If your phone currently isn’t scratched up or cracked, you probably have friends with scratched up or cracked phones. If you said no to both those statements then you either have no friends or no phone.
A whopping 72% of Malaysians were found to be using damaged smartphones, and almost a third of them damage them within three months of owning them. Even this writer somehow dropped his phone on the first day of buying it, while our head of sales’ phone looks like this:
What if you could rent a phone like a house, and the landlord takes care of everything 🙂
So if you’re renting a room, if the roof comes down, your landlord is required by law to fix it (if you survive, of course). Wouldn’t it be nice if the same could happen if your phone screen cracks? With 68% of Malaysians unwilling to fix their phones due to the high costs of third party phone repairs and the long time taken by official service centers, there seem to be more cracked screens than intact ones in Malaysia. With this frame of mind, Maxis has created a plan.
Essentially, the new Maxis Zerolution360 plan is a worry-free phone lease – with everything taken care of by them. You pay a small monthly ‘rent’ for the best top-range phone out there, and if anything happens to it, you’ll get:
- Free screen repairs
- Collection and return of broken phones at your doorstep
- Instant backup phone to use while your phone is being repaired and….
- Exchange your phone for the spanking latest model for free after two years!
OMG COOL RIGHT!? There’s a bit of fine print that you might wanna read first, so find out more here.
It’s quite timely too, cos as you might agree, a lot of the worry with broken phones is that there are a lot of uncertainties with repairs. Will the parts be original? How long will you not have a phone to use? And of course… how much will it cost? To answer these questions, we spoke to a Tammy (not real name), a phone repair shop owner in PJ, who’s been repairing phones for the last 8 years. Here’s what we found out.
1. Broken screens (RM150 – RM1800), 1 day to 3 weeks
These days, phone screens are getting bigger and prettier. Some phones even have super pretty glass backs. Sadly, this also gives phones that many more angles to be cracked 🙁 Even Gorilla Glass only saves you from 80% of drops (a few of our office people have definitely dropped their phones more than 4 times). But how much does it cost to fix?
Well, according to Tammy, it usually varies according to two main factors: the first is whether your screen replacement is ‘original’ (not straight from the phone company la, but using same spare parts as official service centers) or ‘China original’ approved parts (basically a high quality replica that’s not official).
“Actually, the China ori stuff is not bad one. but won’t get the same like original Gorilla Glass la. Locally made also got, but that one really cannot pakai. I don’t sell that kind,” – Tammy
The second factor – is device models. Tammy puts Samsung at the top of the price list (AMOLED is nice to see nice to hold once broken jialat). Replacing the screen of a Galaxy S9 for example would set you back at least RM1,500 in today’s market price. An old Note 2 screen (our Head of Biz asked) will set you back RM500. Screen fixes for the iPhone X meanwhile would cost you at least RM1,500, with other reports of charges up to RM1,800. China phones are generally cheaper – a Huawei P20 Pro screen would be about RM1,000, while it’s less ‘pro’ brother the P20 would set you back RM300. Whoah… with those kinds of prices, it’s surprising to know that even screens are covered in the Maxis Zerolution360 plan.
LCD screens are generally cheaper, but cost is determined by whether it’s just a small crack on the outer glass layer (RM150+), or if the touch sensors are affected too (RM400+). Tammy does also add that there’s a third factor in determining the price that’s less significant tho, which is the good ol’ economic theory of supply and demand. She can sometimes pay different prices for the same shipment of parts after just two weeks. In fact, many electronic parts have volatile prices that jump and dip every few weeks. Computer memory chips are the best known example of this, while the price of graphics cards has skyrocketed in recent times due to bitcoin miners buying them en masse.
“The cost prices for these parts are never fixed. The manufacturers change and revise their prices every two weeks, so if I quote you a price for something and you come back months later can be different price – so don’t angry okay?”- Tammy
BONUS FACT: Screen protectors seldom really protect your screen, especially if they don’t completely cover the screen, cos most drops are usually impacting a corner, not the main area.
But screens aren’t the only pricey fix for your phone tho. In fact, Tammy mentions of another common issue that can blow a hole in your wallet too…
2. Water damage (case by case, up to RM800), 1 day to 3 weeks
Scrolling thru Facebook and Twitter while on the toilet has arguably become Malaysia’s most popular activity. And while it’s pretty disgusting considering that 1 in 6 phones are likely to have poop particles on them, there’s a bigger risk involved when taking your phone into the toilet: water damage.
That might be a costly poop tho. Unless you trust the rice trick, Tammy says she’s charged up to RM800 for fixing a water damaged device. Sometimes, it could be an RM50 service fee just to dry the phone, but it really depends on which part of the phone got splashed with water. See, most phones have this important component called the circuit board and on most devices, this board is located on the upper half of the device.
Here’s a very rough guide on prices for fixing water damaged phones according to Tammy:
- Kena water a bit (hopefully lower half) – RM100 to RM200
- Kena water alot – more parts to repair. RM600 to RM800
- Kena sea water or pool water (chlorine) – minimum RM300+ (to clean the gunk), not including screen, which will most likely kena also.
