Repair services expect spike in customers, warn of delays and changes to stores

Repair services expect spike in customers, warn of delays and changes to stores

Repair services expect spike in customers, warn of delays and changes to stores

TORONTO — Canadian technology and repair shops are anticipating a steady stream of customers lugging computers, phones and other devices as they open more of their stores.

They expect Canadians spending more time at home and online ended up with cracked screens, broken ports, finicky software and devices on the fritz.

Now that stores are reopening slowly in many provinces, those consumers will get their chance to revive their devices, but retailers specializing in repairs are warning the process could look very different and take a lot more time than it once did.

Best Buy Canada Ltd. experienced a flood of customers wanting help setting up monitors and video conferencing or needing support with printers or networks, when the pandemic started, spokeswoman Anjee Gill wrote in an email.

The company offered remote repairs and doesn’t believe the high demand they experienced for that virtual service will waver any time soon.

“Customers may experience longer wait times due to high demand,” said Gill. ”We are adding agents to expand the number of customers we can support.”

Agents for the company’s Geek Squad repair service have been trained on providing a very different experience than before the pandemic.

Customers will hand off their device to be repaired inside the store across a counter or table with a clear plastic shield in some provinces, but outside in other locations.

Agents will contact the customer by phone to get additional details on the problem with the device, troubleshoot and provide an initial cost estimate.

“If the customer approves, the Geek Squad agent will perform the repair and ship the device to the customer’s home,” said Gill. “If the customer decides not to proceed, the agent will sanitize the unit…and bring it back to the customer at the front door.”

Mobile Klinik, a repair chain with about 80 stores across Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta, isn’t expecting longer wait times, but is bracing itself for more customers.

“We’re definitely expecting a business surge from the pent-up demand of customers who’ve been waiting for our stores to reopen,” Liz Hamilton, the director of people and customers, said in an email.

Her chain has decked out counters with clear plastic shields, restricted the number of customers in a store at a time, beefed up cleaning procedures and implemented mandatory physical distancing.

The repair counters in its locations, ranging from tiny kiosks to small stores, are particularly challenged by a pandemic.

“Our technicians are working directly in front of the customer in a fairly small space, often as a while-you-wait service,” Hamilton wrote.

“We will ask them not to wait in or at the store while the repair is being done. We’ll let the customer know how long it should take and ask that they return to pick it up their device at that time.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 20, 2020.

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

skip2
Rimbey Christian School students experience the joy of giving

Grades three and four students raised $2,000 for Somalian children

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
New record: Red Deer at 236 active COVID cases

One more death in central zone reported

Janelle Robinson owns and operates Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. The Ranch, just north of Stettler, is an animal therapy ranch that helps those with special needs and conditions ranging from PTSD to anxiety. Mark Weber/Stettler Independent
Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler provides support through animal interaction

‘I also come from a family of doers - if something that is needed isn’t there, you just figure it out’

Sylvan Lake RCMP Detachment. Photo Courtesy of Google Maps
Sylvan Lake RCMP address three key areas of resident concern

RCMP were notified of these main areas of concern through an online Town Hall

Alberta had 1,571 active COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta’s central zone now has 1,101 active COVID-19 cases

Provincial death toll has risen by nine

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Wetaskiwin Composite High School. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools prepare for transition back to online learning

Grades 7-12 will are mandated to transfer to online learning starting Nov. 30, 2020.

Lawyer Devon Page, Ecojustice Canada’s executive director, pauses during a news conference in Vancouver on Wed., Sept. 26, 2012. The environmental law group has lost its bid to pause Alberta’s inquiry into where critics of its oil and gas industry get their funding. Ecojustice sought an injunction this summer to suspend the inquiry, headed by forensic accountant Steve Allan, until there is a decision on whether it’s legal. nbsp;THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Judge tosses application to pause Alberta inquiry into funding of oil and gas foes

Ecojustice sought an injunction in the summer to suspend the inquiry

Janelle Robinson owns and operates Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. The Ranch, just north of Stettler, is an animal therapy ranch that helps those with special needs and conditions ranging from PTSD to anxiety. Mark Weber/Stettler Independent
Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler provides support through animal interaction

‘I also come from a family of doers - if something that is needed isn’t there, you just figure it out’

A pedestrian makes their way through the snow in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Wild winter, drastic swings in store for Canada this year: Weather Network

In British Columbia and the Prairies, forecasters are calling for above-average snowfall levels

NDP Leader John Horgan, left, speaks as local candidate Ravi Kahlon listens during a campaign stop at Kahlon’s home in North Delta, B.C., on April 18, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

Most Read