Why did I give Apple $350 for this repair again?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by livingfortoday, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

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    #1
    I have a question for ya'll. Actually, let me give you some background info first.

    I got a used Powerbook Al from my dad (it's in my sig) a few months ago, the only problem with it was that it wouldn't charge when it was plugged in. It could boot from the battery, and worked fine, but there was no way to recharge the battery or run the computer from just the outlet. So I took out the DC-In board and replaced it with a new one, and that didn't fix the problem.

    So I took it to Apple.

    The Genius at the Genius bar told me that since I had done the work, and not a certified tech, I had probably done something wrong in the install, and he would replace the DC-In board. They would not do anything else until he had done that. Ok, fine, I said, go for it. A few days later I get a call saying that it wasn't the DC-In board, but it's probably the logic board. I didn't say "I told you so", because I'm a gentleman. So I give the OK for them to send it in to be serviced. I'm told the turnaround will be a few days at most.

    Checking online, I see that Apple gets the Powerbook and repairs it the same day. The next day it's "pending shipping" or something like that (I forget the specific word). It stays like that for a week. So I call AppleCare. It takes 50 minutes for a rep to pick up and tell me that it'll be ready when it's ready, and I should just check the online site. I call again later, since that first answer kinda pissed me off, and the rep tells me (after another 50 minute wait) that it apparently failed the final testing (bad logic board), and is waiting for a new part which no one has yet ordered. So it's been sitting a week now, collecting dust. She puts through the order, and I get my Powerbook a week and a half later.

    Only now, there's new problems. The screen flickers all the time, the fans grind and make weird noises, the ambient light sensor randomly dims and brightens the screen on a whim. So I call Apple, and they send out a box, and I send it back again.

    At this point the computer has been out of my hands for about 40 days. About a week after receiving the laptop (it had been waiting for parts (another new logic board), according to the online tracking), it gets sent back to me. Only Apple forgets (for some damn reason) to put my apartment number on the package, so DHL messes up delivery two days in a row. I call them, get it sorted out, and they screw up badly again and I end up taking the bus to get it from them tonight.

    So I turn it on. Everything seems fine. There's weird black grease on the top case, but whatever, I wipe it off, it's cool. It works, though. No flickering, no weird noises. Apple had apparently again replaced the logic board and the "Thermal Module Assy". Okay. So I'm sitting, working on a project that's due tomorrow, when all of a sudden it just turns itself off. It won't boot up or anything again. When I plug it in, it doesn't charge the battery. So I'm guessing the logic board is dead again, which makes it what, the fourth replacement one down? Fifth total.

    At this point, what should I do? Seriously. I'm going to call AppleCare tomorrow, and tell them this happened, but I can't possibly deal with all this again. It's so damn messed up that they can't get this repair right. Do they just hire monkeys down in Houston to beat at the computers with wrenches and fling crap at one another and then ship it back to me? Cause it feels like Apple has no clue what it's doing.

    So, again, what would you do in my shoes? What would you say, who would you call?
     
  2. OzMo macrumors member

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    #3
    So - where does the $350 come in? Applecare?

    The moral of the story must be to keep your own grubby mits off the laptop and send it to Apple as soon as there is a problem.

    If then there was a problem I would have more sympathy.

    Good luck with the next repair.
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    ^^*******

    Sorry man. There hasn't really been a huge issue with 15" Al PB logic boards, so it's probably just bad luck and poor testing by Apple.

    Try to get a new computer at this point. I think you're likely entitled. :eek:
     
  4. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #5
    Yeah, I'd say lobby for a replacement machine, preferably a MacBook. After all this time and headaches and they STILL can't get it right? Sorry you're having such a bad experience, my experiences with AppleCare have all been great. :(
     
  5. evoluzione macrumors 68010

    evoluzione

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    #6


    my thoughts too...

    if you had applecare, you're damn lucky they repaired it for free as you basically screwed up that applecare warranty by repairing it yourself (as far as i know).

    having said that, try for a new machine and hope you get someone willing to help you, but that can also depend on how you are with them too.
     
