By Vincent Ball and Jasmin Suknanan
The electronics repair brand, uBreakiFix, opened a new location in Deer Park this week.
The Deer Park storefront became the nationwide company’s seventh Long Island location when it opened on Feb. 21, and the company has come a long way from the mail order repair service it began as in 2009.
“Storefronts are much more convenient for the customer,” Frank Ferrante, one of the owners of the Deer Park location, explains. “They can just walk in and 30 minutes later they will have their phone back in their hands.”
Despite service centers provided by tech manufactures like the Apple Genius Bar, there is still more than enough room for third party shops to coexist.
However, with Apple and Microsoft opposing a “Right to Repair” bill that would require manufacturers to sell parts to third party repair shops and consumers, there is some uncertainty.
“We like saying take broken devices to Apple because we guarantee our items are fixed but you can probably get it done cheaper at third-party shops. It’s just their business,” Norm, a representative from Apple’s Smith Haven Mall location, said.
Apple shops charge an average of $149 to fix a broken screen on an iPhone. Because of their brand identification, customers are more likely to visit these stores as opposed to a third party repair shop.
Ferrante doesn’t see this as a redundancy in the market, and he remains confident that their same day repairs and guarantees of the lowest price will separate them.
“We’re the largest tech repair company in the world,” Ferrante said. “We have the most locations. We have 300 locations across North America.”
“The increased popularity of third party shops will have a positive impact on consumers that are willing to take the risk of using their services, but would not have any major impact on producers,” Taiwo Aladeojebi, a researcher on planned obsolescence, said.
Planned obsolescence, or the idea that some products like smartphones are designed to become outdated after a period of time, will pressure consumers to purchase the latest model of the electronic.
The increase of third party repair shops will also positively impact the environment.
“Any time you don’t have to re-purchase an entire item is a big win,” Jane Fasullo, Group Chair of the Long Island Sierra Club, said. “There are a lot of parts in them. If there’s only one bad part out of 100, when you don’t throw it away versus buy a new one, you don’t require new raw material because you’re using 90 percent of the raw material you already had. Get what you need and don’t get excess.”
A former customer at uBreakiFix, Christopher Reed, agrees.
“It seems like the manufacturers just want you to keep buying the entire device every time, even if it’s just a cracked screen or damaged speaker,” Reed, who visited his local uBreakiFix location a for repairs on his Samsung Galaxy S6, said. “I refuse to give them more business, so I’m glad a third-party repair shop like uBreakiFix exists.”
uBreakiFix plans to open 175 new stores across North America in 2017.