Disputing a Liquid Spill--can it Be Done?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by dodus, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. dodus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #1
    Hello all:

    I've got a 15" stock Macbook Pro running OSX 10.4.8. It's been nothing but trouble since the day I got it. It makes the high-pitched buzzing noise, randomly shuts off (even after the complimentary battery replacement), DVDs don't burn, etc. These issues I was willing to deal with, but when 6 random keys on the keyboard stopped working, I broke down and sent it to Apple.

    Apple, for it's part, is claiming that I've got a liquid spill in there, and the warranty is void, and I owe them $1000 for a new LogicBoard. I can confidently say that I've never, ever spilled ANYTHING into that computer. Not beer, pop, juice, wine, or even water. Hair, dust, and crumbs I'll own up to. But nothing in the way of a spill, EVER.

    I've got no idea what to do. The representative I talked to today was NOT helpful--she just kept repeating the same thing over and over again. I'm not sure who I need to talk to or what I can do to get this thing repaired under Applecare.

    I posted this in the apple.support forums a few days ago, and the consensus is that I'm screwed. That's a tough pill to swallow so I'm here asking the same thing--has anyone had similar experience that ended happily?
     
  2. NotFound macrumors 6502a

    NotFound

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    #2
    Everytime I've had to argue with someone about anything- once the person I've talked to has made up their mind that they aren't going to help me- I always ask for someone higher up to talk to. Sometimes I talk to 4-5 people before a resolution gets resolved. I've never experienced calling AppleCare (knock on wood) but I would only imagine there are more higher up people that you can talk to rather than the person that has answered your phone call.


    This past summer I bought my Blackberry 8700c from Cingular online. It was shipped to me DOA. Cingular tried to get me to put another $300 down on my credit card just to have them ship another one out with an empty box to ship the dead one back. I talked to at least 6 different people and it was eventually resolved with them shipping me a new blackberry free, and them sending me a $20 visa gift card (what they send their rebates on) to cover the cost of any shipping.

    You just gotta go higher and higher up the food chain.


    Good luck to you. :)
     
  3. lamina macrumors 68000

    lamina

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    From Canada, living in Seoul
    #3
    How can they tell that liquid was spilled? Are there those 'water dots' that change colour when they come in contact with water like in cell phones?
     
  4. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #4
    Well first of all, I would ask them to show me whatever evidence they've found of spilled liquid. You should also contact Apple at the corporate level.

    On a side note, you shouldn't have "lived with" the prior problems to begin with. If there's something significantly wrong (and random shutdowns, malfunctioning Superdrive are significant problems), then get them addressed!
     
  5. timswim78 macrumors 6502a

    timswim78

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #5
    My advice is not to get involved in a p***ing match with any CSR. Just politely ask to escalate the issue to a higher level employee.
     
  6. dodus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #6
    Thanks for the replies evberybody. You've got me feeling a bit more confident that perserverance might prevail.

    andrewxps: Great advice. I'll start climbing my way up.

    lamina: They haven't given me any specifics. At all. I've asked for pictures and details and am still waiting on those (it's been about 48 hours as we speak). My guess is that the inside is probably corroded or gunky and a liquid spill seems like a reasonable explanation. However, it's not. They're not going to be able to come back and say this is coffee, this is coke, etc. If anything, it's going to have to be water. But like I said, the conversation hasn't reached that level of detail.

    aquajet: That I'm working on. How does one go about contacting Apple at the corporate level. The only number I've got is for customer service and Applecare.

    timswim78: Awesome advice. Some of the people I've talked to so far have been openly hostile to any suggestions that they're wrong. So I'm going to have to keep my cool.
     
  7. lamina macrumors 68000

    lamina

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    From Canada, living in Seoul
    #8
    Why do you allude to the possibility of water being spilled?

    You can tell us if you did spill water, we won't tell. I promise.
     
  8. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #9
    The OP clearly states that there has never been a liquid spill. I took the comment you are referring to as meaning that the OP drinks water rather than coffee or coke.
     
  9. a456 macrumors 6502a

    a456

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    #10
    I once spilled a glass of orange squash in an Amiga and tried to take it back to the shop where I bought it, but they noticed it dripping out. Luckily the whole thing dried out and worked perfectly after that.
     
