Is Apple’s own repair service a rip-off?
Apple iPod stuck on repeat? iPhone all hung up? Maybe your iPad is more a case of iWon’t? But why should we pay Apple so much for an official branded repair, when we can get the same fix for less elsewhere?
Like many big brands, if your Apple gadget flatlines, you’ll probably turn to its in-house repair service. And while the gadget medics will put your iDevice on life support, it’s likely you’ll pay through the nose for the privilege.
Apple’s official repair service isn’t cheap – and using it feels a little like being forced to use private health care.
Shop around for a better deal
Of course, you could find a cheaper option, but letting a repair shop that’s not approved by Apple tinker with your iPhone could lead to warranty problems.
Yet the prices are revealing: it can cost nearly £140 to get an iPhone fixed with Apple (or £146.29 for its mail-order service), compared to just over £40 for a similar repair from the non-Apple route (£45 to replace water damaged parts for example). Ouch – and it’s enough to make you sick.
Apple’s in danger of being seen to rip-off its customers. The company – and other electronics manufacturers – are using a worrying mark-up for the ‘privilege’ of their official repair services. So, not only do you have to pay a huge price for the latest iPhone, if it goes wrong (like the screen cracking) Apple is willing to lift an extra hundred notes from your pocket.
And if smaller repair shops can resurrect an iPod for much less, Apple needs to explain why it gouges consumers for going through its official channels. The materials used and the time spent are similar, if not identical, surely.
High repair price to force re-buy?
Maybe it’s a case of brand reassurance? Perhaps shoppers, having paid a princely sum for their beloved iPhone, are unwilling to trust anyone but Apple with repairing it. Fair enough, but could Apple have a more sinister motive?
By charging a high price – and Apple isn’t alone in its approach – could it be actively putting people off getting a repair to sway them towards a new model?
High cost repairs certainly make sense for the brands themselves, but for everyone else it pays to shop around. At least get various quotes before handing over your gadget – and hard-earned cash – to official repair services.
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