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INDIANAPOLIS —If you have a broken iPhone, or cracked screen during the coronavirus pandemic — you may have a bigger problem in your hands than it appears.
Apple's retail stores are closed indefinitely, and Best Buy is not repairing products in house, which means personal technology can't be fixed as fast as we've grown accustomed. Cell phone repairs can either be fixed by mailing it into a service center, which takes an unprecedented amount of time, or hope you have a local repair shop near you.
"Customers are now faced with an environment where they may not be able to reach loved ones, health officials, local government, or view developments in their community without an operating device," Eric Farr, owner of two CPR Cell Phone Repair shop in Central Indiana, said.
CPR Cell Phone Repair shop has almost 1,000 locations across America, but whether one of the franchise-owned shops is in your neck of the woods, is up in the air.
"We had to act quickly and order several months of inventory to sustain our operations stateside, beginning in early February as our supply chain was disrupted by the initial spread of COVID-19 in China," Eric Farr, owner of two CPR Cell Phone Repair shop in Central Indiana, said. "Suppliers ran low as the primary manufacturers in China shut their doors for months, while many have yet to reopen."
For Central Indiana Hoosiers, there are four CPR Cell Phone repair shops available. Two are owned by Farr, one in Zionsville and another in Downtown Indianapolis, near Mass Ave.
"We've repaired numerous devices for those who are caring for family members," Farr said. "It's heartbreaking, and they need our help to equip them for any developments in their health."
Personal tech — cell phones, laptops, iPads, etc. — are more critical than ever right now.
As Farr said, remaining connected to family, health news, work, and your community are crucial when the entire county is facing a pandemic, which makes independent tech and cell phone repair shops equally as necessary.
"As covered in Governor Holcomb's list of essential businesses, we maintain technological equipment for businesses and schools throughout this difficult time," Farr stated. "Many workers are needing to work remotely and may need troubleshooting at a moment's notice. Students, for schools of all levels, are now e-Learning, which may require a device or repair to ensure they complete necessary assignments."
But what's most important is making sure our essential workers — health and medical personnel, police officers, EMTs, and firefighters — can do their job on the front lines with working equipment.
"We believe that they (workers on the front lines) are putting themselves in harm's way, and are needing to stay connected with their colleagues, as well as their families while working long hours," Farr said. "They're potentially required to be contacted at a moment's notice to serve our communities."
Farr is making sure he repairs at least 50 Central Indiana essential workers cell phones for free, up to the cost of $100.
The most common iPhone repairs Farr said he sees are: iPhone 8 Plus and 5S, screen replacements, battery replacements, charge port replacements, ear speaker replacements and front camera replacements. With Samsung, the common repairs are with the Samsung 9 Plus and below: battery replacements, camera replacements, charge port replacements and ear speaker replacements.
"A woman arrived at our store last week, stating, 'I am my mother's person. She needs me, and my phone won't stay charged for more than an hour.' We were able to help her," Farr said. "To thankfully allow an opportunity to comfort her mother, or get her the help she needs."
Farr opened his first CPR store in Zionsville in 2018, his second store near Mass Ave opened in 2019.
"I pursued this opportunity two years ago while searching for a sustainable small business model," Farr said. "My friends would tell you, jokingly, I was the type of person to break my phone often. It was a perfect fit!"
Farr plans to have a third CPR store opening in Fishers this summer.
CPR Cell Phone Repairs
Monday - Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Indianapolis: 585 N New Jersey St
Zionsville: 6634 Whitestown Pkwy