Lately, with the temporary closing of the Apple Store in the Palm Beach Gardens Mall, we have had an influx of customer traffic and phone calls. We’d like to address an issue that we are starting to see within this situation.
It seems that a good amount of new customers think that we at UberMac are the Apple Store, when in fact (and we think we have been more than transparent about this fact), we at UberMac are not the Apple Store. We are a privately owned company that was created locally, and that employs Apple Certified Technicians. So although Apple customers are used to being helped for free at the Apple Store, or used to having repairs made for free under an Apple Warranty, we unfortunately need to charge a fee for these services to stay in business.
Alternatively, customers that want or need in warranty repairs for their Apple computers or devices can locate an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) on Google.
However, we want all Apple customers to be aware that we do have a policy that allows for us to assist anyone that walks into our Jupiter, FL store location for up to 5 minutes for free. This is a per person, per day policy, but we have been offering that free help for over 7 years. And if in that 5 minutes of free help we decide that it will take longer, we then give the customer the option to sit down with one of our Apple Certified Technicians for our in store fee, or advise them that they can get further help for free at the Apple Store.
Our in store hourly rates are $99 per hour. If you are a walk in customer needing help and we have gone past our 5 minutes of complimentary free help, we then allow a private sit down session in 15 minute intervals at approximately $25 per 15 minute session.
To call and book an in store private one-on-one lesson, we have a 1/2 hour minimum at $49 per half hour.
To book one of our Apple Certified Technicians to come to your home or business, we have a 1 hour minimum rate of $139 per hour. We do not travel more than 10 miles from our store location.
Apple Computer, iPhone and iPad repairs vary widely in price, so please check our website for current repair prices, or call our store for more information.
We really hope that our customers understand why we have to charge for our services. We want to be able to continue to grow so that we can help those customers that want a good solid alternative to the Apple Store.
Apple Store in Palm Beach Gardens Mall Closing Temporarily
Yesterday, we at UberMac started hearing rumblings from our customers that the Apple Store inside of the Palm Beach Gardens Mall was closing, and that there was a line outside of the front door, wrapping around the side of the store. So we decided to visit the store and talk to some of our friends on staff to get the real skinny on the situation.
And sure enough the rumor is true. The Apple Store in the Palm Beach Gardens Mall will be closing on March 25th for 4 to 6 months to expand into the space next door to it. This news came directly from our Apple contact’s mouth.
So what will Apple customers do regarding all of their repairs and needed assistance? Well, our guess is that they will try to refer all Apple customers to the Wellington Mall Apple Store. Or maybe they will try to make Apple customers aware of the Apple Consultants Network (which we were once a member of, but decided that it wasn’t for us).
But the problem with both of those scenarios is the same problem the Apple Store has always had. It’s bad for customer service, it’s inconvenient, and it’s horrible for the customer experience.
But you have a great alternative. A store much like an Apple Store with actual Apple Certified Technicians at your disposal close by in Jupiter, FL at UberMac.
UberMac, (formerly Cobalt Computer Consulting, and a former member of the Apple Consultants Network), is one of the only Apple only repair stores in the United States. We specialize in repairing all Apple computers, devices and products. Many computer repair or “iFix” repair stores will fix anything that comes through their door such as Microsoft Windows computers, TV’s, Android phones and tablets, game consoles, etc. But UberMac is the polar opposite of those stores. We are an Apple only company. And that makes us the very best at what we do.
So while the Apple Store in the Gardens Mall is closed, you can have the very next best thing. And our repair turnaround times are amazing. We also do things that the Apple store does not do like in home consulting, computer setup and data recovery and transfers. UberMac is as close as you will ever get to an actual Apple Store.
The Differences between the Apple Store and UberMac
The only real differences between UberMac and the Apple Store, is that we are not authorized to perform IN WARRANTY repairs on Apple products. In fact, if your Apple computer, iPhone or iPad are still in warranty, we always encourage all of our customers to head to the closest Apple Store to have it serviced there. But for many of our customers, just walking into an Apple Store is an unpleasant venture in and of itself. Nothing against Apple, because we love Apple, but we all know that these stores suffer from lack of customer service. It’s a known issue. So it’s not surprising to us that about 90% of our customers are willing to have us void their warranty and continue with the repair, regardless of the consequences. From our experience, they don’t want to go to the Apple Store for one, and they also don’t want to wait for an hour or more to find out if their iPhone can be repaired. At UberMac, we can have it fixed in about 20 minutes on average. So Apple customers normally choose us instead.
