Apple Care Won't Cover MBP Logic Board Repair?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SuparShadow, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. SuparShadow macrumors member

    SuparShadow

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    New York, NY
    #1
    Hi guys

    So I'm not really sure what the point of this post is except to get some advice, since I seem to have hit a brick wall with this issue.

    I've had my 15" 2GHz Intel Core Duo MBP (with AppleCare) since about fall 2006. Late last year it started giving me some weird, glitchy video issues which I assumed were due to a dying graphics card (I even ran TechTools which determined the VRAM was failing). Anyway, I know that in the notebooks the graphics card is part of the system's logic board, so this past Sunday I took it in to the SoHo Apple Store to have it looked at.

    When I went in, the Genius told me they'd take a look at the computer, he noted a small dent in the left speaker, but assured me they'd take care of me and roughly estimated that someone would give me a call in 3-5 days with an update.

    Now, when I dropped off the computer the store's system was down, so the Genius couldn't give me a repair number or a very accurate ETA. But whatever, that was no big deal. I just called back on Tuesday morning to get an update.

    At that point, they told me they had a high volume of repairs and that it would actually be about 4-5 days. But they assured me they had the necessary part (the logic board) in stock in the store, and they just had to run a diagnostic triage to isolate the problem first. Again, no biggie.

    This morning, I called again to make sure they were working on it and that my computer would be ready today/tomorrow. This time they said it had "somehow gotten pushed back" and wouldn't be ready until Tuesday. The phone operator suggested I come in on Monday and see if a manager could speed things up, I asked her if I could speak with one on the phone, she went and talked to one herself and told me that somebody would call me back by the end of the day.

    Then, a few hours later, the Genius I checked my laptop in with calls me back and told me AppleCare won't cover the repair because they decided the damage to the logic board was caused by "impact damage" to the keyboard/case.

    I then visited the store to speak with a manager, and she and the lead genius looked at the computer and basically told me the same thing. (Although I wish they'd have done that before leaving me to twist in the wind without my computer for a week).

    The damage that they're talking about is a shallow dent in the left speaker that, I believe, was caused by accidentally dropping the computer's A/C adapter onto the speaker. I know accidental damage isn't covered by AppleCare, but this happened a very, VERY long time ago, and I haven't experienced any issues with the computer's performance until just recently. And the dent itself is tiny (obviously I don't know how protected the logic board is beneath the keyboard and the speakers, so I guess it's perfectly plausible that it caused the damage to the logic board, but since Apple didn't show me the damaged circuitry itself, I don't really know).

    In any case, they're now quoting me a level 4 repair that will set me back about $1,240. I spoke to AppleCare on the phone and, after reviewing the Apple Store's notes, told me the same thing.

    Anyway, I was wondering if there are any more options for me to get this fixed under AppleCare. I know I've heard tons of miracle and horror stories about people getting their computers repaired through Apple, but I'm starting to think I'm pretty much SOL and was just wondering if anybody had any suggestions.

    Particularly, I was wondering what my odds of getting this fixed would be if I took it to a third-party authorized dealer? Tekserve, for example? If their repair guys aren't picky enough to harp on the dent in the speaker, is there a chance they can authorize the repair under AppleCare? Or am I screwed since I went to Apple first, and now all of these notes are probably attached to my laptop's serial number? Is it even worth it to try?

    Any advice would be really appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #2
    What about the other two stores? http://www.apple.com/uk/retail/

    Could one try that?

    As for the matter, you can't prove to them that the accident happened years ago, and they have this accidental damage policy, so to not repair everything they get, even if worth to be repaired. You seem to be in a pickle.

    What about calling the Apple Service Hotline (or whatever it is called)?
     
  3. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020

    ViciousShadow21

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    #3
    it never hurts to try.

    did you insure the notebook under your homeowners insurance.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Location:
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    #4
    They'd simply check your record and tell you the same thing. Doesn't matter what store you go to.


    I know this won't help you now, but perhaps if you went to a store that was less busy, they wouldn't have given you such a diagnosis. There's a possibility that they were so busy that their main priority was to repair computers in a reasonable amount of time, and this meant that they had to repair and return computers back to customers at a faster rate than they were coming in.

