A drop of coffee = over £2000 worth of damage?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by broflovski, May 14, 2015.

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  1. broflovski, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015

    broflovski macrumors member

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    #1
    On Tuesday I happened to knock over a mug of coffee, and a relatively small amount of it went through the keyboard of my brand-new maximum specification 13" MacBook Pro Retina. I dived out of my chair, removed the adapter, and the power immediately cut off. I gently dried it off with a towel, and then stood it next to a radiator in a tent-like position and left it there for around 24 hours, as instructed by those I'd found online who'd experienced similar accidents. The next day I took it to have the damage evaluated at my local Apple Store. I'd been warned not to try to switch it on, so I was concerned when the bloke had his thumb over the power button about five seconds after I'd opened it. Despite my skepticism, everything seemed to be working fine. But then, after about about ten minutes of fiddling, it became apparent that the speakers were completely dead. But hey, that's a lot better than what I was expecting. A new set of speakers will set me back, what, £100? Hardly the horror story that I'd been hearing from people online, I thought.

    So, next this bloke tells me he's going to take it into the back of the store to take a look at the internals. I'm waiting around for about two minutes before he comes back with this uncomfortable expression on his face. He sits down opposite me, takes a slow breath through his bearing teeth, and then begins to unload the bad news. The general gist was that every single component inside of my machine would need to be replaced, and that would amount to more than the actual value of a brand-new one. He told me that he could visibly see coffee residue on each part of the machine, which from Apple's point of view, means that they'd all need to be replaced in order to reinstate my warranty. He then finished with, "at this point, your best bet is to actually sell it for parts, and then use the money to buy yourself a new one".

    I'm absolutely astounded by their response to this matter. I paid very shy of £2,000 for this computer with a year's AppleCare on top of that, and their best advice is to simply sell it for pocket change? I told him that I wasn't happy with his evaluation and that I'd be returning to hopefully see someone else in the near future, but he stabbed back at me by telling me that he'd already put all of this down on my record so it wouldn't do me any good. I don't know whether there's any truth to that, or whether he was just saying it to spite me, but at the moment I'd bet on the latter.

    I have absolutely no idea what my next move is. I know that while I do nothing, my internals are likely corroding away, which is pushing me towards finding someone who knows how to disassemble and clean computer internals. I'm also wondering that if that is the case, and all traces of coffee are gone, can I return to the Apple store and have it reevaluated in the hopes that I'll be seen by someone who genuinely wants to help me?

    I'm almost at the point of breaking down. I'm a student, I'm living away from home, I'm in the midst of my exams, and now I'm apparently £2,000 down too.

    Please, help. :(
     
  2. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    #2
    I feel for your situation. It genuinely sucks to have your computer ruined, especially with the limited funds available to a student.
    But I'm afraid the Apple guy is correct; none of their services cover self-inflicted damage - whether accidental or not. So short of an extremely sympathetic representative willing to replace your machine on Apple's dime, you're probably out of luck with respect to anything Apple can do.

    Your other venue is renter's insurance or credit card insurance (or some other form of insurance), but I don't know how or if that applies to you at all.
     
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #3
    Apple always pull this one out of the bag. Yes the internals could be damaged but let's put it this way, last year I took a 13" MacBook that had had a large glass of brandy spilt in it and restored it to life with a new keyboard top case and 2 cans of contact cleaner. It was soaked in sticky goop all the way through the machine.

    Apples policy is if the liquid has touched a part then it's to be replaced. Hence the cost
     
  4. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    #4
    Well since you have voided your warranty you are now free to open it up yourself. Cleaning coffee off can be fairly straight forward; find someone at your school who is handy and a day doing it. A damp rag with distilled water or contact cleaner should do the trick and it will likely give you more years of service.
     
