Are Liquid sensors Apple's bailout ?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by subru77, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. subru77 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    Valencia CA
    #1
    I am not sure if apple cheated me !

    I had some sound issues with my Macbook Pro (unibody) speakers and I took it to Northridge apple store. They agreed that there was something wrong with the low frequency sound and they sent it to apple repair Depot.

    Next day they update the repair status site that they found no issues and the Macbook Pro is pending shipping. I was disappointed thinking of the second round. But I did not expect what was coming next !!!

    I waited and waited for a week. No laptop... I called apple store, apple care and was being tossed around with no information on my laptop. You could image my situation.

    Couple of days later I get a call from Apple customer support. They claimed that my machine has liquid damage and will cost $1200. LIQUID DAMAGE !!! It was like my baby. I would not even show food/water 10 feet near !

    I did not know what to do :( Apple changed the statement after claiming that there was no damage found in the system. I could not believe my ears. They were not listening to me and sent the system back. It did not finish there...

    The system was booting into some recovery/ hardware software called PhoenixCE when I got it back. I had to call again. I would not think apple would send a system back without the proper OS. Guess what... They refused to fix it because my Warranty is void. Finally after being kept on hold for hours, they agreed and I took the system to apple store. They reinstalled the OS. .. I could have done that myself, I was hoping that they would recover my old data

    That is where I am now. I did not expect such an experience with Apple. The whole process looked shady. Does it take 10 days to see Liquid Damage? What will I do now !!!

    What would you do in such a situation ?
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    I'm not surprised they wouldn't do data recovery. That's not uncommon. Not to be an ass, but you should have had a backup anyway.

    Are you still having problems, or is your issue just that they've decided your warranty is void? Either way, it doesn't sit well with me either. :(
     
  3. neonblue2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Port Pirie, South Australia
    #3
    There are four possible scenarios that I can see here.

    1. You're lying. Your computer has been near liquids of some kind.

    2. You're telling the truth and the moisture sensors in the computer have malfunctioned.

    3. You're telling the truth but your computer has experienced high air humidity at some point (which sounds like a design flaw with the sensors).

    4. They're lying.

    http://gizmodo.com/5063556/new-macbooks-will-totally-tell-mom-if-you-take-them-swimming
     
  4. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #4
    I don't think accusing the OP of lying is particularly polite. I also doubt that the moisture sensors could "malfunction", since they're basically just stickers with colourful ooze. I've never heard of excessive humidity setting them off either, unless it was used in a sauna...

    I suspect a tech may have spilled on it.
     
  5. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #5
    This isn't the first post from someone with a laptop going in for repair and Apple claiming water damage and not doing anything about it as a get out clause.

    I think insurance/warranty clauses are the biggest scam in the world and companies will do anything to worm their way out of their responsibility once you claim just to try and save themselves the expense.

    Even though people pay good money for the service and the companies in question make a fortune off all the people who've never needed to claim or have anything fixed or replaced for the lifetime of the policy.

    Do Apple not build computers to the same standard they used to?

    I have a beige G3 from 1997. I don't use it any more but it still works like the day I bought it, even though the fan noise is a little unpleasant these days (probably needs oiling or something)

    I have a 2002 Quicksilver G4. No problems at all apart from a DVD writer I moved from the beige G3 dying on me after 5 years of use!
     
  6. Matek macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #6
    Hey, even if he did void his warranty, they still have no right to mess with his data. Backuping is a good idea generally, but he's definitely not responsible for the loss of data in this case. Especially since the reason he brought the machine in didn't have anything to do with the hard drive.
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    Personally, I think the liquid sensors weren't meant to be a bailout for Apple, but it has quickly become an issue that has allowed many to easily skirt a free repair. Assuming Apple Corporate has nothing to do with the decisions made in-store, I would call Corporate. I think if enough people are told their was liquid damage to their devices who protest the determination then it will make waves. The problem is you're going to have aholes who spill something then protest all the same. The sensors are there to try and keep people honest, but in some cases I believe people are getting the shaft.
     
  8. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #8
    It's pretty generous to call them "sensors" at all. They're just stickers. I don't have any pictures of the ones on the MBP, but they look just like these:
     

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  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    Apple is certainly not the company they used to be. What can you do? You are doing one of them now, tell as many people as you can.
     