That being said, as a former member of the Apple Consultants Network, we have a vast knowledge of all things Apple. UberMac and it’s Apple Certified Technicians have been repairing Apple products exclusively for over 7 years now. We have performed just about any repair you can fathom related to Apple and it’s products.
The other main difference between UberMac and the Apple Store, is that the Apple Store will not allow it’s technicians to come to an Apple customers home to assist them. It is just not allowed. And if an Apple technician does decide to take a side job at a customers home, it is grounds for termination. It is simply against policy. But UberMac technicians have been coming to Apple customers homes and assisting with everything from Apple computer setup and configuration, to wireless printer setup, to basic lessons, troubleshooting, and even wireless network installation for years now. Since 2005 to be exact.
Also, it is important to remember that our technicians at UberMac hold at least one, if not multiple Apple Certifications. This is a standard and a requirement to be employed by UberMac, and that goes for all UberMac franchises that we will be pushing out across the United States as well. (We’ll get into that in a little bit ; )
We know that Apple customers want professionals handling their expensive computers and devices, that’s why we require Apple Certifications within our organization. So why would you trust your Apple products to one of those “iFix” stores or the Geek Squad guys, of the Geeks On Call? And if you do, ask them if they are Apple Certified, and also ask to see proof. You can also verify certifications on Apple’s website as well, however it is not very reliable. I myself hold 5 Apple certifications, and not one of them shows up in their search system. So it is important for you, the consumer, to do your research, ask questions and read reviews before you trust someone with your devices. We at UberMac have a proven track record. Feel free to read all about us in our “Reviews” section here.
The “iFix” stores & iPhone Repair
At UberMac, we have repaired over 7,600 iPhones to date, over 1,200 iPads and a staggering 4,100 iMac and MacBook repairs in the last 7 years. But let’s talk about the iPhone repair industry.
Apple has never allowed anyone to repair their iPhones or iPads. They just recently started allowing some AASP’s (Apple Authorized Service Providers) to perform low level repairs, but AASP’s are rare to find and sparsely located based on our research.
In the past, it’s been known that if an iPhone repair store opens your device, the warranty was voided. But good news, that is no longer the situation.
In our opinion, this was Apple’s way to get you into their stores. And although it is almost literally impossible for any iPhone repair store to acquire actual, OEM Apple parts for repairs, many of the parts available to iPhone repair stores are very close in quality compared to Apple’s original parts. But that is only if the iPhone repair store that you trust with your repair chooses to seek out those high quality parts. Most iPhone repair stores don’t tell you that you are either getting a refurbished LCD, or the lowest priced part that they could acquire. But at UberMac, we only use the highest quality parts available, and constantly try to steer clear of refurbished iPhone screens, even though the market is literally saturated with them. But we offer a lifetime warranty on our iPhone and iPad parts, regardless, so that the consumer has nothing to worry about.
But a lifetime warranty really does you no good if the part is low quality, and you are forced to keep returning to that “iFix” store to keep having them replace the same part. That is why we demand the quality that we do in the parts that we use.
There are a few “iFix” stores out there that do have integrity, do use quality parts, and also perform repairs to our standard, but they are very few and far between. And almost none of them employ Apple Certified technicians like UberMac does. That is why we have distanced ourselves from the “iFix” industry. UberMac is so much more than an iPhone repair company. We are much closer to an actual Apple store than anything else in our industry.
Apple Computer Repairs By Apple Certified Technicians
We have been performing repairs exclusively on Apple iMac and MacBook computers for over 7 years now (But we have been in business performing computer repairs since 2005). We are capable of performing any repair on any Apple product. If your product is in warranty, we can still perform your upgrade or repair, but will advise you that you will be voiding your warranty first. But if your computer or device is out of warranty, this is where we shine. Our repair times are unbelievably faster than the Apple Store. On average, any iPhone repair takes us about 20 minutes to complete. That means you can wait in our showroom, or run down to Rock Steady Juice Joint for a pick me up.
Even iPad repairs can be handled on the same day if dropped off early enough.
And our Apple computer repair times are much more efficient than an Apple Store. For instance, a typical hard drive repair, replacement or upgrade can be done in about an hour or 2. That’s right. Same day service on hard drive repairs (Not including data transfer times, because they vary.) And if you need a repair performed that requires us to order a special part that we do not stock, like an LCD assembly, or a special SSD for a retina MacBook Pro, we can acquire that part fast. Once the part is in our hands, almost every single repair can be done within hours. The exception would be more extensive repairs like logic board repair. But again, most repairs are done the same day, unlike the several day wait that Apple customers normally need to endure at an Apple Store.
