Ripoffs for Apple repairs

All the repairs I’ve had done on Apple computers were under my extended AppleCare packages, but I have to admit that things haven’t been perfect (my last computer had a broken microphone, and since it’s a huge desktop computer they sent a guy out, who came three times before he gave up and I got a new computer). But I had no idea they had some reputation for ripping off the paying customer.

I found this video online, so I can’t vouch for this as a general practice of the “genius bar” (oy, I hate that term!), but I wish I had this guy in California fixing my computer.

If you’ve had bad (or good) experiences with Apple repairs, put them in the comments. In general I’m very happy with Apple products. They’re not cheap, but I rarely have anything go wrong. And I always purchased AppleCare (or rather my grants and department did).


  1. Janet
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    The battery in my four year old iPad went bad and Apple gave me a brand new iPad for $99 (the same version as the old one). I think this is a terrific deal – my iPad was FOUR years old. I guess battery replacement is quite tricky and this transaction is cost effective for them. The Apple service tech helped me to transfer all my data from the old iPad to the new in a very patient and friendly manner. I also had a good experience with Apple a few years ago when the video card in my Mac desktop went bad – the service was awesome and the charge for replacement minimal.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted October 12, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      $99 for a battery? That is a clean rip off.
      I still have a table top Mac, but I’ve sworn off all Apple stuff. Converting away from Apple in steps. Apple is ridiculously expensive. You can get about the same for a tenth of the price using Samsung, Huawei or other.
      I just replaced my cellphone battery for the yuge amount of about 7 U$!(90 rand).

      • Posted October 12, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        You don’t get a new battery for $99, you get a brand new iPad! My new iPad even had more memory. When the woman at the Apple store said to me “Is that alright?”, I said “Duh, Yeah!”

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted October 13, 2018 at 4:56 am | Permalink

          I read wrongly, indeed, a new iPad for $99 sounds great.

          • Mike
            Posted October 13, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

            My iPad battery started to lose it’s charge very quickly, the Pad was 4 yrs old, I took it to the Apple Store where they gave me £120 for the old Pad against the latest Model, a pretty good deal I thought, so no complaints from me yet.

      • Posted October 14, 2018 at 4:12 am | Permalink

        No it was $99 for a refurbished iPad.

  2. ploubere
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I had a video card in a Mac Pro tower go out, and they didn’t send someone out,I had to haul it to an Apple Store in a mall 30 miles away. Then they replaced a second part without my authorization and wanted to charge me for both at an exorbitant price. They finally relented when I argued that I’d never authorized the second part. Still, the charge was hefty.

    • ploubere
      Posted October 12, 2018 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      On the other hand, when I was in SF for a conference and had forgotten the power cord for my Macbook, the guy at the Apple Store reminded me that I could buy one and return it at the end of the week for a full refund.

  3. Merilee
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink


  4. Christopher
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had nothing but excellent assistance when my Apple products have had issues. When my MacBook stopped charging, they examined it and gave me a new (free) charging cord. When my second MacBook crashed, they spent over two hours over the phone with me to get it working again, and when I asked about replacing the little rubber feet under my first MacBook they (quietly) informed me of the price ($$) and with a hint and a nudge that it wasn’t worth it rather than screw me over. Perhaps the store I visited in KC Mo are just nicer, or perhaps I elicit pity? No idea but I’ll never purchase anything else if I can help it.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted October 12, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Those little feet sure do come off. There is a lot of info online about how to replace them via feet from Amazon and elsewhere. I have not bothered.

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Last year I had to take my Macbook Pro in for repairs at the genius bar. They were quick and it was free, when I thought they were going to at least charge me for their time. They would not tell me what they did, though. Apparently that is to be kept secret.

  6. Frank Bath
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I bought my MacBook Pro in 2012. Since then I’ve had a new battery, the hard drive moved to solid state and a new internal multi cable. All this done by a come to your house guy charging reasonable prices. Otherwise all has lasted well. I put tape over the feet to hold them on.

  7. Posted October 12, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    A recent laptop (not personally owned) [MacBook Pro with touchbar] had significant issues. Keyboard replaced, then battery, then CPU and HD. Basically everything.

