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Cell Phone Repairs Cheap! - Is It Worth It?

Cell Phone Repairs Cheap! - Is It Worth It?

Uh-oh. Your cell phone dropped and now you have a cracked screen. Now what?

Well, there is your nephew Timmy. He's always tinkering with some electronic gadget. No. 

Let's call around. ABC Cell Phone Repair, Inc. Mall Kiosk Phone Repairs. OK let's call them.

So you first call ABC Cell Phone Repair, Inc. The bottom line is it will cost $139 to replace your screen. However, Mall Kiosk Phone Repairs can do it for $50. You have made your decision. After all, why on earth would you ever pay $139 when your phone can be fixed for $50?? Let's take a look at why paying the cheaper price may NOT be a good idea and could cost you more in the end.

Types of Cell Phone Repair

Other than getting a new phone, you will most likely find 2 viable options for repairing that cracked screen. The first is screen-only replacement and the second is screen + LCD replacement. The difference is evident in the description and since you only have a cracked screen, the screen-only is what you think a good option is.  Here is some things you need to know about this type of repair

Screen-Only Repairs

1. A technician heats the glue the holds the screen to the LCD. (yes, those two are glued together using a special adhesive)

2. The technician then applies a new coat of adhesive to the LCD and lays the screen down to bond the two back together.

3. Quick and Cheap. (yes but there are several drawbacks)

So, here is what you need to understand about this type of repair.

1. If the technician doesn't heat the adhesive properly, when he takes off the cracked screen, he can damage the LCD

2. If the new liquid adhesive isn't put on correctly and the screen set properly, you can see bubbles in the display and/or you may experience a loss of touch functionality.  This means dead spots on the device that won't respond to your touch. Not good for a touch screen smart phone.

3. This repair typically takes a while and you will be required to leave your phone with the technician for several hours or days, depending on his workflow. This means you will not have a phone for a good period of time, your private data is subject to snooping and/or copying and you most likely will have to drop it off and pick it back up, costing you time and money.

Now, this repair initially cost you $50. (more if you factor in the cost of driving to the mall/store). What is your time worth? Convenience is a factor in the overall cost of the repair, so include it. If the repair results in bubbles or dead spots, you now have to take it back and have it done again. More inconvenience, more cost, more risk of damage.

I think you get the idea. But what about the more expensive Screen + LCD repair?

Screen + LCD Repair

1. You drop off your phone (or even better, the technician comes to you!)

2. The cracked screen and LCD is replaced with a new unit, already adhered together at the factory that makes them

3. The repair is completed in about an hour or less

4. No dead spots, no bubbles, no risk of ruining the LCD.

See the difference? The phone is repaired with minimal risk of unintentional damage being done. It is done is a short time frame that might allow you to even wait for it.   Yes, the cost is more but you save in convenience as you only have to bring it to the shop once and, if the tech is willing to travel to you, you save the cost of travel.  You have a fully functional phone back in your hands within about an hour! Since the screen and LCD come together as one unit from the factory, there are no dead spots or bubbles or damage to the LCD that may be caused by a screen only repair.

So, What Should You Be Looking For?

When you decide to look for the right repair for your phone, don't focus solely on cost. Ask these questions of your potential repair person:

1. How long will the repair take?

2. Will you come to me?

3. Do you replace just the screen or use a new screen/lcd unit?

4. What type of warranty do you offer?

Your phone is an essential part of your life, isn't it? Treat it that way. Trying to save a few bucks on a repair of a $600 or more integral part of your life may not be the right place to save money. Your true cost of that cheap phone repair may very well end up being more expensive than you think. 

March 16, 2014