Apple investigated by CBC News over Genius Bar repair policies and pricing


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/09/video-the-cbc-busts-apple-on.html


Apple investigated by CBC news for overpriced repair charges
#2

Again?!?! Guess they didn’t learn nothin’ from slightly earlier this afternoon’s fiasco.

ETA: more precise comedy


#3

Jeez, I dunno. I don’t find their pricing to be unreasonable. They ran a diagnosis and then replaced the battery and keyboard module in my 6-year old MBP for $300 Canuck Bucks. Total servicing costs since new: $1 per week. Am I that out of touch?


#4

I’ve worked as an independent repair guy. Apple’s own documentation mentions the fallibility of the “red dots,” and it surprises me that someone would be, frankly, so lazy as to invoke “liquid damage” based solely on those turning red. I’ve been in a position before where you can literally watch beer drain out of a broken laptop, and you know, yeah, the computer’s totaled. But in this video, to try to deny a repair that’s probably just a bad LVDS cable? Give me a break.

To give the Genius a little bit of the benefit of the doubt - every repair room in an Apple store is unique, and unfortunately, some of them have a culture where sympathy is in short supply. They need to start paying Geniuses a little bit better (you get what you pay for) and stop forcing them to see 32+ customers per day.


#5

1: bending back a pin on an lvds cable is not a repair. Not for a nearly $2000 computer any way
2: that model can not have just the LVDS cable replaced, it requires a clamshell replacement (entire display assembly)
3: if multiple LCI’s are triggered, there has been liquid spilt, and it got everywhere.
4: if liquid may have touched a part, it needs replaced. Your neighborhood, non-authorized shop might do a cheaper repair, but it’s not the right way.
5: The genius in the video is either not great at his job or having a bad day. as apple does actually have a resolution that probably would be cheaper. Depot.


#6

6: Who was in his computer, removed the LVDS cable, then improperly reseated it to cause that bent pin?


#7

Wouldn’t investment mean you expect a return. Who here thinks an electronic gizmo will be worth more in 5 years?


#8

CBC kicking ass and taking names. Last week was Ticket Master, this week Apple. Could Trump be far behind? :grin:


#9

!: Who cares how much the computer cost? A repair is whatever fixed the issue. Or would you rather just pay more because your laptop costs more?
2: I’ll have to take your word for it but in this video, nothing needed to be replaced.
3: Humidity also.
4: See #3 and no, replacement is neither the right way nor the smart way. I fear our throw-away culture is getting out of hand if we think whole expensive systems need to be replaced because dots - instead of some evidence based repair decisions like: is it still working even though the dots are red? Then we’ll just leave the wet “damaged” stuff in there, until it’s not working.
5: Yeah, this guy’s not doing his job well, from the perspective of the customer. He’s doing it exactly right from the perspective of Apple though.

I think this is a pretty straight forward example of ripping customers off and Apple is known for these kind of shenanigans.


#10

!: Who cares how much the computer cost? A repair is whatever fixed the issue. Or would you rather just pay more because your laptop costs more?

It matters because it’s just going to break again

2: I’ll have to take your word for it but in this video, nothing needed to be replaced.

Bending and then rebending copper pins weakens them tremendously and is not a repair and that cable being unseated implies someone, who is not a skilled technician, was inside that computer and likely damaged more components

3: Humidity also.

Normal atmospheric humdity does not trigger all the sensors in a computer, perhaps one overly sensitive LCI would trigger, but not all of them. I take my phone into the bathroom while i shower, every day, and have never had an LCI trigger on any phone I’ve ever owned. If you have LCI’s triggered from non-submersion, it was probably stored/used in an area outside of operating requirements which is still liquid damage and likely caused/will cause corrosion. Also; if you look closely when the the youtube guy pans across the innards, there appear to be more signs of liquid then just the LCI’s (may just be dust, it was a quick pan)

4: See #3 and no, replacement is neither the right way nor the smart way. I fear our throw-away culture is getting out of hand if we think whole expensive systems need to be replaced because dots - instead of some evidence based repair decisions like: is it still working even though the dots are red? Then we’ll just leave the wet “damaged” stuff in there, until it’s not working.

Metal corrodes and sometimes that corrosion takes time. Wherever liquid may have touched is probable and likely to fail in the future.

5: Yeah, this guy’s not doing his job well, from the perspective of the customer. He’s doing it exactly right from the perspective of Apple though.