    On the other hand my experience is that Apple products are superior or equal to other technologies. I’ve never had an iPad,iPod,iPhone break in the last ten years. The reverse problem exists: iPad works longer than I want to justify upgrading to next one; so I use them as wall clocks and music while doing landscaping.

    People who go to the Apple Store are usually not the most resourceful. Online solutions exist for lots of apple (and/or tech) issues.

  8. Posted October 12, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I’ve used Apple products for over ten years and have had no cause for complaint. I have six of them. An iphone was relaced under warranty and a five year old iPad with a bad battery was replaced with a new one for $99.

    Don’t get me started on PCs.

    • Posted October 13, 2018 at 12:59 am | Permalink

      Do you mean PCs or those running Windoze? Actually, Apples are PC architecture now and can run W… or Linux. I get my machines cheap from the local assembler and install Linux (Kubuntu) on them and no problem.

      I must admit, tho, that the s/w support I once had on a friend’s Ipad was excellent. You do get something for your money, tho not enough in my opinion.

      • Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        My problem with PCs was more software than hardware, although I did have some lemons before I switched to apples. It seemed always that some application (usually a driver) was screwing up some other application, and I would get the runaround from the different companies, each telling me to go to the other. I spent too much of my time tracking down and fixing these types of problems. Some people like that sort of challenge, I don’t.

  9. Martin X
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    My one experience in buying an Apple product was buying an Ipod Nano many years ago; it was defective out of the box, and when I went to take it back, the store manager said I had to schedule a Genius Bar appointment or else they would charge me a restocking fee.

    A complaint to corporate got me a refund on the restocking fee, but I’m still hostile towards Apple products.

  10. Posted October 12, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Have always had *outstanding* service from Apple since. I love the extended warranty protection. I can get a live person by phone anytime I want to, and they always can fix my problems.

    Only times I had physical malfunctions, the immediately repaired it or gave me a new machine. I’d gladly pay a monthly amount to extend it.

    They also offer free classes on the Macs, iPhones and iPads and all the apps on them. Sometimes the classes are packed, other times, there’s only two people, but the still run the class and they personalize it to what you want to learn. Even if it’s on a different program/topic. They are incredibly patient with everyone.

    I am Apple forever *because* they have real customer service and free workshops.

  11. BJ
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I had an Apple laptop about ten years ago. First of all, it broke down at almost exactly two years old, which is apparently extremely common (very likely intentional…). Second, when I needed a repair for something that took about an hour and one very cheap part, they charged me over $600! Third, any time I needed a new peripheral, like a charger or battery, the only available parts were all Apple brand. Unlike literally every other similar electronic, from videogame consoles to laptops made by other companies, Apple made the simplest things like chargers and batteries proprietary, so you had to buy them from Apple and they could charge outrageous prices for them. A new charger cost me $80 ten years ago. A new charger for any PC laptop could be had for well under 50% of that price.

    Apple does its absolute best to rip off its customers, keeping other producers and repair services out of their market so they can charge absurd prices for replacement parts and labor, and their products mysteriously break down quicker than those from most other companies, despite costing far more.

    • BJ
      Posted October 12, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      I would also note that, when it comes to more complex devices like computers, tablets, etc., you are paying a huge surcharge solely for the Apple brand. You can get a far more powerful and better made device for far cheaper. Unless you feel the need to have an Apple-branded product or you vastly prefer their OS, there’s no good reason to buy Apple when it comes to these devices.

      • Posted October 13, 2018 at 3:34 am | Permalink

        My observations are similar to yours. I’ve been using PCs and Android phones for years and I have no complaints. All were reliable, and are still in use.

      • Posted October 14, 2018 at 6:06 am | Permalink

        That depends on the point in the product lifecycle that you buy your computer.

        A few times I’ve tried comparing Apple laptops against similarly specced machines from other manufacturers. It’s surprising how little difference in price there often is, provided you do the comparison near the beginning of the product lifecycle.

        I tend to refresh my laptops every two years but I don’t really need to. My brother has a cast-off Apple laptop of mine that is five years old. It’s still perfectly fine and not even showing signs of being underpowered.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 14, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          Yes I typically buy the highest spec laptop in whatever model I want. That way it lasts years. My current MacBook Air is the mid 2012 model running the latest OS & I use it for work every day. I have no issues with it & no need to update it yet.

