In this section I hope to be able to explain simple 'repairs' that you would pay for in a repair shop. Not every fault needs someone to look at it for you. Sure, a smashed screen will need replacing, but if the screen is just black? A phone won't charge? Or maybe your Iphone is disabled?
In truth, a lot of these can be put right without the need to pay a shop to do it. You just have to be willing to learn.
This may also be a place where I rant a little about things I see and hear.
To make it quicker and easier, GREEN sections are HELP
RED sections are a RANT
Grey sections are for NEED TO KNOW information
Let's start off with one of my favorites... You put your Iphone on charge last night & now it's just blank. It won't charge or respond to anything.
This is usually caused by a software crash in either an app or the operating system (the OS part in IOS). This can also happen at pretty much any time that your phone is turned on.
If it is just a software crash it is very easy to resolve by performing a soft reset (some people mistakenly call this a hard reset)...
Unplug your phone from the charger.
Press and hold the home button and power button.
With both buttons held down, count to 20 slowly.
With luck the Apple logo will appear on the screen before you reach 20. Let go of both buttons once the logo appears.
If it still fails to boot up after showing the logo you could be looking at a charge problem, duff battery or something more serious.
If you have an Iphone 7 or above use the volume down and power button.
Shops usually don't charge for this. But I would be suspicious of anyone who instantly tells you to come back in 20 minutes. Especially if they don't try charging and soft resetting the phone while you're there.
This next problem is my pet peeve... Your Iphone won't charge. It used to, but you had to force the cable or hold it at an angle.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Apple. When Apple decided to ignore the world wide push to standardise charge ports, they gave the job to someone who had just watched a documentary on musket rifles.
Make a hole big enough for things to find their way in, but not fall out. Then give the customer a solid metal rod to ram it to the bottom of the charge port.
Yes. Most charging problems are caused by either broken cables or fluff and dirt in the charge port.
The easy way to find out is to put the charge cable into the charge port. If you can see metal between the bottom of your phone and the plastic of the charge cable... you have a dirt problem.
If it fits correctly then try the soft reset.
I will add photos to help you just as soon as I can.
Before we continue, a word of warning...
Failure to follow the instructions could result in killing your phone. If you're clumsy or heavy handed you could also kill your phone. Red Wolf Repairs is not responsible for any damage caused while trying this procedure.
The most important part... MAKE SURE YOU TURN OFF YOUR PHONE!
The second most important part... IF USING METAL TOOLS, STAY AWAY FROM THE METAL CONTACTS IN THE CHARGE PORT!
That's the scary stuff out of the way. This is easy.
Take the SIM removal pin that came with your phone.
Use the point of the pin to rake the fluff and dirt out of the charge port.
Stay away from the metal contacts. Even if you don't short out the phone, you could damage the contacts.
You could also use a sewing needle or pin, a paper clip, a cocktail stick.. pretty much anything that's thin and has a point. I personally use half a tweezer. I snapped some fine point tweezers in half, filed down the rough edges, bent the tip with some pliers then lightly sprayed it with car paint. The paint is to insulate the metal so I don't kill phones. I'll add a section lower down with step-by-step instructions and photos to make one.
Once the charge cable fits flush with the bottom of your phone, it should be working. If not try another cable that's known to work. If it's still not working then the charge port might need replacing.
Did you kill your phone? If there was a spark from inside the charge port when you were cleaning it... Yes.
This is why this problem is my pet peeve. If you go to a shop they will know instantly if dirt is the problem when they put it on charge. A good shop will tell you it's dirt and clean it for you free of charge. But most shops don't. They tell you to come back in half an hour, as soon as you leave they clear the dirt and check it's working, you come back and they charge you anywhere from £10 upto £30. It's just not right. OK, you might not want to clean it yourself. Just be prepared to pay for that dirt.
IPHONE DISABLED - CONNECT TO ITUNES. But when you do, it doesn't help. Often caused by a hard night drinking, that time you gave your phone to the kids to shut them up, or it's an old phone and you can't remember the passcode. However you got there it's not good.
Itunes can only help if the phone has been connected to Itunes in the past. There are specialised boxes that can sometimes help, but they can be expensive and few shops have them. But there is another way, it's a little draconian, but it works... by completely updating and resetting your Iphone. Everything will be wiped except any Icloud details, I cannot remove the Icloud details either.
To do this you need a PC or laptop with Itunes installed and internet access.
Then you have to put your Iphone into 'DFU' or Device Firmware Update.
Similar to the soft reset, placing your phone into DFU uses just two buttons... the same two buttons.
This can take some practice and patience.
Plug the Iphone into the PC/Laptop.
(Up to the iPhone 6+) Press and hold the Home Button & Power Button.
(iPhone 7 up over) Press and hold the Volume Down Button & Power Button.
