MASON CITY | A Mason City cell phone repair business has recently moved and is opening in a new location.
Iowa Cell Phones and Repair, 2771 Fourth St. S.W., and will host a "Re-Grand Opening" Saturday, July 15, complete with a grill-out and a deejay.
Its new location on the west side of Mason City offers visibility and access, a drive-through window soon, parking and proximity to cell phone carriers. Traveling for repairs in the winter is under consideration.
Owner Phil Biermann said the business's downtown location, in the plaza near Moorman Clothiers, was hard to find and lacked parking.
Biermann, a master technician, says he is basically self-taught. He has 14 years of experience repairing cell phones and other devices. The shop's four technicians all have at least five years' experience.
Biermann stresses "experience, experience, experience" as the key to repairing phones and other devices.
Iowa Cell Phones and Repair fixes phones, tablets, computers, video game consoles, iPods, iPads and sometimes even cameras and TVs.
Billed as "Your One Stop Tech Shop," the business offers same-day repair, no appointment necessary. Devices can be dropped off or mailed in.
Customers want to get in and out, Biermann said, and the business wants them to leave happy.
The shop also offers used devices — such as phones, tablets and Kindles — and will buy, sell and trade. Refurbished devices have a 15-day warranty.
With the high level of repairs, Biermann said he has regulars, some coming from long distances or other states for service. Many ask for him.
Besides having family here, that's why Biermann likes Iowa, having had possibilities of locating in Las Vegas and Texas. He is active in legislative affairs for business, and networking with other states and repair networks.
Biermann's career began with Nokia Brick phones. He would build and refurbish 300 phones of various models each day.
Local cell phone stores would invest in used cell phones and end up with bad stock that they threw away. One lunch break, he began to repair those phones.
As a contract worker, he began repairing cell phones for retail stores across Iowa. A national repair franchise hired him as head technician, but the business failed.
Then a U.S. Cellular retailer, Cell-u-Byte, hired him, and he became a better technician.
Biermann said he had a passion for owning his own business, which was born in 2012 in a small shop in Willowbrook Mall.
Biermann said he's proud of having the highest level of technical repairs business in the Midwest, sometimes able to fix devices deemed "unrepairable" by both the carrier and big box stores.
Iowa Cell Phones and Repair does screen replacements but also specializes in micro-soldering and replacing parts like charging ports, mic buttons, IC chips and filters.
Micro-soldering requires a steady hand, because the parts are the size of dust particles, Biermann said.
Biermann is active in legislative affairs for business, and networking with other states and repair networks, collaborating on information.