Best and Worst iPod and iPhone Repair Centers on the Web
As we have been searching the web for the last few months for a good iPod and iPhone repair center we decided to put together a write-up on my experiences. We have been an experienced technician for many years now so we do understand the basics of these types of devices but we really didn’t have the time to finding parts and figuring out how to install them. We tried to repair one once and we broke a connector. It ended up costing me an arm and a leg to get it fixed so we decided to opt out of self repair and pay the small fee for someone else to deal with it. Since sending an iPod or iPhone away in the mail can be a bit unnerving we chose to document the good and the bad of each service. We found a few repair centers that we decided were good fits for my issues and chose to split up where we sent my iPods so we could see just who did the best job. The differences were rather interesting.
If you are reading this you should note that there are a lot of garage based repair people popping up in the iPod repair business. We feel these are risky because they have no backing, usually aren’t paying taxes, don’t have any type of business structure and who knows what quality parts they are using. These are the guys who offer the “cheap” repair service. If you buy an Apple product there really isn’t such a thing as “cheap”. We suggest staying away from anyone offering below average costs for repairs as most likely there is something they are not telling you.
I looked up a few sites on the web and came across some of the most popular. We thought these companies were the least likely to be problematic so we started at the bottom and worked my way through a list we put together.
My final choices ended up all being pretty good but many of us just want to know who we should avoid. We will give our opinions on both. We based our experience on a few factors.
- Communication with the Repair Center (email and phone)
- Quality of Repair Service
- Cost of Repair Service
- Reliability of Repair Service
- Speed of Service
Let’s start with the bad. We found a few services that we didn’t have much luck with and would probably recommend avoiding. We don’t like badmouthing a company but some of these sounded a little shady and we also tried to do some research on customer reviews to see if others felt the same.
Here is a list of Repair Centers we would try and avoid and why.
Not sure who these guys are, their website had a bunch of conflicting information. We found them through a paid advertisement on Google. The ad said free overnight return shipping but when you get to the website it says 2-day shipping. After doing some digging we found a list of customer complaints about them and many people stated they were a scam. We found multiple websites for different products running under similar names on the web. They sell a lot of parts and have repair services but half of them weren’t even active on their website. With no way to contact them besides email we avoided them.
This was what we thought one of the better repair centers on the web but we also found them to be completely shady. They operate a few websites all under different names. we understand it’s ok to have multiple websites but why do they all have completely different names? we don’t know many legitimate businesses that have handfuls of websites. After a bit of digging on this company we found out they run the following sites:
All of these names run under Milliamp so basically if you send your iPod to any of these sources or buy parts from any of these sources they are all one in the same company.
Who the heck are these guys? Their website says they have been repairing iPods and iPhones for over 40 Years!!!! Wow we didn’t know iPods were that old. Enough said!
This is a company called PDA Smart, they looked ok but they don’t offer the newest devices for repair such as the Touch 4 or iPhone 4. At least they aren’t offered on their website. The name is also different from their web name so we skipped this one.
I couldn’t really understand their website. They offer services but it looks like they have a lot of rules for sending in your iPod. Things like you can’t open your iPod or they won’t fix it. They also look to push a conversion kit for your iPod instead of the normal replacement drives. Not really sure what to make of their service.
Good Repair Centers and Why
Ok now on to our top 5 repair centers and the ones we chose to send our iPods to
I had a great overall experience with the guys at Repair Sharks and have to give them the award for best service. We called and left a message for them after finding them on the web. They called us back within a few hours, and we spent about 15 minutes on the phone with one of their staff who explained in detail the entire repair process. By the end of the conversation we could tell they knew what they were doing. we felt like we was sending my iPod to someone that actually cared and not just another number in a system. The same day they received my iPod we got a phone call from them with a diagnostics. We confirmed the repair with them and by the end of the day they emailed me saying it was complete and provided me with payment instructions. The iPod was in the mail the next day, what else can we ask for. Getting to speak to someone in person and having someone walk us through the process was very cool. We also felt that helping me was more important to them than taking my cash. They didn’t try to push me to buy any services from them and offered me some really great deals on upgrades to my repair. We have since sent another iPod to them and received the same level of service so we am sure they are one of the better choices out there for repair.
These guys looked good and were one of the companies we ultimately sent my iPod too. Their website was nice, the prices were reasonable and the service wasn’t bad. They also offer Mac repairs. As far as we know there isn’t any type of certification for iPod or iPad repair but these guys are Macbook certified as stated on their website. They offer a lot of services on their website and access to information was pretty easy through their site. There prices were on par with the other quality repair centers. What else can we say? It is an iPod after all; we got it back in one piece and in a timely manner. Nothing fancy just a regular repair with not much hassle. We didn’t deal with them through the phone but we did receive an email from them.
These guys don’t actually offer repairs but instead take a different approach. They try and train the average person to do the repair themselves and sell parts and equipment to do it with. Although this is a great idea we still don’t feel comfortable cracking open a $400 iPod with plastic tools and a heat gun. This site is not for the average consumer in my opinion. It is great for tech savvy guys who have done repairs like this in the past. Not something we would want to try on my iPod but the site is very well put together and the diagrams are nice.
Another reputable company the Pod Drop has locations throughout Michigan. They have been in business for a few years and work out of a few brick and mortal locations. They look to offer franchising opportunities for business looking to add this service on to their existing offerings. Contacting them was easy and the site was straightforward. The website wasn’t very advanced and it generally led you in the direction of having to contact them for answers but at least someone is available to help you. Nothing too fancy just straight up repair service.
This was the third site we sent our iPod to. It wasn’t the best of the three and we would put them in third place if we were ranking them but their service was acceptable and the iPod is working properly. We have no complaints about their service and they provided what they said they would. They also offer other services such as PC repair, PSP repair, and Notebook repair. They have been in the business for a while now as stated on their website. They also have videos as many of the other repair centers do. Prices are similar to the major repair centers and are competitive. Return shipping is not free so prices do not include shipping back to you but they do offer multiple options for shipping. They have a nice Q and A section for questions regarding packages, shipping, and repairs.
Overall we found a few good repair shops on the web and a whole bunch of shady ones. Repair Sharks www.repairsharks.com took the cake in our study. As part of them coming in the top position we will be offering them some free advertising space on our website. Hopefully this guide will help a few people in the future. If you are not sure about a certain repair center contact them and see how they respond. Also it is advised to stick with an actual company and not someone working out of their basement. There are a lot of scams out there so ask questions and get the answers you need. The reputable shops are easy to find but so are the shady ones so be careful.