Has anyone ever figured out Apple's 'official' replacement policy under Applecare?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Brien, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Brien macrumors 68030


    Aug 11, 2008
    I'm asking because I've heard so many different stories, and the Apple Geniuses don't seem to want to divulge that information either.

    You see, I've taken my Black Rev. A Macbook in for repairs 5 times. 2 times to replace the top case (those cracks), once to replace the battery, once to replace the charger, and now a fifth trip to replace a failing optical drive.

    I don't know if any of these is major enough to warrant asking for a new one, but I've searched on here and found a few other threads on the subject.

    I asked with trip number four and got a firm 'no' from the people at the Apple Store so I'm a bit hesitant to try again. The fact that my 'Book is already shipped out and en route to the repair depot also makes me think this'd have to wait until trip #6.

    Thanks in advance. I was hoping this wouldn't be my first thread but the computer gods aren't smiling down on me right now.

    (PS - I'm hoping the fact this account is so new isn't grounds for deletion, I've posted this on a couple other Mac forums and got a speedy deletion of the thread and no reason why.)
  2. NotFound macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2006
    Yeah, I would be firm and state the inconvenience that 5 trips has caused you... I would have been a little firm after trip number three...
  3. Brien thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 11, 2008
    I have been, but those 'Geniuses' seem to be pretty good at saying no. I've heard I might have a better time dealing with AppleCare over the phone or even sending an email to sjobs@apple, and I'm considering doing just that. The only thing is since it's already out for repair I'm worried they'll tell me it's too late and to deal with it. (Or that I'll get a call from them and say that they're going to replace it, and I look like a jackass).
  4. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    I've found that replacements are usually given when a repair isn't possible; either the problem cannot be properly diagnosed, or several trips for the same issue were unsuccessful.

    I'm not really sure it applies in your case because each time your issue has been resolved.
  5. Mackan macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2007
    Standard is that you have to get it repaired 3 times, with basically the same issue every time, in order to get it replaced. However, Apple keep their policy secret... no surprise.

    People are even happy when their MB develops the same cracks 4 times in a row... as long as Apple repairs it. Doh.
  6. MattyMac macrumors 68000


    Oct 6, 2005
    I just had my 12 inch PowerBook g4 replaced with a brand new MacBook Pro. The PowerBook had to be sent in for repair 3 times because the trackpad stopped working. The 4th time this happened, apple offered me another repair a replacement. Good thing too because if they repaired it and it happened again, my AppleCare would have been expired. They were very understanding of that. Apple customer service is the greatest.
  7. plastictrees macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2008
    It's usually 3 major repairs and on the 4th one you can get it replaced.

    major usually seems to be optical, harddrive, or logic board repairs.

    topcase is considered minor and charger doesn't really deal with the laptop itself.

    I've had 3 top case replacements so far.
  8. peskaa macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    I've been told 6 repairs on the same machine is enough to trigger a replacement - however, there is a degree of flexibility depending on circumstances.

    I've had replacement machines at a single repair, replacement displays after three, and other machines up at the 4+ end of things. If you're on the fifth and it doesn't work, ask for a new one and if the Genius won't agree, speak to the store manager.
  9. Brien thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 11, 2008
    That's what irks me. It's partly why I created this thread. I've read accounts, like peskaa said, of people getting offered a replacement machine on the first repair, but I've also heard stories of people on their 10th, 11th, etcetera repairs and it boggles the mind a bit, especially if Apple does have any sort of "lemon" policy. I'm probably (definitely) going to have the top case replaced again - if the replacement is defective you aren't really fixing the problem, only delaying the symptoms. So, they'll replace it, it will crack after about 4-5 months, they'll replace it, it'll crack after 4-5 months, ad infinitum, until my Applecare runs out an it's no longer there problem.

