Making Sense of Tech Repair Prices and Service Times

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Tad Vaas 21 Apr 2020

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There is some suspicion and stigma around repair services. You send your device in for what you think is a simple repair and they come back and say it will cost you much more. It looks like you are being taken for a ride. No doubt there are shady operators out there, but sometimes frustration arises from not having the full information. Here at TFix we want to dispel some myths and be totally transparent about how our pricing system works.

Let’s take a common example. There is no picture on the customer’s PlayStation screen. The customer does a bit of Googling, consults some YouTube videos, and it seems that it is an HDMI port issue. The customer sends it in, we run our extensive checks and diagnose that in this instance, it is not an HDMI issue, but a problem with, in the worst-case scenario, the motherboard. It would be in no one’s interest just to fix the HDMI port. We would have to buy a replacement motherboard, so we would have to charge a higher price. This can make the customer unhappy. But there is no ‘scamming’ going on; this is what the market is telling us to do. It is in our DNA, as a tech recycling service, to keep our prices as low as possible. But we have to follow the market — even a charity cannot run at a loss.

So how do we calculate our prices?

We use AI to monitor variables like the market price of components and our current workload. It would be impossible for a human to constantly monitor all this fluctuating information and crunch all these numbers. So our AI system makes these decisions. If we do not have a huge workload, then the system will automatically offer low repair prices and discounted services. If the demand is high and the market price of components is high, then the prices will return to normal or be higher. This price is not plucked out of thin air, it is a simple calculation of how much the required components cost and how long it will take.

As we explored in a recent blog, component prices are extremely fluid at the moment due to the knock-on effects of the coronavirus. If there is a delay in the customer accepting the quote, the price of components could have changed. In the time between the evaluation and performing the specific repair, the price of even a new HDMI port could have changed.

What is extremely rare in that we actually list our service prices online. Most companies don’t. But often when we actually evaluate the device, we find that the problem is more serious and requires more serious repairs. In these cases, the prices can be higher.

How we do an evaluation?

The customer sends in their device to us — then what? We will initially try to replicate the fault that the customer is experiencing. We will then run lots of checks to determine exactly what the problem is. There are so many different parts that affect how a device operates, even the condition of the housing can have an impact. We have developed a re-quoting strategy. We share our findings with you and always put power in the customer’s hands to accept or reject the price of the service. If we find problems other than those reported, we offer 50% discount on those extra repair services.

As flexible as possible

Repair service times are also calculated by AI, based on how many orders we have, how many workers are available, and how long the particular repair will take. The only variable that we can change is time. We are always working to be as efficient as possible. But in reality, we can only shave off minutes, not hours, so this will only affect the price by a few pounds. Some things cannot be rushed. We run stringent and thorough quality checks after the repair. We always make sure that when the device leaves our premises, it is 100% working. Everything you can think of is checked. And we send you an automatically generated PDF report so you can see exactly what has been checked. We always make sure that we send off a fully working product.

Not everything changes

Frustration often comes from a lack of clarity. We hope that this transparency can shed some light on why prices and times can fluctuate. We make sure that some things do not change. If you actually place an order, rest assured we will always stick to that price, even if component prices have changed in the time it has taken for you to submit the device. So if you have any electronics that need repairing, check out what deals and discounts we currently have on offer and book your device in for a repair.

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