Don't listen to Apple, fix it yourself

chicagdan

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 3, 2002
728
0
Chicago, IL
The hard drive on my wife's iPod crashed on Monday, five months after the warranty expired. Apple refused to talk to me on the phone about it unless I paid $55. This really pissed me off because I own one other iPod, a PowerBook and an iMac, all with Apple Care contracts.

So I went back to the website and fished around, figured out there's nothing I could do (the iPod had the exclamation folder, the hard drive wouldn't stop clicking and the iPod wouldn't reset.) I looked into getting Apple to fix it ... they "generously" offered to fix the 10 gig G3 iPod for $255 (coincidentally, five bucks more than a similarly equipped brand new iPod Mini now costs.)

Yeah right ... so I found a website that explained how to replace the iPod HD, then cajoled my niece into giving me her old iPod 10 gig with a cracked screen (she owed me ... I gave her my old 15 gig iPod last year when the screen on her iPod went bad.) And in less than five minutes, the HD was swapped and my wife's iPod was as good as new.

Look, I love Apple and all, but these guys are thieves when it comes to fixing and maintaining old products. An honest price for replacing the iPod HD should be about $100 ... but they don't care about consumers, they only want to sell new equipment. So don't be afraid to crack open the beautiful shell and to do it yourself ... and keep an eye on eBay for broken Apple products, the replacement parts come in handy.
 

James Philp

macrumors 65816
Mar 5, 2005
1,494
0
Oxford/London
I think that after warranty, this is true. If not you, a friend or 3rd party computer place will be more useful than apple.
However, under warranty, always get apple to fix things. It's free for one, and is guaranteed by them, so if it's still wrong it's time to get pissed!
I have a iPod with HD problems. Would cost more to fix than a new one. One day i'll probably replace the HD and battery and make it like new!
 

Blackheart

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2004
938
0
Seattle
It sucks to be in that kind of position. But really, you can't expect a company to continue offering a warranty past the warranty period. Otherwise, why would anyone even pay for the extended warranty? Further, why would Apple even bother offering it if you didn't need it to get service?

As I've always said: AppleCare is an insurance. I'd be very surprised to find a car insurance company processing your claim after the end of your insured period.
 

rainman::|:|

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
5,438
2
iowa
You can't expect them to service a non-warrantied product simply because you have other product warranties... And the iPod is pretty much disposable, Apple generally expects people to simply upgrade when broken. Which, to be honest, is usually true-- Go through all of the hassle of replacing the HD, and the battery is still old, so you'll have to open it AGAIN before too long, and pretty soon the case isn't in such great condition anymore... I mean, the battery in my iPod is about dead, but new features and capacities make it worthwhile to simply upgrade rather than fix, even for someone who could manage it easily. If I wanted a player I could tinker with, I'm sure there's something out there.

Let's face it: low cost-of-ownership is NOT an iPod feature. To be an iPod owner, one must simply deal with it.

But I agree, Apple's customer service is very patchy (sometimes it's great, sometimes it's awful) and I wish they'd make more of a commitment to service...
 

benwa02

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2004
288
0
Well that sounds pretty crappy to have to just simply junk it. This is a couple hundred dollar item that you plan on just tossing away now cuz its too much to fix, thats retarded. A product shouldnt become junk in such a short period and be not worth it to fix. Why should the HD go junk so soon? I can see possibly replacing a battery just as you would with a cell phone and it shouldnt be expensive, a cell phones not. These products shouldnt be created like this. That is such a waste.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
my PowerBook is out of warranty, the HD died, im using an external for now, but heck yeah when i can afford a replacement internal im doing it myself

no way would i pay apple to change it for me, that would cost an arm and a leg
 

MontyZ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2005
887
0
I think the real problem here is Apple's notoriously short warranty periods. It's only 90 days for an iPod, which IMO is ridiculous. You need to spend an extra $59 to extend it to 2 years, which I think is also overpriced, especially if you're buying a cheaper iPod, but, it's still better than having to either replace it or repair it yourself.

I've had my older 20GB iPod for nearly 4 years, use it constantly and so far <knock on formica> it's had no problems at all. AppleCare wasn't available for iPods at the time.

But I ALWAYS buy AppleCare with every product if possible, it usually ends up being worth the price in the end.
 

