Macbook glass – why you shouldn’t buy off eBay & Amazon.

Price isn’t everything.

I’ve always been outspoken against price shopping for parts to repair laptops. You want to arrange by lowest price – you’ll get precisely what you bargain for, and eBay & Amazon are two of the worst cespools when it comes to purchasing repair parts.

Good Macbook glass aint cheap!

Today I’d like to use the example of Macbook glass. This was brought in by a customer hoping to save a few bucks. We charge $100 in labor to replace the glass, but $150 with our part. He got this for $19.99. Here are a few of the things you get along with that cost savings of $30.01. We repair the glass on A1278 Macbooks and also sell the part for those so inclined to repair it themselves.

Crap glass has inferior packaging.

Good glass has a screen protector that is flush against the entire surface of the glass, applied at the factory at the time of production. You won't find dust, or any other junk under this protector.

Good glass has a screen protector that is flush against the entire surface of the glass, applied at the factory at the time of production. You won’t find dust, or any other junk under this protector.

The crap used glass has a white piece of paper over the backside of it. This is not factory applied, this is applied by a person - a lowly skilled one at that, who often eats over his work. You'll find dust and all sorts of crap between this piece of paper and the glass, as it is not sealed.

The crap used glass has a white piece of paper over the backside of it. This is not factory applied, this is applied by a person – a lowly skilled one at that, who often eats over his work. You’ll find dust and all sorts Crap glass has inferior packaging. of crap between this piece of paper and the glass, as it is not sealed.


Crap glass has bubble defects.

You'll have to look closely, click & zoom in to see. These defects cause angry customers, chargebacks,and bad reviews.

You’ll have to look closely, click & zoom in to see. These defects cause angry customers, chargebacks,and bad reviews.

Crap glass has discolored borders

Ok, so the $100 camcorder doesn't do a stellar job of getting this point across, but if you can see it with the crap JVC Everio, imagine how bad it is in person. The crap glass on the bottom isn't even black - it's grey.

Ok, so the $100 camcorder doesn’t do a stellar job of getting this point across, but if you can see it with the crap JVC Everio, imagine how bad it is in person. The crap glass on the bottom isn’t even black – it’s grey.


What does this mean for the repair shop?

You are giving your customers excuses to bargain with you. You are giving them reasons to say “I’m not happy with this – I’m not paying.” You’re giving them reasons to leave a bad review.

What does this mean for the customer?

You’re turning a beautiful, $1200 laptop into a piece of shit. The very part you interact with on a regular basis is tainted in a manner that, even if it is subtle, makes it shittier to work on.

The price difference between the good stuff and the garbage isn’t that great. So, say no to white paper!

What success is – what success isn’t.

I feel like buying 500 screens from , copying their warranty stamp, and putting their stamp onto every lcd in my defects pile and sending it back to them after a nice chargeback.

100% full on plagiarizing  is bullshit.

This happened to us a few years ago… and you see what happens. Compare this company that stole our entire ad to ours now.. we probably make in a weekend what they make in a year.

You don’t make money off the site, you don’t make money off the graphics, you don’t make money off the brand – you make money off the IMPLEMENTATION.

I can give a competitor my parts vendor list. I can give another technician the knowledge of how to perform a repair I know how to do that they don’t. This doesn’t ensure, or even suggest, that there will be a successful outcome. I’ve done it before, and watched the results. Every second spent plagiarizing is a second that could have been spent building real success – that you wasted looking like an idiot.

What success is.

Success is a desire to be the best, combined with the dedication required to live that out.

Success is understanding that you MAKE time, not FIND time – in order to implement every improvement you would like to implement in your business.

Success is finding a solution instead of being immediate-action oriented. Example: problem presents, action taken to fix it, you see a bad consequence, “ok, that’s all we can do.” unsuccessful. Success is more like “problem, action, bad outcome, action, bad outcome, research, action, better outcome, more research, good outcome, we win.”

Success is finding voids in the marketplace and filling them from the perspective of the people approaching that marketplace from the opposite direction.

Success is turning misery into opportunity.

Success is learning each and every day, growing, becoming better, managing the growth of others who will contribute to the enterprise you’re growing.

What success is not.