All of our parts and repairs hold a 90 day warranty on them. New parts such as hard drives generally come with a 1 year warranty on them as well.
Selling Apple Computers & Products
For years, we at UberMac resisted selling Apple computers and devices. Our customers constantly asked us to carry used Apple Computers, but to be honest, there just didn’t seem to be a way to make money in this area. However, in recent months we have found a way to finally be able to offer out customers high quality, gently used, excellent condition iMac and Macbook computers from UberMac. And we also certify all of these computers and add a 90 day warranty to them. This new addition to the services that we offer has been highly successful, and was clearly a much needed area for our customers.
We even keep a couple of NEW in the box Apple Computers and iPads in stock for the customers that don’t want to drive to the Apple Store or to Best Buy. We carry these mainly as a convenience to our customers.
Transparency, Transparency, Transparency.
We want to be very clear about the UberMac business model right from the get go with you. At UberMac, we are completely against sales and sales tactics. UberMac is not a sales company. UberMac is a customer service company first and foremost. There are no commissions at our company.
Do we “sell” products?
No. We do not “sell” anything.
Do we stock products that the consumer can buy if they want to?
Yes. We do.
In other words, we stock at least 20 gently used Apple computers at all times. We also carry a full line of Otterbox cases for iPhone and iPad. We stock almost every single Apple accessory cable, adapter, keyboard and mouse. We stock a lot of things, but we don’t sell anything at UberMac.
This seems unorthodox, we know, but we also know what it feels like to walk onto a car lot or to walk into a furniture store and feel the pressure of a salesman hovering over you. No one wants to be “hovered over” when they are simply looking, shopping or killing time. That is why, when we decided to start selling products, we chose this approach. And it works. Look, if you want to buy something at UberMac, grab it and bring it to the counter to purchase it. And if you need help or have a question, ask any UberMac employee at anytime. And if it ever feels like no one is helping you, or that you are receiving bad service when you are shopping for a product, trust us, that’s not the case. We just want you to be able to shop in peace without any pressure. Again, if you have a question, just ask and we will jump to assist you.
With this shopping experience standard put into place, and having tested it over the years, it has proven to be a huge success. Our customers have raved about how comfortable it is to shop at our store, and how honest and transparent we are when it comes to advising our customers on what to do regarding a repair or purchase.
If you offer good reliable products, they will sell themselves, and that’s what happens at UberMac.
Just the beginning.
So now that you know all about us here at UberMac, we hope you will let us be your Apple Store alternative location in the coming months while the Apple Store is closed for it’s expansion. Jupiter, FL is not far from the Palm Beach Gardens Mall, and considerably closer than the Apple Store in the Wellington Mall if you live in Palm Beach Gardens, Abacoa, Singer Island, North Palm Beach, Juno Beach, and other areas north of PGA Blvd.
UberMac has just finished the legal process to be able to franchise it’s business across the United States. This should be a great year for us, and we hope to open many UberMac locations so that we can supplement the Apple Stores’ customers when they want a faster, more relaxed alternative to visiting an Apple Store. Come check us out.
UberMac. As close to an Apple Store as you can get.
UberMac. Why We’re Not Your Typical “iFix” Company.
Back in 2008, we registered iPhoneFix.com, which is probably (and arguably) the best domain name in the world if what you’re going to do is repair iPhones for a living. And we still own it to this day. But we no longer use it, and feel that it is important to distance UberMac from the thousands of “iFix” companies that exist today, and here’s why.
I started to notice people calling and coming into our store, and confusing us with these other “iFix” stores. I had people that were angry at us that we wouldn’t repair their phones because their husband or wife told them that “The iFix” place fixed it last. And we would try to look them up in our system, and sure enough, it was always some other company that repaired their phone. And people also confused us with why their phones were having issues so soon after their repair. And again we would help them to discover that it wasn’t us. It became embarrassing to be associated with, or have the word “fix” in my name anymore.