    To me, their excuse sounds like BS. They've always had a really messed up policy regarding repairs and replacements. People have gone in there and got their entire machine repaired or replaced for all sorts of silly reasons (and then post about it here). But I remember a guy who posted here saying that his machine wasn't eligible for repair because his PowerBook had a really big, visible scratch on it. :rolleyes:

    Saying that, they may actually believe that a tiny shallow dent caused the logic board failure (although the logic board isn't up near the speaker), but perhaps they don't believe you that the dent was from 2 years ago. Perhaps they think it's new damage, and the logic board issue occurred after this incident.
     
  5. mkvowner macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #5
    You have to put yourself in their shoes, it doesn't matter when the dent got there, it was still there when they got it. If the top case is off and they see an impact point inside the computer then you are SOL, fortunately that speaker isn't over the logic board and a dent in it is difficult to relate to distortion. Just try a less busy store.
     
  6. SuparShadow thread starter macrumors member

    SuparShadow

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    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #6
    hi everybody

    mkvowner, I definitely do understand where they're coming from. I mean, if the impact from the power brick is what damaged the logic board, then obviously it's my own damn fault and not something that would ordinarily be covered by AppleCare (which sucks for me, but que sera sera).

    It is interesting to hear that that's not where the logic board is located, though, since that's at least what they made it sound like to me (but they didnt open up the computer in front of me, so I didnt get to see the internal damage they were talking about).

    Basically I'm wondering, especially since I've heard such a mixed bag of results from AppleCare and the Genius Bar in these kinds of situations, if there's any chance a merciful tech would be able to do something for me.

    For example, if I found a Genius at another store, or a tech guy at one of Apple's authorized third-party repair places who said I didn't cause the damage, would they then be able to get AppleCare to cover the repair?
     
  7. mkvowner macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #7
    I'm not one to make that call, but it really does depend on the dent. How deep it is, that sort of thing. There really isn't any clearance between the speaker grille and what is below it so them not covering the repair would be justified. In order to warranty that repair, the machine would have to be in tip top shape again so they would have to replace what is damaged (if anything) and then the logic board. Just try another store.
     
  8. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    #8
    Right now, it's basically he said she said type of deal. Apple is saying the dent is of importance and it's hard to argue with that even if it doesn't affect the primary problem. The only left to do is call up customer service and try to see if you're able to get a CS exception to do the repair. Another option is try a 3rd party service provider, they might be able to take apart your portable and show you what damage is done if any.
     
  9. mkvowner macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #9
    You must work for AppleCare Canada by the fact that you have iLog in your name...and from your recommendation. It's difficult for them to do something like that over the phone once another store has recorded the damage.
     
  10. wil49 macrumors member

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    Mar 18, 2009
    Location:
    Chester, UK
    #10
    In the UK some resellers and 3rd party service centers dont use the apple service log system, so trying one of those where you are might be worth a shot.

    I had a hinge problem with my MB and it occurred twice, the 2nd time they wouldn't fix it. So I rang up apple tech and explained the whole thing, I didnt get anywhere for the first 20min as I was explaining the situation.

    The guy was just coming to the conclusion that it was my fault but I was adamant that this was a fault with the machine, basically gave the "I could have bought a £300 machine" and so forth. I eventually got onto a person "higher up" who took all my details, he rang the service centre directly and got a report on the condition of the machine and got it sorted under an exception, this was all done under the standard warrenty.

    I think you need to push apple on the phone, I didnt like having to push them, but they will try and get out of repairing something and I didnt buy a mac for it to fall apart. Obviously I would need to see the machine but I would doubt if that caused your problem.

    PS Can you post a pic of the dent to see what we are looking at in terms of damage.
     
  11. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    #11
    Basically unless the store didn't record it under iLog since they were busy or for whatever reason. If they didn't log it, then you might have a chance to maybe speak over the phone to an AppleCare agent and setup the repair. During the setup stage, they will ask if there are any scratches, dents etc. They will note it down. What ends up happening is once the repair depot receives your unit, they will survey it. If they see the dent and has no effect on the problem they will go ahead and perform the repair. If not, they will put your portable on hold and get a reach of you and explain to them why they didn't repair the unit. If that's the case, don't argue with them, just ask them to return the unit. Once the unit is returned, call customer relations and explain to them your problem. Again, you might be granted a "one-time" customer satisfaction exception for your unit to be repaired.