  12. Posted October 12, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Former boss had an iPhone screen crack and it wasn’t covered under the warranty because they said he’d abused the phone and they knew that because the bezel was bent. He could see no bend, nor could any of the neighboring customers he asked. Apple person refused to provide any evidence that the phone had been abused other than point to a bent bezel only he could see.

    Apple lost my boss as a customer.

    • Andrew
      Posted October 12, 2018 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Your boss was arguing that the glass on the iPhone (Corning “gorilla” glass) just cracked all by itself? I don’t think I buy that argument, nor would the gorilla at the factory, I bet.

      • drew
        Posted October 15, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        I think there’s a difference between accidental damage and abuse in terms of the warranty coverage (though I don’t know if that distinction exists in the warranty nor if accidental damage is covered, based on the comment it sounds like it does and it is).

        It appears that Rich is saying that the person at Apple refused to perform the repair because he claimed there was sufficient damage to indicate abuse rather than accidental damage, when the damage the Apple person claimed indicated this abuse didn’t actually exist.

  13. Gareth Price
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I once took my MacBook into the store and they upgraded the OS. The assistant also suggested I bought some extra RAM. He told me I could get it cheap online and that it was easy to install (both of which were true).
    Later the battery completely died. A battery in the store was considerably more expensive than generic ones online but this time the assistant told me that if I unscrewed the back and installed my own battery, I would invalidate the warranty.

    One other thing. After installing the RAM I replaced the 8 screws only to discover that base didn’t screw on completely flush. I am wondering how long it will take me to try the 8! combinations to get it right!

  14. Greg Geisler
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Apple stores are horrendous. I use local Apple certified third parties to service my Macs and phones and they are much more responsive, cheaper and honest. Same goes for adding RAM to your computer. For 3 decades I have bought RAM from a 3rd party for half the price that Apple charges.

    I recently had to replace the battery on my iPhone. The Apple store price was $79. My local Apple-certified outlet did it for $29.

    Buy your products from Apple but go to a 3rd party to upgrade or service them.

    • ploubere
      Posted October 12, 2018 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I have always gotten my RAM and drives from OWC.

  15. James Walker
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been an Apple user since 1995. I’ve had 4-5 desktops, 4-5 laptops and 3 iPhones (in addition to various iPods) and have had very few problems with their machines and have always had good service.

    There was a laptop whose hard drive crashed in 2013 while I was traveling from New Zealand to Hong Kong and I had to buy a new one in HK, but the machine was already several years old. I’m typing this on the laptop I bought in HK, which is still going strong.

    Last week I took in my year-old iPhone because it refused to turn on the wifi. After examining it, they determined that the wifi antenna had burnt out and they gave me new iPhone right there, no cost.

  16. Thanny
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    The repair guy (Louis Rossmann) is in NYC, not CA.

    I’ve seen a number of videos from his channel doing repairs on Apple laptops. They are ridiculously fragile machines. There’s no effort in the design to deal with incoming liquid (other manufacturers have added channels to route liquid around components and out holes on the bottom), and the cooling solutions are always sub-par, especially lately.

    Another huge problem with Apple is their constant battle against third party repair. They have a history of providing software updates that brick functional devices because they have an after market repair part (like a new home button). They’ve now stated that future software will brick a device if certain parts are replaced without an Apple diagnostic being run, and they will not provide the software and/or hardware required to do it.

    I’ll stick with hardware and software over which I have more control.

    • Posted October 13, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      The home button issue was partly a security issue. The home button does the fingerprint security authentication.

      If I remember correctly, Apple eventually came out with an update that would allow a home button replaced by a 3rd party to function as a button, but no longer work to unlock the phone with a fingerprint.

      A later hardware model allowed the screen to be replaced without replacing the original home button.

      • Thanny
        Posted October 14, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        You’ve got it backwards. It worked just fine (without fingerprint functionality) before the software update, then the entire phone stopped working. After receiving a ton of flak about it, they released another update that no longer deliberately disabled phones that were fully functional aside from fingerprint reading.

    • Posted October 14, 2018 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      I speak as somebody who dropped his laptop from waist height onto a concrete floor. This was a unibody MacBook pro and there is now a slight crease in the case near the corner that made contact first. That was the only damage.

      Apple laptops are not fragile.

