Scores of mobile phone repairers at Tema Community One market have complained about the hike in prices of mobile phone accessories which has affected their business.
Some of the accessories are pouches and sleeves, holsters, shells, fitted cases, bumpers, flip cases and wallets, screen protection and body films, drop and shock protection, leather case, cases with integrated kick stands, and battery among others.
Some of the Mobile Phone Repairers in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tema said that the increase in prices had lowered patronage of their business as the customers complained about the high charges.
According to some phone repairers, an android charger which was sold at GH¢20.00 and iPhone charger for GH¢25.00, were now for GH¢30.00 and GH¢40.00 respectively.
Also, earpieces and batteries which were then sold at GH¢10.00, were now sold at Gh¢15.00, while others have had price increment ranging between GHC20.00 and GHC50.00.
Mr Isaac Kwarteng, a mobile phone repairer explained to the GNA that due to the high cost of the accessories in recent times, most customers preferred purchasing new phones rather than repairing partially faulty ones.
Mr. Kwarteng stated, “the cost of phone accessories depend on the brand type and year of manufacture; higher branded phones go with expensive accessories; we should not be blamed for it”.
He explained that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the importation of mobile phone accessories had reduced as there were strict regulations governing the shipping process to control the spread of the coronavirus.
He added that the regulations on importation had caused an increase in the prices of mobile phones and their accessories.
Mr. Kwarteng said through his 15 years of Mobile Phone Repairing, he had not experienced any nose-dive on business as compared to the COVID-19 pandemic era, “our businesses are going down by the day, while prices are going up always deterring the few who sometimes come over to stop”.
Mr George Essilfie, another mobile phone repairer, also revealed to the GNA that he was slowly losing customers said, “business was not booming as expected due to the increment in the cost of mobile phones and its accessories”.
He stated that day-in-day-out, the prices of goods keep increasing, compelling customers to blame repairers for the hikes.
He said it was beginning to be more challenging than expected to keep heads-up in the business, “we need some form of support from government, we are small scale business operators who are sometimes ignored by the policy-makers but we play critical roles in the economy”.
Rita Obeng, a customer at one of the mobile phone repairs shop Tema Community One market affirmed to the GNA that indeed the cost of repairing a mobile phone had gone up.
“If I should calculate the amount of money I spend on purchasing a mobile phone accessories and charges on repairs, added to the high cost of data, I am sure I would have bought a land by now,” she said.
Ms Obeng noted that in spite of the increment in prices, she still needed to own a mobile phone and maintain it due to the benefits that come with it, “but Ministry of Trade must do something about taxes on everyday user goods that affect our daily lives to reduce the hardship”.