Apple raiding small shops that do repairs. Attention: WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO REPAIR YOUR GARBAGE.
November 16, 2013
I would highly suggest anyone reading this seriously consider writing their local politican to tell them how fucked up it is that Apple is using federal law enforcement as their personal mafia. If you've ever dropped a phone and had it fixed for $120 less than Apple's quote while keeping your data, this is an assignment for you. If you've ever spilled water on your computer and saved $500-$800 off what the Apple store told you it'd cost by coming here or elsewhere - you OWE it to our industry to be pissed off about what is happening. If you continue to let it happen, we might not be here next time you need us, and your local genius bar is going to be MUCH more crowded than it was on your last visit.
I've been hearing more and more stories of repair shops being raided for repairing Apple devices. There are 101 and more problems with this. Let's start from the top.
APPLE DOES NOT MANUFACTURE A PLETHORA OF THE PARTS THAT GO INTO YOUR APPLE PRODUCT.
Open your Macbook. See where it says LP133WX2-TLG6? That's an LG part, not an Apple one. If I want to buy that from Apple, it's going to cost a lot of money. If I buy that from an LG broker, who is selling Grade A LG screens, it will cost $35-$100(depending on when), which allows us to charge $170 for this repair, instead of $300.
The same is true for an iPhone. Many use a Toshiba, Sharp, or LG LCD - NOT AN APPLE LCD.
I'm not going to dispute that there are tons of knockoff screens. Are there TONS of products on eBay & Amazon claiming to be OEM that are refurbished trash? OF COURSE! THEY SUCK!!! I HAVE SEEN THEM. I HATE THEM, I HATE THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THEM, AND I HATE THE PEOPLE WHO SELL THEM! I hate them because they make it harder for people who use good parts - for vendors who SELL good parts, to get by. Because we have to compete with the trash, and explain why we cost 5% or 10% more money. It sucks.
But, you know what? I support their right to sell trash if the alternative is living in a world where you have to be certified by a manufacturer to fix THEIR PRODUCT.
Sometimes, the knockoff is truly trash. At other times, the knockoff is actually good... very good. Like, original LCD, original digitizer/touchscreen, and a knockoff frame. The little plastic piece that goes around the phone. That piece alone being knockoff saves $30-$40. And, when you're struggling to get people to pay $65 total to fix their device, yes, I'm willing to get a part that has a frame that was not produced by Apple. A frame that is absolutely, positively, for all intents and purposes - the same thing!
I value our ability to choose what compromises we offer our customers. Thanks to Yelp!, Google+, citysearch, and Facebook, it becomes obvious quickly which businesses compromise too much. Social media allows customers to tell the world who is using good stuff and who is using garbage. Natural selection in modern commerce does the job Apple & ICE are claiming to be doing, and they do it a lot better.
The REAL job they're doing is an attempt to monopolize the industry. This comes right as Apple decides to start servicing their own products in their own stores. This comes right at the time that Apple lowers the prices of certain services. It's not a coincidence, it's part of their strategy to destroy an industry of mom & pop repair shops that do the job better than them.
We, as a repair shop, have the right to fix your products. We have the right to charge $75 to replace a backlight fuse when Apple tells someone it'll cost $850 for a new motherboard. We have the right to get the job done in an hour when you tell them it'll take 3 weeks because the job can only be done at a centralized facility. We have the right to get someone's phone back to perfect condition in 20 minutes for $65 when you tell them it'll be $200 and lose them their data.
We have the right to be better than you.
and if you have a problem with it, you should focus on being better than us before you turn our government agents into your personal mafia.
We have the right to fix the glass on your phone - the phone that cracks when it drops 10x easier than my HTC One S ever did. We have the right to replace the back cover to a screen assembly on a 2008-2009 "Uni" body machine. The machine you made in two pieces that you marketed as a single body for YEARS - where the pieces are GLUED TOGETHER like a kindergardener's arts & crafts homework. A product that was designed so badly that the fan exhausts HOT AIR RIGHT ONTO THE GLUE. We have the right to fix what you fucked up, without charging a customer $650 just because we had to get the part from you.
And yes, depending on circumstances, that part may have an Apple logo on it. It's an Apple computer. Whatdaya think people are gonna do, cut it out and put a lemon in its place? While it'd be fitting, it's a labor cost most would rather not pass onto their customers.
Produce better products, provide better repair services for these products, and stop adding 500% middleman charge onto parts. Maybe things will be better for EVERYONE.