New smartphones can cost upwards of $1,000, so if you break the one you have, it might be worth trying to fix it. But a Consumer Reports survey reveals that these do-it-yourself repairs can be trickier than you think.
“When we asked 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. And a lot of other people said that it was too inconvenient,” said Consumer Reports technical writer Kaveh Waddell.
Replacement parts can also be hard to come by, and Consumer Reports says instructions for repairing phones are scarce. Also, new phones are made with glued batteries and special screws that cannot be easily removed.
And you might think you’ll void the warranty if you repair the phone yourself or at an independent store, but Consumer Reports says that’s not true.
Now some states and Congress are taking note of these hostile consumer practices.
“Legislators in a number of states and in Congress are considering bills that would make it easier to fix your own things, including your smartphone,” Waddell said.
For the first time, Apple is announcing that it will make certain parts and repair manuals available to consumers and repair shops. Microsoft reportedly said it would make it easier to repair some of its devices. Consumer Reports says the news is a win for the environment and consumers.
In the meantime, if you have a broken phone, Consumer Reports says you can shop around at authorized repairers and independent stores. Also check if you have insurance through your credit card to cover a repair or if you have a repair plan like AppleCare.
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