  5. itegypt macrumors 6502

    itegypt

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    #5
    I agree with darngooddesign ...you may find a local shop or eBay to check it out for you. I'm sure it will cost you a lot less than :apple:
    Good Luck
     
  6. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #6
    Coffee stains shouldn't be that damaging just wash it off with clear water. Let it dry. Put it back together and get replacements for the speakers. I doubt it is all broken just because coffee stains are everywhere. If it turns on it might still be fine. And if you have to pay 2000$ to have the warranty reinstated it sounds like you can forget about it. Just fix it up yourself and forget the warranty it isn't worth that much.
     
  7. spriter macrumors 65816

    spriter

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    #7
    Definitely get a second opinion.

    A relative recently dropped their 4S and the screen went off. Took it to the Apple Store where it was inspected only to be told it was a write off and that as it was unrepairable to buy an iPhone 6 instead.

    New screens are cheap so thought it was worth a shot. Now the phone works fine.

    Not sure Apple Stores are as good as they once were.
     
  8. broflovski thread starter macrumors member

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    May 14, 2015
    #8
    Do you think that if I got it all cleaned up, returned to the Apple Store and downplayed the whole thing, that they might possibly agree to charge me for the replacement of the actual damaged parts after running a full diagnostic? In which case my warranty would be restored, so any longterm issues would be dealt with by them, and for free. My mate reckons he spilt an entire glass of water through his keyboard last year, and since they couldn't visibly see how much liquid had actually made contact, they just repaired the damaged parts. It still cost him £600, but his warranty and AppleCare came back into effect.

    That's ideally what I want. I know liquid damage is often described as a ticking time bomb, so I'm expecting a lot of problems to arise over the next three years. If I can get Apple to repair just the speakers and then send it back to me, any issues caused by corrosion in the future will be their problem. So, hopefully after a quick clean, that's what will happen.

    Or, as the bloke claimed, is everything already on record, so it'll do me no good?
     
  9. doobry macrumors regular

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    Mar 5, 2010
    #9
    Call apple, to me the apple store guy broke it by not cleaning the coffee off the internals before powering it up! If it was working fine to start with and then started failing, it was HIS doing, not yours!

    I once spilled a whole glass of wine into a laptop, luckily it had a removable battery which I ripped off, after a few days of drying, i popped it open and gently removed the dried sediment like material that was all over the boards inside before it could short circuit anything.. It worked fine for a few years after that though it did retain a certain smell!! ;)
     
  10. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #10
    The OP spilled something into his computer. That is what caused the damage. It's called being responsible for your actions.

    For the record, I spilled a glass of whiskey into my old 2007 MBP once. Fortunately it didn't get on the logic board. I bought a new keyboard and replaced it myself and everything worked fine until I sold it a number of years later.
     
  11. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #11
    So basically you agree with the guy from the apple store that more than just the speakers were damaged yet you think you should be able to get the entire thing replaced for just the cost of new speakers even though the damage wasn't caused by anything that is covered by warranty?

    Since you have no warranty you should be able to get away with going to a non apple repair shop or using ifixit to replace the speakers. If you get lucky that's really all it is, but you might still have to deal with other issues later on.
     
  12. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #12
    Nope - if they don't replace everything that was potentially damaged by the spill, then it will stay out-of-warranty.

    If I take a hammer to my car's radiator and air filter assembly, then take it in, the mechanic will go "well, we need to replace your radiator and air filter assembly." You can't say "no, just replace the radiator" - then come back six months later and claim they should cover the air filter assembly for free, just because they didn't fix it the first time.
     
  13. broflovski, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015

    broflovski thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    I agree that there's the potential for more damage, yes. But I'm not sure that that's what my evaluation should be based on. As I've said, if it was water, despite the potential for damage being exactly the same, they would have likely agreed to replace the parts that were damaged, but because it's coffee, and they can see the sticky residue on the back case, they're refusing to do anything. I'm not sure where cleaning the residue before having it reevaluated would lie in terms of a moral perspective, but from a financial point of view, it could help me out immensely.

    I guess the question is whether I find it more important to stay honest and accept the consequences of my actions, or to disguise the spill as if it had been just water, which would potentially save my most expensive asset as well as my degree, as I'm genuinely considering packing in as a direct result of this.

