Applecare Hard done by?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rugger, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. rugger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #1
    If you are looking for a rant, this isn't it but I'm posting this to get a second set of eyes on my situation.

    The computer in question is a G4 PowerBook purchased in October 2003 with Applecare until October 2006.

    As luck would have it she dropped it (in a backpack) at the airport soon after purchase. We checked out the computer and put it through its paces soon afterwards and the verdict was no harm, no foul except for the dent in the aluminum case.

    Fast forward two years later and the drive starts to fail (at the end of the semester no less). First it's slow boot, then no boot (but still available as target disk), then dead.

    I brought it to the genius bar yesterday and they confirmed the diagnosis but refused to cover the repair under Applecare citing the visible damage to the case. When I explained the amount of time and the fine functioning of the computer for 2 years until the failure, they were still unmoved. I ended up approving a paid repair for the drive (around $300) declining their suggestion of a "level 3" repair for $800 which would bring the machine back into warranty ("maybe your logic board was damaged by the drop"). Apparently the visible dent pretty much voids any warranty coverage.

    I was not pleased to have to pay for the repair, but I don't really have enough information about the usual practices of Apple or about how long it takes drives to fail to know if I was hard done by by the genius bar. I.E. would the drop that produced the dent have resulted in drive failure much sooner than 2 years?

    I guess since the drop voided the warranty, I should have cancelled the Applecare at the time of the drop.


    Has anyone had the same situation with a different result?

    One more thing. I asked since I was paying for the repair if they would put in a larger drive for the price of the larger drive. They refused saying it was their policy to replace like for like, which I understand if they are doing it under warranty. Is that really the policy?
     
  2. furrina macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    In tha 212
    #2
    powerbook hard drive failure

    You should take a look at this:

    http://www.macintouch.com/readerreports/powerbookg4/topic2809.html

    Apparently lots of people have had problems with the powerbook aluminum 15" hard drive failing repeatedly. It makes this growling noise, starts to slow down, apps don't open and then fails. This is the second time in 6 months I've had this happen, I thought maybe somethign was wrong with the board (and the "failed hard drive" was a mis-diagnosis by the shop) but then I did some research...

    The first failure happened for no "apparent" reason (there is some suggestion that too much heat causes it and can be prevented by a heat pad thing) about 6 months ago. My warranty had expired one week prior to the failure. Apple was kind enough to extend the warranty and put in a new hard drive.

    Now, six months later, same thing. Growly noise, dying computer. Not even sure what to do (I've backed up somewhat recently but I'm hoping the most recent stuff can be backed up without too much expense by TekServe) but I'm thinking that even if Apple WERE to replace the drive i might be better off just buying my own and installing it.

    Has anyone else had this experience? I've owned macs and powerbooks for years and i never had a HD just fail, and especially not twice the same way in six months!
     
  3. bug macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #3
    Your laptop isn't under warranty (according to them) and you had to pay full price for the replacement. Probably the person you talked to is just used to warranty issues - there would have been nothing stopping you from just going to a computer store and sticking whatever drive you liked in there - and it may have been less than $300 at that. At this point if its not under warranty, you could spray paint a skull on it, stick a 7200 RPM drive in it, and use it to press your pants for all it really matters.

    Some people have had really good experiences with AppleCare - I have found that they just go out of their way to claim the problem is not theirs and will usually only do anything to help you if you've got them by the balls or if you luck out and reach someone on support who actually likes to help people. My complaints are not isolated to a single incident or just my account, and I have documented a small percentage of them in other posts here.

    I still buy AppleCare though, and still buy Apple computers. The tech rocks, but the company is a real pain the butt sometimes.

    hehe - so I guess if you were looking for a rant in this thread, that was it ;)
     
  4. AlBDamned macrumors 68030

    AlBDamned

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    #4
    Physical damage is pretty much the get out of Jail free card for Apple. To be honest though, who's to say the drop didn't shorten the life of you Hdd? It's impossible to say, sadly. Trust me - I feel your pain...

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=174280
     
  5. bug macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #5

    Yeah, despite my rant, I have to agree that there is no way to know if the drop didn't impact the life of the drive.
     
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #6
    Yeah, physical damage of any electronic good is a hard sell to get fixed under most extended warranties.

    Look at it from Apple's POV. They don't know when the impact was made. It could have been two years ago, or two hours.
     
  7. SiliconAddict macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #7
    It didn't. The way a hard drive works. There isn't such a thing as shortening the life. Either you damaged it initially or you didn't. I've been around enough failed hard drives at work to know that you would know within a month or two if you damaged a HD.

    Question. When the fall occurred was the laptop asleep? If so the heads on the HD would have been parked. Short of taking out the HD and shaking it like a can of soda there should have been no damage. Frankly at that point I would be asking for a manager and raise holy hell asking for a actual number to call Apple and talk to someone in authority because I'm going to be blunt. This is BS.
     
  8. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #8
    When they told me that, I would have left and had it picked up by the mail order AppleCare. The techs there might have been less picky. You could have also went home and tried to call up the ladder, trying to get someone who would help. Of course, that isn't fun.

    A shame I think. I wish they would have fixed it for you. They need to be careful on obvious abuse, but still, I think they should take the benefit of the doubt most of the time.
     
  9. doctor pangloss macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Location:
    Thailand
    #9
    Apple service is certainly a PITA to deal with. I love my 12"PB nary a hiccup in 2 years!
    Though the first one I received had a fault right out of the box and took nearly 3 months and finally a threat of an action through the attorney general to get a new machine after 2 try's at fixing. They wanted to keep trying to fix the defective machine! I told them I paid for a new machine not some recycled and repaired POS.
     
  10. alienex macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    #10
    I had the same problem with my PB except I was one week out of my 1 year warranty and they didnt fix it. I have a dent from a drop though..
     
  11. T-Stex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #11
    I Feel Your Pain...

    I know what you're going through. About 6 months ago, while my laptop backpack was on the floor, I opened the zipper to get to the PowerBook, which fell out and dented the bottom on a chair's wheel. I tested it out and it seemed fine, so I didn't think anything of it.

    Fast forward to the day before Christmas Eve, and my computer starts freezing, and not starting up. I took it into a Genius Bar, and the geniuses there were nothing but polite and helpful. They played around with it, and said it was probably a logic board, and I could send it in to Apple for a flat rate of $350.

    Then, the guy there turned the computer over, and saw the dent. His attitude changed immediately, and gave me a look. I tried explaining to him that the dent happened 6 months ago, and the PowerBook had been working perfectly the whole time, but nothing. He told me I could send it in to Apple, and it would probably cost about $700 - $800. After that, I asked for my laptop back, and left the store.
     
  12. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #12

    I'll repeat myself. How do they know that the "dent" happened 6 months ago?

    Keep in mind AppleCare (and other extended warranties) are for defects in manufacture or assembly. Nothing more.

    Impact damage is not covered under such warranties. What is a pain is when they try to claim "environmental" issues. I know of one person that was denied AppleCare coverage due to the computer being subjected to cigarette smoke.

    Heck, the user did not smoke. But lived in a college space with smokers. In their case, everyone had their computers in "common room".

    Is this a defect in design. Or is t more like dropping the computer?

    In any case, from a business persecutive it is limiting liability.....
     
  13. T-Stex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #13
    I understand that they don't have any reason to believe that the dent didn't happen an hour before, it's just frustrating, that's all.
     

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