It was a scorching North Carolina afternoon when I expectantly pressed the ice dispenser button on my fridge door.  The motor tumbled around as if it was going to send down some desperately needed ice.  What? No Ice?  Ok, well I still have the cooled refrigerator water to drink. I pressed the water button, and….nothing!  I stared disappointedly at my ice-less, water-less empty, glass.

Frustration and annoyance grew quickly as I realized I’d have to live with tepid sink water, forever, if I didn’t want to shell out the money to fix the machine. As a mom with my husband gone on a military deployment for the next year, I did not need anything else to add to my list of problems.

It may seem like a small one, but when they pile up, they don’t seem so small.  Like anyone, I just wanted my ice-maker and water dispenser to work! I spent quite a bit on my fridge a few years ago, and although the warranty period had expired, I didn’t want to spend more money to fix it.

Is a freshly filtered cold glasses of ice water too much to ask on a product that I had already spent a good amount on money on?

Ok, so what were my options?  I called a few local repair places for the cost to send a guy out.   The cheapest quote was no less than $85 for the in-home service call and that did not include the parts.  He estimated the total to be $100 (not knowing the problem).

“Well, there goes that plan” I said aloud. It was over. Tepid sink water it was, or buying one of those pitchers that I would have to keep refilling. (You know your kids aren’t going to do it).

An alternate solution soon appeared. I was on Facebook and friends I trusted kept sending me shares and likes of a company called Neli, a DIY online appliance repair company for under 25 bucks.

Now, I was a bit of a skeptic. I am not a big DIYer and I did not know anything about appliance repair so up until now I didn’t even attempt the YouTube route. Still, I was willing to try it out, ice cold water was at stake in the hot NC summer.

I went to their website and was immediately impressed by how professional it seemed. The message was clear, the promises tempting, and the price an absolute steal. Just $35 dollars for a “diagnosis” to find the problem and $45 for a “repair”.

That I could afford, and who knows, my husband would even be impressed if I repaired it myself. I clicked on the site’s chat button and I was immediately connected to an appliance technician named John. His chat was very friendly and he started asking me questions about my fridge model and exactly what issues I was encountering. Yesterday, what seemed like an insurmountable problem, was solved in less than 5 minutes!

“With these LG fridges, the ice maker motors give out. I see it all the time,” he assured me.  “You need a replacement motor and a water valve”, he explained.  John emailed me the part numbers and a link to buy the parts I needed for the repair. I even ordered the parts through the Neli website and got a 10% discount on my order.

He let me know that if I wanted help with the repair when my parts came in, jump on the website or make an online appointment when I was ready and they could walk me through the process. I asked if it would be difficult to do myself. He said with the free Neli Virtually There™ camera sharing app he would be able to see my phone screen and draw on it to show me what to do!  All that for less than $50 bucks.

As of this post I haven’t yet done the repair, but the part has been ordered and I’m actually kind of excited to try it out. This experience was a very pleasant surprise. There were no hidden fees, just the $35 up front, and I was connected to a real technician who solved my problem in almost five minutes.

Considering that I’m not exactly a handyman, I’m planning on using Neli again to help me through the repair. John really made the whole process so easy, and I’m still surprised by how affordable it was.

I didn’t have to play any games like trying to get a technician to come to my house or pay a ton of money for the repair. I really felt in control of the situation, almost like a true DIY-er! I will make another post about my experience with the repair when I get the parts.