Monthly Archives: May 2012

  • Geek Pride Day Swag: Free Web Badge Graphic

    Curtis Taylor Curtis Taylor
    Posted on May 25, 2012

    Free Geek Pride Day Badge from

    Free Gift from us for Geek Pride Day

    Happy Geek Pride day to you all from RepairLabs! Wanna show you’re proud of who you are, even if you weren’t the coolest kid in school? Celebrate with a free button from us for your blog, Facebook page, or Twitter-- feel free to use it for whatever you like, but we’d be much obliged if you linked back to us in a spirit of sharing and Geek solidarity.

    Today, we take back the name of geek, and we wear it like a badge.  If you’ve ever been stuck home on a Saturday night, ever been teased for playing ‘Magic--The Gathering’, ever watched ‘Firefly’ till your eyes bled, you are one of us. Okay, so we geek out a little bit over logic boards and phone components.  Who doesn’t geek out over something?

    Because really, what is a Geek?  It’s somebody who loves something unabashedly even though he may catch some flack, because, let’s face it, that something is just not cool. And the great thing is, he doesn’t care. His passion makes him resilient to whatever the haters can throw at him. And as the brilliant character, Radio Dj Lester Bangs from ‘Almost Famous’ explains, “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we're uncool.”


    Chris @CapSteveRogers gets it:

    Happy Geek Pride Day Tweet

    Geek Wisdom.


    Today, Let’s join together under a single rallying cry: They may take our lunch money, but they will NEVER TAKE OUR XBOX!!!!!!!!!!!! So if you love your Star Wars, your caffine, your gadgets, your differential equations, or your Harry Potter more than you love your MeeMaw,  and you're not afraid to admit it, this one’s for you.  And always remember that one day:

    The Geek shall inherit the earth.

    This post was posted in Opinion, Tablets, Tech, Geek, What We Do, About Us, iPhone, iPad and was tagged with Graphic, Badge, Swag, Free, Geek Pride Day

  • 10 Ways To Get Turbo Awesome Customer Service

    Curtis Taylor Curtis Taylor
    Posted on May 23, 2012

    Here at RepairLabs, we really pride ourselves on what we do. We try to make sure that every customer has a great experience and would recommend us without hesitation to their 90 year old grandma, or their coolest best friend. That got me to thinking about what customer service is really all about, and what the average Joe can do to get the best customer service in his every day dealings.

    We’ve all been put on hold for ungodly amounts of time, been shuffled from one department to the next, and dealt with rude, unfeeling customer service representatives. (Banking industry and Cable providers, I’m looking at you.) We’ve all had to talk to those infuriating customer service recorded bots. I myself have waited in line at the Apple Genius Bar for over 2 hours, though I do realize it isn’t all Apple’s fault. Because of the (let’s face it) turbo-coolness of the Apple devices, overworked Geniuses are beset by swarming hordes of non-technical types. Meaning every teenage girl who stands in front of the bathroom mirror making duckface for her profile photo is in there, trying to get help. …Actually the real question there is why the Apple Genius Bar doesn’t serve alcohol.

    Be Kind for Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle -Plato Grey Poster

    Being kind will get you everywhere.

    Here’s the thing. Good customer service isn’t really that hard. We want a few, simple things. We want the company and its reps to be:

    1. Available, easy to reach.
    2. Quick, plain and simple: quick.
    3. Friendly, willing to make a personal relationship, real people, just not robots or recorded voices.
    4. Willing to admit if when they’re wrong, and to fix it.
    5. Willing to go the extra mile, and meet unstated needs. (For example: appletini’s at the Apple Genius Bar. Is that really too much to ask?)


    When things don’t go well, though, you do have recourse.  You can have a fallback strategy to help get what you want out of the conversation you’re having.  Here’s what you need to do.


     10 Rules for Getting Excellent Customer Service

    1.      Be positive, be a good customer, and don’t be afraid to remind the business that you are.  If you are a returning customer, you’ve proven that you are an asset to them. They’ve already won your business, and all businesses know it’s cheaper and easier to keep a current customer than to win a new one.

