Friday, April 28, 2017

If it’s Broke, Fix it.

Down in my shed I have a cast iron hobbing foot. It belonged to my grand father who was a leather worker and it is now used as a doorstop. It was used to make and repair shoes. In those days if something was broke it got fixed. Then we had planned obsolescence. Where manufacturers designed out repair from their products so that when it developed a fault you had to buy a new one and throw the old one away. Our entire economy is built not on “growth” as the politicians would tell you, but on the costs of failure. Unfortunately there is no corner shop where we can get the UK economy fixed, but there are repair shops out there, you just have to know where they are, enter the Restart initiative to list those in East London.

They found 152 in total but only 23 of those met their criteria such as a trading address in the area surveyed; provision of information on warranty repairs; a strong majority of positive online reviews.

We found that only 23 of the 152 businesses meet all criteria: 85% of them either fail on either online reviews or don’t provide information on their warranty terms (or both).
We were surprised to find that 52 businesses – over a third – don’t have any web presence at all, including on social media. In terms of online reviews, we only looked at businesses which received at least 5 reviews on platform such as Google, Yell, TrustPilot and Facebook. We decided that 80% of all 3/4/5 star reviews would be a good indication of a business’ reputation. We acknowledge that this process might not favour businesses without a direct online presence. Similarly, we would have expected businesses to communicate more prominently about their warranty terms. Yet, only 39 mentioned them at all on their website.
And one got the elbow before 22 were nicely listed here on the East London Waste Authority’s website. And nine of them have a personal introduction from ELWA:
We’ve been working with The Restart Project to put together a list of good electronic fixers based in East London that you can feel happy taking your gadgets and white goods to. To see the whole list, have a look here.
We went out and spoke to a couple of the businesses, to find out what made them start their repair business, where they got their fantastic fixing skills from and just a mini insight to their lives. A Google review is one thing, but sometimes you just want to know little bit more about the person taking your precious iPad to pieces.
And KDS in Beehive Lane is where I get my electrical spares from.


  1. Are not the places without web addresses likely to be the best ones? Focussing on customer service and repairing stuff professionally, advertising in the best way, by word of mouth?