Success it not your vendors list. Success is not your domain name. Success is not the employees you stole with promises of more vacation time. Success is not copying & fucking pasting the source code from Google chrome of your competitor’s webpage.

I wish on, the samefate of – a mediocre company, hidden in obscurity, forced to create new yelp pages to hide the shit reviews they got from shit service performed off the ads they copied and pasted from our eBay page. :)

Why cheap ASUS Nexus tablets suck.

I have a Nexus 7 tablet. I bought this thing for about $200 after coupon codes, and I got exactly what I expected when I spent $200 to get a Tegra 3, 720p display, & 32 GB of storage; a buggy pile of shit.

I used it for months and it worked great, outside the occasion when touch input on the screen became impossible. When this happened I’d put it down and do something else. I’d be reading a book and it’d zoom in and out and turn pages for me, or mess me up when typing an email. Whatever. It’s $200.

A new update comes out, and I get an alert. I decide to try it out to see what happens, and if it fixes the touchscreen bugs that hundreds of thousands of people are having.

It gets bricked. It restarts, with a bunch of colored balls moving around but never booting. I tried everything from wiping it, loading a new image via fastboot or adb from the bootloader menu, from the recovery, blah. It just doesn’t fucking work. I have managed to unbrick my HTC One S, HTC Sensation 4G, Samsung Galaxy S 4G, but this is just dead. Transfer hangs up and dies halfway through every file I push to it.

I look online for some help. The little included manual says “For online help & support, visit” Google only supports it if you purchased it through their store. Since I bought this from NewEgg, more than 30 days ago, my only option is support through ASUS.

I decide to RMA it to ASUS. I paid for the warranty, might as well use it, right? I’m tired of fixing shit when I come home. I do this fucking crap 12 hours a day, the last thing I want to do is repair my  tablet when it’s still in warranty. Who knows, I may get one with a touchscreen that doesn’t suck.

This is where the cheapness and shittiness of ASUS comes into play. I went to check the warranty card. It has pages of fine print on what they don’t cover, with no information on how to actually RMA this piece of shit. We finally get to a section with a webpage, and their Taiwan office address. I was hoping for a phone number, but no such luck.

I visited the webpage on the warranty card. Here’s what happens when I input the serial number of the tablet into ASUS’ support website.

This is what I get when I put my serial number into ASUS' support page.

This is what I get when I put my serial number into ASUS’ support page.

I figured maybe I put the wrong number in. There’s a little link that says How to identify Serial Number? Click it, I dare you.. you get this.

This is what you get when you click the link that says "How to identify Serial Number?" on ASUS' support website.

This is what you get when you click the link that says “How to identify Serial Number?” on ASUS’ support website.

I decided, fuck this, let me search manually. So I get to a page that looks like this.

It tells me to contact a service hotline, yet, the manual & the webpage provide no service hotline number.

Yes, it’s actually asking me to call a support hotline, while not providing the number to this hotline in either the manual, the warranty booklet, or the support page itself.

I navigated to another point of the site and decided to sign up for an account. I signed up, and went back to the Nexus 7 page, to register my tablet. I clicked to register my tablet with ASUS only to get taken to this screen.

a) I already registered an account and am logged in.

b) It is stuck, and won’t even show a dialog box unless you use internet explorer.

Here I am trying to register the tablet. It asks me to register on the site even though I already logged in and also freezes unless I use Internet Explorer.

Here I am trying to register the tablet. It asks me to register on the site even though I already logged in and also freezes unless I use Internet Explorer.

At this point I feel like I’m being trolled. This is intentional. ASUS does not want anyone sending this thing back.

I can’t complain too much. Again, I paid $200 for this. I earned my misery when I decided I was going to buy something this powerful that was this cheap, but this is bad enough that it’s comical, and worth sharing in detail.

Did I mention the login page for their website only works in Internet Explorer? ASUS is never prying a dime out of my wallet again.

As cool as the decreasing price of technology is, be very wary about competition driving prices too far down. This is really sad, because ASUS/Google killed the 7″ Android tablet market. No one is going to innovate in this space because no one wants to compete spec-wise with a tegra 3 and 720p display for $200. At the same time, no company providing all of this for $200 is making any money, and if a company doesn’t make money off of you, they can’t care about you. They can’t support the product. The result is this.. crap.

