Saturday, April 7, 2012

Repair Vs. Replace

Technology is amazing, isn't it? These days we can do things that 10, 15 or 20 years ago were only the stuff of science fiction. IPods and Smart Phones have given us the world at our fingertips if only we can reach a data or wifi signal. Like most teenagers, the Princess only vaguely remembers a world before such technology. She got her first cell phone in 7th Grade, and I'm can't even remember what age she got her first iPod. She has been almost surgically attached to both since the day she got them though.

Of course over the years, her technology has been upgraded.

Her first basic phone was replaced by a flip phone (with camera!), then by a phone that did video too, then by one with a keyboard and on and on. Much to her recent chagrin, the phone itself has not yet been replaced with a Smart Phone. I have a Smart Phone provided by my employer and have thus far resisted the change to paying for a data line. Although I imagine that will be coming before too long.

Her first 8GB iPod was replaced by a Video Nano, then the Nano by a 8GB iPod Touch. Finally, Christmas her Junior Year, she was upgraded to a 64GB iPod Touch because the 8GB was just about full. Although she doesn't have a constant data line, she does have wifi access on her iPod so as long as she can connect to a wifi network she's good to go. She basically uses her iPod more than her phone.

I probably should mention that all of her technology upgrades have been either out of necessity as in the case of the phones (I think they are manufactured with the idea of failure within 1.5 years) or desire for better technology as in the case of the iPods. She has never lost, broken, or washed a piece of expensive technology. She has taken good care of all of her devices, purchasing cases with her allowance, never carelessly leaving them in pockets, etc.

So yesterday, I was surprised when I got a phone call from her while I was at work. She had just gotten home from school and was in tears. Her iPod had a crack in it. She had listened to it during 6th period (that teacher allows them to do so in certain instances), had put it in the pocket of her purse at the end of class like normal, and had put her purse in her athletic locker during 7th period athletics. When she took it out when she got home, there was a crack in it.

I knew of a place close to the house that did repairs to iPhones and other phones. I told her to take it there and see what it would cost to get it repaired. She did, and called me back with a price. It was going to cost $70 to repair. Considering I had paid almost $300 for the iPod, I told her to leave it with them and get it repaired. Since it would only take an hour or so, I told her I would pick it up on the way home from work.

I thought it over and considered making her pay for the repair. After all, she has a job, right? She will have her first paycheck soon. But then I thought about it, 6 years of being completely responsible with and appreciative of her technology should count for something, right? So I called her after she got home and told her I would pay for the repair based on her years of responsibility, but the next repair she would have to pay for. I wanted her to upgrade her protective case for the iPod in the meantime though. She felt this was more than fair.

So, we have yet another unplanned expense this month, but repairing the screen vs. replacing the whole thing is definitely worth it, and saves us both money. Now if we could just "repair" our phones into being smart phones!!!!!

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