Tulsa business is fixing broken cell phones

Thursday, September 2nd 2004, 10:09 am
By: News On 6

Cell phone plans have gotten so competitive; they practically give the phones away. That is, unless you break it. If you have to replace your phone before your plan has expired, that is when you find out how expensive it really is.

News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg explains that there is a way to salvage that cell.

"I have a V600, which is very expensive." Randall Manzer's very expensive cell phone wasn't making any sound. Steve Berg: "How long did you have left on your contract at the time it broke?" Randall: "A year and a half." Steve Berg: "you had a long way to go.” Randall: "Yeah."

Lucky for him, the business next door to his was called Cellular Phone Repair Center, and he decided to give it a try, otherwise he says he probably wouldn't have thought of it. "Instead of taking it back and getting another $300 cell phone, I took it next-door here and fixed it within the hour."

"We get customers in all the time, they just got at $300 phone at the beginning of the contract, they only had to pay $99, thought they got a great deal for a nice phone, 3 weeks later, they accidentally dropped it in water." Alex Iser started the small shop about 4 years ago.

He only knows of a couple of other places that do repairs. Maybe it's because cell phones change so fast, maybe it's because we often get through our phone contracts with no accidents. Whatever the reason, he says people don't often think of just repairing their phones. "Most of the time we feel confident that we can repair most phones that come in here."

They've had soaked phones. Burned phones. Phones mauled by dogs. Keypads stuck with gummy bears. Once they found a cockroach inside a cell phone. Nothing that dramatic Thursday. By the way, they say lots of phones get thrown in lovers' quarrels.

As for Randall's phone, it just had a loose speaker connection, cost of repair, $5. Now that's an easy sell. They say by far, the most common damage they see is liquids. The Cellular Phone Repair Center also buys old cell phones and sells refurbished cell phones. They are located near 8218 East 71st. Visit www.thecprcenter.com for more information.