CBC Video claims Apple's repair policies are abusive, but 'proof' falls far short

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  • Reply 21 of 124
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member
    Could a Mike Daisey one man show be close at hand? 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 22 of 124
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,070member
    davgreg said:
    Full Disclosure: Longtime Apple customer (before the Mac) and longtime shareholder (bought my first shares about the time of the OS X Public Beta).

    Apple May not be “guilty” of steering customers to expensive phones in stores, but they are quite obviously on the side of planned obsolescence. They do not want you to be able to change so much as a battery- much less upgrade your device and repairs are a very dodgy gamble at best. This is not where Apple traditionally fell on the consumer friendly scale.

    I am the owner of one of the last of the Cheesegrater Mac Pro workstations, which is still a very capable machine 8 years after purchase. I can easily add stuff at minimal cost and with minimal effort- like adding USB 3 with a simple plug in card. I could easily upgrade my CPU with a swap out from third party retailers like OWC. Adding SSD internal drives takes less than 5 minutes. Most importantly, I can open my case and clean everything quickly with my Miele vac or some canned air to keep everything clean and running cool. The only thing I had to replace was the power supply which was a simple online order.

    It is pretty apparent that Apple never intends to make such a device again and that is sad.

    Apple likes to present itself as green even as they make devices less repairable, less upgradeable and will not allow anyone to do anything other than swap whole boards out. What this accomplishes is make old devices more likely to end up in landfills or third world burn piles, where poor people pick for salable materials after open air burning of e-waste. They also use a worldwide supply chain that has a significant carbon foot print as components are shipped from worldwide sources to China for assembly. The finished products are commonly flown to retail on jets, which have a significant carbon footprint.

    The simple truth is that Apple has adopted planned obsolescence and part of that is making devices as hard to repair as possible. This may make Apple a lot of money in the short term, but it is not in the best interest of consumers, shareholders, Apple or our one and only home.
    Poppycock. Apple devices have the longest useful lifespan on the market, and highest resell value, so your entire “But planned obsolescence!” theory is a crock. Apple devices last a long time and people are willing to pay for that. Try again, Mr Stockholder. 

    (Also, difficult for consumers or DIY tinkerers to repair is in no way the same as planned obsolescence.)
    edited October 9 ericthehalfbeebrucemcmagman1979lolliverwlymanton zuykoventropys
  • Reply 23 of 124
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,860member
    Also: Apple’s policies may be great for Apple and convenient for customers who need replaced devices ASAP, but they’re not good for our environment, materials usage, and the average consumer who isn’t demanding an immediate replacement (due to costs). It’s a shortcut process that makes for a lot of unnecessary waste of materials and the added impact of materials shipping.

    There was nothing wrong with having multiple Rossman-level technicians in service centers, back when it was more common in electronics repair work. Corporations making the products saw a way to increase profit margins and acted accordingly. That’s all this is about. It’s not about best serving the average customer in any way but speed. Defending the service model by saying that it’s the most efficient and cost effective for how the product is built completely misses the point.

    This business model is unsustainable and a massive level of cultural normalization of this unsustainable model has occurred. It’s being defended by people who don’t directly (or at all) reap financial benefits by supporting it, and people who argue against it are characterized as extremists, uninformed, irrational, or, like here on this forum, communist!

    Have you seen the Max Headroom TV series? A world where nothing new is made, because there aren’t enough new raw materials (or extraction of them is so wasteful and costly that society cannot tolerate it anymore)... that world is coming. It’s an inevitability, because recycling isn’t being done much at all.

    Most materials go to feeding abusively-contracted, privately owned & operated, municipally paid, toxic pollution-generating incinerators (with some of them having the gall to be called “renewable energy”), or into landfills. The regions that have banned landfilling of electronics waste have seen collection & materials-selling businesses crop up, but the waste just gets shipped out of those regions into less regulated places.

    Those “recycling robots” (the two promoted by Apple) are mere marketing curiosities that don’t actually do the real work of materials reclamation, when and where reclamation is actually done. Look outside your first-world comforts and witness the backside of the electronics waste system, operating in low-wage, low-safety workplaces. These are the places to which American corporations ship the materials and where human beings do the dangerous tear down work (or toxic incineration, once the most sellable materials have been extracted). The companies collect and ship the material for profit, not for reuse or for any environmental concern.