      • Thanny
        Posted October 14, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        If you watch some of Rossmann’s videos on how little it takes to disable a Mac motherboard, you’d understand the point I’m making.

        The design is fragile.

        For example, there’s something inside which uses a single wire to update status for several components. If one of those components (such as the webcam) breaks and drops the voltage on that one wire, the entire computer won’t boot.

        • Posted October 15, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

          Right, so surviving a fall three feet onto concrete doesn’t count.

          I’ve had number of MacBook Pros over the years – I tend to replace very two years. The last four are all still operational.The one before that recently destroyed itself when its battery started expanding, mainly because its current owner wasn’t using it enough.

          Apple laptops are not fragile.

  17. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Hmm, I probably shouldn’t comment here because I’m the opposite of an Apple user. I buy on price, also on the assumption that it’s *my* computer and I’ll take it apart if I want, thank you. I’ve always had second-hand Thinkpads, which are certainly not the cheapest laptops around, but generally very reliable and – the great thing with an older computer – IBM and latterly Lenovo have all the highly detailed service / repair manuals for just about every model up on their website as downloadable PDF’s. I love a manufacturer who does that! It’s quite satisfying taking a laptop apart (and, to be honest, since it only cost a few hundred second-hand, if I brick it it’s not like a couple thousand just flew out the window..) And most parts are available cheaply from Ebay sellers.

    As for desktop/servers, mine is built up from standard components all of which work together in industry-standard ways – no proprietary one-vendor-only pay-up-or-else components. I *love* interchangeability. Thank you IBM (for making the original PC from industry-standard bits, even though it was accidental).

    I do think Apple users pay a premium for the name.


    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 13, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      I take all my Apple computers a part. I service most things myself like hard drives and ram.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 14, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        Good on ya! (Though I doubt whether Apple approve… 😉


        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 14, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

          Some of them are user serviceable. If you take the back off my MacBook Air (and it is all standard screws contrary to rumours that Apple uses proprietary screws) the hard drive etc are all right there. The rest is on the board other than one if the USB ports (which I mashed once and got apple to replace it for $100 out of warranty because I’m too indelicate to do it myself).

          Some aren’t as accessible but when it’s out of warranty who cares? I took a part a friend’s iMac and replaced the DVD. She claimed it broken but I suspect her brothers ruined it notnunderstanding how to eject the CD without a button as they were PC boys that hated macs and desperately wanted to prove how bad they were.

          My dad took his Mac mini a part to replace the drive. Just need a putty knife. You can buy a whole kit in ifixit. I thought about doing the same with mine to put in a solid state drive as OS updates are so much faster with SS but I’m too lazy as I don’t use my desktop directly other than for photography. Mostly it’s the work horse they runs things without human interaction.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted October 14, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

            Those pentalobe screws employed by Apple in some parts of some devices – I don’t completely accept [though I need to research it more] the iFixit line that it’s an Apple measure to deter people from swapping/upgrading/fixing/ components. There are easier & more effective ways to make a HDD, SSD, memory or cable completely proprietary by putting in a chip or changing the firmware in existing chips. This way the Apple Genius bar can easily check if a device has a history that invalidates warranty – better than messing with the screws IMO.

            I’m on dodgy ground here: An Apple engineer [or someone claiming to be] on Quora writes that the pentalobe screw head is used on some very small screws because it doesn’t cut into the head very much, this means the sunken head can be made less deep by a fraction of a millimetre – this saves a little space in the dimension along the axis of the screw. I doubt this story a lot – there are heads that have the desired properties in common currency – no need to resurrect the pentalobe [I can’t find a patent for it – which is an interesting mystery].

            This nerd is shutting up now 🙂

  18. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh gods, that video – at 1.00 – all the Apple guys in identical uniforms, all the customers eagerly waiting to donate their money – I caught an irresistible whiff of cultish televangelism there. I’m just too cynical. 🙂

    Also, when I see the glitzy surroundings, I think ‘all this looks expensive, I wonder who’s paying for it? Oh, that’s right, me’ and I get a strong urge to run. Got the same feeling at a BMW dealer’s, actually.


