Questions to Ask Before Hiring a TV Repairman in Washington, D.C.

For less than $30 per hour, a good TV repair service can expertly analyze and fix any issues with your malfunctioning TV, ensuring that you do not further damage the TV and incur unnecessary expenses through ineffective and potentially dangerous do-it-yourself attempts. In addition, with a professional TV repair service, you also enjoy benefits like an assurance that genuine parts will be used, warranties for all services provided, and the protection of your TV's existing warranty.

Asking the following questions when searching for good TV repair services in Washington DC will help you retain the services of a TV repair shop that has qualified and experienced technicians on staff who can expertly fix any issues with your TV:

Do You Repair All Types of TVs?

It is vital to find out if the TV repair technician who will be repairing your malfunctioning TV is conversant with its brand, make, and model, especially with regard to the following key components:

  • Screen Type: flat or curved screens are the norm for most modern TVs. The main difference between them is that you generally have to sit directly in front of a flat-screen TV to get a good view, while curved-screen TVs generally offer good viewing angles from wherever you sit in the room.
  • Display Technology: standard TV display technologies include the following:
    • Direct View/Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT): this is the oldest type of TV display technology. CRT TVs are typically larger and bulkier than modern TVs, have smaller screens, and use a lot of energy. However, they are also far less expensive, have a higher refresh rate, and can be used with any resolution or device.
    • Plasma: while plasma TVs provide clearer, more contrasted images compared to CRT TVs, the resulting images from these TVs tend to degrade over time. As such, even though plasma TVs are relatively affordable, this display technology is considered outdated.
    • Digital Light Processing (DLP): DLP TVs are typically slimmer, lighter, and more durable than plasma TVs. However, as with plasma TVs, many brands no longer use this technology for their newer models.
    • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD): LCD TVs are slimmer, lighter, and more energy-efficient than CRT, plasma, and DLP TVs. However, they typically have slower refresh and response rates and poorer view angles than these TVs
    • Light Emitting Diode (LED): while LED TVs are even more energy-efficient than LCD TVs and offer sharper and superior visuals, they are also more expensive. Recent upgrades in this technology, like OLED, QLED, and AMOLED TVs, offer even better images than regular LEDs while using less energy.
  • Additional Features: these include features like Ultra-High Definition, High Dynamic Range, Smart TV/internet connectivity, and Voice Activation that are peculiar to specific TV brands or models

To this end, always confirm that your intended technician is knowledgeable about the specific brand and model of TV you own and can expertly repair any issues with it. Getting a formal service contract for the job is also advisable before any repair work is begun.

Do You Deal with All the Brands of TV?

Homeowners in the DC area favor several TV brands, including

Brand Highlights Drawbacks Calling Card
Samsung Impressive TV quality
4K & 8K options
Smart TV options
Pricey QLED and QD-OLED
Sony Great sound and picture quality
HDR and Smart TV options are readily available
Pricey Cognitive Processor XR Chip and Mini-LED
LG Sleek designs
Affordable models
Smart TV options
No HDR 10+ support OLED
Hisense Great value at low prices
Sizes of up to 100" available
Processing issues Variety
TCL Roku and Google compatible
Up to 8K
Affordable options
Processing and picture quality may not be up-to-par with pricier models Value
Vizio Affordable
4K resolutions
OS may lag and be buggy Quantum

While experienced DC-based TV repair technicians are typically capable of fixing issues with a wide range of TV brands, you should always confirm the brands your intended technician specializes in, as this goes a long way in guaranteeing good service delivery. Before finalizing any agreements, You should ensure that the technician is familiar with your TV's model, screen type, display technology, and other model-specific specs and features.

Can You Advise if I Repair or Replace My TV?

In some situations, replacing a malfunctioning TV is a better, more cost-effective option than repairing it. Examples of these types of situations include:

  • The TV is more than ten years old
  • The particular TV issue has been repaired at least twice before
  • The panel is the problem
  • The TV has physical damage
  • The TV has a hardware issue

A qualified and reputable TV repair technician will typically tell you upfront if your malfunctioning TV can be fixed or will be better off replaced. This is one of the reasons why you should always call on a professional TV repair service when dealing with TV-related issues in Washington, D.C.

