Finding a reliable professional
One of the biggest barriers to device owners in seeking commercial repair is lack of trust. Part of feeling confident and able to trust comes from having done some research. Both about what the failure is (would you go to a new car mechanic saying you had NO idea what is wrong with your car?), but also about commercial repairers themselves.
Look for professionals who
- have positive independent ratings or testimonials
- have a transparent pricing structure
- inform customers when using non-genuine or used spare parts
- issue receipts
- provide some guarantee on the repair
For some appliances and devices, professionals need to charge a "bench fee" or a diagnosis fee. As a customer, you should consent in writing and in advance to any such fee.
Mapping London repair businesses
During the autumn of 2016, we ran a pilot in four east London boroughs, mapping repair SMEs (Small/Medium Enterprises). We talked about the ongoing research with Hackney Fixer James Diamond on Restart Radio in October 2016 and we've written up the experience on our blog.
Based on this work, we started building The Repair Directory. It's our tool to help people find a reliable repair shop in their local area. We are building a directory of local repair businesses, and making it simple for the public to find these businesses when they need an urgent fix to their gadget or device. It is still in "beta" and there is plenty of scope to improve and help build a tool to be used elsewhere.