Most people don’t normally read the “About Us” page. It’s normally a marketing waffle. However, if you are like me, and you like to know the people behind the business, then read on. I apologise because it’s long, but if you get through it, then you may learn a bit about us and the computer repair industry.
If I were to describe our service with one word, it would be “Integrity”. We constantly strive towards integrity with our work. It may sound like a cliche, but we like to think of it as honest work for a fair wage, so that we can sleep at night!
We are a very small business. Even though we are small, we have built our foundation on providing the highest quality repair support to build a strong reputation to foster customer loyalty. In that regard, we have been fairly successful - measured by the number of customers who return to us!
My name is Ryan, and I am the “founder” or the person behind “I Repair Macs”. The word “founder” makes me cringe. I know people use it to sound hip with online businesses. This is a tiny business. Even at its height, it only had 7 people. Most computer repair businesses, maybe about 99.9% are one or two-person businesses. So, it’s an industry that is mainly made of “one-man bands”..
I am going to tell you the “real version” of about this business, rather than a polished marketing waffle, people tell you about their businesses to impress you. Please don’t misunderstand me. We work hard, and we genuinely want the best for our customers, and we work towards honesty and integrity every day. However, we are NOT perfect, no repair business (or any business) is.
Nowadays, IRM (I Repair Macs) is a small business, you could even call it tiny. There are just two people, including me. We have no plans to grow the business. We like it this way. You could say we just want to earn a decent wage and don’t need the extra stress of big teams. I also think growing would be difficult in this climate. Plus, as we are a small business, our customers get a personal service. They are not a number for us. It’s people we get to know for a brief period.
If you are looking for the CHEAPEST repair service, run a mile. We are not going to be it. 🤯
I have been in the ”IT business” for about 20 years, the first half in “business-2-business” where I had no interaction with consumer device repair, it was mainly networking and servers. As the world was moving to cloud, I moved towards the consumer end, with Apple growing in popularity.
As a business, we operate a bit differently compared to “most” computer repair businesses. When I started “I Repair Macs” the consumer side seemed almost lawless. I saw a constant stream of media reports on mainstream newspapers and TV programmes, like BBC Watchdog and Sky News, where they had run investigations on very dishonest and sometimes criminal repair shops. Here are two examples:
I felt there must be a “better way” of doing things. I also felt that most computer shops were shooting themselves in the foot. You could call it a race to the bottom, as they were trying to beat each other on price. Which meant they were struggling to earn decent money, which meant they were trying to find “dodgy ways” of making money. I am not justifying the wrong they did. I was trying to understand it.
What I found was that most of these repair businesses were running on gimmicks like “free diagnosis” and “no-fix no-fee”. To me, those are gimmicks because, in theory, everything is repairable. The question is, does it make financial sense to repair it? These businesses were spending lots of time doing free diagnosis and not making a penny, which makes many of them do wicked deeds, or find dishonest ways of making money from customers.
I realised from day one that I would not operate the business like them. I am old-fashioned in one way: I believe in being paid for my time. So, I went against the grain of the industry and decided that we would have a minimum charge / diagnosis fee, which customers would know before they booked any repair. I felt it keeps things transparent from the beginning. If I was a customer, I would prefer someone to tell me the hard truth, rather than tell me sweet lies, with exaggerated promises and unicorns that will never materialise.
If you are a parent, I am sure you have spent many nights wishing parenting came with an instructions manual. Well, in the early days of IRM I learnt some hard lessons about the computer repair business - and I very much wished it came with an instructional manual on how to deal with an industry that felt lawless and ethically bankrupt.
Most industries have organisations that “police” who can practice and publish and promote “good practices”. Here are just a few as examples:
The computer repair industry has none. Given the gigantic size of the IT industry, it makes no sense that it has no professional organisations regulating or moderating good practice. There have been many “organisations” that have tried, often trying, to profit from it, so it never worked. And there is still no governing body to this day.
I was very naïve, maybe idealistic. I thought if I operated a business with clear guidelines and pricing and ethics, it would mean we would have a definite advantage against other repair businesses running on gimmicks and being the “cheapest”. I was naive in the sense that I thought “maybe others thought like me, that it is better to pay a bit more and get quality, then dirt cheap prices for something that would break in 2 days’ time!
