If anyone has the sense to pay a little extra in buying an extended warrantee when purchasing a new appliance and then renewing it annually you will never pay for repairs and could save you hundreds of pounds in the long term, the only thing to remember is that it sometimes does not cover call-out fees, which often does not apply as the Company that supplies the warrantee also supply the repair engineers. You get what you pay for when buying appliances and cheapest is not always the best.
I have a Miele washing machine bought wit a "free" 10 year parts and labour guarantee that ran out at he end of June last year. Towards the end of June the light in the seal went out,so I bought a £3 bulb - but , although the bulb was ok it did not work. I telephoned Miele in the first day or 2 of July to explain the issue and said that the actual fault occurred in the warranty period - their engineer cam - fixed a broken wire, but then I got a bill for £120! After much haggling they relented, (as the repair took place in July) but I would have been really cross to pay £120 for a £3 light bulb ! (Of course I could have used the machine with no light, but I am just saying how expensive call outs can be)
I would guess it's very difficult making a living repairing domestic appliances other than as a dedicated manufacturers agent who can carry all the spares needed and knows all the likely faults.
Faced with a multitude of makes and models of appliances, the fault has first to be diagnosed, then the parts sourced and then a return visit made to complete the repair. All at a price that is acceptable to the customer.
I often repair items within the family circle and it's certainly easier to source items now we have the internet, but if I were to charge for my labour and travel time on top, few repairs would be cost effective.
oresome, you have some very valid points. I use a local washing m/c guy. £25 for the call out but no charge if he can't fix it that day. He had to order parts and came back 2 days later with a "new" control unit. The bill was £120 with a receipt and guarantee. When one considers 2 trips plus the part with the vat included that does not seem unreasonable. Hotpoint wanted £120 to come and look at it and only if I paid for a 3 yr warranty up front.