AppleCare Voided

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jasphair, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. jasphair macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #1
    Greetings,

    The optical drive in my 2007 SR MacBook Pro had been acting up, and knowing I had AppleCare until 2010, I took it in to have the drive replaced, which they agreed to do without question.

    I received a voicemail from them saying the optical drive had been installed, but that "oh by the way... we noticed you upgraded your hard drive. You're not allowed to open the case, and as such, your warranty is now void. We've decided to wave the repair fee for the optical drive, however. You can come pick the laptop up...".

    Now, many (or maybe all) of you will say "It serves you right, idiot!". The fact of the matter is, I could never get a clear answer on the hard drive upgrade policy. In doing research prior to doing the hard drive install, I obtained two different answers:

    • Opening the case does NOT void your warranty.

    • Upgrading the hard drive does NOT void your system warranty.

    I also came to understood that:

    • If you upgrade your hard drive, the original (and new) drives will not be covered by AppleCare. Period.

    • If your system has problems, the Genius Bar can occasionally blame it on something that's probably irrelevant, such as a ding on the case, or an "unauthorized upgrade", so be weary of what upgrades you do. I was almost afraid they might blame the new hard drive for causing the optical drive to fail, but thankfully, they did not.

    Soooo... I'm not sure where to go from here. I've yet to call them back, though at this point, I'll just see them when I pick it up. I'm not irate about it, but I'm not happy with Apple, either. I was planning on picking up a new MBP probably next year, or when this one bites the dust (whichever comes first), but without AppleCare, the resell value is sort of trashed, and I'd probably want to put my 500GB drive in the new laptop (and still, not pay money to have someone install it for me). I'm not taking it personally, but it's sort of frustrating from the perspective of an IT Professional (with degrees, certifications, and experience to boot), that I can repair all the PC's I want, but can't even open the case (easy) to replace a "non-servicable" part? I know Apple can't say "Only Apple techs and miscellaneous IT professionals can perform work", but I'm not sure they've done a good job of clarifying their upgrade stance in the first place, at least making it easy to locate (e.g. bright yellow sticker underneath the battery, saying "ACHTUNG! WARRANTY VOID IF OPENED!"

    Is there any hope at all, of getting the AppleCare back? I originally told myself I'd just buy replacement parts online (cheaper than going through Apple), but if the LogicBoard fails (and with my luck, it probably will eventually) that's a HUGE chunk of change regardless of where you get it from.
     
  2. emt1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #2
    Make a huge deal out of it, but be nice. You might get your way..
     
  3. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    I've always understood the hard drive in the original style MBP to be non-user upgradeable - since you do have to disassemble the machine.
     
  4. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #4
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=696689

    That thread should clear it up. It doesn't void your warranty...as long as you don't damage anything. Now he could be blaming your failed optical drive on the fact that you did swap HDD's but that's a different topic. Upgrading your HDD, again, does NOT void your warranty.
     
  5. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #5
    Sorry man, seems you're out of luck. Opening up the case does void your warranty, but there's no way for them to tell that you actually opened it unless they find aftermarket parts in there. Most people that need to take their MBPs in for service switch their modded parts to the stock configuration to avoid complications like this.

    Sorry about your experience.
     
  6. bmcgrath macrumors 65816

    bmcgrath

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    #6
    They didn't mind the new HDD in my MBP when I sent it in for repair.



    Odd
     
  7. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #7
    Hi iLog.Genius,

    Thank you for the URL. I believe that may have been one of the threads I had looked at, previously, to ensure I wasn't doing anything which otherwise might be regrettable in the future.

    I see in this thread that as of this posting, 1 person says it won't void, 2 say it will, and in the larger threads, the numbers are even larger, with no clear, concise answer. It's the same on threads on the Apple forums, too.

    You would think an Apple employee or someone from Apple corporate would make the official stance known, lock the thread, and sticky it, but apparently not.

    I'll need something to assist me with getting the decision reversed, but unfortunately, I doubt Apple will care what anyone here or even on their own boards says about the issue, dismissing it as simply 'hearsay' or 'mass confusion'.

    Can someone help me find the Apple Care terms which detail how this works? I know I've seen it before, and I want to say it says something along the lines that unauthorized individuals who service their machines may risk voiding the warranty of the machine or individual components if they become damaged during the unauthorized upgrade process. Can someone verify? This will probably be the best thing I have to use, if that's how its halfway worded.
     
  8. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #8
    Of course they would dismiss it. Why would they care what's posted here, since they set the policy themselves? Call them and they should be able to tell you one way or another. Escalate to a manager if you get a "no warranty" reply at first when you call.
     
  9. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #9
    I had my optical drive replaced too and they didn't even mention the non-factory HD....

    But if they did, I'd say a local Apple certified repair location did it for me..... and now they are out of business...... which is somewhat true in my case because yes, there was a Apple certified repair location near me and they are now out of business.... but I changed my HD myself :D
     
  10. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #10
    If ultimately nothing can be worked out with Apple, would it be a good move to get some sort of outside insurance on it? At least that way if the board dies or something, I might be able to file a claim to cover the cost of that, or the whole laptop (if accidentally run over or tossed in the river).
     
  11. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #11
    now couldnt they say that for any issue?

    i mean if you use applecare, something is broken right. so if they see you upgraded you hdd, couldnt they simply just say the upgrade did it? so maybe it does void it indirectly lol
     
  12. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #12
    I found the AppleCare terms.

