Bumper harvest for handset repairs

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The mobile phone has become an essential part of most people’s lives and to many, the thought of breaking or losing it is simply too unbearable to think about.

Networks and retailers do provide a repair service, but it requires a faulty handset to be sent away for what could amount to two or three weeks, sometimes more.

And, if the device is deemed to have experienced damage not covered by warranty, the price of repair could easily exceed the original cost of the handset.

As a result, the recycling and independent repairs business is booming, thanks to the alternative services they can offer.

Wimbledon-based store Turn On Your Mobile has been built on providing the public, companies and other mobile dealers with a quick and simple alternative to services offered by the networks, including refurbishments, repairs, spare parts, recycling and unlocking.

The company is less than four years old, but is expected to turn over more than £2 million by the end of its financial year in October, and business has never been better.

A typical day for Turn On Your Mobile director Mark Pollak involves arriving for work for 5am. He spends the day buying and selling handsets from within the UK and purchasing accessories and spares from abroad, before leaving at around 6pm. He boasts a typical handset turnaround of 48 hours for repairs.

“We run a business based on offering people an alternative to the status quo,” says Pollak.

“The economy in the UK is worse than most people think. The days of people buying or replacing handsets with the top models for hundreds of pounds are behind us and if something goes wrong, the service and help just isn’t there.”

Turn On Your Mobile looks more like a factory floor than a glitzy high street store, with piles of handsets and parts, both new and old, ready to be repaired, sold, and dispatched to customers across the UK.

Although the business is available to everyone, its main revenues come from corporates which use the business on an almost daily basis.

Full article in Mobile News issue 424 (October 6, 2008).

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