Free Repair turned $900

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Miwabo, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. Miwabo macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2010
    Back about a month ago my computer decided to stop displaying. Upon further investigation I came across this:

    If you read the article, it says that if indeed the card is the problem, Apple will repair it for free.

    Fast forward to a week ago. My computer arrived at Apple for its repairs. I received a call informing me that yes, it was my graphics card and that yes, "it" wasn't going to cost me anything. HOWEVER, they added that because of the "extensive external damaging" they were going to have to charge me $900.

    After contacting a few representatives at Apple, I learned what they are charging me for is a small dent on the bottom of the computer and a large "gash" on the side. Now, I know for a fact that there is no gash on the computer and while I wholeheartedly admit there may be a dent or two, my computer is encased in metal, I've virtually taken it everywhere since I bought it (over two years ago), and it has no more "extensive external damaging" than any other well-maintained, metal-encased, constantly-used computer would.

    I refuse to pay the repair. To me, it feels like a scam. I know I sound quite negative when I say that but it does. And for $900 I could probably get a newer, more powerful computer. It wouldn't be a Mac and that would make me sad, but it's a better financial decision.

    So I ask you this my brethren of the Mac, is there anything I can do? The few representatives I spoke to basically ran me around in circles. I asked if I could waver the repair. They told me that Apple "has" to fix absolutely everything.

    By the way, having the card fixed elsewhere (from what I've been told) would cost around $800 so it wouldn't make a difference. Also, when Apple sent my "box", there was a sheet with a bunch of legal stuff on it. I'm no lawyer but I've read through that sheet as thoroughly as possible. I can't find anything that even remotely mentions them having to "fix everything".

    Happy new year.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  3. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Good luck. I had about $600 worth of cosmetic damages that was causing Apple to refuse my entire Applecare claim and try to charge me over $1000. I ended up spending $40 on eBay to get a new case which I installed myself, and then Apple fixed the computer for me, for free.

    Moral: In Apple land, a dent on your computer is a license for highway robbery.
  4. lag1090 macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2007
    Try emailing Steve Jobs. That might get you somewhere.
  5. montycat macrumors 6502


    Mar 19, 2007
    I have a few small dents on the corners of my MacBook. I am debating on purchasing AppleCare as it might be a waste of money. I can see them doing this to me.
  6. surflordca macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    They do it for one, they do it for all. They wouldn't you to feel left out :D
  7. Miwabo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2010
    I've tried that twice and both times I was sent to an automated phone service telling me the good people of Apple are currently on vacation.

    Once everything has settled down holiday wise (probably this Monday), I'm going to call and try to argue with a few people about it.

    I just didn't know if anyone else has had a relative experience and if so, what the outcome has been.
  8. freesonwang macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2009
    Oh. My. God.

    This is the same exact thing that happened to me. My repair ended up being even more (nearly $1500). Mine happened a year ago, even before Apple admitted the issue so there was NOTHING I could point to. When the lawsuit with nVidia finally went through, I called Apple and they said that had there not been "accidental" damage because of "dents", the repair would have been free.

    Apparently scratches are fine, but dents are the worst.

    Keep us updated on how it goes!
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I honestly don't see why everyone is surprised about this. This happens everywhere not just Apple. If you have external damage it means some force that was strong enough to do that damage was applied to your computer and could have an effect on internal components. Wouldn't you be suspicious if you ordered a glass vase from a store and it arrived in a banged up tore up box?

    As for fixing everything, every place does this. I have a computer on my desk right now where the user said that "its just the CD rom drive" yet since the thing is so beat up I have to go all through it and see if anything else is wrong and repair it. (Not to mention instead of knocking on my office door they banged on it with the computer.

    The job of the service center is to get your item back to like it was when it was new.
  10. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    BUT they should give the option to the owner if they want the dents repaired. Not everyone has $900.00 to fix a case that won't effect anything. I know if I sent mine in for something repaired, I just want that repaired and that's it. I don't have that kind of money to get stuff fixed. If I take my truck in for a fuel pump that is under warranty and I have a few dents on the back bumper, I expect the fuel pump fixed only. Does the bumper make the truck run worse? No, it doesn't.
  11. nashish macrumors newbie


    Jun 25, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Amen, Brother Jimbo!

    However, I can see what the fellow who posted before you means by the internal problems being a result of some severe external damage, and so the company has to charge more to fix the whole problem. That said, it does seem ridiculous to charge someone more if the dents or scratches on their computer aren't causing their internal problems.

    My MBP broke last night and it has two dents in it from many months ago that precede my problem. Will Apple charge me more too?
  12. ultraxiv macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2007
    Your frustration is understandable, but maybe I can clear up Apple's reasoning for charging you a hefty sum. On your model of MacBook Pro (the one with the defective NVIDIA GPU), all the components are attached to the inside of the bottom case, with the ports and optical drive accessible through holes and slits in the bottom case itself.

    There are certain kinds of damage to your machine which can potentially affect several internal components, such as the main logic board, the left I/O board, the optical drive, and so on; moreover, external damage to your MacBook Pro often affects the way the top case (the part with the keyboard attached) fits into the bottom case, and once the machine is disassembled, it can't be reassembled again without replacing either the bottom or top cases.

    The analogy of a fuel pump being unaffected by a dent on the back bumper on your truck should be revised, as it's not realistic. If you brought your truck in for a replacement fuel pump but the hood and the quarter-panels were dented in and pressing against the engine, potentially damaging other parts of the motor or pinching hoses, your warranty-service center would absolutely insist that you replace these damaged panels so they don't adversely affect the operation of your engine.

    This is what Apple's doing. If they return a machine to a customer with a new main logic board, but the outside casing is still dented and damaged, and the MLB fails again in a month, the customer can claim that the MLB failed because the repair wasn't done right, rather than the real reason of a damaged case, pinched cables, broken screw-points, and so on. Apple is simply covering all their bases.

    However, not all hope is lost. You can decline the repair at Apple and they will return the machine unrepaired and not charge you anything. Take the computer to an Apple Authorized Service Provider and ask if they will do the repair without forcing you to replace the casing; it's entirely possible they will acquiesce and repair it as you desire. But if the technicians at the Service Provider hesitate or won't agree to repair it this way, you now know why: they don't want you to be able to come back and make a claim against them for a bad repair when future issues aren't necessarily their fault.

    It may be cheaper to simply ask for your physical damage to be repaired at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider, as they charge for parts and labor (probably totaling about $525) rather than a flat-rate, Accidental Damage Tier-3 charge of $900. When that's done, send it in for the MLB replacement, since that repair would then be performed for free.
  13. toprince macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2010
    its an international problem.

    I understand your situation as I had a similar (ish) problem here, in the UK.

    I Knocked over a glass of wine over my key board- and tried claiming via my house hold insurance. My Mac was 3 years old and in previous good condition. However, the insurance company refused to pay because they said that it had "recieved excessive impact damage"- this was news to me- there was no impact damage what so ever. Despite many weeks of phone calls, letters and emails they refused to budge and they concluded that I was at fault and that the claim was closed.

    There was no way that I was going to accept this and after contacting the 'insurance Ombudsman' (an external organisation that deals with such issues) - guess what? within two weeks I had a cheque for the full amount for a replacement Mac

    Do you have a similar organisation who you could contact?

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