  6. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Ok, yeah, I should have clarified the $350. This Powerbook didn't have AppleCare anymore, so when I brought it in I had to pay for the service. When they ship it out for a logic board replacement, and what I think he called "Level 2" repairs, they charge a flat fee of $350 for any repairs that get done to it. So I paid that $350 (well, with tax it was like $348, or something). When I got it back, it had a 90 day AppleCare guarantee on any work they'd done to it. So yeah. i tried the repair on my own first because its warranty was up, and paying $60 for a part and doing it myself made a lot more sense than the $180 Apple wanted for just the DC-In board replacement.
     
  7. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

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    #8
    Well if you still have a qualifying 90 Applecare guarantee, then i would keep hounding them till they gave you a new one.

    Yes its was your fault for trying to do the repairs yourself, but it was also Apples fault for not properly fixing it after you have paid for service. I would either lobby for a full refund, or a new replacement.

    Good Luck.
     
  8. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #9
    Okay! Talked with Apple, and this point they're going to send me another box to send it back in, they can't do anything else. Whee. The product specialist gave me his name and contact info, and said if it came back with problems again, that we would "explore different avenues" in regards to the Powerbook. The estimated time for this to be back in my hand again is a bit over a week. So we'll see.
     
  9. rkriheli macrumors member

    rkriheli

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    #10
    they'll probably send u a MBP as a replacement. My friend went through a similar ordeal with his iBook G3 sending it in 5 times and coming back with new or different issues. Apple eventually just gave in and sent him an iBook G4 after a myriad of complaints.

    My advice: Stay on them. Don't be passive. You are pissed off and it has interfered with your productivity.
     
  10. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Well, I got my Powerbook back today, and it seems to be running ok on the whole, though it again has some quirks.

    For one, there was some sort of oil or grease on the case when I unpacked it, as well as some spots of it on the screen. There was also some weird sticky stuff on the speaker grills. That's not a huge deal. What is a huge deal for me, is that the display seems to be flickering at times again, and randomly dimming. This is the same thing that happened last time after it was repaired. Well, before the last time. Last time the logic board outright died. So, two repairs ago, for those keeping track.

    I'm gonna tell the Apple rep about those things, though I think I'll wait a while in case anything else crops up. Hopefully, though, that'll have been it. Hopefully they finally repaired this thing right(ish)! I'm going to need a laptop this weekend, and am thinking that I may just have to say "f it" and accept the fact that Apple seems to do (for me, anyways) shoddy repair work, and just never let them touch anything of mine again. Not having a Powerbook for ANOTHER week just isn't possible, unfortunately.
     
  11. imacintel macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Apple isn't usually like this about reapiring things. They never give me BS when fixing something. Unless you deal with Ron, the snot nosed whiney guy from the iMac Applecare dept.
     
  12. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #13
    Well, I'm currently dealing with a "Rob" (I won't give out his full name) from the Powerbook department, and he's been quite sympathetic, and even let me babble on and on about the problems without interrupting like some of the other reps do. I emailed him tonight about this, and basically said - "The problems are minor, but they're problems that weren't there before. I want it repaired, but I can't lose my Powerbook now, or for the next week or so. How's next Tuesday for you? Also, can I have my money back, please?"

    That's quite a summary and paraphrasing. So yeah. That's where I'm at right now. We'll see what he says, and I'll keep you all informed, as I know you're waiting on the edge of your seats with bated breath! Hopefully I'll have a fully functional Powerbook... some day!
     
  13. miTunes75 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    ok. it's been about 24 hrs. what happened?

    ((this saga is interesting))
     
  14. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #15
    He called while I was in a meeting and left a message to email him back or call him so that we could "resolve" this issue. Uh... yeah. So I emailed him a little while ago, and hopefully he'll call me or I'll call him tomorrow afternoon.

    Ah, phone tag... building up the suspense!
     
  15. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

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    #16
    well, hopefully they will grant you a new one. hope things work out for you tomorrow.
     
  16. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #17
    You deserve a new MBP for all the trouble Apple has put you through. Does the 3 repairs before new model still stand in this case, or not? Hope it gets repaired right, or at least gives you a MBP for all you trouble.
     
  17. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Well, this wasn't covered by AppleCare when I took it in for repair, so I really doubt I'll be seeing a new MBP anytime soon. And frankly, with my luck, even if they gave me one, I'd probably get one with every single problem that's been listed on this board to date. So yeah. Right now I'm hoping for a refund or something on the work, and that's it. If they want me to send it in again, I think I probably will just say screw it, and keep it flawed the way it is, since it's clear they can't be bothered to repair it properly. Hell, they can't even clean the thing off before they ship it out!

