Consumer Protection Fact Sheet - Repair Shops

Ever had a problem getting items like kitchen appliances, snow blowers, camera equipment, shoes or furniture fixed? If so, you are not alone. Many consumer complaints deal with unsatisfactory work, or misdiagnosis of the problem.

In Wisconsin, there are no specific laws that regulate repair shops. To avoid problems, consumers should do some homework first.

Protect yourself

When an item needs fixing, consider the following:

  • Is the item covered by a warranty?

  • Does the repair shop you are considering specialize in this type of repair?

  • The reputation of the repair shop. Ask for references. Check the Internet.

  • Contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection to see if there are complaints on file by calling (800) 422-7128.

  • Shop around. Compare prices for the same service performed by other repair shops.

  • Get a written estimate for repairs. According to Wisconsin Stat. s. 100.195, no business may charge higher than agreed upon for consumer goods and services, or charge for unauthorized goods and services.

  • Ask if the repair work will be under a warranty.

  • Keep written notes and all documents involved with the repair shop.

Unclaimed items

What happens if you fail to pick up your repaired item or do not have the money to pay for it?

Can the repair shop sell your belongings?

According to Wisconsin Stat. s. 779.71, if you have an item laundered, pressed, cleaned, glazed, dyed, altered or repaired, a repair shop can sell your item if it has not been picked up for a period of six months or more. Before a repair shop can sell your item, it must notify you by registered letter of the time and place of the sale. You must be notified at least 30 days before the date of sale.