Cell Phones FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Did your phone get wet? We can help!!

Did your phone get wet? We can help!!

As a company based in Hawaii,
we know a lot about water damage!

For more detailed information go to : www.mobileremedies.com/info/what-should-i-do-if-my-cell-phone-gets-wet-part-1/

First things first! - What should I do if my phone gets wet?

 

  1. DO NOT CHARGE IT !!!   When your phone is wet, abnormal current pathways are created ("short circuits") that can damage it's components. Such damage can continue to occur as long as electrical current is applied.  Usually, the battery will heat up and die quickly. If you plug it into the wall or your computer however, the damaging current keeps flowing and causes MORE DAMAGE!
  2. If possible, take the battery out.  For some newer phones, they make it pretty hard or impossible. Don’t worry!  Since it does die quickly, your chances of repairing the phone and recovering your data are still very high!
  3. Bring or mail it in ASAP - still wet and sealed in a plastic bag -NO RICE! (check out the small Priority Mail flat rate boxes from the US Postal Service). Phones brought to us quickly, that haven’t been charged or dried out, are repairable 90% of the time!!
  4. Drying the phone out first actually makes it harder to repair and reduces the chances of success. If your phone was completely immersed in salt water or a corrosive liquid like no-diet soda it may be helpful to immediately rinse it with pure water (preferably distilled water if available) but then do not dry it or charge it.  Bring it or send it to us wet.  The name of the game is speed!! 

What we do:

In order to explain our procedure in repairing your phone, let’s talk about what water does to it.

Answer: Nothing!!

Pure water is, in fact, not conductive and therefore not the problem! It is the impurities in water that are conductive when wet and then often block conduction when dry!! It’s a lot like the water spots that show up on your car the day after it rains. Only the water evaporates leaving the rest behind. In a phone, that residue is left on the internal components, connectors and conductive pathways causing both bad contacts and short circuits. Fixing this kind of damage is labor intensive but we have devised an efficient system to save you money!

Cell phones are made up of many components but only one constitutes “your phone” and cannot be replaced - the “mainboard”. The first step is to access and remove your mainboard, thoroughly clean and inspect it and it’s connectors, then re-install it, when possible, in another identical phone where all of the components are known to be functional. If it works, only then are the remaining components of your device meticulously cleaned and restored or replaced, if necessary. If we cannot get the mainboard to function, however, then it is useless to clean and repair the other components.  We then simply re-assemble your phone as-is and discuss other options with you.  We typically have a high success rate in repairing these water-damaged phones though this can vary depending on the type of liquid involved and how the device was treated after the mishap.

How much does it cost?

At MobileREMEDIES® we are confident enough in our ability to repair liquid damage that we no longer charge an up-front labor fee. If we cannot repair your device, you pay nothing for the attempt !  We will estimate the cost of the repair and get your approval before we begin. Parts are not included in the price but most water-damage repairs do not require new parts. When parts are needed, we will discuss the additional cost with you and get your authorization.  Remember, if we can't fix your phone, we absorb the labor charge ourselves and you pay nothing! Because of the unique nature of water damage, however, our usual one-year warranty covers only the parts we replace and not your entire phone.

We always check the value of your phone in advance and will tell you honestly if it is not worth repairing.  It may be possible to recover some or all of your data and to transfer it to an equivalent or upgraded refurbished phone for a reasonable price which does come with a one-year warranty on the entire device! If you are not interested in fixing or replacing your phone and simply want to sell it, see our FAQ on how we might buy your device. Our motto is "We provide options" and we can almost always find some way to help! So, give us a call and we will be happy to discuss those options with you.  1-800-867-5048


Is your phone's display not getting the picture? Don’t Panic!!

Is your phone's display not getting the picture? Don’t Panic!!

