Powerbook g4 caught fire... :-(

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by AgentOrange, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2004

    Just a few questions. If anyone can help me, I would REALLY appreciate it. One of my friends bought a powerbook g4 last summer for law school and had been using it throughout the semester. Several months ago she spilled a small amount of water over the keyboard. I was there, and immediately shut the computer off, cleaned it out, opened it up, and gave it over 24 hours to dry off. Everything worked fine with it after that. About 2 weeks ago she was using the lap top on her lap and the power jack caught fire... I was not there for this, but it's pretty obvious what happened. The plug on the lap top is clearly charred... Obviously, the power jack is toast. When she took the computer into the apple store they refused to work on it because there was evidence of water damage inside the lap top. Even though they admit that this has NOTHING to do with the power jack, they are still telling her they cannot fix it because her warranty was voided. The time between the water spilling and the fire was just over 3 months. It was her only machine, so she used it pretty extensively. What's worse, apparently she got burned by the jack when it happened.

    Now, apple wants $925.00 to fix the damn thing. Obviously the lap top isn't even worth that much money. Is there anything that can be done about this? As it stands the computer is not useable because there is no way to power it. I feel like this still should be covered under warranty. Anyone have any suggestions about what to do?

  2. macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Call up Apple Customer service and politely state your case. Be upfront with them about what the store told you.

    And if that doesn't work a polite email to Steve Jobs would be the ticket. But do go through customer service and speak to a level or 2 of supervisors before you try this. Steve won't read the email himself, but someone who can do something about it will. This may not get you the desired results, but it's worth an effort if contacting customer service doesn't work.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2004

    Ok, I will tell her to give that a try. Thanks.
  4. macrumors 68030


    Aug 7, 2004
    On a jet plane
    Try a different stores, you might get a different result! Worth a shot.
  5. macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    I had a similar problem with my powerbook a few years ago. Well my jack wasn't burnt but I yanked my powerbook so hard and I forgot that it was still being charged..so the power jack completely twisted out of shape. When I took it to Apple they mentioned that they would have to replace the logic board, blah blah and charge me $800 for it. I was in San Diego for 2 days and I needed to work on the powerbook real bad, so I took it to one of those small computer shops ..asked the rep there if they could fix it. They fixed it in an hour and charged me $150.

    If I were you, or your friend, I would look up computer repair places in the phonebook..check for something like "we repair laptops, macs etc" Give them a call, doesn't hurt to ask. Hope this helps!
  6. macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    If she was injured by the fire, they will absolutely not cover the damage under warranty, because they'd be admitting liability for her injury, opening themselves up to punitive damages. If they stick to the "voided warranty" angle, they're (mostly) off the hook. It sucks, but that's a corporation for you. I would definitely try and find a Mac store that does repair work, they charge much less than Apple usually...

  7. macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    Apple is known for saying no the first time from the lower down people. But the higher up you go, the more likely you are to get it replaced, especially since the plug catching on fire more that 3 months after the water, meaning they are two different happenings, and not related.
  8. macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
  9. macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2004
    Omaha NE
    Well spilling water on it will void the warranty. Even though water and the fire may not have been related, Apple is not obligated to fix it for free because the warranty was voided when you spilled the water.
  10. macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Jun 26, 2004
    I live in a giant bucket!
    Does the water even mater? It happened months ago and the computer worked fine for those months in between. If the water was the factor that did this (not saying it didn't but HIGHLY unlikely) then why even worry about telling them if they can claim that that voided the warranty?

    Not saying don't tell them but really is the water that big of a deal?
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    My suggestion...

    First she should talk to the head supervisor and not the plebs. She should firmly, but very politely, explain that the computer worked perfectly for 3 months. In the meantime she should keep meticulous records of who she spoke and when etc, just in case she still doesn't get any satisfaction from them.

    If all else fails, she can take them to small claims court if she doesn't mind giving up a few hours of her time in order to get a replacement. It's highly unlikely that Apple will send a $300/hour lawyer to court knowing that he/she might have to sit around a good few hours before the case is heard. Here on the left coast the maximum amount one can sue for is $5,000.

    My experience (and my friends too) of small claims court has been very good. Yes, it is very slow, but the judges are usually quite sympathetic to the plaintiffs as long as you have good records and show that you really did make an effort to sort things out amicably. Also, if the defendant doesn't show up, the plaintiff automatically wins :)
  12. macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2003
    Round Rock, TX
    One approach to this...

    "I was using my powerbook when it caught fire. I extinguished the fire with a glass of water before it could spread.

    Please replace my laptop. It is a fire hazard. I am feeling litigious."

    As my convict friend would say: never contradict the evidence. Simply explain it away.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    Hahahaha thanks for the laugh :D
  14. macrumors 65816


    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    Wow, that is genius. You would make a great lawyer.

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