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Student finds success fixing phones

Posted: June 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Alan Campos of SCViRepair fixes an iPhone at his home work station. Campos fixes iPhones and iPods for a fraction of the cost charged by retail stores.

 

When Andrew Richardson broke the glass display on his iPhone awhile back, he had to drive to an Apple repair store in Los Angeles for a repair that cost him $129. It cost him time and gas, too, he said.

That’s an issue Alan Campos, a focused young entrepreneur, has sought to fix.

When Campos, 21, is not studying business management at College of the Canyons, he’s busy repairing 20 to 30 iPhones and iPods per week at a fraction of the cost often charged by the manufacturer’s retail stores. Campos launched the business, SCViRepair in November 2010.

When Richardson’s screen broke a second time, he went to SCViRepair.

“Alan only charged me $50,” Richardson said.

And the service was fast, he said. Richardson’s repair was made in less than 10 minutes.

“And he offers a one-year warranty,” he said.

Focused
Campos began his trade in his junior year at Hart High School, repairing cell phones for friends. He’d also take used phones to paint and customize them for resale. The repairs just came naturally to him, he said.

When he finishes his studies at COC, Campos plans on going to California State University, Northridge, to pursue an MBA degree. His selection of schools is based on keeping his debt low so he has cash reserves to launch other business ventures along the way.

As if his collegiate studies and business venture aren’t enough to keep Campos busy, he’s written a couple of other ideas down that he plans to pitch to investors this year. He wants to stay in the telecommunications industry, he said.

Built to break
Many devices are built with a specific lifespan, Campos said, so that consumers are pushed back into the marketplace to keep buying new ones.

Cell- and smartphone owners then often go back to their service provider for a new product, and walk out of the store obligated by another two-year contract.

The glass cracked on customer Lisa La George’s iPhone.

“Apple told me my iPhone didn’t have any components, that it was all one piece,” La George said.

“Alan had it taken all apart and replaced it within 20 minutes,” she said.

Using SCViRepair at a repair cost of $50 was definitely a value. It was worth it not to have to go to AT&T, La George said.

If the phone is under warranty, roughly half of the customers have not experienced any problem later with an authorized dealer, Campos said.

Though use of a nonauthorized Apple repair service may void the customer’s warranty.

For those with phones where the warranty has expired, customers said using SCViRepair is a big savings.

Storefront
Campos works out of a repair shop he set up in the garage of his parents’ house, but his ultimate goal is to expand his business into a storefront. He’s even set up a waiting area.

“It’s convenient, dependable service, professional, nice and a clean work atmosphere,” Richardson said.
To grow his business even further, Campos worked with business advisers at the Small Business Development Center on COC’s campus.

“They helped define my marketing approach,” Campos said. “It’s a pretty cool program.”

SCViRepair prices are very, very competitive, Richardson said. “I hand his business card out to my friends.”

Inspiration
After playing junior varsity football in school, Campos began working at 16 years of age.

“The job helped me with my customer-service skills and talking to people,” he said. “I learned it takes a lot to earn money — you have to work hard.”

He isn’t scared of hard work, he said. He knows he doesn’t want to work for anyone else. He wants to own his own businesses. Setting his own schedule, spending time with family and seeing the world is important to him.

“I’ve always been business-driven since I was a kid,” Campos said. “I was mentored growing up to set my own course.”

Alan Campos, owner of SCViRepair, can be reached at (661) 200-8034. For more information go to www.scvirepair.com.

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