    The component-level refurbishment being done by electronics sellers in the USA pales in comparison to the waste they ship out of country. The material that is ultimately reclaimed is fractional.

    As an aside: Repairability isn’t some “communist” plot to rob you of your freedom (unless you feel you have a “right” to contribute to destroying the environment and wasting materials). It’s depressing just how entrenched and thoughtless the USA’s Cold War anti-USSR propaganda has been; entire generations of people (including those who didn’t live in the Cold War), are acculturated into slamming pro-society, pro-consumer, pro-environment ideas with rhetoric about “communism” and “anti-freedom”. The sheer amount of mindless, knee-jerk responses still coming from people out there, responding to issues like this, are frightening.

    Maybe CBC is promoting articles with sensationalism (which is bad, and I’m sick of seeing every media entity resorting to being little more than an ad space-selling agency that justifies click-baiting), but, in this situation at least, the issue isn’t a made up one; it’s actually in everyone’s best interests. Do you have children, or siblings whose children are planning to have children? It seems grandchildren are the extent to which people give a damn about the future. Beyond people’s grandchildren, few people in positions of power in public policy seem to care about the long term impact of the policies they enact or promote (in government or corporations), and even fewer seem to be motivated to vote for long-term sustainability. It’s like most people are simply incapable of thinking about it. I would suggest education is at fault here, but I know better. It’s attitude and belief. Being confronted with actual hard data and facts just tends to make “belief-motivated” people solidify their positions.
    mainyehcobiwanbilllarryamuthuk_vanalingamnumenorean
  • Reply 24 of 124
    I only watched a few minutes of the CBC piece before I walked away shaking my head at how one-sided it was, but I saw enough to decide that the points CBC raised were valid, and worthy of discussion. Unfortunately their decision to not include counter arguments or explain how some of Apple's decisions could be considered pro-consumer resulted in a story lacking journalistic credibility. That's a shame, because CBC was, until recently, the last bastion of objective reporting in North America.

    Mike and Malcolm say that the world works best when consumers have choices, including the particular brand of service Apple offers. I agree. What I'm finding troubling is Apple's trend towards trying to eliminate everything BUT its own brand of service. I appreciate Apple providing me a way to verify the security of my device after service. I do NOT appreciate Apple making it the ONLY option, which they've done with the Home button and the Mac verification routine. If I decide to compromise security to save money, like for an older device relegated to limited duty, that should be my choice. Apple is not my mom.
    mainyehclarz2112numenorean
  • Reply 25 of 124
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 136member
    StrangeDays said:
    Poppycock. Apple devices have the longest useful lifespan on the market, and highest resell
    value, so your entire “But planned obsolescence!” theory is a crock. Apple
    devices last a long time and people are willing to pay for that. Try again, Mr Stockholder. 

    (Also, difficult for consumers or DIY tinkerers to repair is in no way the same as planned obsolescence.)
    Apple resale value is dropping and the useful lifespan has more to do with the maturity of the technology than any action taken in Cupertino.
    BTW- Apple is very good at selling yesterday's chips at tomorrow's prices.

    This is not the company Steve Jobs built, or the one he recreated after returning. It has a fashion house mentality and regular Wall Street values.
    mainyehccanukstormlarz2112numenorean
  • Reply 26 of 124
    anomeanome Posts: 1,180member

    Short anecdote: I recently had reason to take my iPad Air in to the Apple Store. It had a number of problems, but the main one was a dead battery (44%, which amazed the Genius that it still booted up at all), so they agreed to replace the whole unit as a battery replacement (which I understand is normal for something this old), which conveniently fixed all the other problems for A$149, instead of whatever the going rate for a Refurb unit is. (They don't seem to have any on the Refurb list at the moment.)