The Iphone will turn off and restart, keep the buttons pressed.
The Apple logo will come on then disappear. When it disappears let go of the power button but keep the Home Button or Volume Down Button pressed.
Every time the Iphone turns off or on the PC/Laptop will make a ding ding sound as the USB port is connected or disconnected. If you hear the dings without the Apple logo coming on, you have placed your phone in DFU. Itunes should then inform you 'Iphone detected in recovery'.
Just follow the instructions to restore and update the Iphone.
If this isn't working for you, try googling your Iphone model with DFU at the end. i.e. Iphone 6S DFU. Someone else might explain it better.
When finished the code will be gone, along with everything that was on the phone. It will need activating and Icloud logins if asked for.
If you previously backed up your phone it can be recovered during the setup.
Due to the time it can take to download updates from the Apple servers, most shops will charge from £15 to £30 to do this. But if you don't know the Icloud details only Apple can help you. So you could pay to have it reset and still end up with a phone that won't work.
Unlocking a phone from a network. Depending on where you got your phone it may, or may not, be locked to a network. Networks lock their phones so you can't use SIM cards form different networks. Unlocking a phone allows you to use any network SIM you want.
In most cases you can do this yourself. I have a box that allows me to unlock & repair Samsung phones... that's it. Just the one box. Because everything else usually needs a code from the handset manufacturer. This means either a paid subscription to a service or just buy it off Ebay.
Yupp, you heard me... Ebay.
Most companies that offer paid subscription services to phone shops also list on Ebay. So, instead of paying the subscription, shops just purchase the required unlock service from Ebay as and when they need it.
They then charge you the Ebay price plus an amount on top to cover the inconvienance of tapping a few keys and clicking a mouse button.
I've just had a quick look.. Any Iphone upto the 7+ on O2 will cost around £5 to have factory unlocked from Ebay listings. A shop will probably charge £20-£30 using the same listings.
Have you ever really looked at the windows of repair shops? I do, for one simple reason... Most of them claim to be 'Specialists'. Specialists in what? How do you become a specialist in whatever you're a specialist in?
The truth is, unless they're an Official Repair Centre for a brand of phone, the term 'Specialist' has no meaning. Sitting and watching Youtube videos does not make you a specialist. The only possible exception to this are the businesses that have fully qualified technicians for micro solder, BGA and reflow. These skills are applicable to all electronic repairs, not just phone repairs. You also see a lot of shops claim to offer such repairs, but in truth take it somewhere else to be repaired.
I do not micro solder, BGA or reflow. I advise people to search online for a company/business with excellent reviews and more than 30 days warranty on repairs.
If you visit a shop that claim to be 'Specialists'... ask them what in and ask for proof of their qualification. Marketing firms like ITechnician and iMend are not qualifications... Google them.
I pride myself on telling the truth, no matter how much neither of us don't want to hear it. That's why this page exists. I'm not here to try and empty your wallet or purse at every opportunity, I just want to fix what's broken.
How much do you want to pay?
We're not claiming to be the cheapest repair service around. Cheap worries me, the phrase 'You get what you pay for' springs to mind. We try to stay competetive even though we are more of a premium service. But here's another trick some shops will play...
They don't have a complete price list for common repairs. If you're lucky they might have 'prices from £....' on their website or facebook page. But a lot require you to contact them for a quote. This is so they can change the price depending on the customer or how quiet it's been. I'm not talking 'Mates Rates'. They judge how much they think you'll pay for a repair based on your device, the way you look, your way of talking or writing and any number of weird and wonderful ways.
This is the biggest reason I have an easy to read price list. It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from... Here you all get told the same price. Occasionally I might give a lower price, if I'm feeling nice.
You can put them to the test. If you call around for prices and ask for repair times before making a decision on who to choose. Have someone of the opposite sex call and ask the same questions about 20 minutes later. Logically the prices should match... But do they?
This industry is plagued with dodgy ripp-off shops. I'm really trying to seperate myself from those who can't be honest.
This next one really should be higher up the list.
Always check reviews, feedback and general feelings about a repair service/shop before using them.
People can leave feedback on facebook pages and google anytime they want. But feedback can be manipulated. Negative feedback could be removed or fake reviews can be added. (Edit.. Facebook has since tightened they review policy making it almost impossible to remove reviews)
But what can't be controlled are the area and banter groups on facebook. The places people go to for advice on where to take broken devices. It's not uncommon to hear of phones, tablets and computers that have come out of some shops are in a worse condition than when they went in.
Not every post about killing devices will be true. Some people just live to trash talk when they don't get what they want from a shop. But repeatedly coming across nightmare stories of devices being destroyed by particular shops cannot be ignored.