When Tammy says water, she means ‘good enough to drink’. Anything else will result in residues, and she’ll charge more to clean up the gunk before being able to fix the phone itself. If kena sea-water? Oh boy… Your chances are quite slim, but got chance la.
“The sooner you bring in a water damaged phone (especially one that has been exposed to salt water) the more likely that your device will be able to be resuscitated.” – ubreakifix.com
So the repairs are based on how many parts are damaged. But how can you tell? It’s actually dem simple with modern phones. Tammy told us most phones have a white sticker inside the device, which turns red once kena water.
Ok… now how much for all these parts and others?
3. Other random parts (from below RM100 to over RM400), 1 day to 3 weeks
Battery RM100 – 300
Okay laa, we’re not sure how many of you can even remember the indestructible Nokia 3310, but this writer had it back in the day and it almost blew up on him because of a bloated battery. Of course, nothing like that usually happens anymore but some people still do change batteries because of poor performance and short lifespan.
Tammy says that the price of replacing the batteries depends on the make and model of your device. It’s probably worth noting tho that while the ‘China ori’ version of the batteries may be cheaper, you may not be able to use fast-charging anymore, especially if your replacement battery is of poor quality. Also, there’s a chance they might go booms.
Furthermore, a midrange Xiaomi and a top tier Samsung may both be using 4000mAh batteries, but the prices are different. According to Tammy, it’s not the size of the battery that counts, it’s
how you use it the model of the device plus labour costs that determine the price. Some phones are harder to take apart than others -unibody designs in particular.
Having said that, you probably won’t have to worry about your phone’s batteries dying out in two years or less. Incidentally, Maxis Zerolution360 sorts this out pretty nicely too, since you can exchange your Zerolution device for a brand new one every two years (or before with a small fee).
While cameras are the main difference between high-end and low-end phones, cost for replacements are surprisingly … affordable. For most devices, the rule of thumb according to Tammy is that dual lens cameras would cost more to replace compared to their
lonely single counterpart.
“We don’t really fix camera la, we usually just change the lens. You’d be paying RM300 or more for top tier phones while the price drops to about RM200 plus for midrangers,” – Tammy
Oddly enough, replacing the older iPhone 7 Plus would cost you over RM400. There’s your good ol’ supply and demand in action it seems.
Charging and audio ports RM50 – RM300
If you’re one of the lucky few still on microUSB, replacements go for just RM50 for most devices. The fancier USB-C ports tho will cost you at least RM80 to RM100+ (again if phones’ ports are mafanly soldered onto other parts of the phone). Lightning ports meanwhile go from RM150 to RM300, depending on which iPhone. Incidentally, Tammy adds that she’s never had a customer come in complaining about wireless charging, so maybe if you lazy fix charging port just keep using your wireless charger loh.
For audio ports (the cheaper phones la still got 3.5mm jacks), Tammy estimates it to hover around RM100 to replace it, altho it also depends on the specific model laa.
But y’know… Money isn’t the only thing you’d be paying when fixing your phone
Now you’ve probably noticed that in the above entries, the time taken for each fix is listed as ‘1 day to 3 weeks‘. Well that’s because while Tammy’s phone repair shop generally does the above fixes in a day. But IF your phone is under warranty you would send it to a service center la. It might be free, but it might take WEEKS.
Tammy mentions that her typical experiences with official service centers is that they take at the very least three days to a week for repairs. One of our own Cilisos staff meanwhile has had incidents where he waited 2 weeks for his phone to come back, and the problem was NOT FIXED. (not including the hour-wait at the service centre, 1 hour travel time, and parking charges PER TRIP)
In the meantime, you can use your old phone lor – but that MOST likely means terrible battery life, blurry camera from years ago and lack of space. In fact, the long time taken by official service centers is why many people choose to go to third party phone repair shops such as Tammy.
“If new phone sure got warranty, but if you let me open it to fix, then yeah, the warranty will be voided. We always tell customers that if device is still under warranty or under telco contracts to send it to the official service center.” – Tammy
And let’s face it, our entire lives pretty much revolve around our phone – Waze to drive, Whatsapp to gossip, Insta to selfie, Gmail to work, and Spotify to bug your…well, you get the idea.
Sounds damn MAFAN right? It doesn’t have to be.
Yep you heard that right. The Maxis Zerolution360 plan takes away all these pains, and lets you just enjoy having a phone no matter what happens. All you gotta do is pay rent for a top-tier phone and you’ll always have a non-cracked, non-drowned, latest and best device in your hands. How much?
So yes, Maxis Zerolution360 covers your phone ‘accidents’ such as cracked screens and water damage plus your first full screen replacement is 100% free. They’ll even give you a loan phone to use while your main one is being fixed in just two hours, plus your repair can be done in 24 hours for those of you in the Klang Valley. Even if you’ve somehow completely wrecked it or worse, if it got stolen, you’re entitled to an immediate 1-for-1 replacement.
On top of that, you can exchange your phone for the latest top range flagship device every two years (for free, or every year at a discounted cost). No need to worry anymore about high monthly installments, expensive repair jobs and productivity loss when your phone needs fixing.
Or hey… if you don’t use Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Gmail or Spotify…we at CILISOS have an alternative for you!