    I've also worked in IT Support for a moderate sized organisation, and as the article says, that's pretty much a numbers game. Someone says "I have problem X", 98% of the time, problem X is caused by fault Y, so that's the first thing you check. It makes perfect sense that if you're looking at problem X, and you find fault Y, you'll presume that you need to fix fault Y to resolve X. And if Y happens to be the first thing you check, it makes sense to stop, tell the customer what the problem seems to be, and what it's going to cost to repair it, before progressing to the next stage. Otherwise, you're wasting time, and possibly holding up other people waiting for your help.

    Of course, sometimes you're going to be wrong, and the process may end up taking longer as you sort through other options, but the risk of that happening is low enough to make it worthwhile.

    What we didn't look at in the example from the article, is what would have happened if they'd checked for Y (the moisture sensors having tripped) and not found it. You really need to look at multiple instances, with different faults and different symptoms, and see how often they go for the more expensive repair option. My personal experience is not often, but that's not going to hold for every customer at every location with every problem.

    lolliverobiwanbillwlymnumenorean
  • Reply 27 of 124
    This doesn’t surprise me. Marketplace (a “consumer watchdog” show also made by CBC also runs highly biased shows. 
    magman1979
  • Reply 28 of 124
    chasmchasm Posts: 997member
    Mike is right about the variable quality of Apple-authorized centres, but it should be noted that really bad ones generally don't get their license/certification renewed, so the range is more like mediocre-to-excellent.
    lolliver
  • Reply 29 of 124
    dysamoria said:
    Also: Apple’s policies may be great for Apple and convenient for customers who need replaced devices ASAP, but they’re not good for our environment, materials usage, and the average consumer who isn’t demanding an immediate replacement (due to costs). It’s a shortcut process that makes for a lot of unnecessary waste of materials and the added impact of materials shipping.

    There was nothing wrong with having multiple Rossman-level technicians in service centers, back when it was more common in electronics repair work. Corporations making the products saw a way to increase profit margins and acted accordingly. That’s all this is about. It’s not about best serving the average customer in any way but speed. Defending the service model by saying that it’s the most efficient and cost effective for how the product is built completely misses the point.

    This business model is unsustainable and a massive level of cultural normalization of this unsustainable model has occurred. It’s being defended by people who don’t directly (or at all) reap financial benefits by supporting it, and people who argue against it are characterized as extremists, uninformed, irrational, or, like here on this forum, communist!

    Have you seen the Max Headroom TV series? A world where nothing new is made, because there aren’t enough new raw materials (or extraction of them is so wasteful and costly that society cannot tolerate it anymore)... that world is coming. It’s an inevitability, because recycling isn’t being done much at all.

    Most materials go to feeding abusively-contracted, privately owned & operated, municipally paid, toxic pollution-generating incinerators (with some of them having the gall to be called “renewable energy”), or into landfills. The regions that have banned landfilling of electronics waste have seen collection & materials-selling businesses crop up, but the waste just gets shipped out of those regions into less regulated places.

    Those “recycling robots” (the two promoted by Apple) are mere marketing curiosities that don’t actually do the real work of materials reclamation, when and where reclamation is actually done. Look outside your first-world comforts and witness the backside of the electronics waste system, operating in low-wage, low-safety workplaces. These are the places to which American corporations ship the materials and where human beings do the dangerous tear down work (or toxic incineration, once the most sellable materials have been extracted). The companies collect and ship the material for profit, not for reuse or for any environmental concern.

    The component-level refurbishment being done by electronics sellers in the USA pales in comparison to the waste they ship out of country. The material that is ultimately reclaimed is fractional.

    As an aside: Repairability isn’t some “communist” plot to rob you of your freedom (unless you feel you have a “right” to contribute to destroying the environment and wasting materials). It’s depressing just how entrenched and thoughtless the USA’s Cold War anti-USSR propaganda has been; entire generations of people (including those who didn’t live in the Cold War), are acculturated into slamming pro-society, pro-consumer, pro-environment ideas with rhetoric about “communism” and “anti-freedom”. The sheer amount of mindless, knee-jerk responses still coming from people out there, responding to issues like this, are frightening.

