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How to deal with scam, fraud in phone repair business?

Hi there,

As i'm starting to begin a phone repair business I wanted to first think things through.

I was wondering how I should cover myself against people who are trying to scam me.

For example;

- Phone broken screen, repaired and it turns out more things are were broken, like reception or such you can't know until you repair the screen.

Do you make a checklist of all function and test it with customer, but if customer says it's blue and you say it's red..

How do you react if customer saying you opened it and it was working before so you should fix it.

If I myself break something than it's my fault but do you guys had some experience with this and/or tips to avoid those kind of people come in?

Thanks in advance

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Nobody's going to say how to fix hyjacking


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From my personal experience, when you first start out it is nearly impossible to avoid the said kind of customers you describe. I was lucky enough to have a mentor who have been in this line for over 20years to guide and advice me and I'm gonna pay it forward today.

You can't control their mentality but you can control yours.

1. ALWAYS presume the customer that approach you are either underplaying the problem (Why? Because it their mind, smaller problem means smaller bills) or they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about besides the obvious ( which is why they need you).

2.Don't be lazy, check everything and check for water damage. Those are the damages that will cost you financially and mentally, stains that are not suppose to be there are not suppose to be there. ( Customers are smart now, they know they could dry out their phones either by hairdryer, rice or silica. They dry it out, use till some obvious problem comes up then approach you about THAT problem, not telling you they drop their phone 1 month ago into water )

3. Always cover your @%^, do not over promise and always be honest. Be honest about what you are going to do, what you can do and what you hope your customers would understand, tell them upfront. ( Most customers who are understanding are honest, and those that are not.....well in my case I would show them the door )

4. Don't abuse trust, simple explanation is "Like attracts Like". You want the honest customers, not the other end of the spectrum. So be the one you like.

5. Don't be afraid to ask questions, it is your domain they are stepping in, your forte, not theirs, they cannot BS you. Alot of time you catch them in their lies. By making them talk alot.

6. If its your mistake, owned it. Because you paid for that mistake, I guarantee you will remember it. Mistakes could be technical or you simply got fooled by a customer.

7. You've only got 2 hands, finished what is at hand ( meaning if you are mid repair, make sure you stop at a comfortable stage where you can easily go back to) Then deal with another customer 1 at a time. Not check 2 phones at the same time explaining multiple types of symptoms to multiple customers. If you try to multitask everything you will most definitely screw up somewhere. It is because you are focus, and that makes it harder for customers to pull a fast one.

These are the few key points I can remember off the top of my head, and there are a lot more which is situational. Good Luck.

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Excellent description, I would also add to have a checklist of procedures to do before even doing the repair.


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Like Con said, I test every single function of mostly iPhones and iPads I receive for repair.

I can think of:

- Test alll the mechanical buttons,

- Gyro (make the screen spin),

- Place a call (I call a toll-free line with automated reply to check cellular capability and ear-speaker, and proxy sensor),

- Swipe the whole area of the touch screen using an icon to test touch function,

- Open browser and pull data using cellular,

- Connect to Wi-Fi,

- Re-open browser and pull data using Wi-Fi,

- Flashlight,

- Back cam then front cam and record video, listen to video,

- Listen again to test video using headphones jack,

- Connect to computer using dock/lightning cable to check for data transmission, wait a few minutes to check charging as well.


- I know before hand if I made a mistake that I am responsible for,

- Pass as pro by noticing and pointing out defects and performing QC, also get additional business by proposing to repair the defects we found,

- Avoid aggravation from both honest and dishonest clients who think we/accuse us of, "ruining" their device.

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"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12

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Any phone that comes in my place that doesn't turn on or is broken lcd and cannot be tested I simply tell them that there maybe other things damaged other than the screen and Conor be held liable for it.. On the other hand if phone is working test every single function on the phone and if something isn't working before the repair you call that person and let them no..

Then when you repair the screen and something isn't working right you no it was your faulty and can fix it

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What I have learned from operating a mobile device repair biz is that Murphy's Law tends to come into play more often than not unfortunately... The best advice I can give is that documentation is an absolute essential, nothing too complicated but having a rock-solid device repair authorization form for your customers to review and sign is critical, totally worth the fees to have an attorney the specializes in business litigation assist in writing one up and including an initial device condition checklist that both you and the customer complete and sign together at the time of receiving is another sure-fire preemptive measure along with good quality photographs of said device before, during, and after repair to include along with the other forms . Unfortunately mistakes do happen and people are so particular and bias about tech repair companies that inevitably someone will complain or a technician will damage/destroy a customers device and you'll be responsible, but thats the way it is in this business and thats why there is business insurance policies exclusively for our particular trade that more than cover a clients totaled S6 that you're nephew thought could take selfies of the Koi fish in your waiting area aquarium... Best of luck in all of your device repair endeavors and remember that the only true way to fail at something is to never attempt it in the first place.

