TELSTRA BUSINESS AWARDS FEATURE • By Michelle Dryburgh
NT Phone Repairs
Tim McDonald & Nat Brice Keeping you connected
The mobile phone is a whole lot more than its name suggests.
No longer do we use our mobiles just to call or text, but also to send emails, take photos, do our banking, book holidays, tweet, post, research, shop, browse, even play music, schedule appointments, and set an alarm to wake us up each day.
Perhaps most importantly, we use it to store important phone numbers and precious memories in the form of photographs and videos.
Most of us are walking around with this highly advanced but compact computer in our pocket or purse. Unlike a desktop, its mobility makes it prone to being damaged, and its many functions lost.
That’s why NT Phone Repairs was established in 2011, providing prompt mobile phone and tablet repairs at an affordable price.
“The mobile phone is something the majority of us feel we cannot be without, at least not for long,” says cofounder Tim McDonald.
“If this digital pocket knife doesn’t perform 100 per cent or indeed is completely unresponsive then many people feel as though their lives are imploding.”
For those who haven’t heard of NT Phone Repairs, it is fairly self explanatory – they repair phones and mobile devices. The mobile phone as we know it to be in 2015 is an incredibly versatile tool. No longer does it simply call or text, it emails, times, photos, reminds, tweets, posts, plays music, browses, organises, plans, informs, searches, advises and educates and for these reasons and many more it has become a necessary tool for a vast number of our population. If it goes down, to many of us our world figuratively crumbles around us. “This is where we help out, Tim explains. 95% of the repairs we perform can be done within the hour, any given time of day and in our extremely convenient location inside the Australia Post building in Darwin city.”
And they specialise in fixing phones people thought were beyond repair.
“There was one guy who walked in, annihilated phone in hand which was almost unrecognisable, placed the phone on the counter, and simply asked “Mate, my phone got run over by a 45 tonne fuel tanker. Can you fix it?”
And fix it they did.
The NT Phone Repairs team appreciates mobile devices have become somewhat of a modern lifeline, and treat them as such. They understand just how much we rely on them.
“That creates a certain urgency. It’s the approach that we take, the mantra that these devices really are a digital extension of ourselves that we cannot live without,” says Tim.
“Every part of our service, from customer relations, technical ability, ordering, inventory control, staffing, systems, operations, marketing and innovation all stem from this fundamental understanding.
“This is indeed our biggest point of difference and our biggest asset. It allows us to tailor our operations to this universal concept shared by every one of our customers.”
Beyond smashed screens, NT Phone Repairs is seeing an increase in other issues such as devices not turning on, charging, battery and software faults, buttons wearing down and not responding, logic board corruption, data loss, liquid damage and providing general assistance setting up, backing up and using devices.
“It is our belief there are many phones in the community that the owners assume are damaged beyond repair and discard them,” says Tim.
“One of the greatest things about our operation is that we charge absolutely nothing to have a technician disassemble the device if necessary, diagnose all faults, and provide a quote to repair. People think there is a catch but there really isn’t and nor do we push any obligation to go ahead with a quote should the customer not wish to.”
This no-obligation attitude encourages people to visit the NT Phone Repairs store before disposing of a damaged device, saving a customer contributing to electronic waste and spending sometimes 10 times as much buying a new device.
Since launching the business in their apartment in 2011, Nat and Tim have developed NT Phone Repairs to a busy team of five in a busy Australia Post location in Darwin, with a second CBD store opening soon.
Over the past four years the industry has grown too, bringing other repairers and a more tech and repair savvy consumer to the market place. Tim says these developments could be viewed as limitations, but the team sees the changes as opportunities.
“It says the industry we operate in is growing, providing us with an opportunity to also grow with it,” he says.
“We have never allowed ourselves to become complacent at any level of our operation. This has, among other things, led us to always be predicting, as best possible, shifts in consumer behaviour ahead of time and to always aim to bring new services and products into the local market in anticipation of this.”