    Maybe CBC is promoting articles with sensationalism (which is bad, and I’m sick of seeing every media entity resorting to being little more than an ad space-selling agency that justifies click-baiting), but, in this situation at least, the issue isn’t a made up one; it’s actually in everyone’s best interests. Do you have children, or siblings whose children are planning to have children? It seems grandchildren are the extent to which people give a damn about the future. Beyond people’s grandchildren, few people in positions of power in public policy seem to care about the long term impact of the policies they enact or promote (in government or corporations), and even fewer seem to be motivated to vote for long-term sustainability. It’s like most people are simply incapable of thinking about it. I would suggest education is at fault here, but I know better. It’s attitude and belief. Being confronted with actual hard data and facts just tends to make “belief-motivated” people solidify their positions.
    The complexity of the devices we use makes ‘right to repair’ not so clearly the best option for the environment. Consider cars as an example. Yes, a car built in the 60s was highly user serviceable. The quality of those cars almost made that an imperative. Here’s the thing about that. While it was easy for you or your local shade-tree mechanic to climb under the car or under the hood and change the oil or pull a water pump (I’ve done both) in order to effect comparatively inexpensive maintenance or repair, it’s also true that this resulted in vast quantities of oil, antifreeze and other toxic stuff to be dumped straight onto the ground or into the storm drain. (I never did that, but collecting the oil and taking it somewhere for recycling was a pain in the ass and a significant disincentive for most people to do the right thing.) It was cheap partly because there was no accountability. Those cars were built to lower tolerances than current vehicles and therefore met their end at 100,000 miles or less, and ended up as toxic junk.

    Modern cars have twice the lifespan or more, but are far less user serviceable. Computer controls, tighter tolerance specs, and more tightly packed engine compartments make for longer life, better mileage, and greater reliability, but they also make home repair and shade-tree work largely a thing of the past. On balance, I think this is a vast improvement from an environmental perspective. Cars last longer, need fewer (but more expensive) repairs, and work done at dealers and certified shops is more expensive, but results in more responsible containment, recycling and disposal of toxic automotive wastes. 

    Why am I writing about cars? Because the same principles are at play with iPhones. Before their introduction, cell phones and PDAs came with user-replaceable batteries. Sure, that’s less expensive, but those batteries were often cheap, third-party replacements, and consumers would buy several and most assuredly not dispose of them carefully and in an environmentally sound manner. Likewise, the devices themselves had a shorter shelf life than iPhones, and weren’t particularly repairable. This was o.k., because they were cheaper and easy enough to dump in the trash when replacing them. 

    I don’t believe Apple’s recycling robots are just for PR. They appear very serious about deploying them widely to implement a disassembly and recycling regimen that will result in significantly higher recovery of usable materials than the traditional shred-and-sort-by-hand operations, and therefore be of great environmental benefit. Their phones also are more reliable than the competition and have a longer lifespan. Android refers consumers to recycling centers that undoubtedly are part of the process of shredding and shipping electronic waste to deplorable operations overseas. Non-certified electronics repair shops also use cheap aftermaket parts that can crap out and reduce the ultimate lifespan of devices, and chances are also good those shops are not being particularly careful with waste disposal, either.

    So I don’t think a return to the halcyon days of third-party and consumer-serviced devices is necessarily such a great thing. I think the issue is clouded by the sort of nostalgia that only looks at the good side of the ledger. 
    StrangeDaysradarthekatkayess
  • Reply 30 of 124
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,360member
    IMO, both sides of the argument have valid points.   Apple had made repairs increasingly difficult and there's no reason why authorized third-party repair shops can't exist.  As I've written many times before, I think Apple's current approach to MBP computers, where the users can't change battery, memory or storage is a poor design and IMO, is unethical.  My old late 2008 MBP was fantastic in this regard.    IMO, it's absurd that I can't upgrade storage on my late 2016 MBP.   There's no reason why Apple couldn't have used standard storage on a plug.   There's also no reason why a third-party retailer shouldn't be able to switch out a battery.  If it makes the machine a little thicker, so be it. 

    On the other hand, the components have become so dense and so sophisticated that many things can't be fixed and especially not by a third party.  

