Angie's List: Repairing a Cell Phone

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Updated: 8/01/2013 10:52 pm

If you’re like most people, your cell phone is within reach at all times – morning, noon and night.
But with all that usage, your phone is more likely to suffer some damage.
In this Angie’s List report, when it pays to consider repairing your cell phone instead of replacing it.

Elias Quintana relies on his cell phone to help with his day-to-day activities, but it’s been a little tricky lately with a broken screen.

“Within the same week it happened. One day I dropped it getting out of the car and the next day I dropped it in my apartment and then the day after that I dropped it outside somewhere,” Quintana said.

“Cell phones today have become a life line for most of us. We carry them with us wherever we go which means they are likely to get dropped, dropped in the water, broken, and many times people think they automatically need replaced, but they can be repaired. It’s something you should check out to see whether it’s cost-efficient,” said Angie Hicks, found of the consumer website Angie's List.

Repair typically costs a fraction of what you would pay to replace your smartphone – a new one can run about $500 when not subsidized by a phone carrier.

A common repair such as a cracked screen can often be fixed for less than $100.
But sometimes fixing just isn’t cost effective – like paying to replace your phone’s motherboard.

“We’re seeing more and more companies that will do cell phone repair, but the key here is finding someone who specializes in the make and model of your type of phone so that they have the right expertise,” Hicks added.

The best thing you can do to avoid repair or replacement costs: take care of your phone.

“Investing $100 or $50 in a high quality case is going to be the best thing for you. A lot of people don’t want the bulk of it, or they don’t like the color of it, and that’s not the purpose of the case. The case is to protect your investment so you don’t have to come see me,” said cell phone repair technician Chris Barclay.

If you have phone insurance, be sure to read and understand exactly what it covers. If you have a phone case, check the company’s warranty. Some offer a lifetime warranty on their cases so if your device breaks while in their product, they will replace the device for you.

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