Independent repair shops, WISE certification, and what it means for you

Independent repair shops, WISE certification, and what it means for you

Smartphones are everywhere. In fact, over 80% of the US population owns one. But since our phones are with us wherever we go, they often take an inadvertent spill here or there. Approximately two-thirds of smartphone owners report damaging their phones within the past year. Coupled with the rising prices of flagship smartphones every generation, millions find themselves in need of quality cell phone repair each and every year.

We recently launched the Swappa Repair Network in order to connect you with quality independent repair shops. These local shops can often perform repairs quicker and more affordably than getting a replacement phone. However, picking the right repair shop can be tough. WISE, which stands for Wireless Industry Service Excellence, is a new industry-wide certification program aimed at making things easier for customers by ensuring a consistent standard of excellence among repair shops.

Keep reading to learn more about the importance of local repair shops and how the WISE certification program helps make sure third-party repair is done right.

Why local repair shops matter

Although almost every broken phone can be fixed, cell phone repair isn’t always worth it. In general, you should only fix a broken phone if the repair costs less than replacement. Unfortunately, getting out-of-warranty repairs direct from the manufacturer can cost a fortune. Local repair shops are a fantastic alternative. Not only can they perform similar repairs at a lower cost, but they can often do so in significantly less time.

Not all repair shops are created equal

Although local repair shops are a great resource for affordable cell phone repair, it can be a little intimidating trying to find the right shop. After all, you’re entrusting your most personal piece of tech to a repair technician you’ve likely never met before. Thankfully, you’re not in it alone.

The Swappa Repair Network helps you find a quality repair shop near you. Since launch, our directory has grown to over 2400 locations spread all over the country, so you’re never too far away from repair. We also have a set of requirements for any shop to be listed in our network: Repair shops must have an established retail location, they must have a verifiable business, and they must offer at least a 30-day guarantee. WISE certification builds on this and serves as an additional measure to ensure competence and build consumer trust.

What is WISE certification and why does it matter?

WISE stands for Wireless Industry Service Excellence. WISE is a brand-new certification program created specifically for the phone repair industry. The goal is simple: WISE certification ensures a consistent standard of excellence across independent repair shops.

To accomplish this, the wireless industry trade association CTIA teamed up with more than 53 companies and industry leaders and created a certification program for third-party repair shops. All the major device manufacturers are involved; so rest assured that WISE-certified technicians can perform the repairs your device needs.

WISE technician certification is available at two different levels:

  • Level 1 certification ensures proficiency for common repairs such as diagnostic testing, data backup, restoring and recovering data, and testing/inspection.
  • Level 2 certification is given after a technician demonstrates proficiency with more advanced repairs such as opening and replacing components including the motherboard, screen, connectors, and other parts.

Repair shops with a WISE badge on the Swappa Repair Network feature WISE Retail Certification. WISE Authorized Service Providers have a Level 2-certified technician on-site during all business hours, and have been individually certified to meet a variety of strict quality requirements.

Although WISE certification ensures that a given repair shop has met a predefined standard of excellence, not all quality shops are certified. In other words, you can expect quality work from a WISE-certified shop — but lacking certification doesn’t mean that a shop is inherently worse. Rather, you should view WISE certification as a means of highlighting shops that have gone the extra mile to demonstrate their skill.

How do I find a WISE-certified repair shop?

The Swappa Repair Network makes it easy to find a WISE-certified repair shop near you. Simply visit our repair locator and look for the WISE badge. Repair shops with a WISE badge have a Level 2-certified technician on-site during all business hours, and they have gone through the necessary steps to demonstrate their technical proficiency. Click the button below to learn more about WISE and how to find a WISE-certified repair shop near you.