Friday, March 23News That Matters

Samsung is offering same-day repairs for busted Galaxy phones across the US

Enlarge/ The Galaxy S9(+) looks a lot like the S8.

Samsung wants to make it easier to get your broken Galaxy phone fixed. The electronics maker on Wednesday announced that it is partnering with uBreakiFix, an independent repair chain, to bring same-day, in-person repair service for more users of Galaxy handsets in the US.

The partnership goes into effect on Thursday, one day before Samsung’s new Galaxy S9 phone formally starts shipping. Samsung says the program will cover “more than 300” authorized service locations in the US, which are said to reach “the majority of the continental US population, within a 30-mile radius.” uBreakiFix’s website says the company runs just under 380 stores across the country. Samsung and uBreakiFix say they plan to add “nearly 200” more authorized locations by early 2019.

The companies say they will welcome walk-in customers in addition to those who schedule an appointment online for free in-warranty repairs. Samsung says “most repairs” will be completed in two hours or less. Samsung typically puts a one-year manufacturer’s warranty on its Galaxy flagships. The company says out-of-warranty issues like liquid damage and corrosion won’t be eligible for same-day service but that other out-of-warranty damages, like cracked screens, can still be fixed at a uBreakiFix store. It won’t be free in that case, of course, but Samsung says all repairs from an authorized uBreakiFix store will be under warranty for at least 90 days.

More generally, the partnership covers basic problems like front and back screen replacements, battery replacements, and repairs to charging ports, headphone jacks, and camera modules. uBreakiFix had previously offered Galaxy phone repairs, but because it’s now marketed as an authorized repair service, Samsung says the repair chain will only use Samsung parts and tools to fix these issues—the idea being that uBreakiFix will be more trustworthy than that random repair kiosk at your local mall or train station.

The partnership won’t cover every Galaxy phone ever made, but it does hit most Samsung flagship phones from the past four years: every Galaxy S flagship since the Galaxy S6, the Galaxy Note 5, and the Galaxy Note 8 are listed as eligible for same-day service from uBreakiFix off the bat.

Currently, Samsung sells an extended warranty service called “Premium Care” that costs $12 a month and offers in-home support and extra coverage against accidental damages. Those who weren’t enrolled were typically asked to call a Samsung representative for support and either ship their busted phone to a company facility or find their own repair service. Major mobile carriers in the US offer their own protection plans as well.

uBreakiFix previously partnered with Google to provide repair support for its Pixel phones.

uBreakiFix isn’t the only repair firm to gain this sort of authorization from Samsung—Best Buy offers a similar service in a handful of US states—but the partnership looks to bring a fairly sizable boost to the Galaxy maker’s customer service efforts. Samsung is far and away the most popular manufacturer of Android phones in the US, but like the rest of its peers, it hasn’t offered the kind of extensive support provided by Apple and its myriad “Genius Bars” across the country. This move appears to be a step in the right direction, though, and should lead to a little more convenience for clumsy Galaxy fans. Just consider buying a case first.

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