Difficulty with AppleCare.. HELP!`

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Fourbin, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. Fourbin macrumors regular

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    #1
    3 months ago, about a week after I purchased my new 15" Powerbook G4 it suffered a 1-foot fall to a carpeted floor because of my cat. The next day I took it into the AppleStore and the tech deemed everything fine as it was all in working order although there was a dent in the bottom casing around the Superdrive. Since then everything has been great...

    The other morning around 5AM I wake up to the most frightening sound of aliens screeching from inside my powerbook. OSX was frozen and I restart to the "?" folder screen. After talking with AppleCare on the phone for half an hour and running the hardware test utility we found that the computer was not finding the hard drive. He setup a repair for me and I sent out the laptop yesterday. Today I get a call from AppleCare stating that they want to replace the bottom casing, top casing, Superdrive and hard drive... for $975. Now first off, the Superdrive never had any problems and I asked if they could lower the price if I asked for that not to be replaced. Unfortunately they tell me that when they asses a problem, everything must be fixed or nothing at all. Now I am wondering why I paid $350 additional to a $2500 laptop when they want another $975 to fix it? I was told that AppleCare would "Fix anything that went wrong with my computer" and that's it. Other computer manufacturers (IBM, Dell, Toshiba) cover accidental damage on their cheaper (Usually $300) warranties. I am a college student and simply cannot dish out $1000 for my computer that I need badly for my life to function.

    Is there nothing I can do? I talked to customer relations to "dispute" my problem and they were complete apathetic and rude. The AppleCare guy suggested an alternative to me... "You could buy a refurbished 12" Powerbook from the AppleStore for only $1300!" What an insult to my intelligence! Spend $1300 on a lesser computer than mine and then do what with my $2500 laptop?

    I'm sorry if I sound rash and ridiculous but put yourself in my shoes. I can't imagine spending another $1000 on this thing and I have a brick in my stomache right now. Is there anyone I can get in contact with at Apple to help me out or anything I could possibly do?

    Thanks for listening...
     
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #2
    You could always have them send it back and replace the HD yourself, of course that would void the warranty -- at that point you might as well recover the pro-rated applecare.

    Though there is a chance that the Superdrive also is damaged.
     
  3. Fourbin thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Just thought I'd add that I just looked up and found that both Dell, Toshiba and IBM offer accidental damage care for under $200 for 3 years. They will fix or replace your laptop for everything from drops to even spills!

    I could never imagine myself purchasing a Windows machine from these people but I just can't believe Apple would do this to me...
     
  4. imac9556 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 12, 2004
    #4
    Yeah, Dell offers the accidental warranty, but its a pain to call and talk to them. Their tech support you cannot understand at all, and their customer service is horrible. Even their products are very low quality.... Anways, I also bet the cost of making those computers are very cheap, thats why they are offering the accidental warranties. But for apple, they make their own custom made motherboards/parts, which makes the computer, MUCH more expensive.
     
  5. Toreador93 macrumors regular

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    Sep 14, 2003
    #5
    I won't disagree that Dell's quality is questionable. But it doesn't sound like Apple's customer service is any better. This certainly isn't the first horror story I've heard about Apple Care. I've actually had good luck with Dell's customer service for the very few times I've had to use it. And I wouldn't swear off Toshiba or IBM, as they seem to be good quality pcs (though perhaps not as aesthetically pleasing).
     
  6. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #6
    Put myself in your shoes? Okay, will do. I'd be kicking myself in the ass repeatedly for leaving my PowerBook in a spot where it could fall, with some assistance. I'd probably just ask for the PB back and replace the HD myself and take the risks.

    And I'm not saying this while never having dealt with Apple about repairs on a PowerBook. I had to have my logic board replaced due to lack of sound, presumably caused by some sort of electrical oddity during a storm. (said storm also: fried half my Linksys WRT54G, which required replacement, I didn't even bother calling Linksys, I knew they wouldn't cover that. And it killed my D-Link 100BaseT card which was in my beige G3, good riddance to it though. ****** drivers and all.) Why they didn't decide to charge me for it, I don't know, but they didn't. Of course, I got it back and my Bluetooth and 802.11 ranges were about 5 feet... Sent it back after Macworld and it's back to new (er, sort of ;))
     
  7. Fourbin thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Thanks for the replies...

    I'm just curious if I could talk to someone higher up than the AppleCare people I get on the phone and what exactly I should say to get some better assistance...
     