He is absolutely NOT doing his job as he was trained by apple.

I know these repair strategies seem over the top, but they are what is required when repairs are being done on the scale apple performs them. Yes, if you go to a small local shop for your repair, they may just find a bent pin that they can bend back and you get away with a $50 charge. This shop may also be unskilled and inexperienced and cause damage while in or opening your computer and have no access to certified/reliable parts and undo any damage they’ve done.

Large companies like Apple or Dell or HP or Lenovo… tend to be pessimistic in there repair strategy because, what’s more expensive than replacing large components when it may be a cable or connector are Repeat repairs.


#11

Someone needs to spend some time watching Louis Rossmann’s YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/rossmanngroup). A lot of Louis’s business comes from equipment that Apple “Geniuses” simply refuse to repair to begin with.


#12

A lot of mine too, but we weren’t talking about him, we’re talking about Apple’s out of warranty hardware support strategy.


#13

Look, the guy got his laptop fixed for free.

Perfect repair?

Maybe not but I think just about everyone except the rich and well-heeled would prefer to try the cheap options before replacing the motherboard. After all, it’s not going to be MORE expensive than a new computer if all your doomsaying comes to pass and the bent pin, corrosion and unskilled service technician finally do it in.

But you go right ahead and spend your money however you’d like.


#14

Tools don’t represent that kind of investment. Buying tools constitutes an investment in the sense that it allows you to do the jobs you’d be paid to do, hence the turn of that phrase.


#15

No wonder Trump hates Canada!


#16

No. If you buy a tool it should improve your productivity by an amount more than you spent on a tool. As a ex blue collar worker I know what it means to spend a few grand on a set of snap-on wrenches for your trade. You don’t do it because you think the wrenches look nice. You do it because it’s cheaper to have tools that work correctly than to mess with ones that break or don’t work properly. And because you’re running a business or working for a business where your tools matter.

Now that I’m a programmer I really need a good keyboard, good internet connection, and a good compiler (free). The bits in between don’t matter so much in terms of my trade. I can do my development from Windows, Linux, OSX, QNX, whatever really. If I were doing video editing I definitely could see an advantage to a Mac, so for narrow use cases it is an investment in the right tools.

But most of the time, people buy a gray metal computer because they want it.


#17

In other word, “investment.”

So, I think we can all accept that the term “investment” is not only used in the sense of finance. It’s an act of devoting money, time, effort in pursuit of a desired result.

Obviously. Most people buy a computer because it does something for them: allows them to browse the web, become mired in social media, do science art hangouts over the weekend, facilitate consumption of entertainment, programming, or paint with light.

Why do you think they’d want it?

Not everyone is like me in that they’d buy a completely useless SGI Indigo from 1991 just to have on their shelf because it’s pretty. (And you can’t say it doesn’t work—it does.)


#18

I popped for the 25 buck battery replacement on my iPhone 6 and the tab on the battery tab snapped off. Rather that trying to dangerously remove it through force, they just gave me a new phone.

So yeah, your mileage may vary.


#19

Well generally speaking people buy a computer to read emails and do their taxes. Some of them buy a computer to play games, although usually people don’t buy a Mac to play games. People with a specialized job buy a computer to run the software they need for their job, so they get the kind of computer that runs the software they need. (e.g. Final Cut Pro)

Desire, preference, etc.

Hey, I have a Mac Pro 2009. It’s a gorgeous machine, and has served me well for several years, up until I burned up the GPU power rails on the mainboard. Form and function. But it wasn’t cheap, and the non-standard power supply makes it difficult for me to fix the issue I’m having with it.


#20

You are really describing what I would describe as a warranty covered repair. A company like Apple or Dell is going for the efficient, effective repair when doing warranty service. Replacing a system board or entire screen is far easier than replacing a subcomponent, in terms of both time and customer satisfaction. What it is not, is cheaper - however it is far cheaper for the OEM than the customer. If the customer is paying for the repair all reasonable repair solutions should be presented. Obviously that can vary by repair place. I used to do PC and laptop repair and we would routinely replace CCFL backlight inverters on laptops for half or less the cost of a new screen assembly. On a several year old machine that the customer really only wants another year or so on it is a resonable cost effective repair. Most customers are not going to spend more than 50% of the cost of a new unit on a repair.