However, you can also determine whether your faulty TV needs to be repaired or replaced and guard against being conned by dishonest technicians who are only looking to collect diagnostic and service fees by taking the following steps:

  • Troubleshooting: look through the TV's user guide and manufacturer's website to see if they offer any information on the issue and possible solutions for it.
  • Research costs: research the cost of repairing the TV and weigh this against the cost of getting a new one. Many professional TV repair shops in Washington, D.C., offer free cost estimates for their services, and you should consider getting and comparing quotes from up to three of them as well.
  • Factor in miscellaneous variables: scenarios like moving into a newly built or remodeled home can influence the decision to replace a faulty TV instead of repairing it.

Are All Your Repair Experts Certified?

Finding out if a TV repairman has relevant technical training and certification can help you ascertain their ability to deliver satisfactory services. Qualified and experienced DC-based TV repairers typically complete formal training courses and earn certifications from a number of bodies. These include internationally renowned organizations like the Electronics Technicians Association International and the International Society of Certified Electronic Technicians, as well as regional trade schools like the Catholic University of America.

Always authenticate any credentials your TV repair technician claims to hold before committing to them. It is also a good idea to find out if the technician has a line of contact with your TV brand's manufacturer and can get any necessary technical support from them.

Do You Offer Same-Day Repair Services?

Given that the average American uses their TV for up to seven hours each day, finding out how long it will take to repair your malfunctioning TV is vital as it helps you make necessary adjustments to your TV-watching routine. Commonly reported TV issues in Washington, D.C. include, but are not limited to

  • Audio or video is out of sync
  • The TV turns off by itself
  • Images are out of proportion
  • No sound or picture
  • Dark and dull pictures
  • Images do not fit the screen
  • Snowy picture quality
  • Colors are blanching or leaking
  • Lines appearing on TV screen
  • Distorted images
  • Grayed-out screen
  • Internet connection is lost
  • Stuck on one channel
  • No longer responds to remote

Even though several of these issues can typically be resolved in a matter of hours, you should always double-check this with your TV repair technician. Also, find out whether the problem can be fixed at your home or if the TV will have to be taken to the technician's TV repair shop. This is usually the case with hardware-related fixes like replacing broken screens, faulty panels, dead motherboards, and fried circuits. Note that these types of repairs typically take more than a few hours, or even several days, to accomplish.

Lastly, consider it a red flag if the technician you want to hire is hesitant to offer a timeframe for completing your required repairs.

Do You Hold the Relevant License for TV Repair Technicians?

TV repair technicians in Washington, D.C., are typically required to obtain a Consumer Goods Repair License from the DC Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP). Technicians interested in obtaining this license will have to complete and submit an Application for DC License Consumer Goods Repair Form to the department at:

1100 4th Street, SW
2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20024

The license application process may also be initiated online via the DC Business Portal. Note that applicants are typically expected to comply with certain business registration requirements, including:

  • Registering with the DC Office of the Zoning Administrator
  • Providing proof of compliance with local and federal tax requirements
  • Paying all stipulated fees

You can contact the DLCP at (202) 671-4500 to direct inquiries or get more information on its licensing requirements and procedure for TV repair technicians. You can also confirm your intended technician's license status by contacting this department at (202) 671-4500 and (202) 442-4311 or using the district's SCOUT platform.

Many professional TV repair shops in Washington TV also offer interested parties other electronics and appliance-related repair services, like

TV mounting and installation:
$100 - $275
TV setup:
$50 - $120 per hour
Smart device setup:
$150 - $1,350
Remote repair:
$10 - $55
Phone repair:
$50 - $750
Computer repair:
$100 - $1,250
VCR system repair:
$45 - $120
Home projector repair:
$120 - $360
Home theater and sound bar repair:
$100 - $350
Household appliance repair:
$50 - $550

Be aware that the actual cost of these additional services will be influenced mainly by the electronic device or appliance's type, make, and model. Nevertheless, always verify that your prospective TV repair shop provides any other electronics and appliance-related repair services you require and confirm that the technicians on staff have the training and knowledge necessary to handle these repairs effectively. You should also find out and agree on these repairs' costs before any work begins.

