True North Appliance just started operations in late August, but Gayle and Devon Maslaniec have a history in the Elk Valley – Devon was born and raised in Fernie, and Gayle is from Canal Flats. The couple now operates an appliance maintenance and repairs service throughout the Elk Valley.
“We do in-home appliance repair so we go to the customer, and we service washers, driers, fridges, stoves, microwaves – the works,” said Gayle Maslaniec. “I do the business aspect, and my husband does the service.”
The Maslaniecs will arrange for household appliances to be fixed in the customer’s home, travelling throughout the East Kootenay to provide their services. “The hard part is that sometimes the customers can damage their appliance when they are travelling with it. That’s the hard part is that they risk damaging it more,” said Maslaniec on why it’s an in-home repair.
A standard service fee of $60 is charged to each call, and then the fee is dependent on how much time the repair takes.
“We do it in 30 minute increments, so it’s $30 for 30 minutes. Most calls on average fall within the first half an hour,” said Maslaniec, adding that a fuel surcharge is added to the locations that are farther away. A 10 per cent fuel charge is added to Fernie repairs while a 20 per cent surcharge is added to Elkford repairs.
Appliance service is nothing new to Devon, who worked in the industry for about five years before joining the Canadian Forces as a combat engineer. The couple travelled around, living in New Brunswick and Edmonton before wanting to settle back in the area.
“I packed up our two dogs and drove across Canada and spent six months in New Brunswick before they posted us to Edmonton,” said Gayle. “He enjoyed being in the military, but we’re just ready to come back home because we have a three month old little guy.”
Since starting the business, the Maslaniecs, both 28 years old, have been pleasantly surprised with how busy they have already been. Currently they are finishing the paperwork to be a registered warranty repair service with all the major brands, including GE, Sears and Whirlpool.
“We thought we would pick up eventually but we didn’t think that we would be starting to get busy this quickly, which has been awesome. It’ s nice to just kind of come in running,” said Maslaniec.
The couple started the business because they saw a need for it in the region. “Right now there is a lack of service technicians in the area. You don’t have anyone that can get to you in timely manner or at all because they are already busy,” Maslaniec said. Their goal is to fill that gap in the appliance repair services with convenient, in-home service.
For more information on the services provided by True North Appliance, call 250-421-9271.