  10. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Korova Milkbar
    #10
    Apple has never done data recovery unless it's just an Archive and Install or Data Migration thing. Even then, they are in no way responsible for YOUR data. It may be their machine, but it is your data. Even if they are dicks and purposefully format your drive for no reason it is not their problem (which is exactly what I did when undeserving customers came in demanding "this and that" for free and were just out-right *******s. "Oops! Sir, I'm sorry but we had to reinstall your Operating System because there were invalid B-Tree headers and the hierarchy was completely messed up. It's what caused your initial problem in the first place and your data was lost in the process").

    Exactly the same thing if you send an external hard drive for a warranty replacement. They, unless stated otherwise which most do not, have no obligation to give back the contents on the drive.

    Tell them to prove that your machine was damaged before they began working on it, just as it was taken apart. Any smart company or technician will immediately take photos in order to provide proof against the possibility of it being their fault. Not just pictures of the sticker or whatever either, pictures that tie the sticker with your computers serial number or something identifiable so you can send the information to your states Attorney General.

    Was the box wet that they sent it in? Could have been the carrier as well. If it rained anywhere in America, FedEx/UPS (do they still use DHL?) will find a way to screw up your package. Could have happened on the way to Texas or wherever they sent it.
     
  11. subru77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    Valencia CA
    #11
    Thanks for your replies.

    I luckily had data backed up. I am sorry if I missed that point. But will they give it you without the OS installed ? Some phoenixCE hardware testing mode ?

    What concerns me is that It took them 10 days to find water damage. Since I voided the warranty, I decided to see the damage myself.

    No indication of any liquid was visible outside. No sticky keys or residue in the speaker holes. Apple claimed that there was some brown liquid inside. I have apple sent pics ...

    I opened the back panel and checked the place they mentioned, behind the power connection. I showed it to some friends and none of them could see or smell any brown liquid. There was some dust accumulation in the board. I hope it is natural.

    For the friend who suggested that I could be lying.;).. what will I get by lying ? . I am honest enough to accept my mistake, if there was one. And no gains after apple wrote it off as water damage...

    What would you think of apple keeping the laptop for 10 days before changing the statement ?

    Thanks guys

    By the way, would you be able to suggest anyone/shop in LA who can impartially check if it is really water damage ?

    I have attached the apple sent picture above. The keyboard view is my photo, taken after apple returned it. I do not see any brown liquid over the speaker holes.

    I took the laptop to apple retail store and they shipped it. So I do not think it was my shipping mistake..
     

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  12. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #12
    Outside on the speaker, are they idiots?

    Wouldn't matter if there was something outside that looked like a brown liquid stain, since clean room hands shouldn't be required to keep a warranty.

    Send a dear steve e-mail, and say that the pictures they sent you to void the warranty showed nothing. And them claiming stains on the outside are irrelevant, or should be.
     
  13. spork183 macrumors 6502a

    spork183

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    #13
    somebody is yanking your chain. kick it up the ladder and you'll find someone sensible. Apple has no vested interest in trying to bailout of warranty work. to do that on a scale that would be worthwhile would draw attention to it. I've had apple bend over backwards on a g5 imac lemon. it took a while, but they replaced it. there was no incentive for them to repeatedly fix and ultimately replace a computer out of warranty if they were simply trying to dodge issues.

    best of Luck!
     
  14. subru77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    Valencia CA
    #14
    Since I have the computer with me, how do I start the issue again ? Any points for me ?

    I have sent a mail to the feedback survey for my call... I guess that won't get much attention.
     
  15. spork183 macrumors 6502a

    spork183

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    #15
    take it to a different apple store and make an appointment. Explain to the tech what is going on and your care of the puter, etc. Ask him/her to take a look. don't get mad, you just want your puter to work. Reinforce it hasn't been abused or spilled on. Spills don't hide 10 days, then pop up.

    I definitely wouldn't go back to Northridge. Once was enough. If you don't get any satisfaction, politely ask what the next step is to escalate the complaint. They'll tell you who to contact. The feedback survey is pretty worthless.:)

    Post back how it goes!
     
  16. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #16
    Speaking from experience, say you used it in heavy fog, this is your bailout, you can thank me later ;) Its well known fog sets off water sensors, and i've seen sooooo many people who spilled water on their Macbooks get away by saying it was used in mist or fog.
     
