Pre-paid Phone // Phone repair
I’ve stumbled upon a great little shop in Itaewon (이태원) that has a very large assortment of used prepaid phones and a great, quick mobile phone repair service. The shop specializes in iPhone repair (A/S ~ known to Koreans as “after-service”), but a lot of the signs read that they can also repair most smart phones. The store is actually “QOOK/SHOW” also known as KT but the owner has hired a mobile phone engineer who has the ability to repair phones, which makes this particular store unique from other KT stores. I recommend going here for a quick fix if you have a problem with your phone.
In addition to repairs, they also have a very large assortment of pre-paid phones available for foreign customers who have just arrived in Korea. If you’re staying long term, I recommend getting a phone plan. Just three years ago when I first arrived in Korea, I was unable to get an iPhone under my name and I was forced to sign a two year contract. That has all changed and KT has now made it much easier for expats to receive the same benefits with a phone contract as Korean citizens. You can now get a smart phone under your name and you’re not forced to sign a two year contract. If signing a contract is not something you’re interested in then this place has a pre-paid phone that will suit your needs.
Something that is really great about the Korean mobile phone system is that practically anyone and everyone can afford a smart phone. When you go in to sign your contract you are not expected to pay anything upfront. Even the price of your phone is divided among the 12 or 24 months in your contract, so the price of your phone is payed off little by little in an installment fee that is added to the cost of your monthly usage.
Here is the Itaewon branch that provides pre-paid phone service, phone repair and contracts through KT:
Just out of Itaewon station (이태원역) exit 4, surface and turn around to walk in the opposite direction. At the corner, take a right and walk to the next block. You’ll see the store on the right.
Some things to keep in mind:
- The repairman only accepts cash
- He’s usually there in the late evenings until almost midnight some nights. If you go during the day time, there is another gentleman there that will call the engineer to come, but you will sometimes have to wait 30 minutes to an hour for him to come.