Expansion & ethics in the repair industry.

Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2011

This industry has its moral issues.  The one I’d like to discuss today, is expansion. There are many devices out there with many issues that the average joe is going to encounter. How do we decide what we’re going to fix and what we won’t?

Almost every business tries to grow too quickly. There are companies that started years after I did that offer five times as many repair services, but we don’t try to. This isn’t a do it all shop. This is a shop where someone does  a particular thing to a particular device 30-50 times on one device before offering the service to the public. We will say no to something we’re 95% sure we can do & make money from if if we’re not 100% sure, and if it hasn’t been done many times to a high degree of  success. We don’t just want to know HOW to do it – we want to know every possible issue we will encounter on the way. What is most likely to break on the device? What are the side issues we are most likely to encounter from the physical damage we’ve seen so far?

When you show up at our workshop, you’re getting a tech that’s done whatever repair you requested literally thousands of times.  Someone who is disgusted at the idea of working with people who learn the craft by experimenting on other people’s devices with an iFixit.com page open as they dig into someone’s laptop. When you’re here, I encourage you to watch every step – anyone working on your device will be doing the best job available to you, in the quickest & most efficient manner. There are no mystery “back rooms.”

A good example of this for the more mature among us would be the TV repair shops of the 80s that noticed the trend in hi-fi audio that started advertising hi-fi amplifier repair. Would they apply new thermal pads to transistors? Would they match the beta value of transistors to ensure they were all sharing the load equally? No – good enough was good enough, and when your amp had a fault light 1 month outside the warranty, they weren’t there to help you. Their quick buck had been made, and while they “fixed” your device – THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE TAKEN ON THE JOB!

The Rossmann Group isn’t called quickfix, repair4u, doctoriphone or some other cheesy name because we take this seriously. This is not a quick way to make a profit.

The ethics doesn’t just exist in the experience field – it exists in the stocking parts philosophy as well. If a part isn’t stocked and ready all the time, the service will not be advertised. There is no “it will take a few days to order.” There’s no “come back later” while we scramble to find someone who can get the part you need. We don’t believe in doing a great number of services to a mediocre level of efficiency. You can go to Staples for that. We’re fully set to do what we do – all the time.

There is not a single service I would offer if I thought a better price, turnaround time, or quality of parts could be offered elsewhere in the area. There are many issues I can fix that I refer to others because it does not give me a sense of joy and accomplishment to offer another a subpar experience. An experience that would be better if they had gone elsewhere is an experience they should not have. I love money, but the idea behind making money is to support my material needs such as medicine, shelter, and food, so I am able to live a happy life. I need joy and accomplishment to have a happy life as well, and that takes priority over making more money. I can only do that with an ethical business model that serves the customers best.