    2.      Whenever you can, talk to a real person  Press 0. Do whatever you need to in order to get out of those robotic calls. Sometimes email is the best way to interact with Service reps. If you can make a personal connection, you’re always likely to get better service.  It’s all about creating a real human relationship. Here’s a hint. I always keep a pen and paper with me when I make these calls, and the first thing I do is write down the name of the person I’m speaking to.  If I need to, I’ll ask them to repeat it, and then, without being condescending, I’ll always use his name in the conversation. If I can remember his name in a phone conversation, (A.) he knows that I’m willing to treat him like a real individual human being who deserves respect, and( B.) he knows I can remember it if I have to make a complaint to his manager.


    3.      Fix up a Complaint Sandwich.  This is a bit of pop psychology here, but a spoonful of sugar does tend to make the medicine go down a little bit easier. Start with a positive comment, then your problem, then another positive comment. There is a detailed explanation of how to use this tactic in this great article on getting better Customer Service.

    4.      Be able to articulate what you want. Even if what you want is help in formulating a question, let the rep know that. If you want a refund, if you want technical support, or if you want a solution to a problem you’re having, be able to say that, and say it kindly. Know the terms of your agreement, and then you can make suggestions of possible solutions. This may take a little bit of homework on your part. But if you can give your representative action items, they can take action, or get you to the person who can.


    5.      Ask Nicely- communicate clearly. Don’t just go ‘amps to eleven’ on the Rage Scale. Yelling very rarely gets you the results you want. When something doesn’t go well, take a deep breath and think about what it is you need.  Sometimes the problem can be as simple as a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Be positive and be kind; remember, “Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,” (-Plato). Don’t forget, these guys have been tackling angry/annoyed/helpless customers all day. Know exactly what the problem is, and be able to explain what you need to fix it. (See #4 above)

    6.      Empower them to help you.  Say, “Keith, [using his name, Tip #2!!] we have a customer service issue here. How can you help me to solve this?”  The “how can you help me to solve this” part is really important. This opens the door for them to work with you and puts the power to address the situation in their hands.

    7.      Don’t give up.  Ask to speak to a manager, and if your issue still isn’t resolved, politely ask to speak with that person’s supervisor.  Bad companies are counting on you giving up.  Keep going up the chain. If you have to, email the CEO. Corporate execs will not be happy to receive an email from you every hour.  And, their email addresses are surprisingly easy to find. Check their websites, scour the Internet.


    8.      Remember that you can take your business elsewhere. And don’t be afraid to remind the offending business of that too. Nicely hint to Globo-Bank that Downhome Bank is running a great special right now on free checking.  It’s a free market, baby, and companies, especially in this economy, are hungry for your business and your endorsement.  Think about what happened when Netflix upped its prices and Bank of America imposed the $5 monthly debit card fees. Customers left in droves. This is a company’s worst nightmare.  And unhappy customers are almost twice as likely to share rotten customer service experiences with their friends and family as they are a good experience, as this study from American Express explains in detail

    9.      If that fails, Go to social media, be the squeaky wheel, stir that pudding. Believe me, nobody wants a social media public relations crisis like the famous United Breaks Guitars song.  That incident even garnered its own Wikipedia page. If you can be funny, clever or viral, you’ll get some attention.  @Tag the company on Twitter, and comment on their Facebook page. They don’t want all of their fans and your friends seeing their bad press. The United customer hit a nerve about how our luggage gets handled, and managed to turn his frustration into a fun song, and get his issue addressed. And actually United managed to turn that incident into a PR win by addressing the bad service and fixing it.


    10.  Accept a sincere apology. Often the guy behind the counter is not empowered to help you out, and actually is doing the best he can. That’s when you have to decide whether to continue slogging it out or to give up, but see rule #7, in this case. Thank the guy in front of you for his help, and be vocally on his side. Saying, “I totally understand that you are doing your best to help me, and I know that this issue isn’t your fault” can go miles to get him on your side. (If you’ve been kind leading up to this part, he already will be on your side anyway.) He can advocate for you with his boss.

    When the company that you’re dealing with does address your situation, gracefully accept their apology and their solution, and thank them. If somebody went the extra mile for you, call their manager and let them know. I once worked for a company that handed you CASH whenever a customer called you out for good service.  Be willing to call out good service as well. That can only help your future Customer Service Karma. (In fact, in a future life my dream job would be to drive the Karma Bus—I know a few people it missed.)


