A Clarification About Apple's Warranty Policy

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mirabella, May 5, 2010.

  1. Mirabella macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #1
    I have a new MacBook Pro on order.

    I've read several people on the forum discuss taking the Superdrive out of the MBP, putting it in an external drive casing, and then putting a second hard drive in the MBP, in the empty space where the optical drive was.

    This sounds like a good idea for my uses. It's something I might be interested in doing.

    However, anybody's discussion of doing this always leads to someone else pointing out that this voids the warranty. Not good. Especially due to all of the issues I had with my 2006 MacBook Pro, which were taken care of under (the extended Apple Care) warranty, I would rather not void the warranty. If that was at stake, then I'd stick with 1 hard drive (or maybe an SSD, when the prices come down and the size goes up), and keep the Superdrive in place.

    But I suspected that "You'll void the warranty" was not the whole story. I couldn't imagine that changing a drive would void the warranty on the whole computer. I expected that the warranty policy voiding would be more specific to the part you tampered with.

    So, I called up Apple's Support number, and asked them, "If I take the Superdrive out of my MacBook Pro, and replace it with a second internal hard drive, will I void my warranty on the whole computer, or just the Superdrive?"

    The woman I spokewith unhesitatingly answered, "Just the Superdrive".

    Unfortunately, all I have is the spoken word of one Apple Support worker. I don't have this on record, and don't have it in writing. I could easily imagine that the reality of exercising this policy comes down to the knowledge or ignorance of the person whom you deal with, and perhaps her/his mood, too.

    Nonetheless: To the best I can tell, you can replace the Superdrive with a second hard drive or SSD, and only thereby void the warranty on your superdrive, not your whole computer. I imagine this also applies to other parts inside the computer that you might want to modify, too.

    Go ahead and mod your computers, with greater peace of mind about the warranty.

    I hope this helps.
     
  2. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #2
    If your computer ever needs service and you have a second drive installed in place of the Superdrive, you can just reinstall the superdrive and ship it off.

    On the new MBPs there's no stickers/traps that you come across when removing the Superdrive (I just did this yesterday) so there's no way of them knowing one way or the other if your SD had been removed for some time prior to putting it back in.
     
  3. Mirabella thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #3
    That's good to know. I think it's also good to know that – apparently – their warranty is fair with your coverage, in any case.
     
  4. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #4
    Honestly, I wouldn't count on that. I mean, what do you do when you are at the Genius Bar with your MBP that has the OptiBay installed and they say, "sorry, you modified your machine and it has voided your warranty."

    You've only got, "but i called Apple support a year ago and they told me everything but the superdrive would still be covered!"

    I wouldn't even chance it when taking it in. Just put the original SD back in. Only takes a few minutes once you know which screws to take out!
     
  5. vant macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    #5
    +1. Warranty voids are discretion based.
     
  6. murdercitydevil macrumors 68000

    murdercitydevil

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    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    california
    #6
    So you're saying that if your MBP is broken and you take it to one Apple store where the genius appraises it and concludes "nope, it's been tampered with, i declare your warranty voided" and hands it back to you, you just go to a diff. store and hope the genius there doesn't do the same thing?
     
  7. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    I think you could try that but I also think they'd put a note in the computer saying that you've voided your warranty, so when another Genius looks up your warranty info he'll see the flag.
     
  8. murdercitydevil macrumors 68000

    murdercitydevil

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    california
    #8
    that's what I assumed. What about this - Let's say you "void" your warranty but the machine is perfect in every aspect. Let's say that maybe one of the stickers is ripped off or something like that, something obvious, but the machine is still perfect. Do you think Apple is more likely to deem your warranty voided under the first year included warranty, rather than if it's under 3 years of Apple care?
     
  9. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #9
    Yes. In fact, when I mailed my MBP in for service, and Applecare denied me, the very rude lady on the phone informed me (while yelling at me) that if I take it to an Apple store, they will find the same deficiencies as they did at the depot, and deny me as well. I took my computer to the Apple store, and got it back less than a week later all fixed up.
     
  10. ouimetnick macrumors 68020

    ouimetnick

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Location:
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    #10
    Intresting. Some claim that they were turned down from customer service for repairs due to 3rd party ram or a new better hard drive was installed.
     
  11. Mirabella thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #11

    This evening, I received a shipping box from Apple, through Federal Express, to ship my old laptop back to them for warranty repair. You can read about that, here:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=907127&highlight=

    This has influeced me to change my answer from what I would have replied, earlier, today.

    Among other things in the box, were papers from Apple, entitled:

    :apple: Important Customer Information • AppleCare Direct Mail-In Repair Service.

    Within this, there is a section called Warranty and Extended Service Contract Exceptions. And within this list of warranty service exceptions is the following:

    So, I would try to handle it proactively, as follows:

    I'd call up Apple's Support number, before I modded my MBP, and again ask them, "If I take the Superdrive out of my MacBook Pro, and replace it with a second internal hard drive, will I void my warranty on the whole computer, or just the Superdrive?" I wouldn't even give them my name or other identifying information yet, at this point.

    Hopefully, the person on the other end will, again, unhesitatingly answer, "Just the SuperDrive" – as did "Mary", when I called, earlier today.

    If I get the wrong answer, I'll call back and try again with another Apple Support Advisor, until I got one that answers "Just the SuperDrive".

    Once one of them gives me the answer I want, I'll say, "Apple's Warranty's Terms of Service mention that I can obtain written permission from Apple for substantial modifications, without voiding the computer's warranty. I would like to obtain written permission to replace my SuperDrive with a second internal hard drive." And so on. I'd persist and go through with getting the written permission.

    Then, "but i called Apple support a year ago and they told me everything but the superdrive would still be covered!" would not be all I have. Then, while there may still be aspects of warranty that are discretionary, unwritten, and/or negotiated – my modification would no longer be one of them. So, if they tell me at the Genius bar, ""sorry, you modified your machine and it has voided your warranty," I'd show them the written permission from Apple, and say, "No, it hasn't". :)
     
  12. joecool99 Suspended

    joecool99

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    when you receive the permission. scan it and post it here so we can use it for our use.
     
  13. murdercitydevil macrumors 68000

    murdercitydevil

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    california
    #13
    +10000
     
  14. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

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    Where the fresh snow don't go.
  15. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #15
    I have a early 2008 (Peryn 2.5GHZ) and i upgraded the HDD to a 7200rpm 500GB and took it in to Apple to have the keyboard replaced. The genius there saw that the HDD had been upgraded, via system profiler. I asked if that voided the warranty, and he said as long as it didn't damage anything during the installation, i am good.

    I asked about the superdrive being replaced with a 2nd HDD. He said that it wouldn't void the warranty, and that depending on the repair, i may not even need to swap out the HDD with the superdrive...
     
  16. Sir Cecil macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    #16
    All the op needed to do was e-mail his question to Apple support and get a definitive WRITTEN response the next day via e-mail. That way, there could be no future dispute with in-store staff etc.
    Would have taken less time and he could even have let us know the answer.
     

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