As much as I like to smash on Apple products sometimes, Apple’s entire customer experience kills ASUS’s by a large margin. There is no comparison.

Our policy on breaking the phone a 2nd time.

Outside the 1% of the cases where there is some legitimate nonsense involved, we’re not replacing a screen again for free if you crack it. Explanation below.



Anyone who has been in this business for long enough has heard the plight of the person whose phone cracked again “out of nowhere”…. honestly, if someone tells me the truth, we give a discount. Depending on how we feel that day, the part cost, and how many jobs are in the queue, it might even be a generous one. But, if you tell me I made your phone crack again… it’s going to cost retail. Might even be out of stock of the part we need to fix it again that day.


Seriously, don’t insult the intelligence of the person at the counter by telling them we gave it back to you cracked. Thank you.

Apple raiding small shops that do repairs. Attention: WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO REPAIR YOUR GARBAGE.

I would highly suggest anyone reading this seriously consider writing their local politican to tell them how fucked up it is that Apple is using federal law enforcement as their personal mafia. If you’ve ever dropped a phone and had it fixed for $120 less than Apple’s quote while keeping your data, this is an assignment for you. If you’ve ever spilled water on your computer and saved $500-$800 off what the Apple store told you it’d cost by coming here or elsewhere – you OWE it to our industry to be pissed off about what is happening. If you continue to let it happen, we might not be here next time you need us, and your local genius bar is going to be MUCH more crowded than it was on your last visit.

‘”Unless they are getting it from an Apple authorized manufacturer, they are most likely getting substandard parts which are counterfeit and illegal to possess,” Said Agent O’Neill’

I’ve been hearing more and more stories of repair shops being raided for repairing Apple devices. There are 101 and more problems with this. Let’s start from the top.


Open your Macbook. See where it says LP133WX2-TLG6? That’s an LG part, not an Apple one. If I want to buy that from Apple, it’s going to cost a lot of money. If I buy that from an LG broker, who is selling Grade A LG screens, it will cost $35-$100(depending on when), which allows us to charge $170 for this repair, instead of $300.

The same is true for an iPhone. Many use a Toshiba, Sharp, or LG LCD – NOT AN APPLE LCD.

I’m not going to dispute that there are tons of knockoff screens. Are there TONS of products on eBay & Amazon claiming to be OEM that are refurbished trash? OF COURSE! THEY SUCK!!! I HAVE SEEN THEM. I HATE THEM, I HATE THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THEM, AND I HATE THE PEOPLE WHO SELL THEM! I hate them because they make it harder for people who use good parts – for vendors who SELL good parts, to get by. Because we have to compete with the trash, and explain why we cost 5% or 10% more money. It sucks.

But, you know what? I support their right to sell trash if the alternative is living in a world where you have to be certified by a manufacturer to fix THEIR PRODUCT.

Sometimes, the knockoff is truly trash. At other times, the knockoff is actually good… very good. Like, original LCD, original digitizer/touchscreen, and a knockoff frame. The little plastic piece that goes around the phone. That piece alone being knockoff saves $30-$40. And, when you’re struggling to get people to pay $65 total to fix their device, yes, I’m willing to get a part that has a frame that was not produced by Apple. A frame that is absolutely, positively, for all intents and purposes – the same thing!

I value our ability to choose what compromises we offer our customers. Thanks to Yelp!, Google+, citysearch, and Facebook, it becomes  obvious quickly which businesses compromise  too much. Social media allows customers to tell the world who is using good stuff and who is using garbage. Natural selection in modern commerce does the job Apple & ICE are claiming to be doing, and they do it a lot better.

The REAL job they’re doing is an attempt to monopolize the industry. This comes right as Apple decides to start servicing their own products in their own stores. This comes right at the time that Apple lowers the prices of certain services. It’s not a coincidence, it’s part of their strategy to destroy an industry of mom & pop repair shops that do the job better than them.

We, as a repair shop, have the right to fix your products. We have the right to charge $75 to replace a backlight fuse when Apple tells someone it’ll cost $850 for a new motherboard. We have the right to get the job done in an hour when you tell them it’ll take 3 weeks because the job can only be done at a centralized facility. We have the right to get someone’s phone back to perfect condition in 20 minutes for $65 when you tell them it’ll be $200 and lose them their data.

