I recently replaced a screen on a phone the other day that was missing the pentalope screws on the bottom.  Another phone had these screws so badly stripped that it was very difficult to remove them.  I found the missing screws especially egregious because:

  1.  While small, they are easily visible to the consumer
  2. Other than friction the bottom screws are what holds the screen on. Even a small drop will cause the screen to pop off.

Both had previously been repaired by other chain repair shops.  I used to work for a chain repair shop and would see this sort of thing all the time. Even more common was missing screws inside the phone.

Why?

Management at many chain repair shops is out of touch with the operation of the business.

They were too stingy to order proper supplies and tools for the job so I would need to buy my own tools.  We would regularly need to scavenge parts/screws that I needed from old junk to do a good job.

It doesn’t even make business sense to waste time like that.  A reputable auto mechanic wouldn’t omit or strip the bolts on their customers car.  Why should a cell phone repair shop?

What do I do about this?

Now that I have my own shop I refuse to be like that.  New iphone screws are available from good parts vendors.  I buy the highest quality german made screwdrivers in the correct sizes to avoid stripping screws.  If you look at these and a cheap screwdriver you can see the difference.

When I see a phone come in missing the screws I point that out and charge an extra buck.

I have yet to have anyone complain.  If they did I would probably just give them the screws for free.  If they are stripped I usually just replace them for free so that I don;t have to explain it.

Why do I do this?  Loyalty to the trade.  When other shops do shoddy work it hurts the whole industry.  It leads more people to buy new phones/computers that they don’t need because they cannot be assured that the repair shop will actually do a good job.

I also am hoping that I will be the next person to do the work when the person needs , say a new battery, a couple years down the road.

So what should a consumer do?

When selecting a repair shop look up the company on the Secretary of State website.  Look at what person or company owns the business, if it isn’t a someone who has actually done that sort of work they are probably not going to understand what it takes to do a good job and their business operations will reflect that.

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