Did you have your Apple laptop repaired lately? If yes, it might have been fixed by workers slaving in “sweatshop” conditions.

Facility workers in a Texas-based repair facility CSAT solutions bared horrific experiences of those responsible for fixing Macbooks. This is a stark contrast to the pristine and crisp Apple storefront, and comfortable service one gets from an Apple Genius Bar. However, behind the scenes of the technicians who repair luxurious Apple laptops is an entirely different world.

Labor exploitation alleged at CSAT Solutions

Apple outsources its laptop repair jobs to CSAT solutions, Apple’s third-party repair provider. The company was established in 1982 and has tech giants Lenovo and Dell in its client list.

Workers revealed the grueling labor conditions associated with repairing Macbooks.

A repair technician of Macbooks bared, “working til I couldn’t work anymore.” They need to finish a repair in less than an hour, a pace that is both inhuman and impossible to sustain. 

They are forced to isolate themselves from the outside world to meet their targets. Their work conditions are appalling as well, with intense heat and long lines to dirty, feces-smeared toilets.

In an Insider exclusive interview, workers revealed how CSAT solutions is practically a “sweatshop” where they are made to work as slaves. Technicians are required to repair gadgets for at least 13 hours a day. With failing air conditioning in the facility, employees are encouraged to bring their own fans. Moreover, cell phones and casual chats are prohibited. The toilet facilities are likewise deplorable.

A former manager who worked for CSAT for your years revealed to Insider that the best way to describe the company is “Sweatshop.” Contrary to the orderly serenity one might find in an Apple Genius Bar, Apple’s laptop repair facility is chaotic with a lot of yelling and “people running around.”

Barely living wages

The labor relationship between CSAT and its technicians is also faulty. CSAT does not recognize any of its technicians or supervisors, except for high-level managers, company employees. Instead, they are outsourced from two staffing agencies Staffmark and Attero. 

Workers endure barely minimum wages. A technician said that if he had not lived with his parents, his take-home pay would not be enough to live on.

CSAT solutions repair technicians have had a salary bump from $12 to $14 an hour. Compared to an Apple Genius who earns $24 per hour on average, repair workers earn $10 less. Yet, as told to Insider, none of the technicians are now allowed to work overtime, resulting to a reduction of their take-home wage.

Wages were “enough to live” by, said an ex-technician. 

This runs counter to Apple’s brand as the most profitable and coveted in the world. Apple stores ranked on top as the most profitable shop per square foot, overtaking even Lululemon and Tiffany & Co. in 2017. Its image as a company that pursues aesthetic excellence, innovation, and simplification – along with seamless repair and customer service – attracts shoppers to purchase its high-end phones that are more expensive than laptops.

CSAT solutions and its two staffing agencies, Staffmark and Attero, declined to comment on these allegations.