Cell Phones: When to Call a Professional

Cell phones are one of the most expensive investments Americans make these days—and one of the most fragile. While selling new cell phones is a billion dollar industry, replacing them is nearly as large. Another lucrative subset of the cell phone market is the repairs division. However, there are many quick and simple errors with a cell phone that can be caused by simple, easy-to-fix at home problems that people needlessly spend money on when they could simply fix it themselves. Other times, people try to fix too-complicated problems and wind up with a phone worse than when they started. It can be difficult to know when to call a professional, and when to make the repairs yourself.

You Have Unsteady Hands and a Broken Screen: Call a Pro.

There are many kits available for do-it-yourself screen repair. The screen of a phone is one of the most important parts, and when it cracks or shatters, it can be tempting to think you need a new phone. However, repairing the screen by yourself can be cheaper than you might expect; there are many self-repair kits that offer a complete screen replacement for only $25 or so.

The problem is, while these kits might be cheap, they aren’t easy. If you have unsteady hands or a problem putting together anything from Ikea, you might want to step back and call a professional. This is one of the cases where attempting cell phone repair without knowing what you’re doing can be a huge problem that winds up costing you more than it saves you. If you mess up, your warranty will not cover any phone you tried to fix.

You Have Dunked Your Phone In the Water: Do It Yourself.

One of the things that makes consumers go running to a professional faster than anything is the specter of water damage. It’s hard to understand that any delicate, expensive piece of electronics that has been dunked, flushed, or washed can possibly be saved without help from a professional, or without replacing the phone entirely.

However, there is an easy fix that is completely free and works most of the time on water damage. Simply take out the battery of your phone and put phone and battery separately into a bag of dry, uncooked rice. Let it sit overnight, or for a full 24 hours. If the phone does not wake up and come back to life, it is time to seek professional help. Most of the time, it will start working again.

Your Charger Won’t Work: Try To Fix It First.

In many cases, people see a phone that won’t charge as a dead phone, and declare that they simply must have a new one. However, there is a simple and cheap (almost free) fix for this problem that sometimes works. Note: this does not always work. When it does, it saves a lot of money. Very carefully, try wiping down the metal parts surrounding the charger with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. This can get rid of the corrosion that sometimes interferes with charging.