When my wife's 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro stopped working, I did what most Mac users can do: take it to the Apple Store.
I expected the repairs to be costly. But when Apple quoted me $ 1500 to repair the MacBook Pro, I was shocked.
To be specific, the repair would cost me $ 1475, before tax. With taxes, the total price would surely increase over $ 1500.
Unfortunately, I did not get AppleCare + when I bought the laptop, which would have helped to cover the cost of the repair. More about it later.
It actually turned out that my wife accidentally had water on the MacBook Pro and to repair it would cost us almost the same price we paid for the laptop when we purchased it.
Based on the quote, I suspect Apple's repair would replace the "logic board", which includes the most expensive parts of a computer such as the RAM processor , storage space and graphics processor. Without a logic card, a laptop computer is just an empty shell and a screen.
Before I began Apple's repair or purchase of a brand new computer, I had an additional opportunity to check out: an "unauthorized" Apple repair shop in New York City that repairs Apple products, called the Rossmann Repair Group, powered by Louis Rossmann. ("Unauthorized", in this case, the Rossmann Repair Group does not follow Apple's protocols and procedures to repair a device.)
Rossmann's repair quote also shocked me, but in a good way: $ 425.
Compared to Apple's $ 1,475 quote, Rossmann's quote was significantly more tempting, so I went with an unauthorized alternative.
After tax, Rossmann's repair cost me around $ 465, and I saved myself $ 1000. Today, my wife MacBook Pro drives as well as it did before she accidentally gave it water treatment. And she still has all her data as well.
Why the unauthorized repair costs so much less than Apple's quote
Rossmann's repair team replaced a single small chip on the logic board, instead of replacing the entire logic board, which I suppose Apple would have done.
It's quite possible that Apple's repair team could also replace the single chip for a dramatically lower repair cost, but Apple takes a non-risk-based approach to repairs. , especially with floating damage.
Although a laptop seems to work properly after a simple, smaller chip change, it is possible that fluid damage may cause problems later on the line. With that risk in mind, Apple will completely replace the logic board, even though it will come with a big price tag. That way, Apple and its customers have the guaranteed security that the laptop is fully functional, just like it was when you first unboxed it.
But Apple's version of "peace of mind" can come with a huge price, especially since we did not have AppleCare +. With floppy damaged Mac laptops, you will initially get a new computer – albeit with the same specifications as the original – if you go on the Apple repair pane. Only the shell and the screen are original.
Should everyone take their broken Mac laptops to "unauthorized" repairs?
My experience was with a single unauthorized workshop in New York City, and it does not necessarily represent the experience others may have at other unauthorized workshops around the country or the world. I can only say that my experience at the Rossmann Repair Group was excellent and significantly cheaper than Apple's opportunity.
If you need to repair your Apple computer, the route you take will probably depend on the specific issue you have with your device, budget, and how much you value "peace of mind."
It also depends on the warranty status of your Mac and if you purchased AppleCare + Extended Warranty. If it is still under warranty, you can get a repair done free of charge, depending on the issue. Rossman suggests that you take it to Apple if a problem can be solved for free because the device is still under warranty.  Rossmann himself opened the laptop to check it out. Antonio Villas-Boas / Business Insider
With AppleCare + you are covered for two casual damages, which include floating damage. A floating damage repair with AppleCare + would cost you $ 300 on top of the $ 380 price of AppleCare + for a 15-inch MacBook Pro. So, if I had purchased AppleCare +, Apple's repair would cost me $ 680, just over $ 200 more than Rossmann's repair.
Despite the good experience I had with Rossmann, I had gone Apple route if I bought AppleCare + for my wife MacBook Pro. For an extra $ 200, I would have peace of mind and zero risk of further problems related to the original fluid damage.
But save $ 1000? I think I take and accept the risk.
For those who are out of warranty or do not buy AppleCare + and face massive Apple repair recommendations, take the device to Rossman Repair Group or another reliable unauthorized repair shop that is a realistic good alternative. If you are outside of New York City, Rossmann accepts mail-ins for repairs as well. Otherwise, you can always check an unauthorized repair shop near you – be sure to read online reviews and get a feel for the place before committing your computer and your money. Again, if you do not go with Apple for first-party repairs, there is no guarantee that the repair will solve the problem, especially in the long run.
You can also take a broken Apple laptop to an authorized repair shop, where you can get a cheaper deal than Apple's own. But that's not a guarantee. Either way, do the best by checking out all your choices and prices.