    As far as I'm concerned, 3rd party service providers don't have access to iLog or don't use it which is why it's recommended to go to them as an alternative. They don't work closely to Apple, they're just certified to do repairs. Also, some 3rd party service providers don't even honor AppleCare so you might want to call one ahead of time.
     
  12. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

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    #12
    +1 ^^^ The OP needs to follow iLog.Genius' advice. Dents are "the kiss of death" from many other poster's posts and threads. Wouldn't it be cheaper to go with a 3rd party authorized Apple repair service and get the dented case repaired, then take it in? Chances are there is a report of the dent, but I would think that would be a cheaper route....
     
  13. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    Toronto, Ontario
    #13
    The dent isn't the problem. The dent is preventing his logic board from being repaired under AppleCare because Apple "claims" that the dent "caused" the logic board to fail (which in most cases is complete BS). But again, dents are very troublesome because they could potentially cause damage (how bad the dent really is) or if it doesn't, Apple doesn't really know how the dent got there (what type of impact?) and how badly did the impact affect the computer?

    EDIT: Ahh, misread your post. You meant to repair the case first and then do the repair. That would also be an idea but again it comes down to whether the dent was recorded in iLog. But good suggestion.
     
  14. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    #14
    ...the more I hear about this type of issue with the Alum cases...the more I think its better to get a whitebook and put up with the possibility of the plastic cracking - which apple care will repair... much harder to tell a dent in plastic than alum...
     
  15. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #15
    Apple stores refusing dents is ridiculous.

    I have a dent around my DVD-RW drive and the local authorised service centre said "We tried to fix the dent but couldn't quite get it back to normal. We see this a lot on these machines, it's a design thing."

    You also read a lot of stories of people getting better warranty service from 3rd party authorised centres than the real Apple Stores.

    A dent in the speaker grill, if that's really all it is (obviously people can say whatever they want on the internet) has absolutely nothing to do with the motherboard. Combine that with the fact that they're replacing the things en masse due to nVidia manufacturing problems, and you've got 100% bull-**** on your hands.
     
  16. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    #16
    Wow, that's cranky... and on top of that they don't do repairs on location unless you have a Mac Pro, and then only if you live within a certain radius from the nearest authorized Service Center. My dead iMac has been sitting in a corner now for nearly a month, I haven't had the time or energy to get on a train with a 30 lbs 24" behemoth and travel 60 miles to drop the damn thing off. They should call it AppleDon'tCare. How business users of Macs put up with being treated like plebs is beyond me.

    Dell once replaced a motherboard that I broke (and told them so). I was moving PCI cards around, it took a lot of force to insert them and I accidentally snapped off this little thingamabob that was soldered to the motherboard. When I switched the machine back on I had no Ethernet access, so the thing that fell off the motherboard was apparently related to that. I called them and told them what happened (no point in lying as there's no conceivable way for this to happen by itself), and the next day they stopped by and replaced the entire motherboard free of charge.
     
  17. MrZebra macrumors regular

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    #17
    :D:D
     
  18. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

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    #18
    +2 ^^^ That's just hilarious to the point that it's scary....:eek:
     
  19. SuparShadow thread starter macrumors member

    SuparShadow

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    Location:
    New York, NY
    #19
    hey everybody

    thanks again for all of the advice so far... I snapped a picture of the dent in question with my iPhone to give you guys a better idea of what I'm dealing with here.

    and the store certainly did log their notes. I spoke with AppleCare on the phone yesterday after I got my computer back from the Genius Bar and the man on the phone was able to look up the store's notes. he did give me information for contacting customer relations (because of how the store strung me along for a week without so much as touching my computer), but emphasized that they wouldn't be able to help me with technical issues.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    #20
    Yeah, figured it would a be a dent like that. There's no way a dent like that could affect the logic board in any way. That dent could have happened by anything small without much force. Like I said, ARS is out of the question now. the only thing left to do is 3rd party service provider or customer relations. If a small dent like that can affect the logic board, I think Apple needs to go back and redesign their enclosures because the Late-2008 MacBook Pro's aren't that much better in terms of preventing dents.
     