    Twitter Pict of Chick-fil-A employee helping elderly lady in the rain Customer Service

    Twitter Picture from @Jason_Sehorn of a Chick-fil-A employee helping an elderly woman to her car in the pouring rain.


    But when I see our great people at RepairLabs working like crazy on diagnostic and repair to get you your devices back, I’m so proud and impressed. For example, Jessica, our Customer Service Manager personally responds to every email. Not only that, she does it immediately. When she doesn’t know the answer to a technical question, she heads over to the technical department to ask and to find it. She knows more about electronic devices than any Customer Service rep should ever have to.  Our technicians have stayed late and worked overtime to get someone’s device done in time to make the next FedEx delivery. It’s a small thing to do, that they never even tell customers about, but it’s that little matter of going the extra mile, that makes all the difference. Customer service expert Shep Hyken, discusses that idea in detail here.  When we take good care of you, we’re proud that we gave you our best.


    Have you ever had really great service from someone? Or really abysmal? Tell me about it in the comments below.


    Additional Sources:

    This post was posted in Opinion, Tablets, Tech, How To, What We Do, About Us, iPhone, iPad and was tagged with Wisdom, Information, Hack, Tips, Customer Service

  • iPad Mini Dimensions: Confirmed!

    Curtis Taylor Curtis Taylor
    Posted on May 9, 2012

    What the rumored iPad Mini may look like

    Artists scale rendition of possible iPad Mini.

    Here at, the same people who brought you the first exclusive photos of the iPad 3 digitizer, we have confirmed the dimensions of the upcoming iPad Mini.  Our well-placed source reports that the new iPad Mini will actually measure in at 7.85 inches, which would make the screen quite a bit roomier than expected. Our source confirms that orders have been placed for production in these dimensions. After much discussion in our office, we concluded that when rumor-mongers (like ourselves) mention the 7-inch number that’s being so widely disseminated, they mean the diagonal screen measurement.  And really, the main part of the device that we care about is its working surface.

    But just for fun, to add a bit of speculation, here is a little food for thought.  Let’s assume that the ratios remain the same from the current iPad3.  Extrapolating from there, we can deduce this would make the much-anticipated little device measure up at 7.7 inches tall and 5.92 inches wide. The new iPad Mini by these standards would be about 81% of the size of the current. The current iPad 3 now measures 9.50 inchese tall by 7.31 inches wide,  so the alleged iPad Mini will be only just longer than the width of the current. On a ruler it would likely measure just over 7” 11/16 tall.  We actually broke out the ole’ trusty Pythagorean Theorem to bring you those figures, folks.


    iPad Drawing Experiment

    Bloggers pitiful YellowLegalPad attempt to visualize the size and feel of the rumored iPad Mini.

    To visualize the difference between the current iPad and the purported new dimensions of the Mini, we performed a super low-tech experiment, and hand-drew the measurements on a yellow legal pad. (Compared to the succinct beauty of our Graphic Designer’s vision, my rendition is downright hilarious). In fact, the legal pad itself seems reasonably analogous to the current iPad (minus the legal pad’s header and margins). The reported 7.85 inches, on the other hand, feels like a good, medium-sized appointment book in the hand (but certainly without the girth/depth of a day planner).  We’re guessing the difference in ‘feel’ would be equivalent to the difference between carrying around a paperback and a hardback, and the device would be that much easier to drop into a handbag, backpack or briefcase.

    Ease of portability, weight, and the ability to hold the device in one hand, have long figured into tablet design decisions, and ultimately, profitability. Market-watchers may also conclude that this new offering means to compete directly with the Kindle Fire or the Barnes and Noble Nook. The Kindle Fire measures 7.5 inches tall, and 4.7 inches wide, while the Nook outsizes it at 8.1 inches tall, and 5 inches wide.  The purported iPad Mini would fall squarely between the two in size. And the difference between 9.7 inches and 7.85 inches? It may seem negligible, or it may make all the difference. After all, the iPhone is just so very nicely pocket-sized, and it has managed to carve out a modicum of success.


    This post was posted in Opinion, Tablets, Tech, What We Do, iPhone, iPad Rumors, iPad and was tagged with artisti's rendition, mock ups, 7.85, confirmed, iPad Mini. iPad rumors, Size, Dimensions, iPad

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