  19. Andrew
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm, that video is misleading. The liquid sensors do not turn red in high humidity. Otherwise every Mac in Miami (or any other humid location) would have triggered sensors. They need direct liquid contact. That is how they are designed to work. When a technician sees red sensors, they know foul play has occurred. That and water stains left inside the computer case. These repairs are expensive because Apple won’t do the minimum repair to get Macs working “for now,” preventing various return trips for stop gap repairs. Customers are always unhappy when they need to return again later to resolve corrosion damage that occurs as the water damage and electricity combination takes a toll on the (very) tiny circuits. Apple wants to replace all the affected parts at first go, making liquid damage repairs very expensive. After 5 years repairing Macs like those in the video, I know that customers hate to be even 10 minutes without thier Macs, and liquid and electricity just don’t mix. Not to mention that, sadly, most customers do deny they got it wet to begin with. “What?! Impossible. How did that happen?!”
    And the independent repair guy in NY has a vested interest saying he would fix it for free. You don’t do free repairs and stay in business. The other suspicious thing to me in the video is seeing that a pin on the video cable was bent. How did that happen? It didn’t bend itself, and it came from the factory fully plugged in and taped down. To me, that’s the suspicious part.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 12, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      So, supposing the makers of the video deliberately bent that pin before taking it to Apple – so what? Creating a deliberate fault is not unusual in exposing ‘repair’ scams, though most often with dodgy auto repair shops.
      All it needed was that pin straightening, however it got bent. Why did Apple say the laptop was a write-off?


      • Andrew
        Posted October 12, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        Because of the water damage. Even the tech in NY said it was a temporary fix.

        • Andrew
          Posted October 12, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

          Some people assume the liquid sensors are some kind of scam, but they do work as intended. You will find them also in Dell, Lenovo and Acer laptops if you look inside. You can see when the tech in NY was looking at the video cable, he was using a kind of repair microscope, that’s how small the modern video pins are. If you bend one pin back, there is no guarantee it will bend back the other way without damage.
          I have seen lots of customers have bad experiences at Apple stores, but I have never seen evidence of a company wide effort to scam or gouge customers on repairs.
          I think Apple products are overpriced, overhyped, but reliable. Apple customers are not sheep, but the ecosystem is indeed hard to escape. When I have worked in mixed Mac/PC environments and had to support both, the Macs were always more reliable and the users less in need of my time.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted October 13, 2018 at 12:43 am | Permalink

      Your comment is a load of old sweaty bollocks Andrew – and you a guy who claims “5 years repairing Macs like those in the video”:

      “…The liquid sensors do not turn red in high humidity. Otherwise every Mac in Miami […] would have triggered sensors. They need direct liquid contact. That is how they are designed to work. When a technician sees red sensors, they know foul play has occurred

      The facts are that Apple settled a $53M class action lawsuit specifically to do with ‘Genius’ techs denying Apple repairs because of activated LCIs. SEE REPORT HERE

      [1] Apple has a long history of false positives with regard to the installed 3M-manufactured LCIs [Liquid Contact Indicators] – we are talking about a tiny, sticky dots of dyed tape where the dye reacts to water by going pink/red. There’s one inside the headphone jack on most of their old smartphones for example – this particular LCI will turn red if a bead of sweat or a drop of rain gets down into the hole. This is not a problem for the functioning of the ‘phone, but your Apple ‘Genius’, prior to the lawsuit, may chalk it up to warranty-breaking water immersion by the user when the fault has an unrelated cause.

      LCIs are not supposed to be used as a way of screwing customers – they are purely a diagnostic tool & the ‘Genius’ should use it only as an alert to look out for other evidence of immersion. The current Apple training materials support what I’m saying, but it seems some proportion of ‘Geniuses’ see red & point the finger at the client immediately. There is an Apple patent that points out in the footnotes that diagnosing based on LCIs requires experience ~ it doesn’t help that two of the Apple LCIs are on the OUTSIDE of the phone!

      [2] The LCIs DOturn colour [pink/red] more often in locales with high humidity!
      A. People sweat a lot more especially with a phone clamped to the ear
      B. Warm air holds more water than cool air – when a user moves indoors into a chilly environment water condenses out onto cool surfaces – thus any internal LCIs not near hot components can turn pink just from moisture in the air. the Polish website Moje Jabłuszko in conjuntion with a Polish company by the name of MacLife tested the above.

