One day my sister came to me and said that her phone, the Samsung Galaxy S II, could no longer be charged. Something was apparently wrong with the charger port because when I held the cable at a right angle the phone lit up for a brief moment. Because the warranty was still valid I suggested my father to take the phone to the local shop where the phone was purchased and have them fix it… and this is where things got really stupid!
First he had to pay 20EUR in order to have them look at the phone. I figured out what was wrong with the phone in a few minutes, but it took them 2 days to finally call and say that the motherboard needed to be replaced and that the warranty would not cover it because they had concluded that my sister had broken it and it was no accident.
When my father asked how much will it cost to have the motherboard replaced, the tech guy gave a solid answer- 180 EUR. Obviously he didn’t pay for it because he had already paid them 20 EUR for looking at the phone and now they were asking 180 EUR more- the phone isn’t even worth that much as new!
While my little sis ended up with a cool new phone I decided to not give up and try to fix the Galaxy S II myself. How hard could it be?! So I opened up the phone and looked inside… I saw that the part of the motherboard that had a charger port could actually be easily disconnected from the main board. Upon closer examination I found some product serial numbers on it that I typed into eBay and this is what I found:
Charger Port Dock Connector Cable for SamSung Galaxy S2
I was shocked to see that the total cost for this part was just $2,66 USD. I couldn’t believe it was the only thing broken in the phone, but I placed an order just in case… I just HAD to try myself!
After about a month of waiting (item came directly from China) it finally arrived in the mailbox. I carefully removed the old one from the phone and connected the connector leaving it all open on the table just for the sake of testing it out… I was nervous a little… I carefully connected the charger to the phone… and IT WORKED! The phone started charging immediately.
What the… The professional tech support that we trusted would have taken 180 EUR (total of 200 EUR) for this? Wow… just wow. This is the last time I take anything to these guys. This experience inspired me to write this post and propose an idea what to do the next time a gadget of yours breaks down. Here it is.
PROPER way of dealing with broken gadgets
1. Try to fix it yourself
First of all analyze the situation. Try to understand what’s wrong and then try to fix it yourself with the knowledge you already have.
2. Learn how to fix it yourself
If you don’t know how to fix it at first, try to learn more about the device. How it works, what parts are required etc. It’s a fun way of learning something new!
3. Take it to someone who CAN fix it
If all else fails and you can’t fix it yourself you should probably take it to someone who can fix it. Try to find a tech nerd instead of a corporation though. Apparently they’re after profits and show little interest in actually helping you.
4. Recycle it
Sometimes things just die and there’s nothing you can do about it. If your nerd tech friend couldn’t fix it perhaps it’s time to say goodbye. Make sure to take it to a recycling center so it would be reused to make something nice.
In the monetary system people will rip you off
It sucks, but it’s true. Just like these tech support guys were after a gigantic profit you can easily get ripped off by anyone who values money highly. Remember, money is just paper. It doesn’t mean anything. I didn’t fix the phone with money… I fixed it with a spare part. Sure, it cost me $2,66 because we’re living in a monetary system, but you get the general idea :)
I definitely support The Venus Project and a resource based economy where money is simply obsolete and knowledge and a better understanding of how things work are the truly valuable commodities.