Saturday, October 13, 2012

Review: Boston iPhone Repair

Ouch, right?
I've never been a fan of protective cases for iOS devices. Why take a device whose design Apple has relentlessly thought about and cloak it in a bulky mediocre plastic protective case? Well, the reason is you want to reduce the chances that your expensive highly subsidized device is going to accidentally be smashed.
Like this iPhone 4S which had both sides shattered due to an accidental drop.
When faced with a smashed up iPhone what are our choices?
  1. Ride it out and wait until you're eligible for an upgrade. Doesn't work well when glass shards cut your finger while trying to ride it out.
  2. Go for an early upgrade. Depends on where you are in your upgrade cycle. If you're eligible for an upgrade you'll still likely want to get the damaged phone repaired because it carries significant resale potential. If you're somewhere between brand new and eligible for an upgrade you might be eligible for a reduced price upgrade (like $449 for a new iPhone 5).
  3. Go beg for mercy at the Apple Store. I hear they'll give you a new [refurbished] iPhone 4S for $199 if you trade your old one in. Not the greatest option in the world but at least you'd be getting a clean device, a new battery, and the reliable comfort of Apple standing behind the phone.
  4. Get it repaired. That's what I did and that's the subject of this blog post.
A Google search for "iphone cracked screen" predictively revealed "iphone cracked screen repair boston". I was primarily looking to get information on Apple's policy for out of warranty replacement but I was intrigued by what might be available for repair options in Boston. So I checked out Boston iPhone Repair's excellent blog post here:
In that blog post they lay out in reasonable terms whether it's worth it to have your device repaired vs. taking it back to Apple and begging for mercy. I liked how they rolled and their 5 star average Yelp rating looked solid. Their site estimated $90 for repair of a cracked front screen and $40 for the back. Compared to $199 plus tax at the Apple store this sounded like a good deal. So off to Boston iPhone Repair for a 2:00 pm arrival.
They're just east of Harvard Square right across from the Inn at Harvard on Massachusetts Ave on the second floor of this building:
Upon arrival it was just what I was hoping for: Two competent guys sitting behind the counter ready to repair my busted device right then and there. No waiting.
Ned -- on the right in the photo below -- is the founder of the business and a ringer for Mark Zuckerberg who claims to not understand Twitter. He started Boston iPhone Repair four years ago as a come-to-you business. Now they're right across the street from Harvard, so the Zuckerberg resemblance is particularly uncanny and the efficiency with which they can repair iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads is hard to beat. In the time I was there a half dozen happy customers came and went. One customer was turned away for an iPod touch repair they felt would be better served by a visit to the Apple Store.
They looked at my device and told me it was normally $90 to repair the front glass and $40 for the back but since they were both busted he could repair both for $120. Cash, check or PayPal. It would be done in 30 minutes. Would I like to proceed? Heck yeah!
I had my 7 year old with me so half the fun was watching the pros dissect the iPhone. These guys know what they're doing.
But it's kind of like watching your wife have a C-Section. You're a bit curious and interested in the procedure at first, but about half way through it you're just praying for a positive outcome.
30 minutes into it I started to get a little worried. The technician asked for some alcohol. "Alcohol? What for?" I started to get concerned. Like a worried father, I started hovering over the operating table.
8 minutes later I was presented with my pristine repaired iPhone 4S. A success!
However, the phone said it was "Searching" for a signal. I placed a test call to my phone and it went through. I mentioned this Searching business to the technician and he pulled the SIM card out and re-inserted it and it was as good as new. No issues since. Works perfectly.
I brought the repaired iPhone home and presented it to my wife. You would have thought it was a bouquet of flowers. This was her first iPhone and she doesn't like technology, but coming from a BlackBerry she loves her iPhone. And she was glad to have it back in good working condition.
I love it when a small business does exactly what they're supposed to do and I pay them a fair price for doing something I couldn't have done as well as they did.
So check 'em out - highly recommended:
Boston iPhone Repair in Harvard Square
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