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.
Big things can grow from small beginnings. Just ask Zoe, the cartoon (and real) canine mascot of The Laptop Guy. The computer-repair shop began with a rented counter in a toy shop, where the company's founder and his dog sold laptops to passersby. His dedication to his customers and Zoe's playful nature brought in more and more customers, until the repair and sales shop could no longer fit next to the action-figure aisle. More than 10 years later, The Laptop Guy has grown into a multi-store business that solves customers' smartphone, Apple, Android, and PC issues with online support, in-house repairs, or onsite troubleshooting. Cartoon Zoe and her owner still greet customers on the company's website, and the real-life versions can be found in one of the repair shops on any given day.
Signature service: Expert computer tuneup
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Brands Used: Malware and spyware software
Pro Tip: The sooner you alert our techs about an issue, the less damage it can do to your PC.
Since 1998, when VHS was issuing its final surrender to DVDs, Video Data Services has been transferring analog memoirs into the digital age and saving antiquated formats from a life in the attic. Whether it's home movies shot on 8mm, Super 8, or 16mm reels, homecoming games filmed on bulky VHS camcorders, or a library of failed America's Funniest Home Videos auditions captured in old formats such as Hi8 or MiniDV, Video Data Services treats every film canister, shoebox of slides, or truckloads of videotape like a precious magnetic baby. When transporting celluloid to its more universally accessible DVD form, their crew of technicians clean, condition, and repair any broken splices or tears in frame-by-frame transfers that eradicate flickers or that weird melting film effect that happens with projectors. They also create hand-scanned, cropped, and color-corrected slideshow DVDs from photos and slides, and convert any videotape format to DVD, where nobody can accidentally tape over a wedding with their break-dancing demo.
Telepathy hasn't been invented—yet. That's why iGadget Repair and Recycle specializes in smartphone and tablet repair and eco-friendly recycling for top-of-the-line brands such as Apple and BlackBerry. Highly trained technicians can fix a cracked screen or broken antenna or repair water damage incurred while scuba diving in a mall fountain. Clients may also peruse the shop's diverse inventory of handheld accessories for both home and vehicle.