Berlin – A test of the Stiftung Warentest shows that repair services for mobile phones are often not worth their money. Many work carelessly and slowly. If in doubt, consumers should therefore also consider a new purchase.

Picture: Man on the phone 

Cell phone repair services are often negligent, do not fix all the damage, make hefty bills and sometimes leave the customer waiting for weeks. This results from a comparison of the Stiftung Warentest, which has given 27 used smartphones with a display damage and a broken headphone jack at six manufacturer-owned and three independent online services in repair (“test” issue 4/15). Each provider received three devices.

Expensive prices, but no original parts

Only two manufacturers repaired all the damage, and no independent service provider worked well in the opinion of the Stiftung Warentest, although their prices were sometimes higher than those of the manufacturers. Overall, the headphone jacks were often simply broken, although the testers had pointed out the damage.

An independent service provider did not even repair the headphone jack on two phones, but even figured out that the jack was still broken in one device. Another service quickly replaced a working battery. Despite the often high prices, the free providers did not always install original parts. According to the experts, some high repair prices can also be explained by the use of modules. They are more expensive than parts, but can be changed easily.

Not always economical, long waiting times

Economically, some repairs were not in the test, if one puts the repair costs in relation to the new model of the same model at the time of the damage. According to the experts, it can often be sensible to simply make a new purchase: In the test, for example, one provider oddly asked for a repair of almost 170 euros more than would have cost the same mobile phone model at the time of the damage.

Apple (“good” with the grade 2.0) fixed in comparison all the best damages, because the manufacturer does not repair, but exchanges directly for an equivalent, refurbished device. Also Huawei (“Satisfying” with the grade 2.6) fixed all errors flawlessly, but allowed himself an average of 16 working days time. For another manufacturer, the testers had to wait an average of 25 working days. Apple was the fastest with an average of 3 working days.

If you want to have your manufacturer repaired, you should first call the hotline and have the 15-digit identification number (IMEI) of the mobile phone at hand, advise the testers. It will appear in the display when typing * # 06 #.

Careless handling of private data

Negative was in the test also on the fact that personal data from the repairers are often deleted without warning without warning: Therefore, it is therefore before the delivery of the repair, personal data such as address, pictures, videos or SMS secure.

From the display exchange in own direction to Internet instructions, the experts advise technical laymen without a specialist from the hand. But a visit to self-help workshops (Repair Cafés), where sometimes competent Handybastler offer help free of charge.

Conclusion: new purchase can be cheaper

The test conclusion: Better be careful and use a good protective cover than having a look around with repair services. And: If in doubt, consider a new purchase.