Damaged uMBP owner needs a cunning plan

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ruku, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. ruku macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2007
    To start my story let me just say that I was careful with the computer but it turns out people do stupid things. I bought this computer in Australia (duty free) and I live in Japan but I'm looking at buying an American keyboard replacement which i think has the same layout.
    It happened when I was about to catch a flight after not getting enough sleep when i dropped my laptop backpack with clothes and my uMBP wrapped in a blanket (for lack of a case) and it bent the left side and a little near the speaker grill and on the corner closest to the mouse.
    It still works and the screen is fine but im lost as to what to do next. The one problem it has is that when i turn on the airport card the internet becomes unavailable and webpages refuse to load, and this is using a network cabled modem??
    I explained my situation in a mac store and they said it would probably be around 100,000 yen (that's about 1000 US dollars). I just want to get out of this as cheaply as possible and not have to pay almost 2/3 of what I paid for it.
    I see a few alternatives-
    1) Take it to the Applestore and get them to fix it and live with the cost. I'm not keen on this as once I've done it I'm worried they'll cancel my warranty

    2) Order a new unibody case for about 260$ US and fit it myself, then I might be able to just fit the airport card back in it slot and it might work. If it still doesnt work take it to the applestore and ask them to fix it under warranty. Maybe the cheapest option but I am not confident at repairs even though I have a degree in computer science and have played around with computers quite a bit.

    3) Live with it the way it is and always feel slightly annoyed at my stupidity.

    I'm here after searching forums and google and running out of ideas. I'm ready to act I just need a good plan.
    Any advice would be appreciated a lot
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    #2 sounds like your trying to commit fraud, so I can't comment on it. I'd say fix everything yourself if you don't want damages or live with it if you do.

    Of course you could get Apple to fix it, but it is pricey.
  3. raysmd macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2007
    some pictures would be nice.

    if it's really only $260 for a unibody case, then that may be a good option.
  4. rKunda macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2008
    I like 1 or 3. Own your decisions instead of trying to make someone else eat the cost of damage you did.

    It stinks and it's expensive, but it's the decent thing to do.
  5. Aboo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    You can also consider selling the system in its current state, and purchasing a new uMBP. Im sure that you could get at least 1500 USD or so for the system. Top up about 700-800 USD and you get yourself a new mid/high end 15" MBP.
  6. ruku thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2007
    I did say cunning. I realise that option 1 is the straight up thing to do but 1000 dollars in this such situation is exorbitant. I don't want to take advantage of Apple but the computer was protected and it dented way too easily. I believe it's a shortcoming of the design or at very least the material used to make this thing. Imagine and Johnathan Ive crushing a coke can with his fist then thinking "What should we make this new MBP out of?". That's were logic failed us. Especially considering the kinds of materials available like carbon fibre or hardened metals. I hadn't worried about this sort of thing before as I came from a white macbook to this uMBP but after this I won't buy another aluminium notebook unless it is very well protected. It was almost brand new at the time and I hadn't found any cases to protect it yet.
    I'm sorry if people think it's fraud. I do want a cheap honest alternative. Some people have more money than sense so I expect all kinds of replies. If you look around these forums what you do find is that other people have had the same bad luck and in situations much less dramatic than mine. Like dropping keys on the area near the mousepad and leaving permanent dents.
    For the sake of people who want to repair a computer cheaply please reply with productive responses.
  7. Aboo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Here is the problem - you took the system to an Apple Genius and the system's damages were probably logged under your serial number in apple's warranty system. So now, technically you only have two options IF you want to maintain your hardware warranty.

    Option 1 - take it to Apple, pay the 1000 USD and get it fixed.
    Option 2 - take it to an Apple authorized service center and get it fixed. This will probably be cheaper than taking it to Apple directly. Previous experience on these boards suggest around a 20% difference in total repair costs.

    If you attempt to fix the system yourself, Apple will no longer honor the hardware warranty since you are not an authorized apple service technician. That being said you may have one recourse - a letter/call to customer relations (and to Apple's executive team using the steve jobs email address that has been posted on these forums). Word your letter to the tune of explaining why you think that the system was poorly designed because of the sustained damage, etc. and hope that they will cover the repair under a good will/customer satisfaction clause.

    Other than these options, my previous suggestion also stands - sell your MBP as is on eBay, and put another 700 USD or so on top to get a new MBP. In either case you are going to spending the same ballpark figures.
  8. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    I just took apart a MBP 15" last month. Not sure about the newer ones, but taking it apart was easy. I replaced the HD and the Super Drive.

