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This ‘secret’ Apple retail store trick might get you free repairs and replacements

Published Mar 18th, 2021 7:31AM EDT
Apple Retail Store
Image: Felix Mizioznikov/Adobe

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If you’ve ever had problems with your Apple device, your best bet of getting it fixed is bringing it to an Apple retail store near you to get it fixed. Some repairs might be free, and some might be quite costly, but the Apple Genius Bar is the way to go. Apple offers excellent customer support, and if an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook needs repairs, there’s really no one better qualified for the job. After all, those products are already expensive, so you should want Apple pros to handle any repairs.

It turns out there’s a secret Apple retail store trick that people with broken Apple gear absolutely need to know. A former employee revealed in a video on TikTok that went viral that customers only need to do a simple thing to get their repair experience upgraded to a free fix or even a replacement.

TikTok user @Tanicornerstone says in her short video posted in mid-December that there’s a secret “surprise and delight” policy that allows Geniuses to offer customers free replacement instead of charging them for repairs. All the customers need to do is be polite with the staff when bringing in their devices for repairs.

“I used to work for Apple,” the TikToker begins. “So the first thing; rude customers, like we got some psychos in that store, but if you’re rude to, like, the geniuses or the concierge people, you will get your problem fixed most likely; however, you are going to pay for it.”


#stitch with @annaxjames apple goss tips and tricks

♬ original sound – Tani

“But then you come across some really amazing people, and there was a term that Apple used called ‘surprise and delight,’” she continued. “Every genius and staff member had a quota that they were able to go above and beyond and surprise customers.”

“I used to see a lot, people would come in with like water damaged phones, and you’re not allowed to replace those without a fee. However, the geniuses used a ‘surprise and delight’ to be able to give somebody a free replacement.”

The clip went viral on TikTok, surpassing 115,000 views. Now that the secret is out, more people might want to take advantage of it to attempt scoring repair upgrades, whether it’s free service or free replacement. So Apple might have to adapt the “surprise and delight” tactic accordingly, if it’s indeed real. But regardless of whether you can have your problem fixed for free in Apple stores or not, politeness has never hurt anybody.

What is clear from the clip’s comments, as well as many similar stories found online, is that Apple will sometimes go above and beyond for customers, with retail store staff throwing in free repairs or replacements when that sort of treatment wouldn’t necessarily be warranted.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.