Red Wolf Repairs is a new business, but the feedback thus far is something I am very proud of. With one fake negative review from a local repair shop. I'm sure at some point I will get an honest negative review. But I will only try to remove feedback that is fake/trash talking (if I can remove it). Any genuine bad experiances will be defended or explained, but not removed.
New or used parts? This is a strange one. There's something of a quandary around this as original parts are better than after market parts. But not knowing the history of a used part is a worry. Most shops buy used phones, some shops buy stolen phones. They could be water damaged, smashed up or just badly treated; so the parts inside might not be fully working. But that doesn't stop them from being used.
I'm kind of on the fence with this one as a good condition used original part will probably be better. But a new part gives better piece of mind.
Either way, a shop should tell you if they have repaired a device with 'used parts'. Or just ask them, if they lie they are breaking the sale of goods act.
Since I don't buy used phones, I only use new parts. With Apple devices they are high quality after market parts, but I will only use new original screens for Samsung phones... The after market screens for Samsung phones are terrible.
Are you sure that's everything? Sometimes phones, tablets and computers cannot be fixed. And other times they can be fixed but you'll be told otherwise.
I have heard many tales from customers who have used less reputable repair shops, I've also seen phones that have been to other repair shops. "They told me it can't be fixed. Can you try?" I opened the phone only to find half the parts were missing. Some shops see this as their 'normal operating proceedure'. If they can't fix it they take the good parts out before handing the device back. That's theft! Lame excuses like "Well your phone can't be repaired so you don't need those parts" really doesn't get around the fact they broke the law.
"Your laptop cannot be fixed, it has a board fault. But we'll buy it off you for £5". No! It could be fixed but they can make more money by ripping you off. Always get a second opinion. I might not be able to repair your device, but someone else could have more experiance and be able to fix it. But all the parts have to be there for that to happen.
So if you're told it can't be fixed. Don't accept an insulting offer to buy it, ask if all the parts are still there and take it somewhere else.
If you can't beat 'em... Slag 'em off, make stuff up and misrepresent yourself. Before I officially started trading somone left a negative review on the Red Wolf Repairs facebook page. It was full of inaccuracies and a situation that even if it did happen, I would have no control over as I was not the boss. It wasn't hard to work out where it came from. The previous day I upset a shop while delivering leaflets in their area. Yet this shop has a history of underhanded practices. They get a really bad reputation, so they change their name. Someone ransacks their shop, it happened to someone else. They tell people that they are part of another shop... Their biggest rival.. Untrue. Then their biggest rival went out of business.. The same shop they were supposedly part of... Also untrue. The latest I've heard is that they bought that shop and it's now run by them... Untrue.
If someone has to make up so much bull to try and stay in business... They're doing something very wrong to lose business in the first place.
I'm not going to name them, I don't have to, they know who they are.
I'm mentioning this now because I am probably a bigger threat to their business. I may refer people to other shops that can help them better, but I am the boss here. If anyone else claims to be in business with Red Wolf Repairs, or that they own Red Wolf Repairs... They are lying and you should run away.
iPhone 8, 8+ and 10 replacement screen issue. When Apple created this round of phones, they once again tried to stop people from getting 3rd party repairs. First they increased the voltage to the touch screen so the digitizer would stop working in some after market screens. They pulled the same trick with the iPhone 6S when it reached 2 years old. And like the 6S, Apple restored function with an update after the threat of legal action.
The other trick they added is the pairing of the screen to the phone. Just like the fingerprint scanner, the screen is now matched to the phone. So even if
you replace the screen with an Apple original screen, the Ambient Light Sensor will be disabled because it isn't the original screen it was paired with. The Ambient Light Sensor is the part that automatically adjusts the screen brightness depending on how bright your surroundings are. It's a minor function, but it can be an annoying one if it doesn't work.
It was only a matter of time before the tech people of the world found out how the pairing works... and released part of a solution. But not all repair shops are aware of the problem.
The hardware and software needed is available. Together it allows the data to be saved and transfered to another screen. What we're now waiting for are replacment screens that have writable IC chips. So far only genuine Apple screens support this, but they are very expensive and very hard to get hold of.
So before you commit to that repair you should tell the shop you want to keep your original screen.
Why? The data needed to pair another screen to your phone is written on a chip on your original screen. Without the original screen you will never be able to recover the ALS function if something goes wrong.
Red Wolf Repairs has the equipment needed to pair screens to your phone. But we are still waiting on compatable screens. So you will be given your original screen after the repair.
Unlike other shops I do not make money from your damaged screens by selling them to recycling companies. I store them as part of the 12 month warranty.
A recent whisper caught my attention about the underhanded tricks some shops may be practicing. I have not confirmed this is really happening, but it is something I could see some shops doing.