Phones these days have bigger and better displays than ever. The proper name for the screen on most phones is the LCD or Liquid Crystal Display. Unfortunately, once any part of the display stops working, the whole display needs to be replaced. The good news is that the repair is generally not too expensive and, if we have the part in stock, can usually be done while you wait.  If you mail it in, we can usually have your device back to you within a week using the small flat rate Priority Mail boxes from the US Postal Service!!   All repairs done by us come with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor!!  If you purchase a part form us but install it yourself it has a 90-day warranty.

Some of the symptoms suggesting that this is your problem are:

  1. Gray lines or blotches in the display
  2. The screen shows only a white picture
  3. Your phone got wet and you see spots, especially on a white background
  4. Most commonly, you dropped or smashed it, and now the screen only shows the picture in certain places

Is the glass on your smart phone cracked??

Is the glass on your smart phone cracked??

Our phones are becoming essential parts of our daily lives in more ways than ever before. With the new glass touch screens (which are called digitizers, in case you were wondering), the responsiveness and sleek look come at a price. These screens are fragile and can crack with the right (or wrong!) impact. The good news is that we can fix it!! We keep the most popular phone parts in stock which allows us to repair your phone often while you wait or run a quick errand or (no matter where you live) by using a small Priority Mail flat rate box from the US Postal Service, you can send us your phone and usually have it back within a week!  The prices vary depending on the model, but our 1-year warranty on parts and labor applies to all of them. The warranty is a lot like the manufacturer's in that we won’t fix it for free if you crack the screen again or drop it in the swimming pool (talk to us about a protective and/or waterproof case to prevent future mishaps) but if it gives you any problems then we're all over it!

If you have an iPhone 4, 4S or 5 and have the misfortune of breaking your touch screen, it may not be all bad. Consider replacing it with a color conversion to fit your personality and lifestyle.  Many colors are available and they can be mixed and matched!  All conversions include the front screen digitizer/LCD, the back case and the Home button. We have them all in-stock and they all come with a 1-year warranty!

 

If you are not interested in fixing your phone and simply want to sell it, see our FAQ on how we’ll buy your device.


Don’t want to fix it? We may want to buy it!!

Don’t want to fix it? We may want to buy it!!

Our goal is to show you all of your options and then put ourselves in your shoes and make a suggestion based on what we would do in your place. Maybe you have an upgrade and don’t mind signing a new 2-year contract. Maybe you have an old phone that you don’t mind using until your dream phone comes out. Or sometimes, depending on the value of your phone and how bad the problem is, it simply isn’t cost effective to fix it. If this is your case, we offer other options.

  1. We may be able to order a refurbished equivalent or upgraded phone for a lot less than buying a new one. We give a 1-year warranty (comparable to a manufacturer’s warranty except less picky) on any phones we sell.  In many cases we can salvage and transfer your personal data to the replacement phone and have you up and running again with a minimum of inconvenience and expense.
  2. We may have a phone you want in-stock in our refurbished phone section also with a 1-year warranty!
  3. We may be able to buy your broken phone from you for cash or give you store credits you can use towards another repair, a refurbished device, or a mobile accessory.

This is how it works:

We research the value of your phone, that is, what it's worth in its current condition, and offer you one third of that value in cash. You get a third, we get a third and the other third goes towards salvaging the parts from it or the labor and liability involved in reselling it in one of our stores or online. With this option you get some cash with no strings attached and no additional hassle but also no replacement phone.

If, instead, you choose the store credit option, we give you one half of your phone's value which can then be applied to any product or service offered by the store.

Some devices are not worth any money but are still worth recycling for the sake of our environment! We send off unusable parts and devices for recycling rather than putting them in landfills. MobileREMEDIES® makes a donation to The American Cancer Society for every phone that is donated to us for recycling.


Phone locked with a password that you don't know or can't remember?

Phone locked with a password that you don't know or can't remember?

If your phone is locked with a passcode or password, you must, in most cases, restore the phone to factory settings to make it usable again. This is especially true with smart phones and it means that you will lose all of the personal data stored in the phone's memory (which you hopefully have backed up on your computer or the internet). With some phones, in order to restore them, you must put them into "maintenance" or "DFU" mode. This can be researched and done on your own, or you can have us take care of it for you.