    IFixIt obviously has a vested interest in selling tools and repair parts, but they also have a point:  Apple should not be designing their products purposely so they have a monopoly on repairs.   I don't have to have my car repaired by the original dealer and I shouldn't have to bring my computer/phone only to Apple and Apple shouldn't be building complexity, which raises repair costs, solely to maintain a repair monopoly,  

    I recently brought my iPhone6 to Apple where they replaced the battery for $29 and without me asking, cleaned the port (which I had previously tried to do myself, to no avail) and now the phone and charging is working like a brand new phone.  That's more than fair.  

    My late 2016 MBP experienced a screen failure, but luckily it was still under warranty.  Apple fixed it in a day.   But if it hadn't been under warranty, the repair would have been close to $1K.

    In the past, when Apple was smaller than it is today, they always gave us great support beyond what they had to do.   My son-in-law had a G4 tower in which the power supply kept failing.  After it failed for the fourth time, they just gave him a G5.   My daughter had a MacBook that her infant daughter damaged by pulling the screen down and breaking the hinges.  It still worked, but they had to support the screen with books or whatever.   Apple said it wasn't worth fixing as it would cost more than the machine.  Then the video died completely.  My daughter brought it in and asked them just to fix the video.   She got it back and they fixed everything and she freaked out because she thought she was going to get a huge credit card bill for the full repair.  But Apple fixed the entire thing for free.     I had a few other incidences like that.  But now that Apple has become so large and according to the published articles here, there's also a lot of fraud, I think they've become a lot less flexible.   
    entropysobiwanbillkayess
  • Reply 31 of 124
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,374member
    Apple wouldn’t leave itself open to these claims if upgrades at time of purchase and service costs were reasonable. You already pay a huge premium for the device, part of that premium should be the best service possible, and that includes repair costs. Why should high prices with massive margins also apply for a bit of extra RAM and SSD with no access to a cheaper option, and why should replacing an iphone 6S screen cost AUD$260 at the Apple Store?
    avon b7
  • Reply 32 of 124
    The CBC has a very credible investigative reporting team.

    Sadly, the documentarian brothers McKenna have a history of occasionally fitting facts to the story they want to tell rather than story fitting the facts.

    The bent (backlight connector) pin in the 15" MacBook pro caught my attention - the only way that pin could get bent is if the connector was removed. That's not going to happen casually.
    chasmmagman1979
  • Reply 33 of 124
    As a Canadian, just want to say sorry to the rest of the world for this misleading report. 
    chasmmagman1979
  • Reply 34 of 124
    davgreg said:
    StrangeDays said:
    Poppycock. Apple devices have the longest useful lifespan on the market, and highest resell
    value, so your entire “But planned obsolescence!” theory is a crock. Apple
    devices last a long time and people are willing to pay for that. Try again, Mr Stockholder. 

    (Also, difficult for consumers or DIY tinkerers to repair is in no way the same as planned obsolescence.)
    Apple resale value is dropping and the useful lifespan has more to do with the maturity of the technology than any action taken in Cupertino.
    BTW- Apple is very good at selling yesterday's chips at tomorrow's prices.

    This is not the company Steve Jobs built, or the one he recreated after returning. It has a fashion house mentality and regular Wall Street values.
    Delusional nonsense, my friend. Resale value is boss, would like to know you believe is higher. The lifespan has everything to do with the device design, efficiency, not maturing tech - otherwise PC clones and Android knockoffs would be just as long lived, but aren’t. And Apple’s chips are yesterday’s tech? Who is out-performing the A12? 

    Total troll trope nonsense. Go back to your Dell and quit pretending. 
    edited October 9 magman1979macxpressradarthekatstompy
  • Reply 35 of 124
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,810member
    I was fully prepared to consider the merits of the claims based on the investigator and experts laying out a logical and objective analysis of the situation at hand. 

    But then ... this:

    "Apple's perspective is that it wants complete control over the device, from the moment that you buy it, all the way through to the end of life," asserts Wiens. "Right to Repair takes some of the control away from them, and puts it back into the hands of the owner. That's where for manufacturers to say 'we're making a product, putting it out in the world, and we'll control every aspect of what happens after the fact,' is complete lunacy." 
    ...
    It "stems from a mentality that they are the center of the universe, and nobody is doing anything with their product," according to Wiens. 

