Big Switch: More In-Store iProduct Repairs

May 10, 2013

The workload of Apple retail store Genius Bars is scheduled for a huge increase later this year, after the company introduces a revamped AppleCare product that includes a longer list of iPhone, iPad and iPod problems that will repaired in-house. The changes will reportedly save the company $1 billion a year, but could also significantly lower customer satisfaction with time-consuming repairs, instead of being handled in five minutes with a swap-out. According to AppleInsider, Apple vice president Tara Bunch announced today to employees that in-store repairs will be expanded to include display replacement, sleep/wake buttons and logic boards. Previously, repairs were only made for problems with speakers, receivers, home buttons, the vibrator motor and battery. The tipster did not report that Bunch announced additional Genius Bar staffing to accommodate the increased workload of repairs. According to AppleInsider’s tipster, the current AppleCare model will also change from product-based to customer-based, and free after-sales product support will be extended for a longer period. Apple’s Genius Bars are a significant link in the chain of customer satisfaction, along with the ability of iPhones, iPads and iPods to be restored from a computer-based back-up. In fact, the Genius Bar is the destination of over 25 percent of store visitors, who highly value the ability to simply swap-out a defective iProduct under warranty with a remanufactured one. Under the proposed plan, customers will have to wait some period of time for their iProduct to be repaired, but it’s not clear if that period will be several hours or overnight.

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