Genius Bar caught ripping customer off ON CAMERA by CBC News

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They’ve been a shady company from the start.

@mdredmond I don’t know that I’d say always been shady…They were pretty cool in the IIE and first gen or 2 of Macintoshes.

I am a staunch supporter of IP…so the deserve some protection for 1-2 Generations of product… I.e. iPhone 8 should be a right to repair part when the X came out. After that I believe in the right to repair.

Also keep in mind most consumers are not skilled enough, even with instructions, to repair anything beyond cycling the power…So if a business wants to ensure the best end-user experience…let them do nothing beyond your control.

I’m a part time AC guy and I love that I give quotes utilizing the correct parts, the customer doesn’t like the price, hires a hack using universal parts, then calls me back to make the system work correctly. Replacement parts are not all created equal. You’ve got to protect your customer that doesn’t know any better.

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Apple is hamstringing very capable third party repair companies like the one featured in the video above. It’s bad enough that they discourage customers but they go further than that. If the official Apple support channels were good then nobody would care about the third party repair channels. That’s not the case though. The official Apple support channels are awful.

They don’t want you to fix it, they want you to buy a new one.

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They don’t want you anyone to fix it.

reminds me of car mechanics…

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Reminds me of an old joke about hourly job rates. It went something like this:

$100	Standard
$150	If you want to supervise
$200	If you want to help
$400	If you or someone else had already tried to fix it

Physical product support is expensive. It has tremendous variable costs, involves inherently more expensive reverse logistics, and often occurs at a wide variety of locations. Manufacturers like Apple only like it in the sense that they can move pricey branded replacement parts. Warranty support is a consideration, although there’s certainly plenty of incentive to push customers to a discounted new product as recompense as opposed to actually servicing malfunctioning devices.

In the case of the situation in the video, the incentive was to sell pricey branded replacement parts and marked-up labor. I’d be amazed if they went so far as to assess the situation like the independent tech did - simply looked at every likely malfunctioning component base on symptoms and quoted them to the customer. And within an Apple store the Genius Bar is surely a profit center like the retail side thus they have their own incentives to maximize take.

For some capital goods, service is a critical component in making a profit, period. I gather that the cost of producing jet engines for commercial aircraft is more than the market will bear, so a manufacturer service contract for the engines is either baked into the sale to the final customer or the OEM’s favorable terms are presented to the customer for consideration since someone has to periodically service the engines at a level above what airline mechanics routinely perform. Roughly concurrent with (or perhaps prior to) Apple customers demanding the right to repair, farmers demanded that John Deere stop hiding their tractor engine ECU’s behind patent-protected DRM I/O so they could diagnose and repair them themselves without having to fork over cash to authorized repair technicians who effectively tithed to John Deere for access to their analogue of an OBD2 scan tool.

This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. Apple had a lawsuit last year for intentionally throttling older phones. And now the rumor is your battery will display an error of you have it replaced anywhere other than an authorized repair center.
If this matters to you explain right to repair to your friends and family, support sites like ifixit and XDA, and vote with your wallet when it comes time for a new phone.

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