James Philp

macrumors 65816
Mar 5, 2005
1,494
0
Oxford/London
benwa02 said:
Well that sounds pretty crappy to have to just simply junk it. This is a couple hundred dollar item that you plan on just tossing away now cuz its too much to fix, thats retarded. A product shouldnt become junk in such a short period and be not worth it to fix. Why should the HD go junk so soon? I can see possibly replacing a battery just as you would with a cell phone and it shouldnt be expensive, a cell phones not. These products shouldnt be created like this. That is such a waste.
If a product fails after warranty period that's it. It's NOT unique to the iPod!!
A lot of people will have iPods still working at age 5 or so i think - an isolated case like this suck sucks :( but could totally happen to any product! Cell phone dies, TV packs in etc.
It's cos the cost of repair in the ipod is so high (well it is a pretty sophisticated gadget) that people get their panties in a twist over this. maybe less then 1 in 50 iPods have a HD failure after 1 year is up, perhaps the ratio is more like 1:1000! Who knows!?
You can get the battery in an ipod replaced for like £50! A cell phone battery (new) can cost that much! Don't blame the ipod, when this kind of thing happens to every electrical good!
 

James Philp

macrumors 65816
Mar 5, 2005
1,494
0
Oxford/London
A good example of this is my xbox.

The DVD drive packed in just after the 1 year period. Luckily I had dixons 2-year warranty.
But I called MS and they said that the warranty had been extended by them by another year anyhow - I'm guessing because the fault in mine was quite common and they were trying to avoid a scandal. So I got it fixed.
Had my case been isolated and the warrant not extended (Or have 3rd party insurance) that would have been it apart from a costly repair! iPod is not unique!

P.S. nearly 3 years after i bought it the old box is still going
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
MontyZ said:
I think the real problem here is Apple's notoriously short warranty periods. It's only 90 days for an iPod, which IMO is ridiculous. You need to spend an extra $59 to extend it to 2 years, which I think is also overpriced, especially if you're buying a cheaper iPod, but, it's still better than having to either replace it or repair it yourself.

I've had my older 20GB iPod for nearly 4 years, use it constantly and so far <knock on formica> it's had no problems at all. AppleCare wasn't available for iPods at the time.

But I ALWAYS buy AppleCare with every product if possible, it usually ends up being worth the price in the end.
where does apple state only 90 days? sure 90 days phone support, but not total coverage, meaning you can get it serviced online and at a store for the one year warrany period.

http://www.apple.com/support/products/applecareipod.html
 

MontyZ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2005
887
0
PlaceofDis said:
where does apple state only 90 days? sure 90 days phone support, but not total coverage, meaning you can get it serviced online and at a store for the one year warrany period.
My bad, I got the phone support confused with warranty period. You are right, the iPod has a standard 1 year warranty now, which can be extended to 2 years with AppleCare.

I believe that the early iPods only had a total warranty period of 90 days, though. Apple finally relented and upped that to 1 year, if I recall correctly.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
MontyZ said:
My bad, I got the phone support confused with warranty period. You are right, the iPod has a standard 1 year warranty now, which can be extended to 2 years with AppleCare.

I believe that the early iPods only had a total warranty period of 90 days, though. Apple finally relented and upped that to 1 year, if I recall correctly.
we all make mistakes, but i was scared for a second there when i read your post, i was hoping for more than 3 months support for my iPod
 

Blackheart

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2004
938
0
Seattle
MontyZ said:
I think the real problem here is Apple's notoriously short warranty periods. It's only 90 days for an iPod, which IMO is ridiculous.
EDIT: 90 day support argument covered in previous posts.

Actually, phone support is 90 days while repair/replacement support is 1 year. Hmm, I thought we went over this already... :rolleyes:



Creative Zen Warranty

Dell DJ Warranty

iPod: 1 year
Zen: 1 year
DJ: 1 year

OTOH, maybe Apple's iPod warranty IS short... :rolleyes:
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,604
1,187
Georgia
This is slightly off topic but what is the limit of drives you can put in older ipods say you 3G 10GB ipod fails. Can you just throw a 60GB 1.8" disk in their and format it or is their a capacity limit like ATA 100 has at 128GB. Maybe even find a cheaper cell phone battery of the same voltage and amperage rating and jury rig it in their. Before someone mentions cost ratio to that of a new ipod. Most PC modders will tell you sometimes cost isn't so important if you can successfully tinker with something yourself and save $50 or 50¢. :D
 

ramuman

macrumors regular
Mar 7, 2005
222
0
It's cheaper to sell the Apple product and buy a new one before the year is up than to get Apple Care in some cases. If not cheaper, then still worthwhile because you get an upgrade. I had my 10GB 3G iPod for about 2 years and sold it for ~$70 less than what I paid for it. After a year, it would have depreciated less.
 

