A couple of weeks ago I dropped my iPad mini and the screen cracked. I work in Manhattan, and although there are many local services that will repair screens, I was looking for an affordable solution -- over $150 seems like a of money to spend to replace a screen, given that I can get an entire Amazon Fire tablet for that price.

I eventually went with i99repair.com, because their price was only $110, and I found a $5 discount code on their Facebook business page. (In fact, I only felt comfortable enough to mail my iPad to Iowa because the Facebook comments assuaged my anxiety that i99repair might have been a scam.)

After I paid, the email receipt stated that I would be notified once they received my iPad. I shipped it First Class (with tracking code) for under $15. i99repair received it on a Saturday, but I did not hear from them. I left a voicemail in the middle of the following week, and having not received a reply, I emailed them. They replied that they received it and were almost done with it. That Friday, I received an automated email with a USPS tracking code for the shipped, repaired iPad. I received it the following Tuesday.

Excited, I opened my package, only to find that the Home button did not work. (The square on the Home button is even slightly askew.) I emailed i99repair about this, and they wrote, Ok send it back. (I have since replied, asking if they would pay for shipping, and as of this writing have not received a response.)

The screen replacement is fine, although there is a small speck underneath it which I know wasn't there before.

Needless to say, I was upset. I did some googling and found that there is a virtual button that can be activated via Assistive Touch, which can be found in Accessibility under the Settings > General. It is a persistent icon that overlays the screen, and that can be dragged just about anywhere. When I tap on it, I can tap on Home or activate Siri or access Control Center or Notification Center.

One thing I learned being without my iPad mini for 1.5 weeks is that I really love my iPad. I didn't particularly like reading The New Yorker on my iPhone while on the subway. So I had to decide: re-ship my still-broken iPad to Iowa and be without it for another 1.5 weeks, or just use it with Assistive Touch. For the past few days, I have been using the virtual button, and have been OK with it. I do the four finger upward swipe to switch between frequently-used apps, so I rarely have to go Home to open an app. And I rarely use Siri on my iPad anyway.

All in all, I regret having sent my iPad to i99repair.com, and I would not recommend them. Their reply to my complaint was rude, and they shouldn't have even sent my iPad back to me with a non-functioning Home button in the first place. If they had replied with something to the effect of, "I am so sorry that we made a mistake. Please mail it back (we will compensate you for shipping) and we will make it a priority to fix the problem," I would have felt much better about the situation.


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11/07/14; 09:37:38 AM

Last built: Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 2:04 PM

By Jeffrey Kishner, Friday, November 7, 2014 at 9:37 AM.