If you’re getting into the cell phone repair business you’ll definitely want to acquire some loaner phones. Loaner phones are provided to customers so that they will not be out of the communication loop while they are waiting for their cell phone repair to be completed. While you might be able to complete some of the more common repairs in a short period of time, let’s say 30 to 45 minutes, there will be some situations where you’ll have to keep the customers phone for a longer period of time. As you can imagine most people don’t like to be without their phone for any amount of time. For this reason you should set up a loaner program for our customers as soon as possible.
The good news is that you should not have to invest a lot of money in order to set up a loaner program for your cell phone repair business. Rather than investing in phones which are comparable to the ones which you will be repairing consider instead using a more basic and inexpensive type of loaner phone. A good example would be something like the original Motorola V3 Razor flip phone or one of the “Go Phones” sold by most electronics retailers. The latter can be found for as little as $19.99 brand new in the box and we regularly purchased used Motorola Razors for about $10. Using an inexpensive phone like one of these for your loaner program will limit your liability in case the customer does damage the phone or does not return it to you. Of course if one of the above does take place at least you will still have their original phone as collateral. If their cell phone is not repairable, however, you want to be sure that the loaner phone which you provided them with did not cost you very much. You will need to purchase phones which are branded for the appropriate carrier or in the case of something like the Motorola Razor preferably a phone which has been unlocked.
While an inexpensive non-smart phone it will not offer all of the conveniences that your customer’s phone does this will be an incentive for them to bring the loaner phone back as soon as their repair has been completed. This works well for GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile which require merely placing the customers SIM card into the loaner phone. Due to the proliferation of Micro SIM cards and Nano SIM cards it may be necessary to create a SIM card adapter which will allow you to place the smaller SIM into a standard or “Mini SIM” reader. This video will demonstrate how to make a SIM card adapter using the Noosy SIM card cutter. Be careful with this though as it is possible to damage the SIM reader and the SIM card itself if the adapter gets stuck inside of the phone. Never use a SIM card adapter unless you know how to remove it without damaging the phone.
You will have a more complicated situation when you are working with CDMA carriers like Verizon and Sprint. This is because a lot of their phones do not use SIM cards. Eventually most of Verizon’s phones will be LTE which do support SIM card technology but at the moment a lot of them do not. This makes it necessary for any loaner phone that you provide to be manually installed onto the customers account. This is not necessarily a deal breaker but it does cause some inconvenience for the customer who is already not too happy about having a broken phone. The case with Sprint is similar as there are a lot of situations where you will experience complications if you offer the customer a loaner phone. They will usually require your assistance in order to know how to get the phone switched onto their account. Unfortunately this is one more reason that it can be very difficult to deal with Verizon and Sprint cell phone repairs. You can understand why customers from these companies become very frustrated since not only will their carrier not provide them with a loaner phone but it is also difficult for them to have one installed onto their account even if you provide one for them. You should also find it helpful to have the cell phone carriers contact information printed up so that you can provide it to the customer. Until Verizon and Sprint become mostly LTE SIM compatible you may find it particularly challenging to deal with CDMA customers when performing cell phone repair or any related services.