/ Shopping, Technology

Is Apple’s own repair service a rip-off?

A broken red apple

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.


I brought a apple watch 2 had it two days, found a cracked in the screen. I had not banged it or caught it or misused it ,Apple charged me £256 to repair/replace the watch?? before they had even seen it checked it.
The watch is one of many apple products I own , But it is one of the poorest quality products I have brought from apple, they have ripped me off but I think it is going to be the last apple product I buy. Ripped off for the last time, Apple need to give value for money and not keep ripping their loyal customers Off!!!!!!!

Angie says:
23 October 2017

My apple watch screen shattered – it was just 13 days old (Christmas present) and on my wrist at the time. I was putting moisturiser on my face and hands, and the ring on my right hand must have touched the watch as I rubbed cream onto the back of my left hand – suddenly my wrist was covered in a gritty dust and the screen was cracked and broken. Apple refused to cover it under warranty and wanted £220 to repair a £369 watch that that was less than two weeks old.
There was clearly something wrong with the glass, it cannot have been properly tempered. I’m a middle-aged woman weighing 120lbs and I don’t tend to beat myself up while applying moisturiser…
End result: broken watch sat in a box, unrepaired. What’s the point if it’s so delicate.

Vsguevara says:
28 January 2018

P**s off apple, I can live without you. You fixed my Mac but it popped like a Shampen cork when i plugged it as i got home from your shop!

Huw Bowles says:
15 January 2021

My Series 2 Apple watch fell on the floor and the face smashed. I sent it in to Apple for a diagnosis and they threw my watch away and then have charged me £216.44 and sent me a replacement Series 2 watch when a brand new Series 3 watch which is 3x faster is only £199. They are now saying that I can’t return the watch as it is a repair and my consumer rights to return a product unused do not apply as it is a repair even though it is a different serial number. Unbelieveable. Quite a cunning way to shift obsolete stock at a decent profit.