Louis Rossman is one of the highest-profile independent Apple repair technicians, famous in part for fixing devices that Apple has declared to have reached their end-of-life, diverting these devices from landfill and keeping them in the hands of the people who paid good money for them.
Rossman has to engage in lots of creative tactics to source parts for his repairs, including buying refurbished parts that have been removed from real Apple products; but Customs and Border Protection now seems to take the position that anything imported with an Apple logo on it must be counterfeit. They just seized 20 laptop batteries that Rossman had paid $1,068 for.
Rossmann explained that there's no authorized method for him to purchase the laptop batteries his customers need to keep their devices working. If they were to take the faulty devices to a Genius Bar, the Genius Bar would turn them away.
"If I become an Apple authorized service provider and I wish to obtain parts to a machine they consider vintage, Apple will say no," he said. "If I talk to somebody in China…they get taken by a company that's using the power of the government to seize my stuff. Apple is working with the government to shut down those who mislead customers, aka trying to fix machines that they won't fix because they consider them vintage after four or five years. Just around the time that your battery starts to die."
He's right: Apple does not sell replacement parts to customers or to independent repair shops, and its "Authorized Service Provider Program" has strict limitations about the types of repairs that shops can perform. Meanwhile, Apple has strongly fought "right to repair" legislation that would make it easier for people to buy replacement parts.
DHS Seized Aftermarket Apple Laptop Batteries From Independent Repair Expert Louis Rossman [Matthew Gault and Jason Koebler/Motherboard]