      [3] Apple techs were taught to immediately invoke the LCI clause in the warranty when they see red [so to speak] even when there is a possibility of a false positive & even when the fault is not moisture related. Apple has since changed their policy, BUT Apple customers should always kick up a stink if the judgement of a ‘Genius’ falls short. The quality of these techs is highly variable.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted October 13, 2018 at 1:00 am | Permalink

        [2] B. This isn’t an everyday occurrence – I doubt that walking into an air conditioned store from the muggy street would cause this often [or going from a steamy restaurant kitchen to sub-zero outdoors for that matter], but it does happen.

  20. Posted October 12, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    I can’t speak for Apple computers, but I love my iPhone. We opted to replace the batteries, rather than upgrade our phones. Our phones qualified for the $29 batteries, and my only gripe was that it was SO busy at the Apple store. However, our phones were done when promised.

  21. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Okay – I’m right behind Right to Repair!

    This is entirely relevant to that video:

    The screen backlight on my IBM/Lenovo T400 died (it was 8-9 years old). So I took it apart and removed the screen assembly following the Lenovo repair manual downloaded from their website. The only tools required were a small crosshead (Philips) screwdriver and a small Torx screwdriver – you can buy them from Chinese sellers on Ebay for a few dollars, post free.
    I expect they also sell the special Apple security screwdrivers if Apple hasn’t scared them off with legal threats.

    The replacement backlight tube cost $18 plus freight on Ebay. The same seller also sold a small piece of the special tape required to secure some part in place.

    Taking the screen assembly apart is not covered in the Lenovo manual, but I found a video on Youtube of a closely similar model. That was by far the most fiddly bit. I have to admit I broke the delicate backlight tube trying to install it so I had to order another. In my defence, it’s the first time I tried that job.

    So – several hours work (at my slow and cautious speed), cost of parts say $50 (it would have been half that if I hadn’t broken the replacement tube!).


  22. wonderer
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m an electrical engineer with no association with Apple or any organization that could reasonably be considered a competitor of Apple. (I design measurement instruments purchased by industry and governmental organizations.)

    What jumped out at me when watching the video was the following.

    It appears that the pin on the cable was bent before the independent repair man opened it.

    The by far most likely explanations for this are:

    A. The bending of the pin occurred during manufacturing of the laptop. In the case of such a manufacturing defect, a respectable manufacturer should (IMO) repair the product for free, and do so regardless of whether it still under warranty.

    B. The pin was bent at the Apple repair facility when the problem was ‘investigated’. A competent repair technician should have inspected that cable, and it would be quite plausible that the technician might have disconnected and reconnected the cable in the process of troubleshooting. So it is somewhat plausible that the damage to the pin occurred during troubleshooting.

    Of these two possibilities, the first seems most likely because the evidence suggests that the inspection at the repair facility was so perfunctory, that the cable was not disconnected as part of the inspection process. The inspection procedure seems to have consisted of “Look for triggered moisture indicators, and if seen gouge the customer.”

    Beyond the issue of customers being gouged, this sort of behavior by Apple is problematic if Apple touts itself as a green company. Apple’s solution to the problem would have resulted in added damage to the environment as a consequence of the manufacture of the replacement parts. Also, even if Apple does recycle what can be recovered from the replaced parts, I suspect a substantial percentage of the replaced parts ends up in a landfill.

    That said, I don’t have any reasons to believe that any Apple competitors do it better. I would recommend seeking the services of I-Fix-It (sp?) and similar companies:

    1. For the sake of one’s bank account.
    2. For the environment.
    3. To increase the demand for skilled labor as compared to unskilled labor.

    • Thanny
      Posted October 14, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      A video on the same guy’s channel explains what he thinks happened. Because it was a relatively old model, but the screen looked flawless, he thinks someone tried to replace the screen. If you don’t route the connector cable correctly, it doesn’t quite reach, and trying to make it reach can end up bending that pin.

      Regardless, for Apple repair techs to not notice that and fix it for free is ridiculous.

  23. Diane G
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink


  24. Hilton
    Posted October 13, 2018 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    ” Ah that our Genius were a little more of a genius ! ”

    – Emerson

  25. Harrison
    Posted October 13, 2018 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about something but my impression of Apple products talking and listening to people who do computer repair for a living is:

    1) They charge essentially flat rates for repair work rather than anything based on the actual cost of components and labor.

