FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I make an apppointment at the Repair Café?
No. We do not operate an appointment system and it is not possible to pre-book a repairer. Customers are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. However, we have recently introduced a new system which is designed to speed up the registration process and ensure that you are seen by a relevant repairer as soon as possible. This should reduce unnecessary waiting times when we are very busy. Although we normally have 12 repairers available at each session, we are busiest soon after opening so if you can delay your arrival until later in the morning, that will also help. The demand for electrical repairs continues to be high so there is sometimes a queue but we do our best not to keep people waiting for too long.
We find that many customers are happy to wait for a while as that gives them the opportunity to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and one of our delicious homemade cakes. It's also a chance to sit and chat and make new friends.
What happens if my repair isn't finished during the session?
Some repairs can take much longer or are more complicated than expected. Obviously, our repairers do not want to rush a repair as that can lead to it not being done properly and some items have to be taken apart and then reassembled with care. Sometimes the repairer needs a specialist tool which isn't on hand at the session - but he has it at home. Sometimes he makes his initial assessment of the fault and knows immediately that it is going to be a time-consuming job.
Are there any items that cannot be repaired?
Sometimes, but not often! So long as an item is hand-portable and not in a dangerous condition, our repairers will carry out an examination, give their honest opinion and advice and proceed with a repair if they consider it's appropriate and viable.
Electronic gadgets - mobile phones, laptops, tablets, flat screen televisions, iPads, motorised golf trolley
Garden equipment - lawn mowers, hedge cutters, plastic garden furniture, strimmers, wheelbarrows, garden tools and implements
Small household appliances - toasters, kettles, hair dryers, irons, vacuum cleaners, food mixers, CD and DVD players, record players, drills, radios, aerials, liquidisers, carpet cleaners, lamps, coffee grinders, cassette tape players, food mixers.....to name a few!
Furniture - tables, chairs, bookcases, dolls houses, shelving units
Clocks and jewellery, toys and china, glass and ceramics......this list goes on and each Repair Cafe can bring a new and unusual challenge.
Is the repair service always free?
No charge is made for any advice or repair, but we rely on our customers' generous donations to keep the service free at the point of delivery for everyone. Donations are used to cover costs such as venue hire, refreshment and kitchen supplies, specialist tools and consumables.
Is it worth coming just for tea and cake?
Oh yes! Our cakes are amazing - try the lemon drizzle cake and you'll be back for more.
What happens if a part is needed to complete my repair?
After his assessment of the fault, a repairer may confirm that the item is repairable but needs a replacement part, e.g. new brushes for a vacuum cleaner. The repairer will give you clear information on the part required and often he will offer to get it for you as he knows the best, and most reasonably-priced, place to source it. The part may cost only a few pennies or be more expensive but whatever the cost, the repairer should always be reimbursed by the customer.
Where can I go if I have an urgent repair and I've missed your session?
If you have an urgent repair, there are other Repair Cafes in the area that open on different Saturdays in the month. A full list with opening times and contact details can be found on the Visit page.
How can I become a volunteer at Repair Café Malvern Hills?
We are always looking for new volunteers, not only as repairers and to join the sewing team but also to help in the kitchen and the cafe, to assist with reception and registration and to act as front-of-house, making new customers feel welcome and explaining the procedures to them. Some customers appreciate extra assistance with carrying their possession from the car or completing the registration form. We can never have too many volunteers as we always need to cover for holidays, sickness and other commitments.
Can I leave an item for repair and collect it later?
This is not encouraged. In the first instance, the customer needs to be present in order to describe the item's perceived fault or problem to the repairer who will then examine it and make his own assessment. The possible reasons for the fault will be explained and each step of the repair clarified as the repair is undertaken. This is done to help the customer pick up some new practical knowledge and skills. Sometimes, the customer will be invited, and even needed, to assist with the repair.