‘Right to repair’ movement fights to put fixes back in hands of consumers

Apple often overestimates the cost of repairs to its products and threatens third-party shops who are willing to fix them for a fraction of the price, a CBC News investigation has learned.

Customers who enter an Apple Store with a seemingly minor hardware problem, such as a flickering screen, are often faced with a large bill because they are told they need to replace major parts of the device.

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Apple only allows its devices to be repaired by Apple Store technicians or “authorized” service centres in order for them to remain within warranty.

Jason Koebler, who regularly covers Apple as the editor-in-chief of VICE Media’s technology and science news site Motherboard, said this is a common problem.

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“I’ve broken my MacBook before and taken it to Apple and they wanted $700 to fix the screen. I ended up doing it myself for $50. This happens all the time,” he said.

“There are many third-party people out there who can fix things that Apple won’t do because it’s not profitable to do it at scale, or Apple would rather replace it altogether. There are a lot of reasons why people wouldn’t want to become authorized and work, essentially, for Apple, when they can work for themselves.”

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