  10. omeletpants macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #11
    I just brought my G5 iMac in for repair. Since day 1 I had watermarks on the screen. At first I thought they were some sort of burn in but the Apple store says they are waterarks. My unit has never been near water. Turns out my logic board is also bad and 2 months out of warranty. I'll buy a new one rather than spend the $900 for a new board.
     
  11. ddekker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    #12
    trust me when it comes to giving apple the benifit of the doubt I'm not your man...lol.. but I also worked in the electronics industry for many years (electronic repair) so there are tell tail signs of water damage, I'm not at all saying that you spilled anything, put from a techs perspective they can tell of liquid damage... it could have happened before you got the unit being as corosion takse s awhile to occur... but from the techs perspective water damage is water damage, I feel sooo bad for you being as I trust you would live up to a mistake (I spilled a cup of coffee on my keyboard at work the other day and had to get my company to replace it) so I feel your pain, I can't blame you or Apple (even though I'd love to blame Apple) My budy is on his 4th macbook pro in 30 days and they have taken very good care of him.. wish I could help ya out man..

    Dave
     
  12. Porco macrumors 68020

    Porco

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    #13
    Amazingly enough, I did the exact same thing to an Amiga too! Maybe they had some kind of attraction to orange squash. Mine worked again after it dried out too (still does last time I checked).
     
  13. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #14
    You guys keep talking about orange squash, and all I can think of is this.

    Anyways, you can vouch that you never spilled anything on it, but what about other people? Roommate? Sibling? Parent/child/significant other? As someone else mentioned, though, it could have occurred before you even purchased it.

    And you were really willing to live with random shutdowns and a partially-functioning optical drive? :eek:
     
  14. dodus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #15
    :eek: Sweet! I'm going to spend an hour meditating with this page in front of me every day before I call Apple back Monday.

    Haha, no xUKHCx has it right. But it's impossible that I've ever even spilled water in the thing. I just don't drink anything near my computer. Not out of principle or anything; I just have other places where I drink stuff.

    a456: tough break--but glad things worked out.

    Since day 1 I have also had a small watermark in the center of my screen. Once again, I decided to live with it (it was not visible once the background loaded) instead of calling Applecare. Why am I such a moron?!

    ddekker: That's why I'm confused. Assuming the analysis comes back as water damage, I'm inclined to trust the technicians' judgement. But there have to be a million and one other reasons for water damage in a computer. Doesn't the macbook pro have some kind of over-heating/condensation problem that could cause this kind of damage? Thanks for the support--4th MBP in 30 days?! Yikes.

    There's no chance anyone else did it without my knowing. I don't have roommates and can't really think of a time anyone else has even touched the computer in my presence, nevermind managed to get enough alone time with it in to cause some kind of secret massive spill.

    And yes, I had a malfunctioning Dell for three years previous to the MBP, so I guess I've just learned to cope with computers not working the way they're supposed to. Really I would have kept going with this one, too, except you need functioning keys to do anything. That one can't be overlooked. It's stupid of me, but then again, with experiences like this, who can be blamed for holding out?
     
  15. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #16
    You don't have to have ever had anything spill inside the machine to get water spots inside it that'll lead to a voided warranty.

    All you have to do is live in a freezing part of the country and leave the machine long enough for it to get really cold -- then take it inside where it is hot and humid.

    So condensation could be an excuse for spots -- but Apple doesn't warrant damage from that either.
     
  16. dodus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #17
    Are you sure? One of the CSRs I talked to indicated that condensation (especially due to mechanical issues) is covered under the warranty. At any rate, the computer hasn't been exposed to freezing or drastic shifts in temperature.
     
  17. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #18
    Almost every Mac built nowadays is subjected to dramatic shifts in temperatures at least once in their life, and that is during the plane journey from China. I'm not saying that would have damaged the machines, just pointing out that it has happened to your machine at least once.

