It was New Year’s Eve. She had been drinking. It was late. And that was the moment the world chose to welcome Sarah LaRose to the not-so-exclusive club of people who have dropped their iPhone into a toilet.
As LaRose told her story to Curt Ingram, he nodded politely. He knows this story. If there’s a way to break an iPhone, Ingram – known as “iPhone Curt’’ to his growing legion of devotees – has probably heard of it, and probably fixed it.
He is part of the expanding mini-industry of repairmen working outside the realm of Apple, whose warranty does not cover “damage caused by accident,’’ such as liquid contact or broken screens.
“In other words, the things people actually do to their phones,’’ LaRose said as she waited in Ingram’s Brighton shop for him to take a look at hers, which was still misbehaving weeks after the toilet bowl incident.
Apple’s “Genius Bar’’ handles each accident on a case-by-case basis, and the company is known for replacing broken phones for free, even though it is not obligated to do so. But there are still enough people walking out of Apple stores with bad news – often that they need to buy a new phone – that Ingram’s business is booming.