map ping

Imagine receiving an ominous email from someone alleging that you have their stolen phone and that it is sending pings back from your shop! Now imagine that someone is a business attorney!

And that is exactly what happened on a recent Sunday when a gentleman named Eric emailed with the subject line: You have my stolen phone!  His phone’s Find My iPhone feature was sending him pings and there was our business listed prominently under CellSmart Repairs in NYC.  All Eric had to do from there was to click on the map listing, get to our website and shoot us an email with those 5 words that would scare any legitimate business operator.

ping stolen phone

My first reaction as a cell phone repair shop owner was to make sure that we hadn’t broken any laws by handling a stolen phone.    Many questions rushed through my head: Could a customer have brought in a stolen phone for repair?  Who is that customer and how did they come to possess the phone in question?  Is the phone still in our shop?  What is my responsibility in this situation?

The rush of concern and worry just wouldn’t let me sit quietly till next business day when our shop would be open for me to get back  and find out the answers.   So, I emailed Eric right away and after expressing my sympathy for him losing his phone, explained to him that we are a cell phone repair shop and it was possible that someone could have brought in his stolen phone for a repair.   I further explained to Eric that we have a point-of-sale system which we use to track all repairs we handle and offered to do my best to help him get to the bottom of the situation.   I told him that I can figure out if that phone was brought to our shop, by whom and offered to pass over any pertinent information to the police so they can help him recover his phone.    Before I could do that, I asked Eric for some basic information such as the phone’s make and model and the IMEI number so I could search our point-of-sale software data.

Eric was appreciative of my quick reply and willingness to help and replied back with the necessary information.  I was able to log-in to CellSmart POS from home and search through all repairs tickets ever created for the IMEI Eric had provided.  The POS system returned the query with zero records found.  Then I searched by the make and model of Eric’s phone, an iPhone 6S, and the POS returned with all iPhone 6S we had ever worked on, with the last one being about a week prior to this incident.  I replied back to Eric and let him know that no phone with that IMEI had been serviced in our repair shop and the last time we worked on an iPhone 6S was a full week before he lost his phone.  I asked him if it was possible that the phone was pinging from another location or business in the neighborhood and offered to meet with him and the police if he still felt his phone was at our shop.

Eric was appreciative of my forthcoming manner to look into our systems and willingness to help.   Unfortunately for Eric, I was not able to help him much given that his phone had not been serviced at our shop.  However, it was fortunate for me and my business that I was able to definitively determine that we were not in possession of his phone at any given time.  And because of this invaluable information in our point-of-sale system, I was able to defend myself and my business against a false claim of possession of stolen property.

I truly believe that a good point-of-sale software does more than just help track inventory.  A good wireless store POS can help see valuable insight about the business from the data it collects on a daily basis.   It can tell an owner what is the most common type of repair and which repair offers the highest margins.  It can help an owner determine which days of the week are the busiest and which hours of the day are the slowest for proper staffing. It can help keep track of his/her used phone inventory and remember who’s selling the devices in case of any legal issues.

A right tool, such as a good custom-made wireless store point-of-sale-software, like CellSmart POS, can help get the job done better and faster!

And sometimes, it can even come to the rescue against false claims of possession of stolen property!

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