iFixit CEO Explains Why Repairs Are Good for Business
iFixit has spent years compiling repair guides for all of Apple’s products, including the new iPhone 8, which iFixit flew to Australia to obtain in order to publish a guide before most of the rest of the world had woken up. iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens sat down with Adam Minter of Bloomberg for an interview in which he extolled the virtues of repair, including the creation of blue-collar jobs, sales of replacement parts, and reducing overload on the vendor. Wiens points out that Apple has 500 repair shops to service 1 billion iPhones. His best line in the article comes in response to Apple claiming it designs for durability, not repairability: “It seems a little bit detached from reality to say that we design products not to break that have glass on both sides and come out of your pocket 10 times per day.”
At least Apple should tell their customers that their products are fixible, even if they refuse to do that themselves. When I went to a Genius Bar with my iphone 5 not charging any more, they offered me a replacement iphone 5 for $280. But they didn't even mention that you can replace the charging unit for 1/6 of that price. Nor did they tell me that I CAN save the data that had been added since my last backup by fixing it (which is the most annoying part). So, I had to figure this out myself and had it eventually replaced at a small phone repair shop for $45. Works like new. It's outrageous the Apple Store just tries to rip off people without helping them.
I recently cracked the glass on my iPhone 6. I went to the local Apple store (4th St, Berkeley CA).
The pimply faced 22 year old there proudly told me that there were no available slots at all as if this was somehow a sign of good customer service. The best I could do would be to walk in before opening time on Sat and see if I could get a walk-in appointment. There would be a long line so I had to get there early. Upon asking if there was actually a line for repairs, he again proudly pointed out that "...we're Apple. There's always a long line for everything" (his exact words) again as if this would somehow indicate to me they're doing a good job at treating their customers well. The repair would then take anywhere from 2 hours to an entire day. It would be $150. Again, proudly mentioning this as if this were somehow something a customer would be happy to hear.
I left knowing that obviously Apple had no interest in my business.
But here's the happy end.
Today I took the iPhone to a guy downtown who runs a little iPhone repair business. I could walk in, hand it to him, and he fixed it in literally ten minutes right in front of me. It cost $90. He was friendly and competent. And best of all, he made me feel like he was actually interested in the business. Thanks, Joe.
I now again have a working iPhone. And I'm happy to have brought my business elsewhere to somebody who actually seems to care more about customer relationships than polishing their grossly inflated ego.
How things have changed. You've got quite some work ahead, Angela.