However, I was wrong. Most people simply want the cheapest nowadays. And this applies to most things. Look at how successful Primark has been! That’s not to say there aren’t customers who want quality and integrity. The fact that we are still operating as a business should tell you that there is a market for it. But it’s tiny compared to the number of people who want the “cheapest tat”.
Anyway, that’s history, so I now look back with some humour at the lessons I had to learn. I have numbered them for your amusement / entertainment. 😉 Maybe it will help someone learn from my mistakes and apply it to their industry.
So, let’s start with what I call Lesson 1. I realised relatively quickly that having principles can make life very difficult in the computer repair industry because 99.9% of repair businesses were operating on gimmicks. Although operating with integrity and without gimmicks allowed us to be a profitable business (just about), it made things very difficult. The vast majority of customers are/were looking for the cheapest repair. When given the opportunity to explain to the customer why we work the way we do, most reasonable people understood and we’re happy to pay. However, we were being drowned out by almost every repair shop that does the gimmicks and free diagnosis and “no-fix no-fee”.
Nowadays, with the internet age, the vast majority of consumers are phoning around or going from repair website to website, trying to find the cheapest price. There is nothing else to it. It’s a race to the bottom. So, this made things very difficult for us. However, I never gave in, and I decided I would rather stay small and manageable instead of operating with gimmicks and dodgy practices. It was never an option for me. I would rather close up.
Please don’t misunderstand me. There are many good repair shops that use gimmicks because they feel they have to go “with the crowd” otherwise they will go out of business. Many of these owners are good people. And if it’s something they feel comfortable with then, who am I to judge? It was just never for me. Just being cheap and gimmicky felt dirty to me. It could be the way my mind is wired - a bit differently.
This moves me nicely to Lesson Number 2. I was naïve enough to believe that corruption and dodgy practices were the forte of the small business. I was very wrong. Giants like Apple and PC World / Currys are even better at it than I would have imagined. It is extremely difficult to catch the big companies at it, because they are so good at it and they have an army of lawyers - and Apple’s repair terms and conditions are about 20 pages long the last time I checked (no exaggeration). However, the videos below should show you some lengths Apple and businesses like PC World go to either rip customers off or overcharge them for repairs. Most times, customers are being persuaded to do repairs that are unnecessary - often for an outrageous price!
Watch some videos below and see for yourself.
Although I have shown you some examples of bad repair businesses, there are also plenty of good repair businesses out there. And I am not talking about our business. There are many good repair people out there who are both knowledgeable and honest. However, like most things, use your judgement and be diligent.
As a business, we are now at a comfortable compromise. We have now taken our business mainly online. So, we operate a collection based repair service. We are the first to admit that this may not be for everyone, and we understand that and respect that and we won’t try to persuade you. However, as more and more of us do more thing online, from our grocery shopping to banking, it means more and more customers are happy with us going online. There are some die-hard customers who want a “shop” that we will never convince, and again, we respect that, and there are shops that will cater to their needs.
We have made the complete collection based repair service very easy. All you have to do is call us or email us, and we’ll do the rest for you. You could say we have made it too easy! 😉
There have been positives and negatives with this move. On the negative side, it means we have fewer customers nowadays. This is because of several reasons, including the fact that some people cannot get their head around the concept of a collection based repair service - even if it gets done a lot faster! And many people who don’t know us are fearful - which is understandable.
However, we are happier with the change, and our customers seem to be happier - which I can’t explain. So, we plan to stick with it. We are not perfect, and we are constantly learning and adapting. And we are very grateful to our loyal customers who return and tell their friends and family about us. I know it's a cliche, but we wouldn’t be here today without them. So, thank you.
I REPAIR MACS
You’ve come to the right place. We do NOT claim to be the cheapest computer repair service in London. Because we are definitely NOT. We do not do gimmicks or make exaggerated promises. We provide high-quality repairs that are good value for money (repairs that last). Look around our website and you see that we have 9+ years of reviews on Google and TrustPilot which should tell you we are a business with integrity. We have consistently worked on providing an excellent service to our customers year-on-year.
Most people will assume we are exaggerating when we say you can save you hundreds on repairs. Maybe it’s another sales tactic. And you are partly right. However, the savings are 100% true. So, in the spirit of transparency, we have published our prices compared to Apple Store in London. Click the buttons below to view the price comparison table for iPhones and iPads.