  8. cmvsm macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

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    Nov 12, 2004
    #8
    I guess the moral of this story is not to drop your laptop?.. :confused:
     
  9. Fourbin thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    The thing that gets me is that when I took it into the AppleStore the tech deemed that everything was fine and I didn't need service. Perhaps if I had the problem remedied then it wouldn't have been as severe as now? Since then I have babied the computer and not one thing has happened to it.

    I love this Apple and the way I am being backed into a corner right now makes me never want to have to deal with them again.
     
  10. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #10
    Just get the machine back and replace the hard drive yourself for about $140. Or spend a bit more for a 5400 RPM Seagate Momentus. It's easy enough if you have the right screwdrivers and don't misplace the pieces. Cross your fingers and hope the Superdrive is OK.

    AppleCare is a contract, and the provisions include --

    "The Plan does not cover:
    ...
    b Damage due to accident, abuse, neglect, misuse (including faulty installation, repair, or maintenance by anyone other than Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider), unauthorized modification, improper environment (including lack of proper temperature or humidity), unusual physical or electrical stress or interference, failure or fluctuation of electrical power, lightning, static electricity, fire, or acts of God;"

    This is also the answer for the poster in the other thread whose iBook had moisture inside for reasons unknown.

    Don't drop your machine, don't use it in a warm, humid room immediately after bringing it in from a freezing car, do use a surge suppressor and avoid various acts of God or Cats.

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  11. Fourbin thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Trevor (CanadaRAM),

    I would love to replace the hard drive myself, however AppleCare has told me that it WILL void my $350 warranty and there is nothing I can do about it. What kind of crap is that?
     
  12. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #12
    You are still entitled to the prorated refund if you just ask them to send the machine back, though you will have to request that in writing.

    Though you probably shouldn't have asked them if you can replace the drive yourself, since it clearly will void the entire warranty -- not just AppleCare.

    The HD isn't a Customer Installable part...

    ---

    Plus, most people on the board do recommend the iBook if people cannot afford to worry about abuse -- or plain a rough on their electronics.
     
  13. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

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    Jun 26, 2004
    #13
    basicly the thread just goes to show how much greedy apple is. First they rip you off with the warrently and apple care and then they turn around and look for any reason to void it that way they take a lot of extra money in with mininml cost in keeping stuff that is there fault fixed
     
  14. Fourbin thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Not sure what you mean by "prorated refund". I bought a Powerbook because I needed that power that it offered. I never would buy an iBook because I wanted something that was cheaper to fix or because I was going to be rough with my electronics. Just like IBM, Dell, Toshiba, etc. say when they plug their accident replacement plans "accidents do happen".
     
  15. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #15
    You won't have the Applecare on the new hard drive, obviously. But $140 + a potential loss of $350 is cheaper than $975.

    So keep the old Apple drive. If you have an unrelated warranty problem later, put it back in before sending the machine in for repair. Keep in mind that your warranty is already void for anything traceable back to the fall or the dent in the case, unless you allow Apple to fix it for $900+.

    Did you read SunBaked's suggestion to try to get a pro-rated refund on the unused 2nd and 3rd year of your Applecare?

    Gotta say this though:

    There is no way the Apple store guy could detect or predict future failure of your hard drive resulting from the fall. All he could do is say that at the moment in time, it was functioning nominally.

    >What kind of crap is that?

    You spun the wheel and lost when you dropped and dented the machine. It Ain't Apple's Fault. Continuing to blame Apple doesn't make you look any better.
     
  16. Fourbin thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    I never once blamed Apple for the fall of my computer. I am blaming them for their lousy customer service and terrible backing of their $350 that does what? Perhaps they could work with me and let me just pay for the hard drive to be replaced? They won't and all I have gotten is nasty people on the phone when I've been polite as hell.
     
