Self Service Repair: we (did) not repair our iPhone with Apple’s repair kit

Apple ensures that “Eight out of ten customers are less than thirty minutes from an Approved Service Center” in Europe, which always leaves two poor clients, and does not guarantee that you will easily find an appointment. You would let a carrier pick up your device and send it to Pegatron’s huge logistics center in the Czech Republic, but that’s a lot of hassle, so you’re not afraid to wield a screwdriver.

The new “Self Service Repair” program is made for you. In exchange for a rental fee of €59.95 and a substantial deposit, you will receive all the tools necessary to open and repair your device as if you were working in an Authorized Service Center (CSAA). This consequence of “right to repair” legislation opens up exciting possibilities, but also new sources of problems.

Self Service Repair we did not repair our iPhone with
Opening an iPhone with the Self Service Repair program toolkit. Image iGeneration.

A home service center

Did we have to find an excuse to test this service? Still, the battery status of a colleague’s iPhone 12 provides us with one. The “in-house repair shop” offers all the necessary parts: the new battery of course, but also a pair of adhesives to glue the screen, and replacement screws. The whole thing costs €77.11, but €26.26 can be recovered by returning the old battery.

The necessary tools and accessories can be purchased individually, from the screen protection cover at €0.56 to the “hot tear-off equipment” at €263.62, including the repair at €51.60. More simply, the complete “tool kit” can be rented for €59.95… and a €1,200 deposit. Before you can validate the order, you must enter a code found in the repair manual available online“RBQEVH” in our case.

1673792846 724 Self Service Repair we did not repair our iPhone with
Two large trunks… to install a small battery. Image iGeneration.

The size of the tool kit is inversely proportional to that of the repaired product: a small 2 kg briefcase for the MacBook Pro, a large 18 kg briefcase for the MacBook Air, and two huge suitcases on wheels approaching 36 kg for the iPhone. The very theatrical unsealing of the trunks gives the impression of opening your own home service center, but you still have to add a few almost essential accessories.

Even though nitrile gloves or alcohol wipes are not provided, we must have a few boxes left after four years of the pandemic. But heat-resistant gloves? The mat and the wrist strap? The jar of sand “clean, dry and untreated” to reverse in case of problem with the battery? These accessories are certainly less common, and there was room left in the trunks.

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Self Service Repair: we (did) not repair our iPhone with Apple’s repair kit

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