    What the Puck Batman, they are dropping down to appealing to emotions and flaming the flames of anti-Apple biases.  That's not objective reporting. Appealing to emotions and feelings is the lifeblood of propaganda. If you can't come up with a logical or fact based argument to advance your cause, bring on the propaganda. Think of the children! Apple as the center of the universe? Really, the entire universe? I didn't know that corporations even possessed a collective mentality, much less one that places all of humanity (and other yet to be discovered life forms) under its reign of control. Hey, at least when the aliens arrive they will be prepared to activate their Apple Music subscriptions seeing how they are already subservient to Apple.








  • Reply 36 of 124

    I am pretty certain that if Apple started doing ‘bend the prong’ repairs they would be opening the floodgates to ‘it didn’t have this problem until you bent the prong’ situations. You get a one year warranty with new gear. Two or three years with a modest AppleCare agreement. Time after time when there is a clear defect Apple has extended free service beyond the warranty. For the most part Apple hardware outlives a reasonable time frame of keeping up with the times. I really have never gotten the impression that one of Apple’s core values is to shaft the customer.

    magman1979radarthekat
  • Reply 37 of 124
    Who's CBC, and frankly, why should we care?
    CBC = Canadian national broadcaster for both radio and TV

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Broadcasting_Corporation
    I forgot to add a ‘/sarcasm’ tag...
  • Reply 38 of 124
    rcfa said:
    Apple customer satisfaction is more a function of ease of use and fundamental quality of the products, it has little to no bearing on Apple’s repair policies.

    Apple e.g. refuses to even look at my MacBook Air for repair because it has “a dangerous third party battery” in it. Nothing about that battery is dangerous, the battery that’s dangerous was the Apple supplied original, that with only 32 cycles became so bloated one couldn’t close the lid properly anymore, necessitating the emergency repair with a third party battery (which was all that was available within a useful time period). The damage the notebook has (only works without crashing if something is attached to the TB port), is likely the result of some minor damage to the main board due to the bloating.

    Similarly, until Apple finally acknowledged issues with certain iPhone 6 and 6s batteries and created the repair program, they refused to replace the batteries at a reasonable price. Going to a third party means that Apple will refuse any repairs, including the battery, because it has a third party battery in it.

    Apple’s repairs are generally much too expensive, particularly battery replacements.
    If you don’t like their repair policies.. don’t buy an iPhone.. buy some other crap and get it fixed where ever you like. Apple doesn’t force you to buy their phone in the first place. It’s you choice!!
    magman1979radarthekat
  • Reply 39 of 124
    I only watched a few minutes of the CBC piece before I walked away shaking my head at how one-sided it was, but I saw enough to decide that the points CBC raised were valid, and worthy of discussion. Unfortunately their decision to not include counter arguments or explain how some of Apple's decisions could be considered pro-consumer resulted in a story lacking journalistic credibility. That's a shame, because CBC was, until recently, the last bastion of objective reporting in North America.

    Mike and Malcolm say that the world works best when consumers have choices, including the particular brand of service Apple offers. I agree. What I'm finding troubling is Apple's trend towards trying to eliminate everything BUT its own brand of service. I appreciate Apple providing me a way to verify the security of my device after service. I do NOT appreciate Apple making it the ONLY option, which they've done with the Home button and the Mac verification routine. If I decide to compromise security to save money, like for an older device relegated to limited duty, that should be my choice. Apple is not my mom.
    Maybe Apple should sell phones with no warranty at all and then you could get it serviced/fixed where ever you choose... Don’t think many would buy one tho as they always want someone to blame when things go wrong.. 
  • Reply 40 of 124
    Maybe Apple should sell phones with NO WARRANTY.. then you could get them serviced or fixed where ever you choose..

    Maybe Applinsider could run a poll to see how many ‘whingers’ would buy an iPhone with no warranty so they could get a choice of repairer


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