    I'm just too busy to deal with this anymore, and really need a laptop for the next few weeks. Being without a working Powerbook is really not a position I want to be in for another few weeks.
     
  18. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #19
    I didn't get any response to my email today, but apparently saying "screw it" is not an option anymore, since the Powerbook has started making a weird whistling/whining sound from the back somewhere. It does it when I'm sending things or downloading things wirelessly. Really weird. Just one more problem, I guess. Jeez.
     
  19. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #20
    Just to finish up this story. I finally got Apple to take back the Powerbook (I had to keep it, faults and all, through finals) I was not ever able to get back ahold of the product specialist who said he would help me out, and he never returned my messages or emails. I had to go through the whole process from the start again, and seriously, they treat you with extreme suspicion after so many repairs. DHL came and got the Powerbook, and it came back to me on December 6th. This time Apple replaced the entire screen/display housing (which means that my cool crossbones are gone!), and some other internals. This Powerbook is pretty much brand new except for the lower case, hard drive, and optical drive. Every other part has been swapped out, many times in some cases (logic board #5!).

    It seems to work fine, I've got it folding and doing some other intensive tasks, and so far so good. No random screen flickers, no weird noises, no fan grinding, nothing. Good.

    The lesson learned here, though, is to not give my computer to Apple to fix after the AppleCare has run out. Their service is pretty poor, especially after having paid the sum I did for it. I did write them a letter the third time I had to return it, and I received a response that pretty much said "sh*t happens, deal with it". Not in those words, but pretty much in that vein. Yeah. So I'm pretty unhappy with the whole thing, but two and a half months later I have a functional Powerbook again, so this matter is closed in my book.

    Unless something screws up again before the 90 days warranty is up...

    Edit: I should add, though, that the new screen is very nice, and looks much brighter than the old one. So that's at least a plus I certainly did not expect when I initially gave them my PB.
     
  20. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #21
    Ha ha ha... the loud static sound and beeping keyboard are back! WOO!

    So I called AppleCare and after an hour I was told I would be getting a brand new MacBook Pro! Yay!

    And then I was transfered to an agent to "verify" my computer had hardware problems. He said he could not do so, so I have to take time out of my day, when I was planning on being constructive, and go down to the Apple Store on Michigan Ave. tonight to have them test my machine. If the symptoms manifest themselves (and since they're random, and I'm unlucky - I bet they won't) I get a MacBook Pro. If they don't, I'm out of luck, and I'll have wasted an hour and 40 minutes on the phone today, and a trip to the Apple Store.

    So.. thanks Apple. Thanks for top-notch service.

    I'll update this tonight.

    Edit: I should also add that I'm backing up all my files and whatnot, and doing a clean reinstall of Tiger. That's what the tech guy said I should do, so that they know for sure that it's my hardware, and not a software issue. Fun times.
     
  21. davegoody macrumors 6502

    davegoody

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    #22
    Hope you get a MBP !

    Let us know how it goes !
     
  22. calyxman macrumors 6502a

    calyxman

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    #23
    In the world of computers, you're basically on your own when doing repairs. It doesn't matter if you have an Apple or Dell; either brand can give you headaches and trying to get a straight answer is like trying to pull teeth.

    When I described the backlight flickering problem with my iBook to one of the "Geniuses" at the Apple store in Tampa, he immediately responded that it was the logic board and to bring it in since it was under warranty. Another phone call and wasted car trip later, I had to pickup my laptop because they changed their diagnoses of the problem.

    That's why the internet is a great thing: you can search for tutorials and guides on how to do most of the repairs yourself, as well as research similar stories from other users.
     
  23. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #24
    Alright, I will! I went to the Apple Store, gave them my PowerBook, explained the issue, and they said they'd have to keep it for a few days to see if they could find anything wrong with it. If THEY decide it's broken, then they'll send it back to Apple for me. At which point I get to call up the customer relations guy I spoke to today, and they'll send me a MBP. If the store decides that it doesn't warrant a return, I can't get the problem repaired through Apple anymore.

    So! Waiting for them to call in the next two days at some point to let me know what they've found.
     
  24. davegoody macrumors 6502

    davegoody

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    #25
    Well ????

    Any news yet ?

    Good luck
     

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