    I would recommend you buy the cases. You will need a couple of tools, like the plastic spung(?) to pry apart the cases, and a Torx screwdriver. (Go to fixit.com), they have instructions and a video on how to take apart your MBP.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
  9. Aboo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    I think you mean ifixit.com ;)
  10. melchior macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2002
    how does it sound like fraud?

    personally, as long as the case doesn't wobble, i'd just live with it. there is a point at which i would repair it...

    and in that case i would be going with the attempt to fit into a new case myself, it shouldn't be too hard if you know enough about electronics... but you should bear in mind it is unlikely that apple would service the computer while in the case. you'd have to migrate everything back again to get apple to repair it.

    that being said, are you not suspecting the need to replace the airport card as well? it sounds like it was damaged in the fall. they do have finicky little connectors, so something could have happened that is repairable... i guess, one thing at a time?
  11. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    You had me fooled. :rolleyes:

    "Protected"? You wrapped it in a blanket and dropped it. It's a computer, not a basketball. It's not supposed to be dropped, blanket or no.

    There are a great many things in this world that would break if you dropped them wrapped in a blanket - a crystal champagne flute, a dozen eggs, a baby - the list goes on and on. None of those would break because of any "shortcoming of the design," they would break because the owner dropped it.

    I'm sorry your computer is damaged - yes, it would suck to have to pay $1000 to fix something if I broke it - but you can't honestly pin this on Apple. You dropped it, the mistake is on you - not someone else.
  12. chgojcs macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2008
    The new and absolutely flawed Unibody design, and its inability to withstand hard impact even with scant, minimal, or even nonexistent protection, is only going to create a class action lawsuit that could bankrupt the company.
  13. ruku thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2007
    What was the point of your post exactly? To misquote me perhaps? I said it was in a laptop backpack. What i mean is that it wasn't bare metal to hard floor, the blanket added a few centimetres (an inch) to the impact zone which would have been around a metre (3 feet) from the floor.

    Thank you for your reply. Your answers were both helpful and you are right about the selling it part. That occurred to me too but I should say that living in Japan means Macs with foreign keyboards bring less money second hand. I might visit Australia again soon though and leave it till then or just add a little postage money of my own.
    I might even do a bit of searching around for a reseller. That is a good idea too. Funnily enough I live less than 10 minutes from an Applestore and so I hadn't given that much thought yet.

    I will try to get onto the pictures but I don't have any camera other than a small Japanese phones one and I'm still at work.
  14. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    If the OP fixed the case himself and then goes to Apple to complain about a broken computer he broke, that's fraudulent.
  15. Hellion macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2008
    South Florida
    nice! fraudulent now in whose eyes? like Apple ain't doing anything fraudulent......
    "Innovation is not about saying yes to everything. It's about saying NO to all but the most crucial features" Steve Jobs

    j/k right?
  16. Unprocessed1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 23, 2008
    +1, and airport cards aren't that expensive.
  17. ruku thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2007
    Sorry Aboo I forgot to reply that I only asked for a round about quote after describing the damage and didn't actually take the machine in for the exact reason you described.

    Great... I'll definately throw one of those in too if I repair it myself. Though at the moment I'm considering getting the parts myself and asking the Apple reseller to fix it for me at the reduced rate.

    Well I thank everyone who contributed to this discussion. I have a few more ideas now and I'll choose my direction soon.
  18. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    No it won't. They're just making the Genius' job easier with a very good drop-detection sensor.
  19. chgojcs macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2008
    But apparently there isn't a very good sarcasm detector.
  20. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Pft yeah. Man I got a new Nikon lens and I dropped it right on the front. I called them up and they told me its not under covered under the five year warranty. I was seriously ticked off. I mean I know its glass and all, but it shouldn't have broken in the first place, dropped or not. I should be able to throw it off the empire state building and there shouldn't be a scratch on it.

    :D Sorry, couldn't resist. (Edit:) What should be noted is that the case took the brunt of the impact, just like any good car that'll protect the passengers.
  21. chgojcs macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2008
    Dude, I know what you mean. How dare they design something that isn't completely indestructible.
  22. SansSociety macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2006
    London, UK
    I have dropped my thinkpad without protection...

    I really wished Apple would go to tougher materials like Magnesium alloy for their "premium" laptops.

    I hate having to switch between my desktop mac and pc laptop just because mac notebooks skimp on the materials...

    Imagine a unibody Mag alloy case?
  23. Kronie macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2008
  24. Aboo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Ruku, in that case you are pretty much safe in fixing it yourself. You can check eBay or www.ifixit.com for parts. Ifixit also has a great guide that will show you how to take the machien apart. Just remember that there specific screwdrivers and tools that you would need. You should be able to find all of that information in the ifixit.com guides.

    Let us know how this turns out.

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