TULSA, Okla. — Microwaves, refrigerators, common household appliances. You may not know this, but many require computer chips to operate.
FOX23 previously reported on how repair shops and car dealerships are handling chip shortages, but local appliance stores say they are too.
At J&J Appliances, parts are the product and part of the problem.
“Our supplies are there, ready to be sold to people, but they’re just not there yet because we’re waiting for parts,” operations manager Charles Ballard said.
Ballard showed FOX23 the part they needed.
“The chip here is going to be your brain controlling the product.”
He said he couldn’t fully refurbish and sell some of the products that come into their store. Business is booming, but not without what he calls brains or chips.
“It creates more business for us, but at the same time it hurts our supply,” he said.
At Metro Appliances and More, sales manager Aaron McCall said they sometimes get parts washed.
“It’s still surprising. The fact that we’re given dates when we initially place the order and they’re several months away, so we pass that on to the customer, and then several months come and we’re pushed even further,” McCall explained.
He said they see a backlog in Pro Range products which are things like refrigerators that are bigger than what’s in a typical home. He says some people have had to wait to move into their homes while waiting for these. He says that sometimes these clients wait ten to fourteen months.
When McCall said they asked vendors for those chips and parts, they didn’t get straight answers.
“A ton of delays with no explanation. it’s difficult. the refrigerators have been hit for the first time now, it’s very difficult to get a professional range order that we’re talking about in a year,” he said.
McCall told FOX23 that sometimes it’s not even a lack of chips or products that causes delays.
“Even once these things are produced, how do you get them to the sales floor and the truck delays and find drivers and fill the containers.” McCall went on to explain, “We’re not prepared for this, so there’s a huge communication breakdown, we don’t realize it until it’s too late.
These appliance stores are just one of many industries affected by the lack of these chips.
They said it’s not drying up business, but they can’t close the door with an answer as to when the shortage will end.
At Metro Appliances and More, they can give out loaner products, but these are often not of the same quality that people want to buy.
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