  21. tcphoto macrumors 6502a

    tcphoto

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    Location:
    Madison, GA
    #21
    The dent, though not large but it would raise a red flag if I was the technician. But, the Genius (a bit of a stretch in my experiences) should have recognized and acknowledged it in his notes when he took it in for repair. The mere fact that they let it sit for a week should get you a pass on this repair. If not, I would cancel my AppleDONOTcare and force them to cut you a check for the remainder of the plan and send it into Techrestore for the repair. I would rather give the money to anyone besides Apple in this case.
     
  22. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    #22
    Not necessarily. I mean come on, if the dent was huge and somewhere it could have actually done damage yes, but if I got the OP's MacBook Pro and saw the dent, I would have used common knowledge to know that couldn't have done anything to this computer, maybe his speakers but that's not what he's trying to get replaced anyway. Unless Geniuses are getting paid extra for repairs or setting up repairs (they don't...) there should be know reason to deny the repair. For what? To help Apple? That also isn't giving you any Apple Employee of the month/year awards.
     
  23. SuparShadow thread starter macrumors member

    SuparShadow

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    Location:
    New York, NY
    #23
    hi again guys

    I just wanted to thank you all for your input, I really appreciate it. (as I'm sure you understand, because obviously nobody wants to get slapped in the face with a $1200 repair bill on a two year old computer)

    I think I'll definitely give Customer Relations a call tomorrow and see what they say, and if that fails, I guess I'll give it a shot at one of the local third-party service providers. I know a couple that do accept AppleCare, so it sounds like if they don't use Apple's logging software, they might have the authority to greenlight a repair if the don't think the dent caused the board damage.

    This is sort of a tangent, but while we're bitching about "AppleDONOTCare," the AppleCare rep I spoke to on the phone yesterday actually tried to convince me that a two-year-old dent like that could've caused the damage to the board by using the example of how enough electrostatic discharge can damage the board:

    "If you wave your arms above the computer seven or eight times, you'll actually generate enough static electricity that when you touch that computer, it can damage the logic board. That's why whenever we do repairs or work on computers, we actually wear antistatic straps on our wrists or ankles to keep us grounded. So if something as simple as static electricity can damage the board, you can imagine what kind of impact would be necessary to dent a piece of solid metal," he said.

    I quickly pointed out that the dent was in the speaker, which is perforated and hollow and not, in fact, a "piece of solid metal," and would obviously not require the same amount of force to damage as, say, the wrist pads. And that, you know, a $2600 mass consumer product should probably be able to hold its own against a little static electricity.

    Also, if anyone cares, I uploaded the voicemail that the Genius left on my phone detailing the problems he found with my computer if anyone wants to take a listen. He makes mention of "liquid particles," but when I asked the manager and the lead genius at the store about that, they said they didn't really know what the phone genius was talking about. They just harped on the dent/board damage, mostly.

    Anyway, here's the link if anyone cares.


    ETA: Here's also just a transcript of what the Genius says in the voicemail I linked to above:

     
  24. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    Toronto, Ontario
    #24
    That has to be a Tier 2 agent talking out of his ass. Sure, any static can damage the logic board but really? I've been working with computers since I was 7 or 8. Always took apart old computers and put them back and back then I wasn't knowledgeable on static and computers. I haven't "killed" one computer without grounding myself. By his logic, we should all be working in a static-free room with our portables if the logic board can be damaged that easily. That's just another agent trying to justify what the ARS logged because he didn't know how to position himself to answering your questions. I know if that was me and all your information was on the computer, I wouldn't even try to talk to you (not in a negative way of course), I would inform you that you're having problems, called in before and it's something I can no longer assist you with and would just transfer you to CSR and let them do something for you. Again like you mentioned, technically there's nothing AppleCare or the ARS can help you with now - CSR is your best friend.
     
  25. SuparShadow thread starter macrumors member

    SuparShadow

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    Location:
    New York, NY
    #25
    Any advice on dealing with CSR? I plan on giving them a call tomorrow, but I'm a little anxious about it since I've never really had to deal with them before and I'm not completely sure about how to go about it.
     

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