We have the right to be better than you.

and if you have a problem with it, you should focus on being better than us before you turn our government agents into your personal mafia.

We have the right to fix the glass on your phone – the phone that cracks when it drops 10x easier than my HTC One S ever did. We have the right to replace the back cover to a screen assembly on a 2008-2009 “Uni” body machine. The machine you made in two pieces that you marketed as a single body for YEARS – where the pieces are GLUED TOGETHER like a kindergardener’s arts & crafts homework. A product that was designed so badly that the fan exhausts HOT AIR RIGHT ONTO THE GLUE. We have the right to fix what you fucked up, without charging a customer $650 just because we had to get the part from you.

And yes, depending on circumstances, that part may have an Apple logo on it. It’s an Apple computer. Whatdaya think people are gonna do, cut it out and put a lemon in its place? While it’d be fitting, it’s a labor cost most would rather not pass onto their customers.

Produce better products, provide better repair services for these products, and stop adding 500% middleman charge onto parts. Maybe things will be better for EVERYONE.


A soon to be raided repair shop owner.

winter’s tale 720p

One of the reasons Yelp! sucks

A large reason Yelp! sucks, IMO, is that people are often rating products or services from an ignorant point of view. Take this example below.

I’m fairly certain the person writing this has no experience in this industry. So they have no idea that the best cellphone motherboard component level repair shops in New York have absolutely no ESD safe workstations. The best reverse logistics providers could care less about ESD. Something tells me this person hasn’t worked on even3 devices, much less 300, or 4000, or 6000 – enough to have a clue what the practical ramifications of ESD really are, or what they are not.

Is ESD something worth discussing? Absolutely. I’m not trying to go on some “EST doesn’t exist” rant. I’m staying focused here, on a “quit criticizing people for shit you know nothing about” rant. A “think for yourself outside what the yellow sticker on your package says” rant. Think for a second about this. Maybe, just maybe, these people who’ve been doing this for years before you ever met them know something you don’t?

No. Of course not.

I’m tired of hearing people give advice on that which they lack personal experience of. I’m tired of dealing with people who tell you what’s best for you when they don’t know what’s best for them. I’m tired of reading uninformed opinions from a judgmental perspective. And, of course, as always – I’m tired of Yelp! :-)

If you care as much about this guy’s complaint as you do about ESD, like this post. :-)

You don’t get to choose what’s broken.

Like problems in life, you have to deal with your actual problem – not the problem you think you have. Here’s why I’m not much of a fan of people with self prescribed solutions to non-existant problems.


The Nexus 7 – or another reason I love to bash Apple products.

I fucked up this Nexus 7 that I just bought. Dropped it into a sink full of water. No more power button. :-(

I was dreading opening this. I don’t have a Hakko at home, any prytools.. but wait. This ISN’T some overpriced, nonsensically put together Apple piece of crap! There may be ANOTHER WAY.
I am so used to working on iJunk all day that it never occurred to me that they actually make these parts user accessible.

You mean I can pry off the back with my nails in 20 seconds? You mean I DON’T need specialized tools to remove glass that is glued to the power button & antenna? AND this shit costs less money than an iPad?

I got rid of some crap on the power flex and it was back to working in under one minute.

Yeah, can’t say I’m getting off the ASUS/Lenovo/Linux/Android bandwagon for a while. Three cheers to ASUS for making something user serviceable instead of a pile of glue and ripped flex cables.

Why technicians lie – some insight into why we bullshit you(and why you might deserve it).


Oftentimes technicians do lie to customers. In part 1 of this important series, we explore a great reason technicians lie. Allow me to explain.


Consumers are often more than happy to pay $20, $50, $150, or $250 to have their problem fixed. They are not happy once they know how their problem was fixed. Immense happiness can turn into violent rage once a customer realizes that $300 they plopped down was for a 420 ohm resistor worth $0.35 on – even if that is a below market price for the repair service performed.


It is incredibly commonplace for lies to be told to save time & avoid conflict. When you needn’t argue over work or spend time bargaining back and forth for ten minutes with each customer, it saves time. In this video I go through real life, practical examples of my attempts to be 100% honest, and how I lose to the practical, more standard approach of lying.