One more example is when I had just met someone and told them what I do and that I own iPhoneFix, and their whole demeanor changed and they started complaining to me about how my company “screwed their mom over” on an iPhone repair. He told me that after it was repaired that it stopped working the next day and she brought it to Apple and they told her that the part that they used went bad, and that when she tried to get it replaced they told her they couldn’t help her. I was beside myself, but I knew for a fact that it wasn’t us. So we had to go through this whole thing where I had to convince him that our company would never do that. After regaining some respect with him, we called his mom and sure enough, it happened to be this company way down Indiantown Rd in Jupiter. It was confirmed that it wasn’t us, but it was enough to make me think. And think I did. It was time to get away from the “iFix” name association, I thought.
But, there are some “iFix” companies that do a decent job and use pretty decent quality parts for their repairs. But then, there are MANY that don’t. Believe us, we’ve seen their work come through our stores over the years.
From day one, as the owner of iPhoneFix, I adopted a standard for iPhone repairs at my company and I passed it along to the few (and chosen) technicians that I employed. And that standard was as follows: “Make sure that every single screw goes back inside of every single phone, and make it look like no one was ever inside.”
The reason for this standard? Well, I knew that the iPhone industry was going to grow extensively, and that eventually I would have competition. And when my competition opened one of the iPhone’s that we had repaired before, if and when they noticed that that iPhone had been repaired before, I wanted to set an example for that technician and my competing company. I wanted that technician to say to himself “Wow. Those guys are good.”.
And sure enough. As the industry grew, we had competition move in. And when they moved in, we started getting their repairs. And we saw the work that they did. 90% of the time we would just shake our heads. The work was just terrible. Missing screws. Wrong screws in wrong places that were causing blemishes in LCD’s, loose home buttons, improperly glued glass, Missing plates………. I mean hey, we all have to learn somewhere, but it should never be on a customers devices. It should be on your own, in my opinion.
Now, with that said, we are not perfect either. We have had customers come back and we have made the occasional mistake. And it has always been corrected. But yes, it happens to us all. But adopting standards and admitting when you’ve made a mistake are priorities everyone should adopt. It will make you better at what you do if you learn from those mistakes.
Now, let’s talk about the explosion of the iPhone repair industry.
Around 2012, suddenly it seemed, everyone with a few thousand dollars and a little knowledge from YouTube could open an “iFix” store. And boy did they open. To this day I joke about the fact that almost every strip mall I pass in Ft. Lauderdale has a Yogurt store, A Vapor Store, and an iPhone repair store. Those industry’s have obviously exploded as well.
But with this explosion of iPhone repair stores came people looking to make a quick buck “fixing iPhones”. By now, YouTube had tons of videos on how to repair these devices. (Old man rant, shakes fist at the air: “Back in my day they didn’t have video’s on the “intertubes” showing how to fix iPhones. We had to break our own and learn from experience!”)
Soon, I watched the kiosks in the malls pop up. I watched the competition move in to Jupiter and South Florida. I even watched one local business copy my business model, logo, color scheme, and everything verbatim. I watched the websites pop up. I watched the names pop up too. iFixyourthis, iFixyourthat, iCrackedmything, ithis, ithat, i, i, i, iiiiiiiiii.
Enough. Every variation of the “iFix” thing has been done. And adding an “i” got everything has also become an industry standard. iRepair. iRobot. iHome. It’s just time to get away from the “i” fad. It’s been done to death.
But I want to say, there are a few companies that, I think, have done it right. There are a few companies where I have seen their work, that I have been impressed with. So It makes me feel good that some guys are training their techs to have some standards to their repairs. But the reason for this article is to try to explain why I am distancing myself and my company from the “iFix” industry.
Many newcomers are what professionals in our industry call “Youtube Technicians”. These are techs that learn from Youtube, fix a few phones, then get a couple thousand dollars together and open a store or start repairing mobile. But many are pressured to make a quick buck to get the money back, and in turn shop for the cheapest parts possible to sell their customers.
Cheap parts will not only make the customer angry because of all of the revisits they’ll need to make to you, but they also are of very low quality, hence the first part of this sentence. This is a complete disservice to not only the customer, but to our industry as a whole.
Over the last 3 years, our customers have expressed to us how they feel like most of the “iFix” iPhone repair stores that they enter have a low quality, and many times even a “shady” feel to them.
One guy in particular that my customer expressed a lot of concern and complaints about, was a guy who used to come into our store and have these phones repaired. They were always phones that he had tried to repair, but couldn’t get back together or get them working properly after he tried to repair them. He always paid in cash, and we would ask his name for our system and he would tell us to just call him “Money”. 6 months later, and after repairing at least 4 iPhones for him, he decided he would be an iPhone repair technician, and bought a cube truck, and drove around performing repairs. In the back of the truck, he had a couch and a desk, and would invite the customers in while the repair was being performed. Many people used the word “creepy” when describing the overall experience. And we re-repaired many of that guys repairs because when the part went bad, he always had an excuse as to why he wouldn’t fix it, or he would just stop answering the phone altogether. Needless to say, he went out of business.
