New wireless phone repair shop opens its doors in MitchellA new business in Mitchell is attempting to fill a unique niche in the community. Jeremiah Kirchmeyer opened Cell Phone Repair Pro at the beginning of December at 323 N. Main St. The shop specializes in wire-less phone repair, cleaning, reconditioning and retail of wireless products like chargers, Bluetooth sets and replacement phones.
By: Jennifer Jungwirth, The Daily Republic
A new business in Mitchell is attempting to fill a unique niche in the community.
Jeremiah Kirchmeyer opened Cell Phone Repair Pro at the beginning of December at 323 N. Main St. The shop specializes in wire-less phone repair, cleaning, reconditioning and retail of wireless products like chargers, Bluetooth sets and replacement phones.
Carrie English, program director of Mitchell Main Street and Beyond, said the new business is a unique addition to not only Main Street, but the Mitchell community.
“It’s a service and a retail place, which is a great combination,” English said. “As far as I know, we’ve never had this.”
Kirchmeyer, who previously worked in the Mitchell School District for three years as a network technician, had always wanted to open his own business, but in computer repair. However, the market already was so saturated with computer-repair services that he decided to take a different avenue.
Kirchmeyer trained at T&T Cell Phone Repair in Sioux City, Iowa, learning the business such as repair and maintaining the network — everything but the bookwork. The owner of the company, Terry Anderson, had wanted to expand his business, Kirchmeyer said. For seven months, he commuted to the Sioux City store in hopes of eventually opening a T&T Cell Phone Repair in Mitchell.
He picked up the trade fairly quickly — in less than two months — but worked 60 hours a week to master it. With a background in computers and networking, cell-phone repair came more easily to him, he said.
“Cell phones are a lot smaller and have fewer pieces,” he said, which makes the repair much easier. However, he still enjoys com-puter repair. “But that’s just the hobbyist in me.”
In the end, the expansion didn’t work out, and Anderson encouraged Kirchmeyer to open his own store. Kirchmeyer said there are only two cell-phone repair shops in Sioux Falls and one in Sioux City, Iowa; otherwise, customers have to travel farther to find a shop similar to Cell Phone Repair Pro.
Kirchmeyer said his shop provides a cheaper alternative to the repair packages wireless carriers provide. If a customer were to drop a phone and damage it, the customer could replace the broken piece for less than $100 at Kirchmeyer’s store, while a wireless carrier might charge a more expensive repair fee or require the phone to be replaced.
“Even insurance is not affordable; they are bumping up the monthly minimums and deductibles are increasing,” he said.
Kirchmeyer said that even if customers use their insurance to repair a wireless phone, the cost can still be high.
“If insurance is $6 a month, that’s $72 a year, plus a deductible of $50 to $75,” he said.
Although Kirchmeyer offers discounted merchandise and a cheaper alternative to fix cell-phone damages, he said he’s not trying to create direct competition with area wireless providers.
“I sent a letter out to 10 local carriers saying we can really help each other out by referring each other. It would really help with cus-tomer service,” he said.
For now, Kirchmeyer is the only employee, but he said in the future, the staff could grow.
“I’m trying to not overwhelm myself. I want to see how much business Mitchell and the surrounding areas will offer,” he said.
English is grateful to have more variety available to customers downtown.
“He’s excited to be downtown. It’s great to see the building fill up with enthusiastic people ready to work and provide a need the peo-ple of Mitchell have,” she said.