    I have received many computers, many Apple ones and many others, and if I open them up as soon as they are delivered to my door they are frequently dripping in condensation; regardless of how well they are packaged. I am in the UK and most Apple machines are delivered by truck the morning after they arrive in the country by plane. Perhaps if they were on the ground a day or two before they got to me I wouldn't see the condensation, I'm not sure. Anyway, I've never had any damage occur from this, but from the amount of condensation I've personally seen on machines I've opened I certainly believe it could be possible.
     
  18. dodus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #19
    That's a really good point. Mine has been up in the air quite a few times since then, but always on my person so I figured that wouldn't really be the same. I've never noticed any water dripping from it personally.
     
  19. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #20
    Yes, if you have it in the (pressurised) cabin with you as hand-luggage then it obviously doesn't experience freezing conditions. It only gets really cold if it's in the hold.

    I've opened up a few Macs and never noticed any of those red water stickers (I have seen them on my phone before). Also, I think the device has to be well and truly soaked to make those stickers change, I doubt even heavy condensation would cause them to activate.

    I wonder why they think your Mac has water damage. I'll be really interested if you can get information about why they believe it has been on Monday.

    On a sidenote, I don't suppose your laptop might be covered by your home insurance? When I called my insurance company to add my laptop they told me that all laptops under $2000 were automatically covered. I still had to add mine as it was MacBook Pro, but if it had been a MacBook it would have been covered without me adding it as a named item.
     
  20. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #21
    Apple used to specifically mention condensation under environmental conditions, now it likely has been reduced to extreme environment as the weasel words of choice.

    But that just leave light water spots from the dust, a spill would likely leave residue of some sort.
     
  21. dodus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #22
    You and me both. I'll definitely keep you guys posted; you've been more than helpful. As for insurance, it has been suggested by Apple as well as by some kind thread responders at apple.com/support. I was living with my parents when I bought the laptop, and we made sure it got covered before I took it to Colombia, and as far as I know, it still is. But from what I've heard, the insurance companies will make you pay for a claim like that with increased premiums. Still worth checking out of course. But on the other hand, I'd really like to get some value out of this Holy Applecare Covenant I paid for.

    According to them, it's residue. The condensation theory probably isn't going to help me, and the lady who brought it up I think was just trying to give me a happy thought or something, anything. I've got no idea how tenuous or not this residue is. I know there's a year's worth of dust under the keys; I'm sure that doesn't look too sweet to a technician. Does that constitute "neglect" or "misuse" or turn into a "liquid spill"? I'm done guessing. I've got no idea.
     
  22. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #23
    Yes definitely worth checking. I questioned my insurance company a lot when I insured my laptop with them and they said that if you only have one claim in a year, and it's only for a few thousand, then it will probably only increase your premium by a few dollars, if that.
     
  23. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    #24
    Call their corporate line and be very clear that you want corporate executive relations. Demand evidence of the spill. Ask whom they contract to do their work, etc......you can get through this, it's hard, but it can be done.
     
  24. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000

    FoxyKaye

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, Terre d'Ange, Bas Lag, Gallifrey
    #25
    My iMac has been burning through Superdrives (2 so far - I do extensive burning for DJ and video work). The first time I took it to the Emeryville Apple store and had such a horrific experience I wrote a three page letter to corporate. In a week I had a replacement drive sent to me and in a month a new iPod Shuffle with an apology.

    This time I spent 1.5 hours on the phone with Apple tech. I simply kept restating things such as:

    "I'm sorry, this is not an acceptable solution."

    "Is there anyone else I can talk to, since I'm not receiving the service I've come to expect from Apple."

    "Can I please speak with your manager?"

    "Right now, I'm highly dissatisfied with the service I've been receiving."

    "Regardless of your opinion of my use of the superdrive, the fact remains that it is not functioning correctly and I've purchased AppleCare for precisely this reason."

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Be polite and persistent - the folks on the phone are only the first line of defense, and it is possible to break through. At some point the cost of dealing with your problem in manpower hours will outweigh the cost of replacing your parts or Mac.

    Ikea also replaced a defective bed for me that was "out of warranty" simply because I took it back to the customer service desk disassembled and stood around chatting with representative after representative for over two hours until I'd worked my way up to the store manager and the customer service desk was hopelessly backed up.

    Good luck!
     

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