How Apple Genius Bar appointments are designed to fool you
How Apple Genius Bar appointments are designed to fool you – Yes, that’s right. If you have visited Apple’s Genius Bar recently to have your beloved Apple device assessed for some minor fault, chances are, you were straight up lied to by your trusted “Genius”. What proof might I have of this you ask? Why, my personal experiences coupled with my knowledge of all iPhone models inner workings of course!
And before I start I would like to mention that I don’t dislike Apple products, I just really disapprove of their business practices which in my opinion, more often than not, violate several of our consumer laws in this country (as well as many other countries).
Think about all the times you may have taken your device to Apple to have it checked or repaired only to be told that the fault is too costly and you should just upgrade to the new model instead as your device is over a year old now and obviously out dated. This is not by accident, believe me. Apple employees are trained (or brainwashed if you will) to give you this impression – and yes, most of the employees do actually believe the ‘word salad’ that they are quite often telling you.
I would like to share with you my most recent visit to the Apple Genius Bar to have my wife’s Apple iPhone 7 Plus repaired for a broken home key. Firstly we made an appointment, which was very inconvenient as there were hardly any available due to the fact that Apple stores are so few and far between that they are always overwhelmed with bookings – seriously guys, would it kill you to open a second store in built up areas to service your customers?
We arrived at our appointment and had to wait (as usual). Whilst patiently waiting we were accosted by Apple employees trying to show off any and all of the latest Apple tech for us to buy, thanks but no thanks Apple. Eventually we were served by a so called “Apple Genius”. He was a nice guy, nothing against him personally. We started by telling him the problem – the home key is broken, the phone has no other problems, can you fix it? He made a very concerned face and sighed heavily stating that the problem was a bit more serious than just the key itself – which of course, it isn’t. Knowing what I know from over a decade of working in the industry, the statement he made is just downright misleading – I’ll explain why soon.
He then went on to explain that the home key on the iPhone 7 plus was actually part of the screen and not a separate piece, meaning that the entire screen would have to be changed in order to fix the home key problem. This is 100% false (BLATANT LIE #1). Please take a quick look at the images below showing how the home key and the screen are actually two separate components that are connected by a simple connector which can be removed with ease, and replaced with very little fuss.
So at this point I decided not to challenge him and simply asked him how much it would cost to replace the screen so that the home key could work again. He once again made a concerned face whilst sighing loudly and tapping away on his iPad to get me a quote. He came to the price of $259 including GST. He then began to infer that this would be way too much money to spend on an ageing iPhone 7 plus and that we might be better off upgrading to a newer phone instead – gee, what a surprise!
Now bear in mind that this particular iPhone was in perfect condition aside from the home key and after the repair would be worth over $750 to sell second hand (current value at time of writing) – and yet according to Apple, it simply wasn’t worth spending $259 to repair it. Sure Apple, why make roughly $500 profit selling my perfectly working iPhone when I could spend $2400 on the latest iPhone instead? Thanks for the “advice” but I’ll think I’ll make up my own mind.
So it was at this point that I asked him if we could have a small discount, say $30 – $40 as the screen itself was in perfect condition and could easily be reused on a refurbished iPhone (this was an original Apple screen too, so there was no reason they couldn’t reuse it – and trust me – they will!). His response was of course a no and his reason was because the screen and home key are all one piece so the screen would be useless (BLATANT LIE #2). As we have just seen this is entirely untrue and I can guarantee that after they remove the screen they will send it away to be refurbished and sold again.
He then went on to say that this repair would take at least 2 hours and because it was late in the day we would have to come back tomorrow to pick it up (BLATANT LIE #3). Now to understand why this is a lie I will explain a little about Apple’s repair process. In almost all third party repair shops, a screen replacement consists of precisely that – replacing the screen. This means that any components attached to the screen need to be transplanted from the old screen to the new one. This can be done in around 15 – 30mins depending on the model.
Now, take Apple’s process which supposedly takes around 2 hours. They have “ready to fit” screen assemblies containing all of the components attached to the screen, already fitted, ready to go. So they simply need to remove the old screen and reconnect the new one. Then all that is left to do is to reconfigure the home key (this takes minutes) and they are good to go. This is so much less work than what third party repairers do and yet it takes 4 – 8 times as long!?
Okay so now it was time to confront him about the fact that the home key IS in fact a separate piece to the screen and that a simple screen replacement could NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS take 2 whole hours. It was at this point that I came to the realisation that this poor employee had been lied to by his company. He genuinely believed that the home key was fixed directly to the screen and could never be removed, and when challenged with the truth his response was simply “we aren’t trained to know about that”. I felt sorry for the guy as he wasn’t really expecting to be confronted with that sort of information and didn’t really know what to say – and it really wasn’t his fault, he was trained to say that by the company that he worked for, so why would he question it?
In the end, we paid the $259 for the repair and picked it up the next day. You might be wondering why? Why not simply repair the home key myself and not even bother with Apple? Well here is a perfect example of why I despise Apple’s business practices – they have made it IMPOSSIBLE for third party repairers to repair the TouchID function on Apple devices!
In more simple terms – I simply didn’t have a choice! Either I pay the ridiculous price of $259 for Apple to reprogram my home key -or- never use TouchID on my phone again (which would reduce the resell value of the phone significantly). So that is Apple’s Genius Bar in a nutshell – get it repaired by Apple or chuck it in the bin.
Now some of you more clever individuals might be asking “why didn’t you put a damaged screen on it, then take it to Apple?” Why not? I could have reused the screen myself and made more profit, couldn’t I? Maybe, but at a risk. You see Apple have got that lose end tied up as well. Whilst signing in the repair with Apple they mention that if it has ever been repaired outside of Apple then they will DECLINE TO REPAIR the phone, even if genuine parts were used, even if the repair was in no way related to the current problem being repaired, they will just flat out decline to repair it.
So as you can clearly see this is How Apple Genius Bar appointments are designed to fool you. You take your phone in expecting to have a simple repair done at a reasonable cost and walk out either with a brand new (very expensive) latest model device that you didn’t really need, or you leave having paid 4 – 5 times as much as you were expecting!
And this is only one example of Apple doing this to their “loyal customers”. There are many, many more examples which I simply don’t have time to write about here. So my message to any devoted Apple fans out there is simple:
Question what Apple tells you, if it sounds more difficult or expensive than you were expecting then get a second opinion!
There are countless third party repair stores that will happily repair your iPhone in less time and for less money than Apple will – I know because we are one of them 🙂 So don’t just believe every word that comes out of your Apple Genius’ mouth because real Geniuses don’t believe lies!
Don’t believe me? Here are some YouTube links to another repair store in the U.S. with a few more examples. There are no doubt many more examples on YouTube but I feel these two sum up what I’m trying to say pretty neatly.
I hope this article has been informative to those that took the time to read it, and remember, if you have any questions about repairing your iPhone please feel free to contact us any time on 0755389223 or email us using the button below…