New smartphones can cost more than $1,000, so if you break the one you have, it might be worth trying to fix it. But a Consumer Reports investigation reveals making those do-it-yourself repairs can be harder than you think.
“When we surveyed people about this a few months ago a lot of people said they don’t fix their smartphones when they break because it’s too expensive to do it. And a lot of other people said it’s too inconvenient,” said Consumer Reports Tech Editor Kaveh Waddell.
Replacement parts can also be hard to find, and Consumer Reports says instructions for fixing phones are scarce. Plus, newer phones are made with glued-in batteries and special screws that can’t easily be removed.
And you may think you’ll void the warranty if you repair the phone yourself or at an independent shop, but Consumer Reports says that’s not true.
Now some states and Congress are taking notice of these unfriendly consumer practices.
“Lawmakers in a number of states and Congress are considering bills that would make it easier to repair your own things, including your smartphone,” said Waddell.
For the first time, Apple says it will make some parts and repair manuals available to consumers and repair shops. Microsoft has reportedly said it will make some of its devices easier to fix. Consumer Reports says the news is a win for the environment and consumers.
In the meantime, if you have a busted phone, Consumer Reports says you can compare prices at authorized repairers and independent shops. Also, check to see if you have any insurance through your credit card to cover a repair or if you signed up for a repair plan like AppleCare.