    It states in section B, article II:

    (ii) Damage to the Covered Equipment caused by
    accident, abuse, neglect, misuse (including faulty installation, repair, or maintenance by anyone other than Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider), unauthorized modification, extreme environment (including extreme temperature or humidity), extreme physical or electrical stress or interference, fluctuation or surges of electrical power, lightning, static electricity, fire, acts of God or other external causes;

    In the voicemail they didn't say they thought the upgraded hard drive caused the faulty optical drive, so at the moment, I should be in the clear. I don't know how you'd be able to relate a hard drive being upgraded to an optical drive occasionally unable to read DVD's, but always CD's. On top of that, the optical drive had been getting gradually problematic well before purchasing the hard drive, though I have nothing as evidence for that claim.
     
  13. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #13
    Yeah that's what I was hinting at, yes it doesn't void your warranty but in the OP's case, they could say well your SuperDrive is faulty because you upgraded the HDD which caused it.

    For the OP, it's pretty clear, from that thread I posted, that it doesn't void your warranty as it was confirmed to MacWorld by Apple.
     
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #14
    What really sucks in the Optical Drive repair being paid like sucked all the money out of the Apple Care refund. :(
     
  15. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #15
    Except this wouldn't work because it would have been entered into the list of repairs done on your machine's serial #.
     
  16. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #16
    Not necessarily. If they had to order the part then yes they would have to go into GSX and order/log or whatever they need to do but if they already had a part on hand, no logging is necessary unless the AASP is a Apple-Saint.
     
  17. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #17
    Are you sure about that? I've had 2 minor repairs done in two different AASPs, neither of which required a special order. When I've gone into the Apple Store they've read back each repair and when it was done.
     
  18. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #18
    Hi iLog.Genius,

    Is there any way I can obtain a copy of the MacWorld May 2009 issue or a scan of the page that says:

    "Apple's policy has always been that as long as you don't break anything in the process, you're free to upgrade...without voiding the warranty. The company confirmed to Macworld that this is still the case"

    "The Apple Store won't do upgrade installations, but it will replace damaged parts with equivalent replacements"


    I think bringing that in, along with the terms of service, should be somewhat helpful. If they attempt to relate the upgraded hard drive to causing damage to the optical drive, I will refute that claim all the way up the tree. I'm not an electrical engineer, but logically to me, it doesn't make sense that upgrading a hard drive (and not even TOUCHING the optical drive, the ribbons, the logicboard, etc) could have caused it to begin flaking out, and as I said, the optical drive had been acting up well before I upgraded the hard drive. It's my word against theirs on that, however.
     
  19. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #19
    I found a scan of the MacWorld May 9 issue.

    The exact quote is:

    "Apple's policy has always been that as long as you don't break anything in the process, you're free to upgrade the Mac Mini without voiding the warranty. The company confirmed to Macworld that this is still the case"

    I don't think the MacWorld issue will help me in this case. I'm surprised nobody quoted the magazine correctly... :confused:
     
  20. damnyooneek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2005
    #20
    people pay more money for apple hardware and insurance only to realize its reliability is no better than any other product. then taking it to be fixed requires an appointment with a mac genius but the meeting is never on time and you will have to wait an extra 30-40 minutes because they are busy. welcome to the Mac Illusion.
     
  21. edblor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #21
    I have a problem with this, and obviously so does the OP.

    Swapping out an HDD is for the most part an easy thing to do. If it does not void the warranty, then that is that.

    However, if Apple, when seeing a non-OEM HDD, can very easily say that the HDD swap damaged something else, then that policy of changing HDDs does not void your warranty is irrelevant. Even if the changing of the HDD did no damage, and something breaks the next day, or a year later, what good is that policy?

    I know Apple just can't go around fixing every faulty part no questions asked, but this policy is too open-ended IMO.
     
  22. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #22
    I guess that AASP likes to be very legit and will log everything and anything. I know I ran into a few occasions on upgrades and a customer will call in with a problem but when I look up his serial number, there is no evidence of it being to a AASP for a HDD upgrade.

    That's my bad, I just copied that after googling it. But if that's the case, what makes the Mac Mini enclosure any different from the last generation MacBook Pro? Both of them are designed so the user can't get in it but Apple will allow you to only open the Mac Mini? Also, if Apple plans on blaming upgrades for defective parts, Apple should've designed something similar to the old MacBook Pro's that had a small compartment to upgrade the RAM on the unibodies rather than having to unscrew to the bottom cover. Even if it was written in a Mac Mini article, I'm applying that to all Apple products, everything was designed to keep the user out but since Apple is giving a go, I'm going for it.
     
  23. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #23
    Hi iLog.Genius,

    I think you make a good point. It doesn't make sense that they'd allow upgrades in the Mac Mini (so long as no damage is caused), but not the MacBook Pro. I guess I'll take the scan along with me to the Apple Store, and see what leverge it gives me. I'll also take the Terms of Service.

    I'm going to be nice, but persistent. If absolutely no one in the store is willing to work with me on this, then I guess I'll go to corporate, and work my way up from there. If that doesn't seem to go anywhere, then I'll see if I can get some insurance on the laptop, which ultimately, would probably work out just as good as AppleCare in the long run, when it comes to getting the device replaced (as a result of a major failure).

    By the way, I see you're from Toronto. I'm from Chicago. I've been to Toronto a few times (most recently a week ago) for vacation. I love it. It's my favorite city on Earth right now. The CN Tower. The PATH. The Eaton Centre. Love it all.
     
  24. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #24
    I sent my MBP in for repair about a year ago with some third party RAM -- which is explicitly user upgradable. When I got the repaired computer back it was in a little baggy with a note saying that if I sent it in again with 3rd party RAM they'd void my Applecare. I think that's a little unreasonable, but since my Applecare expired on my 1st Gen it doesn't really matter anymore.
     
  25. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #25
    I'm assuming you have the Unibody MacBook Pro?
     

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