Repair Psion in Sydney Australia

I have my Psion Series 5mx since November 2000, but during my trip to the Katoomba Youth Convention this year (Jan 2002), I broke the LCD screen and its flexi-cable. There is a small crack on the LCD panel, as you can see the liquid leaked behind the screen. That sure hurts because I rely so much on my 5mx everyday to manage things, and now I won't be able to use it for a while. KYC 2002 was great, but I think it would be better if I have my Psion with me to take the notes... I'll now share my experience on sending this Psion Series 5mx with a broken screen to repair in Sydney Australia.

When I came back from the convention, I started searching for information on how I can service my Psion. I went through the Google Groups (news groups) to dig out any relavent information on repairing Psion PDA's in Australia, and after a few days of research, I found there are two feasible solutions:

  1. Send it to Vodafone Australia for repair, since it was listed as the distributor of Psion PDA's in Australia. However, Vodafone has records of slow services in the past, and it can take up to 3 months for the PDA to be fixed.
  2. Send it overseas for repair. One of the website (gee, I forgot the URL) quoted around 125 British Pond to have the screen replaced, plus all the shipping costs, which would be another $100 Aussie dollar. So together will be nearly AUD$500, consider how low the Australian dollars is at the moment...

Anyway, I picked the first option, and have decided to give Vodafone a call. Surprisingly, the phone number listed on the Psion International website is actually a dead number, so I call the normal Vodafone service number instead. When I asked about servicing the Psion, I got redirected (by their kind operator) to the other shop (Mobilefone because Vodafone no longer services the Psion PDA in Australia (Doh!) Anyway, at least someone else is doing the job. I immediately called the other shop to get the details, and YES, they can fix my broken 5mx! Here's the detail of the shop:

Mobilefone PTY Ltd (Parramatta MFR)
Shop 1, 10 Hunter Street, Parramatta NSW
+61 2 96873660

I sent my 5mx in this morning (5th Feb 2002), after an hour drive from the Eastern suburbs (driving to the Sydney west during the peak hour is not always fun). It costs AUD$44 just for the quote, and around AUD$308 to have my LCD screen replaced - well, I could have bought a brand new Palm m105 or a new Visor Delux with that much money - but I know none of them can replace my Psion... However, they are also still waiting for the LCD from UK, and they could not give me an ETA on the date that my 5mx can be fixed. Maybe 2 weeks to a month, they said.

Well, meanwhile I can only wait and hope it does get fixed so I can get back to note taking again.

Update 8 March 2002

Actually, I have received my fixed Psion on the 25th of February, 2002. In fact, they called me at work to inform me that my Psion has been repaired on the 21st of February, which was 2 weeks after I sent it in, but I could not pick it up the next morning. Then there's the weekend where most business were not operating in Australia. But finally I drove to Parramatta again to get my lovely Psion back! I am now happy again :)

At the end, I paid AUD$308 to have my whole screen replaced. It might be considered more expensive than fixing up a Palm - my wife has her cracked Palm V screen fixed for around AUD$250 in nearly a week. But consider the Psion screen is much bigger (a sound argument?) and I do keep my original machine (Palm sent back a replacement machine), and all my data are recovered - I have no complain about the price. Moreover, it took much less time than I expected - less than 3 weeks, instead of some of the 3 months story I heard on the news group.

Therefore, if you got a Psion that has a broken screen, I'll encourage you to give them a call. After all, 5mx is still one of the best PDA that I have ever used (Psion and Symbian - are you listening?), and I am expecting to use it for a few more years.

Frequently Asked Question

Well, not really that frequently 'coz so far I have only received one question from a web surfer from WA who also got a broken Series 5mx. Anyway, here is just another chance that I can clarify myself.

Q. What was the AUD$44 for on your first trip to the repair shop?

A. I think the 44 bucks is for the quote, however, they have never charged me that (or maybe it is hidden somewhere). Therefore at the end of day, I paid AUD$308 to get my Series 5mx fixed. The way I understand it is, in case that you have asked for the quote (i.e. have their technicians inspected your machine), but you decide that you don't want your Psion to be fixed by them, then they will charge you $44 for the quote.