One more thing
In nature, every animal has a predator. It’s the same with technology, whose predator is the human toddler. My son’s reign of technological terror has claimed an Xbox and a PlayStation, various remote controls and more iPad screens than I care to count.
In most cases I can fix the problems myself. So, for example, a PlayStation 4 is pretty straightforward to mess around with. Apple stuff is more complicated, and with each new version it gets a little bit harder for mere mortals to fix. Recent iMacs and MacBook Pros are “nearly impossible” for ordinary people to repair, according to everybody’s favourite Mac dismantlers, iFixit.
I wouldn’t know where to start with an iPad, so whenever my son finds the right amount of force to overpower supposedly bombproof protective cases I resign myself to paying the iPad Tax of £60 to £90 for a new display. But when my daughter’s iPad mini got mangled, I decided to try and save myself some money by going mail order.
You know the famous advice about not putting your daughter on the stage? My advice is similar: don’t put your iPad in an envelope.
My local iPad repairer replaces a screen in a couple of hours. At the time of writing, a mail order repairer has had my daughter’s iPad mini for over a month. It still isn’t fixed.
The problem, I suspect, is that the firm had no intention of fixing the iPad for the price I paid, which is £34.99. Within 24 hours of receipt they were suggesting I paid an additional £44.99 to fix the Home button connector, which isn’t broken. When I said no, they went all quiet.
Five days later, I contacted them and received an automated update: the iPad was going to be repaired within the next 7-10 days. Ten days later, I emailed; four days after that I got a reply saying they were busy and it would be another 7-10 days. I asked to cancel the repair and have the iPad returned; a week later I still haven’t heard anything from them.
Here’s what I did wrong: I didn’t go on Twitter. The firm’s Trustpilot reviews are universally positive, but if you look more closely you will see that lots and lots have been deleted at the company’s request. Its Twitter replies are almost entirely populated by frustrated and furious customers whose experiences have been amazingly similar to mine. Had I seen that, I wouldn’t have touched them with a bargepole. I’d have popped down to my usual repairer, and I’d have had the iPad mini back a month ago.
Apple isn’t going to start making its products more modular: the thinner they get, the harder to fix they will become. So the moral of this story is simple: find a repairer that you can trust.
I asked to cancel the repair and have the iPad returned – that was a week ago