James Philp

macrumors 65816
Mar 5, 2005
1,494
0
Oxford/London
velocityg4 said:
This is slightly off topic but what is the limit of drives you can put in older ipods say you 3G 10GB ipod fails. Can you just throw a 60GB 1.8" disk in their and format it or is their a capacity limit like ATA 100 has at 128GB. Maybe even find a cheaper cell phone battery of the same voltage and amperage rating and jury rig it in their. Before someone mentions cost ratio to that of a new ipod. Most PC modders will tell you sometimes cost isn't so important if you can successfully tinker with something yourself and save $50 or 50¢. :D
You could try, but the performance would most likely be terrible - spinning a 60GB rater than a 10 - way more power needed.
The cell phone battery would also me bad, as the way the two devices (iPod and Cell) require power id totally different. iPod demands high power for a brief period (reading from HD to buffer), but the Cell never demands anything like this power surge, and the battery would probably not be able to handle it.
 

solvs

macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
5,693
1
LaLaLand, CA
Some people may laugh at those who buy extended warranties, but I say better to be safe than sorry. Mack warranties for portable audio. Not too expensive, and well worth it.
 

tom5304

macrumors regular
May 7, 2005
211
110
Is Apple Care anything like buying a product replacement warranty from the local BestBuy/Circuit City/Good Guys? At those places, they'll just swap out your unit if pretty much anything at all goes wrong. In my experience, it's been a "no questions asked" replacement deal.

I'm wondering if Apple Care is equally generous, or do you have to give them the product for several weeks to fix. Anybody know?
 

James Philp

macrumors 65816
Mar 5, 2005
1,494
0
Oxford/London
tom5304 said:
Is Apple Care anything like buying a product replacement warranty from the local BestBuy/Circuit City/Good Guys? At those places, they'll just swap out your unit if pretty much anything at all goes wrong. In my experience, it's been a "no questions asked" replacement deal.

I'm wondering if Apple Care is equally generous, or do you have to give them the product for several weeks to fix. Anybody know?
If you buy from a Apple Store, I think it is 30-day "no questions asked" kinda thing.
 

sjpetry

macrumors 65816
Oct 28, 2004
1,195
0
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Thanks chicagdan for making this thread. I am now going to get a new battery and install it myself (only getting ~2 hours on my 3G iPod) and get 30% more battery life than it was new. :D
 

TreeHugger

macrumors 6502
Jun 30, 2004
279
0
James Philp said:
If a product fails after warranty period that's it. It's NOT unique to the iPod!!
A lot of people will have iPods still working at age 5 or so i think - an isolated case like this suck sucks :( but could totally happen to any product! Cell phone dies, TV packs in etc.
It's cos the cost of repair in the ipod is so high (well it is a pretty sophisticated gadget) that people get their panties in a twist over this. maybe less then 1 in 50 iPods have a HD failure after 1 year is up, perhaps the ratio is more like 1:1000! Who knows!?
You can get the battery in an ipod replaced for like £50! A cell phone battery (new) can cost that much! Don't blame the ipod, when this kind of thing happens to every electrical good!
yeah but it sucks if you having it repaired costs as much as a new ipod. no warranty or warranty, it shouldn't be like that...
 

iPodMechanic

macrumors newbie
Jan 14, 2005
14
0
Kalamazoo, MI
iPod Repair & Parts

Hey guys and gals,

Earlier this year I launched http://www.iPodMechanic.com for inexpensive iPod repairs and service. I'm willing to help anyone out with free advice or questions you may have about warranty. I'm an expert at iPod repair so no question is too difficult.

Apple extended warranty pretty much sucks. I recommend a 3rd party warranty. If you ding the backplate it will void your warranty, you can't even get so much as a bad battery replaced!!

Apple care is more like Apple waste.

The website was just upgraded to a PHP based site so if anyone has a good suggestion I'm always hanging around macrumors reading.

Thanks!