Apple announced its Independent Repair Program last August that’s designed to let small businesses that aren’t Apple Authorized Service Providers a way to get Apple-genuine parts, training, and resources. The launch of the program was seen as a positive move for small shops that would give more customers access to legitimate repairs. However, the contract for the Independent Repair Program has recently leaked and Apple is seeing heavy criticism from lawyers and members of the repair community who are calling the terms of the contract “crazy” and “onerous.”
Motherboard recently got a copy of the contract that small businesses need to sign to join Apple’s Independent Repair Program (IRP) and says that it includes bold “terms that could give Apple significant control over businesses that choose to participate.”
One example is that if a business joins the IRP, Apple reserves the right to “unannounced audits and inspections by Apple, which are intended, at least in part, to search for and identify the use of “prohibited” repair parts, which Apple can impose fines for.”
Even if a business decides to leave the program, Apple “reserves the right to continue inspecting repair shops for up to five years.”
Those terms come on top of Apple making these Independent Repair Program partners not only advertise that they are not Apple Authorized Service Providers but also, they “must obtain ‘express written acknowledgement’ from customers showing they understand they are not receiving repairs from an authorized service provider.” That’s despite the fact that any business that’s part of the Independent Repair Program must have its staff complete Apple-certified technician training for any repairs using genuine parts.
Independent Repair Provider Program
The Independent Repair Provider program is designed for companies interested in offering out-of-warranty repair service for iPhone and Mac. Qualifying companies can gain access to Apple genuine parts, tools, training, service guides, diagnostics and resources to perform a variety of out-of-warranty repairs for iPhone and Mac, such as iPhone display and battery replacements, and Mac logic board and video card replacements.
Behind The Scenes
Here’s a bit of background about me: At Apple, where I was a manager for over a decade, I completely bought into the belief that Macs were better made than Windows machines. However, on more occasions than I could count, it was a problem from a faithful Macintosh user that ended up being my challenge to solve. Sometimes, these problems were referred to me by executives; other times, unhappy customers would simply find me through people in my account teams.