When a repair comes in, be it a screen replacement, speaker problem, or charging issue. If the battery isn't replaced as part of the repair. The customers working battery is removed and a known bad battery installed. The idea being that the customer will come back to have the battery replaced. Some shops will do anything to make more money.
If you still have an original battery in your phone you can check it's health in the settings. Once down to 80% or lower it's generally time for a new battery. If there are any doubts in your head about the shop you go to, check the battery health before you have the repair done.
After market batteries do not have the sensors fitted to allow you to check the health. So, if your battery health is lower than when it went in, or you can no longer see the battery health... They switched your battery!
You get what you pay for! Recently there's been a little price war with shops undercutting each other as they fight for customers. This makes me worry for their customers. I've had people come back to me after being offered a much cheaper price from a shop. Sometimes those prices are so low that they can't be making any money... Unless they're using the cheapest, nastiest screens they can find. This is partially backed up by the sudden drop in the warranty period that goes with these repairs. The standard warranty offered used to be 3 months, I offer 12 months, nearly every shop is now offering only 30 days warranty. Which too me means they don't expect the parts used to last more than 6 weeks before they fail.
So, lets look at how the Chinese grade their screens...
If someone described something to you as AAA or AAA+++, you'd think thats amazing and wonderful. In the world of mobile phone LCD's, AAA & AAA+++ is actually at the bottom of the quality scale. These are the cheap and nasty poor quality screens being used for the cheap repairs. If you look on ebay and Amazon, nearly every listing states AAA quality. If you know what to search you can find higher quality LCD's from TianMa, ShenChao and Youda. You'll also see the difference in price. I've mentioned it before that I only use TianMa screens. They offer a high quality screen at a good price. I may make less per repair, but at least I don't expect to see many failed screens come back to me.
The opposite end of the scale gives you OEM & Premium screens. Unfortunatley the Chinese don't recognise the difference between OEM & OEM Quality.
OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer, means a genuine part. In this case a genuine Apple LCD. But when the Chinese say OEM they really mean OEM Quality, where after market parts that match the quality of the original are used. But OEM is also used as a generic term for an after market part by a lot of sellers on ebay and Amazon. I've seen listings for iPhone 8 OEM LCD's on ebay for £22. If they were real OEM LCD's it would cost at least £150, OEM Quality LCD's are around £80. So there's no chance that any of these listings are for any type of OEM LCD. This may sound boring and anal to a lot of you, but it muddies the water and makes it very hard for the average person to know exactly what they could be buying.
But things are changing for both me and you.
I have Premium Quality screens from a new factory. These offer a backlight brightness & colour temperature that matches the original Apple screens. This type of LCD would usually cost more than I charge to repair a phone screen, and I doubt anyone would pay the extra if I decided to stock them. These new screens have a much lower comparative price which means the repair cost would only go up by £5.
At the moment I only have Premium screens for the iPhone 6 in white and iPhone 7 in either colour.
I will be switching to these Premium screens for all Iphone 6, 7 & 8's as my current stock runs low.
I refuse to use low quality, cheap, nasty parts just to stay competative. I would rather give people high quality at the best price I can offer.
A second opinion could save you a lot of money!! I recently got called out to see an iPhone where the screen was falling out. It had been repaired by the infamous shop with the underhanded practices. And it would appear they are still up to their money grabbing tricks.
Some months ago they replaced the battery for a normal price. All well and good so far. The screen came loose so their customer went to see them. The phone was put back together, sort of. But they were told the case of the phone was bent so much that it would need replacing.. cost £80. Also the earpiece needed replacing at a cost of £40. This is getting expensive.
What I saw & showed to the customer... A swollen battery with the Apple logo on it. (After market batteries do not have the logo) it also worked with the battery health, so should be genuine. But where it came from is unknown. The main reason a battery will swell is when moisture gets inside the battery, or it's an old battery with badly degraded cells. But this battery was showing 100% healthy. My immediate thought was 'used part' from a 'water damaged' phone.
That battery had swollen to the point that it pushed the screen out of the phone & broke the securing lugs for the case screws at the bottom of the phone. There was double sided tape over the battery & part of the board. This was used to try & secure the screen in place. A few screws were missing inside. But more importantly than that... there was only very minor bends to the phone. It would take seconds to straighten with no problems... there's £80 saved. Even if the earpiece needed replacing, I only charge £15. I'll do it free if replacing a screen at the same time.... Another £40 saved.
The bit that gets me.... They offer a long warranty, but have no terms and conditions on that warranty. They should of just replaced the battery & screen under the warranty.
But January is a quiet month. They must be really short of customers. So anyone that goes in will be fleeced for as much as possible. Why else would they try to charge a customer £120 for something that should be free under their warranty?
I'll add more DIY repairs, cons and need to know information soon