When technology is running smoothly we tend to take it for granted, but when it breaks down or malfunctions our lives can go into a tailspin. It also opens up another problem – who can we entrust to repair it?
Ironically, as I was writing this story the powers that be tested my household; one of my family members’ accidentally dropped a cell phone and the glass cracked. Remarkably, this was a new experience for us. A few weeks earlier we would have been at a loss, but having interviewed Meisam Mulla, one of the owners of Phone Guru, we knew where to go to replace the cracked screen. True to his word, Meisam not only repaired the phone but also turned it around in quick fashion and the phone is as good as new.
Phone Guru opened in May 2018. The community is embracing this much-needed service. Currently the business has two locations (the other is in Surrey) and a third shop is scheduled to open at the end of the year.
“To me Dunbar is the real Vancouver. I love everything about this place: the people, the environment and the sense of community.” Meisam Mulla
“I feel really welcomed here. I have people dropping by to tell me the services I offer are needed in the area. Phones and computers have become an integral part of life, and electronics need a little TLC from time to time,” he says.
Meisam majored in business and is a self-taught software engineer. He ran a consulting firm for eight years and worked with small to mid size businesses. His role was to come up with solutions to make business owners’ lives easier through the use of technology.
Motivated to try something new, Meisam decided to open his own business. He comments, “I missed helping people and interacting with them on a personal level.”
What makes Phone Guru stand out? Meisam mentions, “There are many cell phone repair shops in Vancouver, however, most shops are limited to being able to fix simple issues. At Phone Guru we can repair any type of issue a smartphone has, including repairing the phone’s motherboard. As an example, if you drop your phone in water, Apple would not touch it, even if it were still under warranty. We can actually take the phone apart and in most cases fix the water damage.”
Phone Guru repairs both smartphones and computers.
Meisam says, “I have built an extensive network of suppliers and have access to spare parts that other cell phone shops do not have. In fact, some repair shops send me some of the phones they cannot fix.”
He adds, “Most customers bring in iPhones and iPads but we have experience working with all types of smartphones. At the core of it, smartphones are just miniature computers. They function almost identically and therefore can be repaired by someone who knows how computers work.”
If your phone isn’t charging or the camera has stopped working, instead of getting a new phone you can get that individual part replaced.
He points out Phone Guru uses OEM quality spare parts and includes a one-year warranty with all repairs.
Meisam shares a valuable tip, which is the importance of using a screen protector. Recently a customer came in with a big crack right across the phone’s screen. She thought the screen was broken when it fact the crack was on her screen protector. Meisam saved her a repair bill. He says, “When I told her this, the look of relief on her face actually made my day. We put a new screen protector on her phone and she was on her way.”
The top reasons people bring in a computer for repair is because it is either running slowly or it has a virus. Phone Guru can clean up and optimize the computer within the same day in most cases.
“If needed, we can upgrade the computer’s hardware and have it running much more quickly for a fraction of what it costs to buy a new one. In fact, I’ve had some customers come back and tell me that they can’t believe how well their 10 year old computer has been running ever since they had me upgrade it,” he says.
Choosing to locate Phone Guru in a neigh-bourbood shopping district aligns with Meisam’s philosophy of supporting independent businesses.
He says, “Small business is the foundation of the Canadian economy and shopping locally has more benefits than is immediately apparent. For instance, 70% of Canadians work for a small business. Supporting small businesses is key to ensuring they remain open and that Canadians stay employed. The personal relationships that you build in the community are a treat on their own. I have gotten to meet so many interesting people running Phone Guru.”
Reflecting on his venture, Meisam concludes, “There are two things that make me very happy in life, one is helping people and the other is solving logical problems. With this business I am able to do both and sometimes I feel like I am the luckiest person on earth. I get to wake up everyday and do what I love the most.”
4339 Dunbar Street
Vancouver, BC V6S 2G2