What does it mean to UNLOCK or FLASH your phone?

What does it mean to UNLOCK or FLASH your phone?

When you buy a phone from a service provider like AT&T or T-Mobile, it is to their advantage to program the phone to only work with their service. Unlocking a phone allows you to use it with different carriers, although this is only the case for phones that use a SIM card service (called GSM) like AT&T or T-Mobile. The vast majority of the world uses this technology and if your phone works on all 4 GSM frequency's (commonly called Quad Band), it will work anywhere with any SIM card service provider after being Unlocked.

For phones that don't get their service from a SIM card like most phones from Verizon or Sprint (which use a CDMA network), the proper term for making it work with a different carrier is Flashing. CDMA phones can often be flashed to another carrier, but will only work with the carrier it has been flashed to.

For example, if you flash a Sprint phone to work on Verizon, it is only programmed to look for Verizon service. In order for the phone to work on Sprint again it needs to be flashed back. The other disadvantage to an all CDMA phone is that it typically won't work overseas as most countries use only GSM technology.  Verizon and Sprint both sell a few World Phones, or phones that can use both GSM and CDMA service which can be Unlocked to work on AT&T or T-Mobile here in the USA. For example, the Apple iPhone 4S and 5 are "world phones".

As of January 26th, 2013 the Librarian of Congress, re-interpreting existing laws, determined that unlocking phones sold on or after that date is illegal.  This has generated a significant controversy since prior interpretations of the same laws held that you, as the owner of your device, had the right to modify it at your discretion. Lawmakers, in response to a significant uproar from their constituents, are now considering the Unlocking Technology Act of 2013 that would reverse this decision. In the meantime, it is still legal and we still unlocking phones purchased before January 26, 2013 and hope to return to unlocking all phones in the near future if the Act passes.

We Unlock all types of GSM phones and can Flash most CDMA phones to certain CDMA carriers.


Is sound only coming out of one side of your headphones?

Is sound only coming out of one side of your headphones?

If sound only comes out of one side of your headphones, or if you need to hold the connector in a certain direction, the headset jack usually needs to be replaced. We have the parts in stock for most of the popular devices and can often fix them wile you wait or run a short errand..

If the sound doesn't work at all, and it was very sudden without noticable problems beforehand, it may be a problem with the main board and in some cases, this cannot be repaired.  We always give you our best estimate of repair costs up-front and if your device isn't worth it, we will tell you and help you find another solution!


Want to Jailbreak or Root your device? Consider it done.

Want to Jailbreak or Root your device? Consider it done.

First let’s answer this question:

What is a Jailbreak?

A Jailbreak is usually when a prisoner or prisoners escape from a penitentiary. In our case it is a little different.

When you buy your smart phone, iPod or tablet, it comes with an operating system installed on it. The operating system (OS) only gives you access to the features that the designers intended you to use. Jailbreaking allows you to get behind the OS and use your hardware as you see fit. Jailbreaking and Rooting are completely legal, because you own your device.

With iOS, namely iPod touch, iPhone and iPad, Jailbreaking gives you access to a program called Cydia. Cydia is basically an app store where developers can make their applications available to the public without the manufacturer's approval. Many of the applications you can get in Cydia are free and use features of the device that the OS normally doesn't give you access to. Most people who jailbreak their device do it so they can change the appearance of their phone, unlock it and use it on another carrier or use their device's data package on other devices through tethering (see FAQ on unlocking regarding recent developments).

With the Android system, it is essentially the same, but the procedure is called Rooting, because it gives you access to the root file system of the OS.

If you decide at some point you want to remove your jailbreak, you simply restore your device. With enough research, you can Jailbreak or Root your own device but it can be complicated and a bit intimidating. If you don't feel comfortable doing it or don't want to spend the time at it, we can do it for you!!

Call for an estimate! Though we back-up your photos and contacts first, we recommend you do a full back-up before doing a Jailbreak or Root.