Repairing gadgets

cracked ipod screen

My stepson turns 17 this week.

The economic climate dictates it might not be his best haul of presents. To his credit, he has asked for things to be repaired. My experience of sourcing the cheapest way to get these repairs done is why I am writing.

 

Items:

Sony PS3

iPod Touch 2nd Generation

iPod Classic 5th Generation

The PS3 repair filled me with dread. When he bought it we had to get a total of three new ones under warranty because the blue-ray player did not work. This was the same. The disk could not be read.

I used http://gumtree.com to locate a local repair man. I rang Danny on a mobile number (FYI: 07508 698 845, he does all gaming consoles). It all seemed a bit dodgy but I ended up travelling three miles (Harrow) and having a cup of coffee in a greasy-spoon whilst I waited for Danny to repair the machine in his bedsit. He did an excellent job. £40.00.

My partner handled the iPod Touch. She phoned a company found online. It had two faults (cracked screen and only one ear working on headphones) and they quoted £51.00 + p&p. iPod was sent away in good faith. Received an email three days later to say the repair would be £170.00 because the logic board needed replacing as well. I spoke to the company and they claimed the device would not turn on even with a new battery in it. The device worked before it was posted. I felt like I was being conned because one of the options was for the company to dispose of the device on our behalf. I paid for it to be returned to us. I plugged it in and it worked, showing the battery as fully charged and the iPod worked fine. When I removed the cable it turned off. I cannot say for certain what has happened. Only it did work before it went and it didn’t when it arrived home. The company is called The iPod Clinic (http://www.theipodclinic.co.uk/FixMyiPod.aspx). This device is yet to be repaired.

iPod 5th Gen was repaired by a local company called Gizmo Repairs based in Acton, London W3 (they do online repairs too). They wanted £35.00 to replace the LCD screen which had lines across it. The repair was done the same day, but not without hitches. They phoned me to say the logic board was broken on this one as well. However, I actually showed him the device working before I handed it over. He replaced the logic board for free. This will be my stepsons new music device because my partner no longer needs it.

Repairs are better than buying new kit. The repair services on the Internet are many and, as I experienced, once the device is out of your hands, you are at the mercy of the good faith of an Internet business and you don’t know how good they are (always a good idea to search for company reviews before sending away – which we had not done). I spoke to one company who apologised for their website being out of date. It was one of 75 websites they kept. I assume this is an online service business tactic. Customers are not likely to click on any one website so make several different sites that all connect to the same service at the back-end. Then get your SEO right and Google will help make sure one of your sites is the chosen online service.

It also suggests that the world of technology consumption might slow down. Once everyone has a device that does what you need – create, store and consume digital media – people may think twice before buying new kit. My iPad 1 is fine and I do not feel the need to upgrade yet (although I would like to) and equally, the iPhone 4S is not a big enough reason to shell out the cash and upgrade from my iPhone 4. A colleague loves his Kindle but is not upgrading to Kindle Fire; however, he thinks an iPad might suit his family better.

Will you be replacing old kit with new unless there is a hardware reason for doing so?

I will be recommending the good services to all in my community, on twitter and in school.

[Image by me, in case you hadn’t guessed 🙂 ]

Repairing gadgets

3 thoughts on “Repairing gadgets

  1. Unimpressed says:

    Looks like I’ve just been caught by them. They fitted a new digitiser screen, two months later it shattered UNDERNEATH the top layer of glass, they are saying we broke it and are refusing the repair it under their 3 month warranty. How exactly did we break it THROUGH the top layer of glass? Not impressed, and hope other people don’t get caught.

  2. Really useful Dai. I have a fully working ipod touch, but the backlight has died. I can’t find a way to repair it using the usual ifixit.com guides, so will try an online repairer. Worth demonstrating it working beforehand too!

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