provide a detailed written estimate approved by the customer before performing any work. The service dealer may not exceed the estimate by more than 10% without getting customer approval and must provide a 30-day labor warranty. Additionally, except in limited circumstances, service dealers must return all parts removed from an appliance to the customer.
This consumer alert provides an overview of the Act. The Act is available on the Michigan Legislature website, MCL 445.831 et seq.
A service dealer may not charge in excess of 110% of the amount noted in the written estimate without customer permission. A written estimate must contain:
While the written estimate and the final bill may be combined in the same document, the final bill must disclose:
A service dealer must provide a warranty for at least 30 days on labor. This warranty requires the service dealer to correct, at no cost to the customer, any failure of the warranted parts if the customer notifies the service dealer in writing within the applicable warranty time period. (Although the required final bill disclosures authorize in person or telephonic notification, written notification is the best method for consumers to preserve their rights.) Warranty repairs must be made within 10 days after the dealer receives written notice of the failure, unless parts have been timely ordered but not yet received.
In most circumstances service dealers must return all parts removed from the appliance unless the customer declines, in writing, to receive the removed part. The service dealer may retain any part that has a core charge or exchange rate, contains hazardous material, or is returned to the manufacturer as required by a manufacturer's warranty, if the dealer provides the customer a written statement on the final bill describing the reason for the part retention at the time of completion.
A service dealer who makes a false statement likely to induce a customer to authorize work or who fails to substantially comply with the required disclosures in the final bill violates the Act and is liable for actual damages or $250, whichever is greater, plus reasonable attorney fees. A court may award up to twice the amount of damages if the violation is found to have been willful.
Contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division
Consumers may contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at:Consumer Protection Division