    2) The rates are very high because the company would much rather you chuck your old machine out and buy a new one than bother with fixing it up.

    3) Standardized components means that Apple products would actually be really easy and cheap for third-party computer repair technicians to fix IF Apple didn’t refuse to supply them. (Comparatively PC components are incredibly variable and it can be a nightmare to actually locate the exact piece you need, but you’ll have no problem getting it at wholesale prices.)

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted October 13, 2018 at 3:18 am | Permalink

      You wanted opinions from people who “do computer repairs for a living” on issues that are only incidentally to do with components, MTBF & other repair issues, so as a non-repairer I’ll reply anyway – there’s bound to be wrong guesses below 🙂

      The Mac ecosystem follows the model of the fashion industry where the customer is encouraged to see the latest product as a statement about identity. This has been a highly successful strategy which allows them to charge a 30%-40% premium over the competition & it means it’s ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for Apple to block achievement of a common standard between Apple products & Rest-of-World [RoW] products. The latest iPhones are not much better than the previous versions & yet Appleheads HAVE GOT to have the new ‘phone – what a lovely business model. Even working in an Apple store earns you points over your mates working in any other equally dead end retail job, but you’re an Apple employee! You’re blessed [you’re fucked actually].

      The Apple ecosystem is much smaller than RoW products – there isn’t a mess of conflicting speaker, printer, keyboard & mouse drivers to worry about whereas there’s zillions of Windows peripherals all with their own peculiarities. The limited range of Mac-compatible s/ware is great if you’re a geek designer, artist, video maker, but you’re hard done by if you like to game or gamble or run science-related s/ware [I’m guessing somewhat on the last point]. If you’re a technophobe luvvie or evolutionary prof then Apple is for you – everything more or less plugs & plays straight out of the box, the s/ware is intuitive, your laptop gets nicked you’ve got a replacement within a day with all your data! All this achieved with no user effort. People will pay a premium for all the above & they do.

      Every part of the Apple business is a profit centre – nothing is there that loses money. Apple component costs are deep secrets, but we know that Apple indirectly uses serf labour & Apple cuts very tight margin deals with their suppliers – I would guess supplier gross profits are only 3% to 5% with the suppliers surviving on volume while Apple merrily marks up healthily. However those pristine Apple stores with Genius bars are in the elite part of town, they are staff intensive – they are bloody expensive to run, out of warranty repairs have to be charged at well above normal market rates. Apple runs a profitable, successful refurb business from the returned hardware & the out of season hardware. Repairs out of warranty more complex than a screen seem to run at around 60% or more [from memory – I haven’t looked recently] of buying a whole new machine – it looks to me like they are picking the largest price the market will bear – customers are interested mainly in getting a working device back quickly & don’t care what components were replaced.

      If I were an Apple customer I’d complain about the breakability & fiddliness of the chargers, cables & connectors, but Apple are doing away with all that anyway. Smart.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 13, 2018 at 4:07 am | Permalink

        I’d agree with that analysis. Computers / phones as a fashion accessory.

        How else could you explain queues of customers lined up to be the first one to ‘own’ the latest iThing. (I say ‘own’ in scare quotes because it’s arguable that the buyer doesn’t really own it, Apple does).


        • Michael Fisher
          Posted October 13, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

          Ta cr

      • Merilee
        Posted October 13, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Please clarify about Apple doing away with fiddleyness of chargers, etc.?

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted October 13, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          External connectors are on the way out – no ports at all for headphone, charging, data or accessories [such as external speakers]. The lightning port can be replaced with inferior remote high speed charging, high speed data transfer & accessory access. The button can be dispensed with. All that’s left then is the tiny holes for speaker & mic – I expect those can be replaced by making the screen to vibrate at audio frequencies.

          In ten? years there will be no replaceable parts inside as it will all be 3-D printed, including the battery – I’m saying no internal physical connectors at all – it’s all printed in place.

          Further down the road 3D printing will be replaced by ‘seeds’ in nutrient baths growing all our devices – artificial wombs.