    I have to admit, I haven't made up my mind as of yet.
     
  14. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #14
    Your liquid contact indicators are definitely tripped, no amount of cleaning is going to undue that.
     
  15. broflovski thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    They wouldn't know what was potentially damaged. Liquid damage can go unnoticed for years, apparently.

    ----------

    I don't think they use those to evaluate damage, they're just there to confirm whether or not the warranty is void.
     
  16. leenak macrumors 68020

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    #16
    That is silly, I just posted my thread about what happened. I did a similar thing and they replaced everything (or basically gave me a new computer). It cost me $700 but I have buyer protection through my credit card so my credit card is going to cover it. Did Apple actually give you an estimate of the cost to fix?
     
  17. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #17
    They're tripped - therefore the warranty is void. Getting a repair done doesn't re-activate the warranty. You get a warranty on the repairs, not on the whole machine again.
     
  18. broflovski thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    He priced it up in front of me and it come to well over £2,000.:confused:
     
  19. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

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    #19
    Wait, so apart from the speakers, does the machine actually work? If so, just use headphones until a time comes where you can just replace the part yourself. The warrantee is shot at this point anyway.

    Also, the Apple Store employee wasn't doing anything out of spite. He followed company policy, right down to making notes on your case. It's a crappy situation for sure, but he was just doing his job.
     
  20. broflovski, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015

    broflovski thread starter macrumors member

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    #20
    That's just not true. If Apple perform a repair, even if it's something that isn't covered by the warranty and you have to pay for it, the entire machine is placed back under warranty after they're finished. I don't know if you're already aware of this, and are just trying to sway me away from doing something that you view as unethical, but I already know that for a fact.

    ----------

    It was more his general attitude, and the fact that he actually recommended that I sell it for parts and use that money to put towards another Mac that made me suspicious of him.

    What parts am I supposed to sell, eh? You're telling me they all need to be replaced!
     
  21. broflovski thread starter macrumors member

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    #21
    As far as I can tell, but I'm no expert. It seems slightly sluggish in comparison to how it was, but I'm not sure whether it's just my imagination. I think I'm going to go back tomorrow once it's all been cleaned. I'm going to tell them the truth, that a little bit of coffee got on my keyboard and everything's working except for the speakers. If I get someone who's woken up in a good mood I'd imagine they'll run a diagnostics in front of me, which will confirm that the speakers need to be replaced, and then they'll take it in for further testing, and probably call me in the next few days quoting me somewhere around £700 for an entire bottom case. Once the repair's over my warranty will be back up and running, and I'll be on my merry way. That's the dream.
     
  22. r3tribut10n macrumors newbie

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    May 1, 2015
    #22
    You can do the diagnostics yourself if you turn the machine on, press D after the chimes kick in on boot up before the apple logo and run the extensive test

    I didn't see which year your mac is bar retina so late 2012 minimum, there are companies who will clean the logic board for you for about £150 or you can do a board swap which is around £300 plus your board but that has been stress tested and should get a warranty
    Apple won't do anything of you now it has been recorded, your better off writing the apple care and using a 3rd party
    Good luck whatever way you go ;)
     
  23. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #23
    Running sluggish could be the fans got soaked which would cause the cpu to throttle.
     
  24. Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

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    #24
    So, what is "coffee" to you? Mine is always black; it's just flavored water. To many, it's sugar and cream. If you spilled black coffee and it's dry, I'd say no worries at this point. If you spilled the other gunk, you have to disassemble and clean it. Might as well have been soda in that case.
     
  25. broflovski, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015

    broflovski thread starter macrumors member

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    #25
    Well, according to that test I have a flawless machine... Apple do a more advanced test in-store where they plug in an external system that gives a full status report.

    It's actually less than a month old, that's what kills me.

    Really, not even if I go in asking for a re-evaluation after not being happy with the previous level of service that I'd received? As long as he hasn't taken and documented any photographs of how the internals previously looked, I shouldn't have a problem.
     
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