I’m an idealist. I believe in doing to others what I would want done to me – even when I don’t necessarily deserve to be treated the way I want to be treated.


The difference here, is that I am open to discussing this publicly. I know it goes on, I’ve worked where it goes on, I’ve caught employees doing it, and you know what – once or twice, I did it. Yes, at some point in my life I told someone we were doing an advanced repair when the reality was we were reassembling their machine which had internal connections problems.




Not really.


Yes, TECHNICIANS LIE! Even.. ME! Now you know. And do I give a fuck that you know? No I don’t!


Why? I’m not a people person, but I am a personality person. I intuitively know when I can tell the truth and get the $100 for an hour of hard work. That is 99% of the time. I also know when I’m going to be spending 45 minutes arguing with someone as to why labor costs money in a licensed, insured repair shop in expensive New York City, and I know that time would be better spent performing a repair & making them happy.


The practical reality is that the lie a technician tells to get $100 for an hour of his time has positive practical ramifications. The technician gets a happy customer, and the 20 minutes he could’ve spent arguing, he spends finishing up other machines. Those 20 minutes can be spent performing repairs instead of answering phone calls from customers on why they’re not done.


Is it something I seek to do every day? No. Every week? No I am personally sickened at the idea that, from a practical standpoint that I EVER have to fudge the truth! I run a business frowning upon the idea of fudging the truth. Seriously.


However, when I know it is necessary to avoid unnecessarily irritating conflict, sure. Lies are a tool, like any other in the technician’s toolbox. Will I use the lie tool when absolutely neededYES! 


The problem comes when you lie for evil reasons. Don’t take this shit out of context just yet. There are two types of lies. 


There’s lying so you can get $100 for an hour, or two, or three of your time. $100 they planned on spending to fix the thing anyway, and $100 you earned through utilizing 1, or 2, or 3 hours of your time. Sure, that’s fair.Once lying is done for reasons outside of receiving a fair rate for an appropriate service, that is wrong. Once lying is done to milk the customer for the maximum amount of money through clear cut deception, that is wrong. Once you tell them they need a new transmission when their gas tank has a leak. Once you tell them they need a new $750 motherboard when their $30 charger is dead. That’s evil, and I don’t condone that shit one bit! 


It’s a fine tightrope to walk, and again, is why my shop does not have clear cut policies. As I’ve explained before, we franchise common sense. Meaning, I believe in hiring the best of the best and empowering them to make decisions on a case by case basis. Looking at reviews for shops that fall onto the terrible lies side of the tightrope – it is obvious you can bend over and sodomize your customer and get away with it for 7+ years and get away with a great reputation. I don’t seek to operate this way. You have to come up with, and live with, the way you run your business. I prefer to be honest as often as possible.


I believe in honesty & transparency in business. I believe in it so much, that I want you to understand and know everything, even down to why we lie.  Crazy, right?


I don’t think so. Who do you trust with your device? The guys banging their chest at the list of certifications they have, pointing you to a page of paid for Yelp! reviews and mediocre press releases? Or the guys who bring you so far into how they do business they even tell you how and why they lie?


I feel if customers are fully informed on how we operate & why we operate the way we do, they’ll feel more comfortable doing business with us. I’m an everyday guy, just like you. I think we’re amazing at the work we do, but I’m not trying to fool you into believing we’re not human. Personally, the revelation that people I am working with are ordinary humans has always made me more comfortable working with them. When you come here, you’re family. I want you to know all there is to know about how we work and why we work the way we do.

Hey asshole, learn how to talk to women.

Nothing is more pathetic than a man who speaks differently to men then to women. Men who pump themselves up by beating down on who they perceive as weaker.

Someone calls and doesn’t like the price of something and calls the receptionist a bitch. The male technciian calls him back very politely to discuss this with him, oh man how he backtracks. He sounds like a complete pansy. The difference in tone from him speaking to the light spoken female receptionist to the gruffer male technician has us cracking up.

You know where we are. Grow a pair of balls, get off the phone and walk the walk in person.

I have nothing short of disdain for people who bash the receptionist. I have no sympathy nor understanding for people who beat on lower level staff members in hopes they’ll cave, fold, and do something cheaper/faster.

From the team @ Rossmann Repair Group Inc – go fuck yourself! :-)