  26. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted October 13, 2018 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    This is almost identical to what happened to me. I have an ipod classic with 160gb memory. It wouldn’t connect to itunes anymore so I could no longer update it (it still played the music okay). At the apple store they quoted a ridiculously high price to repair it and suggested the best thing was to buy a new model (with a smaller memory). I was told that it was the old style connectors that were the problem.

    I’ve just got it back from an on-line repair shop, it was nothing to do with the connectors, it now works fine and the cost was way less than apple quoted.

  27. Richard Bond
    Posted October 13, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    To all those commentators quoting free or relatively cheap replacements instead of what ought to be inexpensive repairs: how do you think that Apple can be so generous and also so profitable? These “wonderful” services are paid for by the excessive initial price of their products. In effect, included in the price of a new iGadget is a hidden, compulsory and expensive insurance premium.

    • John Ottaway
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:01 am | Permalink


      And the “new” replacements, for older products, are in fact refurbished models

  28. Diana MacPherson
    Posted October 13, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I’ve been lucky. The battery in my iPhone 6 swelled up and lifted the display. I had just gotten a new iPhone & had factory reset the iPhone 6 for my dad when I noticed. I took it I to an Apple store and they have me a new iPhone 6 (refurb) for the price of $25 for a new battery even though its Apple Care had run out. The timing was perfect on my part because they had received bad press recently about their batteries so I suspect the employees were told just to replace phones with messed up batteries.

  29. Diana MacPherson
    Posted October 13, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    When my dad was in the hospital after he had major surgery, his iPod stopped being able to connect to the wifi. He used that iPod for everything in the hospital – watching the news, movies, emailing us. So I did my own troubleshooting then took it to the Apple store. It was an intermittent problem in that some wifi it would connect to so I expected them to tell me they couldn’t reproduce the error and to go away. They actually did have issues reproducing the error but they looked at the logs and then just replaced the whole thing.

    Another time, my iPhone had wifi issues. They tried a factory reset (which I hate and was the only thing I had not done in my own troubleshooting) then they ended up replacing it after a second visit. I find the good thing so far is they don’t try to suggest I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’ve worked in IT for over 20 years and I’m technical enough to know how to troubleshoot and to research the issue then document my findings. I never have to reveal my pedigree and they always speak to me as if I know what I’m talking about and we troubleshoot together. This probably sounds normal most of you but as a woman in a technical situation, it’s a big deal to be treated as an intelligent person.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Do you have an imposing persona Diana?

      • Merilee
        Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        I don’t think you’d want to mess with Diana, Michael😬

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

          I get that vibe 🙂 More power to the elbow

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        I don’t think so. I think I’m friendly especially to support people or anyone who has to do customer service but I also won’t dumb things down to make others feel good.

    • Merilee
      Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      It is SO great not to be mansplained by tech guys. I have had good and bad experiences. I’m not nearly as up-to-date as you on IT, Diana, but if someone starts patronizing me, I casually mention my Comp Sci degree, and they usually kind of um and ah and say they were never very good at programming…The best service I ever got was from a young Cameroonian woman based in Montreal. We solved the problem (can’t remember what it was) in a mixture of English and French.

  30. Diana MacPherson
    Posted October 13, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Oh and another good experience is when my Apple ID got hacked in my US iTunes account. I didn’t have two factor set up as the account was super old and I hadn’t used it forever. What sucked is I proved to Apple it was my account but the person had changed everything to their account and changed the language. Apple disabled the account but I had $50USD on the account that I couldn’t get back. After a lot of back and forth, they told me to make up for it they would let me select any product up to $100 USD. So I got a battery case. I thought that was pretty good. They could have told me to get lost.

  31. eric
    Posted October 13, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    If you’ve had bad (or good) experiences with Apple repairs, put them in the comments.

    Good experience. My battery expanded due to heat, breaking open the phone casing (and the phone stopped working too, obviously).
    I took the phone in to the Apple store, intending to get a new battery installed. They said that was too dangerous for them to do, so they gave me a new phone (same model) with new battery for the cost of just a new battery.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 13, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      That was the same as happened with me.

  32. Diana MacPherson
    Posted October 14, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m only going by my experience which is I’ve used my tire set to open up all my computers I’ve had to open up. I used to always buy towers and of course those could taken apart and I even swapped in third party USB boards. Same with my friends LCD iMac. All just required Torx.

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