I follow news announcements from DISH pretty closely because they usually include some awesome new feature or upgrade for the Hopper3. (Look, it’s got 16 HD tuners and does 4K. Don’t hate the player, people. Do NOT hate the player…) Recent announcements have included the activation of “Sports Bar Mode” just in time for the NCAA tournament, where you could watch any four full 1080p channels simultaneously live on a 4K screen. And don’t let the name fool you! Literally none of those shows actually have to be sports related. Go all stock market crazy, or let Fox News and Al Jazeera battle it out with CNN and MSNBC. Most recently was the activation of Netflix 4K Ultra HD streaming support.
When I saw an email this week from DISH’s terrific PR gal, Danielle Johnson, I was hoping it was going to herald the imminent arrival of the new Voice Remote, letting me lie back on my throne of pillows surrounded by imported cheeses and decades old single malts whilst beckoning my TV watching needs to Hopper3 like some sort of 21st Century Caligula. Or perhaps it would be the announcement of the new HopperGo that will let me take up to a 100 hours of recorded HD content in my pocket for watching anywhere. (Though, to be honest, it will be really be like 93 hours of Disney channel stuff for my daughter Lauryn and then several episodes of House Hunters or Property Brothers for my wife.) Or maybe it’s a new, round-the-clock, 4K UHD movie channel, featuring the finest in hand-curated entertainment all presented in exquisite detail. The possibilities were literally endless. Or, at least those three.
The email’s subject line was “NEWS: DISH introduces onsite ‘Smart Phone Repair’,” leading me to think there was some new smartphone integration that could diagnose a Hopper problem or something. Maybe analyze my MOCA network or give me the instant status of all 16 tuners or let me really dial in to the individual orbits and azimuths of the floating satellites. I don’t know, but it’s DISH, so something cool.
But, no: it’s literally that DISH is now going to offer in-home smartphone repair. As in, you broke your phone, and need to get it fixed, so naturally you’re going to call your DISH satellite installer. The email began:
DISH Delivers ‘Smart Phone Repair’ on Your Turf
·DISH technicians fix mobile phones at customer’s location
·Available to consumers nationwide, no TV subscription required
·DISH offers upfront pricing, high-quality screens and batteries
Confused, which, to be fair, happens a lot more frequently these days since I’m frequently up till two in the morning taking the “late night feeding shift” with Baby Audrey—I reached out to Danielle with an email that said (literally), “Wow, that seems like kind of an odd fit for you guys..... What is DISH's goal with this...? Interesting....” That, friends, is what they call “investigative journalism.”
“Totally understand how this would appear to be an unexpected move. Ultimately, a big part of why we’re venturing into the phone repair business is that (1) there are millions of broken devices in the U.S., and (2) we have a huge fleet of technicians who we can train to do more than just Hopper installs and troubleshooting house calls. A couple years ago, our techs began offering Smart Home Services https://www.dish.com/installation/ to do things like set up and mount televisions, set up surround sound systems, etc. Now, they can also do phone repairs.”
Interesting. I mean, if you have a fleet of trucks with trained techs on the road, why not do in-home smartphone repairs? I always tell my techs that a truck in our driveway is a truck that isn’t making money, so clearly I was on to something.
Turns out DISH’s technicians visit 20,000 homes daily nationwide, and the company sees device repair as the next step in its service progression. Could “hot and fresh pepperoni pizza to your door in minutes!” be next up? We can only hope. And, I’m guessing that if the tech saw that the customer had a sweet-sweet AV setup and/or happened to be on the phone cussing out the cable company, or perhaps just generally walking around the house/apartment muttering, “God! I hate the cable company! They’re so frickin’ stupid!” under their breath, they might be inclined to suggest a Hopper3 upgrade, but that is definitely me just speculating.
Having never gone through the tragic horror of a cracked iPhone screen situation, I had no idea what it would cost, so I called up a local jewelry repair place in the mall that advertises smartphone repair. Turns out that DISH’s price is incredibly competitive. In fact, the jewelry store wanted $200 for an iPhone6 screen repair and $250 for a 6Plus. And that didn’t include the soul withering shame spiral that comes from having to spend a couple of hours driving to/from and then actually hanging out at the mall, likely with a trip to the food court and possible subsequent digestive distress.
For the love of God, DISH! Why haven’t you rolled out this service sooner?!
DISH’s executive VP of Operations John Swieringa said, “Fixing your phone shouldn’t mean losing your phone for days on end, so we come to you—whether you’re at the office, the gym, or even the coffee shop.” And while Swieringa delicately avoided mentioning it, DISH does advertise that they will come and repair your phone at a bar (well, “pub”) meaning you can have your beer and drink it too, and get your iPhone fixed while doing it!
“Smart Phone Repair” is available now in all 50 states—bet you wish you were a state now, Puerto Rico!—and DISH offers appointments seven days a week including same-day and next-day availability, and guarantees all repair work with a 60-day warranty. Currently repairs are limited to replaced screens and batteries on iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, and 6 Plus (they didn’t specifically say, “Suck it, Android!” but, well…) with more models coming soon.
DISH even caters to the Type-A customer with the company’s “My Tech” online appointment tool that allows users to view their technician’s name, photo, and then watch a riveting minute-by-minute countdown to their tech’s arrival. You can even track the DISH vehicle as it travels to meet you, silently judging his chosen route and utter lack of local shortcuts. You know, provided your screen isn’t too broken to see the info. Kinda makes me want to smash the hell out of my phone right now. Or just get a beer and see what’s on the Hopper.