A cell phone tech shouldn’t have any issues testing device’s full range of features. After all, they’re working on these gadgets day after day and know them like the back of their hand. But sometimes multi-tasking, distractions or newly hired inexperienced employees are bound to miss a step.
As a result a possible repair job or device buyback transaction might avoid it’s full profitability. Or worse, you’ll be left in a sticky situation if the customer thinks the defect arose in your hands!
Statistics suggest standardizing processes have a 10-30% increase in efficiency so it’s puzzling why retail device testing apps haven’t been available sooner.
Thankfully, Fame Wireless has developed a fairly sound product called Repair Check.
Co-Founder Hal Matheson gave us a brief demonstration at his booth at CTIA 2016.
Repair Check Features
Repair Check has one simple goal in mind. To conduct a full function phone test so easily, a caveman could do it.
Functional Test Criteria:
- ESN/IMEI checks for lost/stolen devices.
- Carrier Check
- Camera (Front/Back/Flash)
- Audio (Speaker(s) and R/L headphone jack channels)
- LCD / Touchscreen
- Memory Card Reader
- Proximity Sensor
- Call Functions & Antenna
- You hook up the device to a USB cable that connects to the Phone Check desktop software.
- A driver box between the device and PC reads the phone model and installs the Phone Check App without having to visit the Play/App Store.
- Open the app and start the test.
- After all functions are checked, a record of the testing result is stored on the PC.
- You can then print a label if you wish for inventory purposes.
- Validation – The cool part about many of the tests are extra precautions to ensure the accuracy of results. For example, instead of simply selecting that the speakerphone is working, the test ensures accurate results by playing back a random series a numbers which the user then has to input in order for the test to pass.
- Clean Interface – Simple menus and icons guide a user through the test process with ease. For Example, when you’re testing the phones buttons each button (specifically loaded for that model phone) is greyed out and only “lights up” when the button has been successfully pressed. It won’t let you move to the next step unless each button is pressed or a specific buttons defect is confirmed.
- Phone Specific – Not every model has identical features so every test can’t be the same. For example, if an iPhone has a vibrate switch the test will load a vibrate switch check for this test. In the same fashion, if a phone two cameras it will ensure a test for both front and back camera is loaded. The user doesn’t have to think about this and is automatically loaded before a test begins.
- ESN/IMEI/Carrier Check – I’ve bought back many phones before without checking the carrier and just taking the customers word for it. Most of the time the customer didn’t have any malicious intent but the value of the device could be lower and cost more $ to unlock before reselling. Checking the lost/stolen database within the same test is also a big plus too. Normally, these checks can be done for free but have a limit per day and the results aren’t always accurate. Phone Check connects directly to a reliable database so the results can be trusted.
- Support – Help with setup and using Phone Check seems very positive. You’re likely get one of the owners assistance when getting started or for future help.
- Retail / Bulk – Designed to accomidate users checking one phone at a time or in bulk.
- ID Lock / iCloud – Checks the fingerprint reader and ID lock. It won’t allow you to check the thumprint reader unless the users fingerprint is on the device but at least this prompts the user to know if a fingerprint lock is present and if iCloud is on/off.
Limitations / Wish List
The only limitation I see is that the software only runs on PC as a desktop application and is locked to a single computer that’s setup by Phone Check. So you need to dedicate one machine to use and you won’t be able to do a check when you’re away from the computer. Phone Check did say that in the future they might consider going cloud based but being that most users are working within a retail store front, it’s not so big of a deal.
Getting started is a small process and requires a special box to be placed in between the device and PC which contains the drivers to connect and install the app. Also the support team needs to teamviewer into your PC to install the desktop software.
Pricing is a 12 month subscription and paid upfront based on the number of expected devices you’re going to test. You do have 30 days to cancel and you’ll only be responsible for the pro-rated number of test you’ve made.
Having such tools around the shop can really help even the most experienced techs ensure they don’t miss any defects. With a quick and standard check, it could make sense to check devices before AND after you repair for liability purposes. You also might find other defects that the customer might be willing to pay for.
For phone buybacks, it’s a great tool to ensure you offer the correct price and don’t lose any money with an included ESN/IMEI / Carrier check.
Busy stores could delegate phone test to employees with less experience allowing the tech surgeon to plug away on his repairs. Storing all checks to a computer database is a plus for future reference. The company seems very passionate about their product and their just small enough that you’re likely to get one of the owners or founders on the line pre and post use.
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