Jacob Miller, owner of RJ Technology, a computer repair shop in Karns, is concerned about electronic waste.
“What sets us apart from other repair shops is that we don’t charge for diagnostics,” Miller said. “I want to keep the repair cost low so people can afford to have their machines repaired rather than replaced. The longer you keep your machine the less E-waste there is.
“Did you know that landfills have about 30 percent E-waste? All of it has lithium ion batteries, which will eventually seep into the water table,” he said.
Miller and his four employees repair just about anything with a screen, including laptops, desktops, pads, phones, and gaming consoles. Miller said he believes in keeping his costs low not only to combat E-waste but for technology equity.
“We take in E-waste so we can refurbish the machine and make sure it makes it to neighborhoods where kids have a hard time accessing technology. Last year the whole world shut down, but many people didn’t realize that everyone doesn’t have access to the internet and to a working machine.
“You need a phone or computer to keep your life going. Even the UN said that internet and devices are almost a human right at this point because you can’t do anything without them.
“You have to have a computer or phone to do banking or just do common research on things. It’s how we get knowledge. If you don’t have internet and a device, you don’t have access to knowledge the way everyone else does.”
RJ Technology is named after Jacob Miller and his brother Robert, who started the first repair shop in Atlanta in 2008. Jacob Miller started a shop in downtown Knoxville but felt he was too far away from his kids and school, so he opened the current shop in Karns in 2018.
Miller said he and his brother have been interested in technology from an early age.
“When I was 12 and Robert as 13, we took apart my parents’ computer. My dad took one look at all the parts laying all over the floor and said he was going to take Mom to dinner: the computer had better be put back together and working by the time they got back. … And it was.”
Jacob Miller holds four A+ certifications, worked four years on the Geek Squad at Best Buy and attended DeKalb Technical Institute in Georgia for two years.
He lives in Karns with his wife and office manager, Sarai Miller, and their three kids.
Miller has big plans to open three more shops, one specifically in East Knoxville to make sure that community has the technology it needs.
The shop is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Phone: 865-896-9295.