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Independent Repair Vs. Apple Authorized Repair: A Lesson To Learn

Independent-Repair-Vs-Apple-Authorized-Repair-A-Lesson-To-Learn
Apple authorized repair means making an appointment, waiting, taking time off work, driving long distances, being told that your device cannot be fixed. Apple authorized repair means finding out that the data from your iPhone is unrecoverable even if it needs a new battery for a backup. It means being lied to hear that Touch Disease and Audio IC fault do not exist even when the Genius knows that they are the number one most common Apple support issue.

Apple repair means biased explanations like “low power draw” that are made up and presented as if they are real because the Genius is not allowed to tell the truth. They have no idea; they do not fix hardware. Apple repair means forced updates, sometimes even against your will. Those updates make your device slow or even unusable, with no chance to roll them back. Apple repair means constant Sammy reminders to buy more iCloud space. It means being sold a device that you do not really own or even need. And it means being told you are using your device wrong.

A Case With Two Apple Employees:

Let me share with you one story. Jessica works at Apple. She had her battery replaced by an independent repair shop, although she works for Apple. Why did she do that? She explained that she does not have an Apple store close by, and neither does she have an Apple authorized service provider close by. Besides, it costs more. It takes longer to get a reservation and then the actual repair at an Apple retail store. It takes about two hours at a third-party store and two to seven days at an Apple authorized service provider.

Even if you get your device serviced at a certified repair center, you may face many issues with this. Jessica’s colleague also works at Apple. She had issues with her new, in warranty iPhone. She took it to the Apple authorized service provider to have it fixed. She was in warranty and working at Apple, so, of course, she took the safe route and wanted to fix it with a certified Apple repair to protect her warranty. After the repair, she suddenly had other issues. Her phone was boot looping or it would unexpectedly restart. So, she had to send it again.

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She got a requote because they deemed that the device had been repaired with non-Apple parts. It was the battery. It needed to be swapped for about 75% of the cost of a new device.  Jessica’s colleague was surprised and told them this is not possible since she gave it twice to the same service provider. Her argument was declined. That is Apple repair!

A Message To The Independent Repair Community:

  • You care for devices and the people in your community. You are frankly totally awesome! You should be proud of your parts and your service and your job!
  • You should yell it from the rooftops: “We are unauthorized repair! We can fix a device, whether Apple or any other manufacturer wants us or not.”
  • You are always there in your community, ready and waiting when someone needs you.
  • You know the joy of solving someone’s problem, the joy of saving their day, saving their device, and sometimes saving memories (pictures) when they thought that all hope was gone.
  • You are sensible and practical. You have the freedom to use your brain, the freedom to set your own prices and make sure that your customers get a great value.
  • You are a knowledgeable guide making repair not just a chore but a wonderful experience. You show your customers the Marvel of the inside of their own device.
  • You are a craftsman who is constantly learning, researching, and developing new and better methods for repair.
  • You are a teacher. You steer your customers around pitfalls like the epidemic of cheap chargers. People smile when they hear you, and they know that you stand behind your words, work, and your parts. They know that their experience really matters to you. They know they are a friend, a community member and not just a number on a corporate balance sheet.

Independent-Repair-Vs-Apple-Authorized-Repair
And most of all, you are a beautiful part of a sustainable world where we do not just throw things away when they stop working.

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Again, be proud of who you are and the service that you provide. It makes me sad to hear independent repair family responding with fear and outrage to Apple’s changes. There is nothing wrong with iOS letting the user know that their battery did not come from Apple. Repair transparency is always good.

We should not be ashamed of our parts. We have seen aftermarket parts evolve from those old 5C screens that were held together with chewing gum. Now we have amazing new displays and top-quality batteries.

We want to teach the world to see that message about the battery not being genuine and say: “Great! Thanks for reminding me of how much time I saved when the local independent shop changed my battery when I needed it quickly.”

Apple is not going to outfight independent repair by serializing parts because it is not a good strategic move for them. It just does not make sense. They already tried playing that card with Error 53, and it was a disaster. Apple could not convince the world back then that independent repair was bad. They repealed the iOS touch ID check before the first lawsuit was even a few hours old.

Earlier, much of the world believed that if you open your iPhone, it will void your warranty. Now, with all the good work we have done for the right to repair that ideology is out the window. People demand to have a choice. Repair shops are now everywhere.  iPhones are being repaired in every market all over the globe. People now are used to independent repair. They value and they trust our common-sense approach because we value our customers.

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Apple is an enormous, disorganized monster with a thousand heads. Apple repair will always be terrible because it is so large. They are a policy behemoth that must attempt to protect all workers and all customers from all possible offline and online threats to safety and deal with all cases in a uniform way or get sued with a trillion-dollar target on their back. There is no room for common sense, practicality, personal judgment, free-thinking, or even humanity in the Apple repair ecosystem.

And people do not like all that. The independent repair will eventually win. People of the world will insist on it because, at the end of the day, people like to deal with humans and not corporations.

So, put down your pitchforks, let us be transparent and tell people exactly what parts are in their devices. Let us be proud of our parts, of our warranty, and be even prouder of the service that we provide. In your community, the people will vote with their wallets for the beautiful thing that is independent repair.

David BalabanAbout the Author:

David Balaban is a computer security researcher with over 17 years of experience in malware analysis and antivirus software evaluation. David runs MacSecurity.net and Privacy-PC.com projects that present expert opinions on contemporary information security matters, including social engineering, malware, penetration testing, threat intelligence, online privacy, and white hat hacking. David has a strong malware troubleshooting background, with a recent focus on ransomware countermeasures.

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