February Letters To and From the Editor
Of course he broke his cellphone. My youngest is accident prone, like me, and it was the second time he’d dropped his phone and shattered the glass cover. Having used up his free replacement, we decided to check out the cellphone fixer kiosk at the mall. We have insurance, but there’s still a $100 deductible. And on the way to the kiosk, of course, he dropped his iPod, shattering the glass cover. So we had two questions to ask the kiosk guy. ($75 for the phone, $100 for the iPod, it turns out).
January is usually when everything breaks down. Mid-January, to be exact. It’s when we come down from the holidays and excitement of the new year and realize our resolutions are unrealistic. Someone broke into my car at work, stole my gym bag. Half of the stories I planned to write by February are already out the window. The managing editor breaks her leg (while recovering from knee surgery). We get flu shots and still get the flu. Snow disrupts our schedule. It’s waking up with a hangover and realizing last night wasn’t really worth it. So what’s next?
I think, perhaps, it’s time to realize that there’s joy in the breaks. I couldn’t stop laughing when my 13-year-old broke his iPod en route to the cellphone fixer (for some reason, my wife didn’t think it was funny). I went driving around looking for my old gym bag, the one that was stolen, assuming the thieves tossed it when they discovered my funky shoes didn’t fit (also funny). I didn’t find the bag, but it was worthless anyhow. My youngest decided the best option was tape, and he’s oddly happy with the result.
I always seem to forget that the best stories, and most interesting people, are the ones you didn’t intend to write about. You start down a path, thinking this is the story, only to find you were wrong. The trick is to let it go where it goes. In reality, the real story can’t begin until the old one breaks. - Scott Bass
New TVs aren’t unfixable
In regards to “Disposable Us” [December], I am the owner of PNCR Technology Services. We have been in business at our location for nine years and are one of the few circuit-level-capable repair shops in the Chesterfield, Richmond and tri-cities area. I disagree with the statements made in the story that “the circuit boards in newer flat-screen TVs are not designed to be repaired,” “the new flat-screens are not circuit repairable” and “they are made to be thrown away.” We do have some TVs that we encounter that we are not able to repair at a circuit level. But the new TVs are not all disposable when it comes to repairing. Yes, we do have to keep the repairs economical to the consumer to keep them from disposing of the TV and going out and buying a new one.
Service centers are required to learn surface mount device troubleshooting and repair as well as new technology that changes every year. Some technicians have chosen not to continue their education and training due to the time and expense. That does not mean it can’t be done. There are a lot of people who do not want to throw away televisions that may have cost them $500 or more. There are many televisions being sold that are still priced at more than $1,000. Does that sound like throwaway money to you?
We take in over three TVs a day and repair at least 80 percent of these televisions, including the new ones. We are a full-time electronics repair business and we specialize in television repair. I had to comment because I don’t want the consumer to be misguided about repairs on televisions, especially the new units.
Owner, PNCR Technology Services