“You break it, we fix it”: For the past six years, iDoc has been helping users rescue their broken or defective smartphones and other devices at its locations in Berlin and Vienna. Customers who want iDoc to handle the repair have the option of mailing in or dropping off their mobile devices. But iDoc does more than just fix its customers’ malfunctioning phones: The company offers over 300 free repair guides for the 40 most popular smartphones and other mobile devices on its website, and is adding more all the time. As of this year, all of iDoc’s free repair guides, as well as the new video repair guides appearing on the company’s YouTube channel, will also be available in English.
The decision to go international was the next logical step for the Berlin-based startup that wants to enable users to fix their own devices. Following on beginner-friendly descriptions and photos, markings suitable for users with red-green color blindness, and video subtitles for the hearing-impaired, iDoc’s decision to translate all its repair guides means even more users can repair their own devices. The step-by-step instructions and visual aids allow even total amateurs who have never performed this type of repair to fix common issues like cracked screens, charging problems or water damage.
Even as the amount of electronic waste increases by the year, the trend toward planned obsolescence, in which manufacturers deliberately limit the amount of time their products can be used, is on the rise. Repairing devices or replacing faulty parts instead of the whole phone is a great way to save resources and reduce waste. At the same time, knowing where to look for help can be a real relief for users whose phones stop working, whether because they dropped them or because a part unexpectedly failed.
“We want to give everyone the option of repairing his or her device instead of having to throw it away and buy a new one,” says Managing Director Kaspar Padberg of the company’s goals. “That saves people money, it’s good for the environment, and it’s a great feeling to know you fixed something all by yourself. We want to offer users outside of the German-speaking world the same advantages.”
More than 350,000 device owners have used iDoc’s guides for their repairs so far, and 150,000 more visit the company’s website every month. That figure is expected to grow considerably now that international users have access to iDoc’s free repair guides, photos and videos. iDoc’s English-language repair guides are available here. Users can simply select the series, model and type of repair they need. iDoc’s video guides are available both on the company’s website and its YouTube channel. Users who need more help can post their questions or comments below the relevant step in the guide, and iDoc’s technicians will respond as soon as possible. iDoc also offers the replacement parts and tools used in the repairs in its online shop, now also available in English.