Another thing that the “iFix” industry has bred are fake certification claims. Many of these “iFix” stores advertise that they have “Mobile Repair Certified Technicians” or some other certifications. Well guess what. Almost all of these certifications are made up. Made up right out of the air to make them seem legitimate. There are now a few actual certifications these days, but no way to truly verify if those technicians are actually certified. So I recommend Googling the “Certification” claims that these stores are trying to claim that they have.
Few have actual Apple Certified technicians performing repairs. I have seen one company ever. And we at UberMac, actually require, pay for, and give incentives, for our technicians to obtain an Apple certification. This way our customers can verify our certification claims on Apple’s website, and it also shows that we at UberMac, actually care enough about what we do, and care about our customers enough to obtain these certifications.
Fast forward to today. January 3, 2017.
A few months ago, I took a look around when I was in Las Vegas for CTIA, and I thought to myself after observing all of the names that were there, and realizing the over saturation of these words, “I want to separate from this whole “iFix” thing.”. We are well established, we have a great reputation. Our work speaks for itself. But it’s risky to take one of the best domain names in the industry and no longer use it for marketing. But I decided that it mattered enough to me that it was worth it. So I changed the name of my company to better reflect who I believe we are as a company.
So I changed it to UberMac.
Why UberMac, and no I won’t come pick you up. (Har har. We get it.)
Well, Uber is a German word meaning “the top of” something or “the highest of”. That word resonates because we are one of the very best at what we do, and I truly believe that. So do many of our clients if you were to ask them. And then I added the word Mac purely for branding reasons, and because hey, we are Apple guys after all.
So what we are trying to say in this article is this. You can take your expensive Apple iPhone to any one of the tens of thousands of iPhone repair stores in the world. But how does it feel when you walk in? Is it open and inviting? Or is it small and uninviting. Are they Apple Certified Technicians that are employed there? Or are they claiming some fake certification that doesn’t even exist? Have you looked at their Google and Yelp reviews?
Because coming to an UberMac store to have your iPhone, iPad or Apple iMac or MacBook computer repaired, you won’t have to guess if you’ve come to the right place to have your devices repaired or fixed. You’ll feel it. You’ll know it.
Here’s why Why Visiting an Apple Specialized Store Is Better Than Visiting Those “iFix” Places. For the last 7 years, UberMac has been one of the only, (if not THE only), Apple Specialized device repair companies that we know of that focuses ONLY on support and repair of Apple products. Meaning, Ubermac does not repair Android phones or tablets, game consoles, TV’s or Windows based PC computers. We only focus on Apple products. That not only sets Ubermac apart from all of those other “iFix” places, but it makes UberMac stores and their Apple Certified technicians the best at what they do.
UberMac started as iPhoneFix.com back in 2010. We were one of the very first iPhone repair companies in South Florida at that time, and business started to boom. At that time, there was one other iPhone repair company any where in the area and they were all the way down in Lake Park. This was back in the day when there was no competition. iPhoneFix were the only guys around performing iPhone repairs. That meant there was no price matching. No competition means “name your own price based on demand”, but we always kept it fair.
As the years passed, and companies like Samsung began to develop and sell their smart phones, there became a need for repairs to those phones as well, and since our customers asked, we started performing those repairs.
But not long after performing those first few repairs, we realized something. We didn’t really like repairing these devices.
So we said, hey, why not support and repair only Apple products and devices and become one of the only Apple Specialized stores in South Florida. This will help us to become the best technicians ion the business. In our view, it’s the difference between a mechanic that only works on German manufactured cars, and a mechanic that will work on every car made. The mechanic that works on German cars would hypothetically be better and faster at his job because he knows just a few certain cars inside and out, whereas the other mechanic would be constantly battling different problems. He would need to research how to repair all of those different makes of cars on a fairly constant basis.
And because UberMac technicians have adopted the “german mechanic” scenario above, we almost always know of recurring issues, or we might know the best way to go to troubleshoot a customer’s issue right out of the gate, because we had seen that issue many times before.
So that is the story behind the reason that UberMac will only repair Apple products. We hope our customers can appreciate why as much as we do.