When you need to get your phone fixed fast, finding a reliable cell phone repair shop can be tricky. Depending on your location, you might have several options or just one – but either way, it’s important to know how to spot a trustworthy and reliable repair shop.
You can learn a lot about any repair shop by asking the right questions – and knowing what answers you’re looking for will help you choose the right repair shop for you.
1. What kind of warranty do you offer – and what does it cover?
6 months is the average warranty period offered by wireless repair shops in the US. The minimum warranty is typically 30-days. These warranties generally cover parts and service only – so in the case of parts failure or low quality workmanship, you’re covered.
This warranty most likely won’t cover accidental damage – so if you drop your phone and it breaks again, you’re probably not covered. However, many repair shops offer discounts for returning customers, so don’t hesitate to ask and see how they can help.
2. How do you ensure the contents of my device remain private and protected?
3. Where do you get your replacement parts?
Not all cell phone repair parts are created equal; there’s aftermarket, OEM-equivalent, and a mix of both in between. Parts are assembled in China before arriving in the US, where repair shop owners purchase them online from trading companies or wholesale distributors.
Which vendor your repair shop chooses is less important than finding out if they have a relationship with any vendor at all. A reliable vendor will typically offer an extended warranty, which in turn makes it easier for a repair shop owner to pass that warranty on to you, the end user. This is why purchasing parts from eBay and Amazon is not recommended, as returns are generally not accepted.
NOTE: Unless you’re at the Genius Bar, proceed with caution if a repair shop tells you they use “Original Apple parts.” Apple does not supply third-party repair shops with original parts, so these parts are either counterfeit, misrepresented by the vendor, or the shop owner isn’t being completely honest with you.
4. Why are you cheaper (or more expensive) than other repair shops in town?
You can learn a lot about a repair shop by how they speak (and what they know) about their competition. If they’re more expensive than the shop down the street, ask them why and you might find out the other shop isn’t licensed, is using lower quality repair parts, or simply undercutting the local market. Ask a shop why their repairs are cheaper than the competition and you’ll likely get an even more interesting response.
5. What happens if my phone is further damaged after leaving it with you?
Most reputable wireless repair shops will give you a waiver form to fill out and sign, detailing their policies and what they will be responsible for in the case of further damage. An honest business owner knows the right thing to do in case this happens, but every repair shop has a different policy.
If you’re asked to read and fill out the repair waiver form, read the document carefully (and ask for a copy). If there’s nothing in the fine print addressing damage on behalf of the technician, ask them what their procedure is if they damage the logic board or rip a flex cable. If they don’t promise – in writing – to fix any damage they might cause to your device, proceed at your own risk.
When you’re looking for a reliable cell phone repair shop, begin by asking these 5 questions. They’ll help kickstart a conversation between you and the repair shop owner, so you can get the info you need to make an informed decision, while giving the shop owner an opportunity to ease any concerns you may have.