  17. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #17
    Off-base comments, dude.
    The warranty does not cover accidental damage, never has.

    "I bought a new Mercedes last month and drove it into a tree. Now Mercedes is ripping me off by saying they won't fix it under warranty. I paid big money for a premium car, now they're looking for any reason make extra money off me. They're so greedy..."
     
  18. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

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    Jun 26, 2004
    #18
    I think the hard driving failing here is apple fault because it ran for several months with out a problem.

    This story going into a long list of stories I hear of problems with apple. I hear more problem with apple on warrenty repared than I ever have ever heard with dell or gateway and those both have a much larger user base. Something wrong there. Dell and gateway should both have a larger number of this storys but they have the same to less..... hmm does not add up.
     
  19. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    Feb 7, 2002
    #19
    You can't hold them to not backing their warranty. They simply don't cover accidental drops or spills or anything of that. I mean it sucks and I feel for you, being a college student. They simply aren't going to do anything with that drop. It's not like Apple tricked you or something. And being in tech myself from time to time I hate seeing the customer trying it pin it on the company or whatever. I don't see anyone getting fender benders in their car and taking it to the dealership and having it fixed under warranty.

    jon
     
  20. Mark James macrumors regular

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    Sarf London
    #20
    The plan does not cover:

    b. Damage due to accident, abuse, neglect, misuse (including faulty installation, repair, or maintenance by anyone other than Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider), unauthorized modification...


    In the UK at least, Apple's policy is that if the laptop shows *any* sign of having been dropped then you're on your own. Harsh, I know, particularly as a PowerBook will dent if you look at it funny, but that's the way it is.
     
  21. Fourbin thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    Maybe you guys aren't understanding but when pitching Apple Care to me the sales people emphasized that "This $350 will get your computer fixed no matter what". I consider myself a somewhat intelligent person.. how about the people out there that have no idea? Am I supposed to jump over to Apple's site when I'm in the middle of buying a laptop to read the fine print?
     
  22. Mark James macrumors regular

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    #22
    Personally I wouldn't spend $350 on a product without having a pretty good idea of what that product would do for me. Where did you buy the computer? You suggest that the sales person person implied the warranty carried an insurance element? Did he/she overtly state that accidental damage insurance was included?
     
  23. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #23
    Yes, several months until it was dropped.

    Do you hang around Dellrumors.com? How about gatewayrumors.com? I'm sure there's plenty of stories out there about those companies (especially Gateway ;))
     
  24. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #24
    haven't you ever bought a car battery or tire with a warranty 75k miles or 70 month battery -- and got a prorated warranty.

    If your battery dies at 35 months, they charge you half. Or the warranty pays for half a new battery.

    Or if your tire exploded at 74k miles, they charge you nearly the cost of a new tire because you almost got full mileage.

    Under the prorated warranty -- which is what AppleCare refunds under. Your $350 dollars shrinks every month -- along with them nailing you for any services provided under AppleCare, and smack you with a service charge for providing the refund.

    Edit: At least they do in the US, you have to read the terms and conditions of your AppleCare -- specifically the Refunds Section.
     
  25. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

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    #25

    read the first post again. It was drop 1 week after he got it. about 3 months later the hard drive fails... hmm

    As for the other side I hang around several other computer forums. Talk to people. in the real non internet world I hear about the same number of problems dealling with apple crapcare as I do about dell's and gateways. On the other internet forums with are more PC based the problems with warrently repareds problems are fewer and father between.

    Gateway has been great in there dealling with me in warrently repairs (still think there computers are crap) but in the 4 years that my family has had there desktop and a laptop though them we got warrenty repairs on what was pretty close to being accedental damage but they never really question it to much unless it was blantanly clear. a minor dent in the case of a Powerbox is not enough to say oh it fell and that damage it.

    I think apple may need to rename apple care to crapcare we take you money and dont bother fixing parts that fail that are our fault. It is really sad when dell warrenty and care are better and cheaper than apple's you would think paying more would mean better service but guess not. just means you pay more for LESS
     

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