Dish Network is finding a new purpose for its technicians in the age of streaming video.
With its new Smart Phone Repair program, Dish will send someone to your house or work to replace a broken iPhone screen or worn-out battery on site. The service is available seven days a week to anyone across the United States—whether they’re Dish TV subscribers or not—with same-day and next-day appointments. Repairs take 30 to 45 minutes.
Each iPhone battery replacement costs $40, and screen repairs range from $130 to $150, depending on the model of iPhone. Dish also charges $35 for the service call itself, which can cover the repair of multiple phones. Dish says it’s open to corporate events as well, in case companies want to repair company iPhones on a large scale.
Because this is Dish, there may be a TV upsell involved. The company notes that its technicians will gladly set up satellite service during their visit, and will help out with surround sound systems and Wi-Fi network setup as well.
Although the service is iPhone-only for now, Dish plans to support additional smartphones in the future. Technicians will also sell accessories such as cases, screen protectors, and cables.
Just keep in mind that any work performed by Dish technicians will void your warranty. And even if you’re not covered by AppleCare, Apple’s prices for screen repair are the same as Dish’s in many cases, so you may want to stick to the Apple Store if you’re still within your warranty period.
The story behind the story: Dish Network’s satellite TV business has been shedding subscribers as more people turn to streaming video services (including Dish’s own Sling TV). Still, the satellite business isn’t going away anytime soon, which raises the question of what to do with all those technicians when there’s not as much TV work to be done. The iPhone repair business could be one way to keep them profitably on the road, while preparing for a time when people don’t need professional satellite and set-top box installation at all.