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We document everything in our store. We take pictures of the unit when it comes in and when it is done all techs are required to check when it comes in and before it leaves. takes about 1 to 2 minutes to check everything. Depending on the conditions in your store and if time permits, I even open the phone for the first in front of them. Especially if the phone looks like it has been repaired before. (make sure not by you before you explain faults) lol.

Quoting - King Khoo

"5. Don't be afraid to ask questions, it is your domain they are stepping in, your forte, not theirs, they cannot BS you. Alot of time you catch them in their lies. By making them talk alot. "

Simply ask what happened? it fell off a 10 story building and .... pause wait for the response. Usually you get a third of the store and pay attention. Then shoot back some of your own question and again Pause... let them continue. by the time you are done diagnosing the phone you got half the story.

Example of a normal conversation.

I always hear with a DOA phone. (Dead On Arrival)

  • Customer: it fell from my hand now the screen don't work.
  • me: it fell off a 10 story building and .... (smile, smirk, etc)
  • Customer: no, no, LOL i was running after my chihuahua, I was waving my hands and phone went flying about 10' in the air nearly missing the car parked in the corner, luckily it hit the UPS truck and he didn't even notice. Because it was raining hard and he didn't hear the noise from when the phone fell in the water, I got it out quickly though nothing else happened.
  • me: ... (smile, smirk, etc)
  • Customer: so when i got back in my house my GF was mad she threw a shoe at me and that's when it fell out of my hand and cracked right here in this corner.
  • me: ok, so nothing happened else happened?
  • Customer: no
  • Me: ok so your phone it's DOA which means I can't check nothing on it so I am not responsible for Camera ---
  • Customer: no, no Camera works just fine.
  • Me: ok let's take a selfie now, with your chihuahua .
  • Customer: what chihuahua
  • Me: Exactly....

Moral of the story just listen to customers and dig for info then document everything.

Below i will put a few examples.

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______•Failure to pick-up device left within 30 days will result in the selling of your device in order to recover expenses.

______•I agree that my phone is not stolen and I know that I can incur an early, end of contract fee with my actual wireless company.

______•I was advised and agreed that by flashing or repairing my phone I can loose some personal information and that in some cases the phone can be damaged and become unusable through this process. I understand by having my phone unlocked, flashed or repaired that I may violate the terms of my phones warranty. - Repairs have no refund or warranty. I know have 30 days from drop off date to pick up my device and or parts otherwise i lose my deposit, device / parts. WE ARE NOT A STORAGE UNIT.

  • I have found out also people don't forget about their devices when you take deposits. I try as much as possible to always get a deposit.

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Hello everyone, before I started fixing, I used to outsource for technicians to help fix my clients faulty devices, and in 2 occasions, I failed to take cognizance of some important information, this client brought in a 15-inch MacBook Pro, Mid-2011, the system had a graphic card problem that leads to distorted or no visuals on screen except plain(white display) at the point of booting, now, after the board was swapped for her and she came in to pick up, she mentioned to me that she had an 8GB RAM modules in each of the slots, making it a 16GB RAM, and when I contacted the vendor that fixed it, he told to me it was a 4GB RAM module in each of the slots, I ended up buying her 2 units of the 8GB RAM 1600MHz DDR3 module and replaced it for her. And same RAM issue happened again in a 13-inch MacBook Pro, Core 2 Duo, late 2009, that had a similar problem as mentioned above, after a swap and he was ready to pickup, he mentioned that he had a 4GB RAM modules in each of the RAM slots, and he showed me chats on his phone of the vendor that arranged the upgrade for him but it was hard for me to believe because most often times, Core 2 Duo machines for Mac, has its limit pecked at 4GB(please correct me if I am wrong). In his case, I opted to refund him but he insisted I should place an order for the RAM for him, and sincerely guys, I am yet to have that issue resolved but he isn't disturbing.

Many times, the issue is from us the technicians, or our employed staffs failing to carry out the supposed diligent first hand check for proper data registry, failure to have these things done, leaves us vulnerable to aftermath of some of these clients protesting what was or not.

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