At Ape Tek Computers, technicians don't just tidy up hard drives, design websites, and build computers as a career—tending to electronics is their passion. Most of the skilled computer whizzes own plenty of digital devices of their own, giving them a personal insight into smartphones, laptops, and desktops of all makes and models. The specialists can restore smooth-running functionality to a PC after a nasty virus attack, or restore iPhone and iPad screens cracked from accidental falls or rounds of Pin the Mouse on the Gadget.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
uBreakiFix CEO Justin Wetherill spoke with Groupon about the importance of protecting your smartphone and the challenges of fixing a phone that has been dropped into a deep fryer.
On the worst thing you can do after cracking your smartphone?s glass screen
?Don?t just put it into your pocket and continue to use it,? Wetherill says. The broken glass can actually cause serious damage to the phone?s inner components and turn a relatively simple fix into a costly repair job.
On the repair process
"Look, this is something we do every day," Wetherill says. "You are not the first person to break a phone.? Collectively, uBreakiFix's highly trained technicians repair more than 20,000 devices a month, drawing from a library of high-quality parts that are tested twice before they ever get used in a repair service. Free diagnostics are a staple at all uBreakiFix locations, so customers understand the problem before any work is done.
On growing his business
uBreakiFix began as a business based out of Wetherill?s living room, and it now boasts more than 60 locations nationwide. ?We are proof that the American dream is alive,? he says.
On unusual repair jobs
Wetherill remembers one fast-food employee who dropped her phone into a restaurant?s deep fryer. ?It smelled pretty bad,? he said; however, the repairs were successful. Another customer lost his phone in a cement mixer. After some serious effort, the technicians were able to safely recover all of the important data, but the phone died a few hours later. As Wetherill pointed out, ?it did go through a cement mixer.? Some miracles just aren?t meant to be.
On the importance of a one-day turnaround time
Repairs at uBreakiFix?s store locations can often take as little as an hour, according to Wetherill. This is a critical part of the shops' focus?something Wetherill personally understands. If forced to choose between spending the weekend without his smartphone or his left arm, he jokes that he would pick the arm. ?Of course, this is assuming that there wouldn?t be any pain,? he laughs.