Do You Offer Genuine Spare Parts?

After determining that your intended TV repairman has the relevant technical background, experience, and licensing required for the job, it is vital to make sure that they will also use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) TV parts. These types of TV parts have several advantages over generic ones, such as:

  • Higher quality
  • Better compatibility with your TV
  • Better durability
  • Existing TV warranty protection

As such, even though OEM parts are usually more expensive than generic parts, using them for your repairs is the more cost-effective option in the long run.

Be aware that it can take your TV repair technician as little as a few hours or as long as four or five working days to source the required OEM parts for your TV and have them delivered. Factors like the required parts' availability and the parts supplier's location usually determine this timeframe.

You should also note that, sometimes, your technician may not be able to find OEM parts for your TV, particularly if production of the TV model has been halted. In cases like this, the TV repair will have to be done with generic parts.

Are Your Repair Services Covered by a Warranty?

Warranties give you the peace of mind that your purchased goods or services will perform as intended. Therefore, you should be wary if the TV repairman you want to hire does not offer warranties for their services or appears reluctant to do so.

Note that TV warranties' specific scope and conditions vary by brand and model. However, many of these warranties are usually valid for at least one year and do generally not cover any defects in the TV that are caused by:

  • Poor installation
  • Misuse and improper maintenance
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Power line surges
  • Natural disasters
  • Vandalism
  • Cosmetic and shipping-related damages

If your TV is still under warranty, it is advisable to contact the TV manufacturer for referrals to pre-approved TV repair shops in your area to address any covered defects or issues that arise. Note that some warranties mandate this. Depending on the extent of the problem, the TV may have to be sent back to the manufacturer for a replacement.

Also, a number of well-known electronics retail stores, including Target, Micro Center, Best Buy, and Walmart, offer customers the option of purchasing an extended protection plan that provides coverage for defects or damages typically not covered by manufacturer's warranties. Note that the scope and conditions of these plans also vary by store.

Listed below are some benefits and drawbacks of purchasing an extended protection plan for your TV:

Pros of Extended Protection Plans Cons of Extended Protection Plans
Provides additional coverage for TVs Can be quite expensive
Can be used after the original manufacturer's warranty expires Cost is not usually justified for low-end TVs
Offers extra peace of mind Repairs covered usually cost less than the actual plan

Always ask for a written copy of any warranty you will be offered, and ensure you review it thoroughly. This way, you can avoid doing anything that might void the warranty.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad TV Repair Service in the Washington, D.C.

Complaints concerning bad TV repair services in Washington, D.C., can be filed with local consumer protection agencies like the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia (OAG) and the DC Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP).

In 2021, the OAG reported a significant uptick in the number of consumer complaints filed by DC residents, with many of these complaints involving poorly provided services and outright scams. As such, when searching for TV repair services in DC, it is essential to be on the lookout for dishonest TV repairers who try to obtain money deceptively from unwary customers through schemes like

  • Falsely asserting that the faulty TV is irreparable and has to be replaced so that they can dismantle it for parts
  • Intentionally damaging unaffected TV components or making up fake problems with the TV and charging extra to fix them
  • Using generic parts while charging prices for OEM ones
  • Demanding payment in full before beginning any work and subsequently providing subpar service

The tips provided below can help you avoid falling for these tricks:

  • Get an initial inspection and cost estimate from up to three different TV repair technicians and compare their prices before making your hiring choice
  • Confirm that your intended TV repair technician has been authorized to conduct business in the district by the DLCP. This can either be done online or by calling (202) 671-4500 and (202) 442-4311
  • Always verify any certifications the technician claims to possess
  • Use platforms like the Better Business Bureau, Google Reviews, and Yelp to check for reviews on your prospective TV repair shop and technician
  • Never pay the entire cost of the repair in advance, and do not hire any technician who suggests this
  • Always ask for a written warranty for your requested services and a receipt for any parts that are bought and used for the repair

You can file complaints concerning unsatisfactory TV repair services and TV repair scams in Washington DC with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia online, via email, by calling (202) 442-9828, or by texting complaint" to (202) 738-5212.

TV repair-related complaints that involve $250 or more can also be filed with the DC Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP) through its Consumer Protection Complaint Request portal.