  17. dsharits macrumors 68000

    dsharits

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Location:
    The People's Republic of America
    #17
    The liquid damage issue is already attached to the serial number.
     
  18. subru77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    Valencia CA
    #18
    @ kastenbrust--- I have not done that .. I am ready to admit it .

    I kind of feel that apple won't help me since it is already marked as water damaged. I am going to show this to an apple authorized repair center and see what they think. If they do not see brown liquid inside , I would ask them to give it to me in writing...

    Do you think that will help me build a stronger case with apple.?
     
  19. petermcphee macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #19
    This is really a rotten situation. However, I think better results will be had (and had more efficiently) by escalating this issue with Apple rather than by appealing to a 3rd party technician. I do not think that it is too likely that Apple will see any 3rd party evidence as dispositive on this issue. They may, however, see the light of day if a polite and well-mannered customer brings it to the attention of their executive customer service representatives. Good luck, and let us know how it works out!
     
  20. subru77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    Valencia CA
    #20
    Whoo hoo.. I have great news. I thought I should share with you... Thanks for all your support ....


    Valencia Mac solved the issue. Wow, those guys are awesome. Even while no one would believe me, Nathan from Valencia Mac agreed to inspect the machine for free. They found some residue but not water damage. They even gave it to me in writing. They talked to apple and guess what ..

    I have my warranty back ... Apple would fix my system .... How cool !!!


    I do not know how to thanks Valencia Mac.. Any ideas?. . Guys, if you are in LA area goto Valencia Mac. You would see what I am talking about. Nathan is very considerate and patient. ... It is worth the extra drive... Do not go to apple store. These guys can fix the system under apple warranty ( I did not know that )

    Yeah ... I am happy !! Thanks for your support and critique. It gave me the courage to fight and not sulk ...

    Subbu :):):):):):):)
     
  21. JustGretchen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #21
    Glad you got your issue resolved.

    From the picture you posted, looking at the logic board, there's def. some sort of residue on the board, and initially I thought it looked like liquid damage, but upon closer look, it definitely isn't.

    I dont' know if that's what they saw or if you had a tripped sensor, but in any case, glad you got it sorted.

    A little further info about liquid submersion sensors...They do absolutely require actual contact with liquid to trip, but that could mean even a drop of water from wet hands. I have never ever seen or heard of one tripping due to non-direct exposure to liquid, and I have been working in technical areas for 10 years.
     
  22. subru77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    Valencia CA
    #22
    I am sure there was something wrong. But Valencia Mac technician was able to convince apple about my innocence. Guess that is what matters to me now after the long battle...
     
  23. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #23
    Good news for you. :) I have to say I also believe in finding a good third-party Apple certified service provider where you can deal with the technician - kind of like finding a personal mechanic for you car, or your own doctor... someone you can build a relationship with and actually talk to reasonably, who isn't going to just take the official company line. It's good for the perspective they bring to the whole Apple warranty process, and they're usually on your side from the beginning.
     
  24. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    #24
    Is this a joke or are you really that naive? :confused: Any time you lose data - for any reason - it is YOUR fault. Not the repair guy's fault. Not someone else's fault. Not the government's fault. Not society's fault. YOUR fault.

    You are responsible for backing up your data. With external 2.5" disks being as dirt cheap as they are these days, and free tools like CarbonCopyCloner that make a perfect (and bootable) backup of your system with only a few clicks of the mouse, you have no excuse at all not to back up your data. RAID is not a substitute for backup. "But it's a brand new machine" is not a substitute for backup. And "the repair guy wasn't supposed to touch the hard drive" is not a substitute for backup. This is your own responsibility and no one elses.

    BlueRevolution has it right. :apple:
     
  25. ryannazaretian macrumors 6502a

    ryannazaretian

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Mississippi
    #25
    I just saw this thread and then went to clean my fans to get the dust out and I had something loose making a fan rattle.

    1st of all, I noticed that the fans were MagLev. I thought I read somewhere that the fans were not MagLev and only the 17" had that.

    2nd, which pertains to this thread, I had the same weird residue where my magsafe goes in. I also noticed some on a solder area in between the fans. Kind of like a grid looking thing, but it had a weird residue on it as well. If Apple every says I have liquid damage, I'll point them to this thread, that is, if it doesn't really have liquid damage. I wish I could have gotten pictures, but my 1.3MP camera phone just won't cut it.
     

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