    I really wish they was an actual *fix* to the problem and not these silly bandages.
  10. Bobioden macrumors 68000


    Sep 23, 2007
    My Blackbook kept getting kernel panics whenever I burned DVD's, after the 2nd or 3rd DVD. I went to Apple, and they replaced my optical drive. That night, same thing, kernel panic on my second DVD. Went back the next day, showed them articles about 2.2 SR MB's with 4gb installed, sucking the memory down to nothing and kernel panicking when using the optical drive. This was not happening with the 2gb MB's. I asked what my options were. After discussing with the Manager, I was given the option of a new MB, which would probably have the same problem, or credit toward a MBP. My MB was 6 months old and I was given full credit $1499 towards the MBP. I went that route and have not had a problem since.

    This was one issue they couldn't fix.
  11. CoolMacDude macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2008
    I recently had a Macbook Pro replaced under the 1 year warranty and they refunded Applecare. You need to speak to some one in apple customer service/relations.

    I sent in my Macbook Pro for a LCD replacement due to a minor flaw. They sent it back with the non-HD LCD and mine had the HD LCD. So I took it to the store and they cracked the frame on the LCD and shipped it to Applecare. This process had taken my computer for 2 weeks. I called applecare and they were doing "everything they could." I asked if it could be replaced and I was sent to customer relations and they immediately apologized and asked what I wanted. I told them a replacement. They told me it could take up to 2 weeks to replace it and I said fine. I had a brand new latest revision version of the laptop in 4 business days.

    That was my experience. But for the replacement you might have to get out of the Applecare department and into customer relations.
  12. sn00pie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    United States
    +1 reason to buy a Best Buy service plan opposed to AppleCare. 3 repairs and on the fourth time you get it replaced. :p

    Email Steve Jobs, that's your best bet for a replacement.
  13. dionysaki macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    The policy kind of sucks. I took in my MacBook almost every three weeks for 17 months and spoke to a "genius" each time. By the end, they knew my name, family history and jean size. The damned thing went out to depot five times (they only say three, but it was five) and had a hard drive, airport card, video card, logic board replaced over that period. The sucker finally crashed for good while I was in Greece, so I was laptop-less for three weeks. When I returned, I finally lost my tact to the "genius" and was told I'd have a replacement in less than a week. Three weeks went by and I called the store who told me they couldn't track it. I called Customer Affairs at Apple who were actually great. The Apple Store screwed up and took seven days to get "tags" to ship the laptop out, which was incorrectly marked as custom-to-order when the only thing custom about it was installed iWork. They should've given me a physical CD in the store, and a new macbook off the shelves, I was told. For all of my troubles, I got a free Time Capsule and my laptop came in from China two days later. The Apple Store called to apologize but I let them go to voicemail - no point trying to talk to mindless idiots...oh, I'm sorry, they are geniuses.

    All in all, it has to go out three times. And you have to bust hell open on their a$$es. Hope you work it out.
  14. Brien thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 11, 2008

    Case has already started cracking again, but I guess I'll just have to hope they continue to replace these even after my AppleCare runs out.
  15. airwalke macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2004
    I've had my logic board replaced on my Powerbook G4 3 times the past 3 years (as well as a few other minor issues with the SuperDrive and trackpad.) The AppleCare expired in July. According to my timeline, it's due to fail again in a few months. Has anyone had luck with Apple getting a machine replaced out of warranty? I feel like if I'd known that Apple replaced machines like this, I would have brought it up the last time it failed in May.
  16. cogsinister macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2006
    Fredericton NB Canada
    Darn !!!

    They replaced my 12 inch G4 PB with a MacBook !!!!

  17. skir0987 macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    I just went to my local retailer to get my computer/leopard disk fixed... my optical drive is failing (again I think) and scratches disks. If I sent the macbook to apple, it would be the sixth repair (some repairs fixed multiple things :/ ). Before this I have gotten:

    -Logic board (x2 I think)
    -Battery (x2)
    -Hard Drive
    -Optical drive (maybe)
    -Top case (x3?)
    -Power cable
    -Power connector

    The guy at the store told me to call apple and ask for a new one :D
    Now I'm wondering if I could possibly get credit towards a MBP... I got this macbook in June of '06. It was the second model with upgraded ram/hd (totaling 1,500 with educational discount I think). Anyone have any guesses of how much apple would give me towards a MBP?

  18. cogsinister macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2006
    Fredericton NB Canada
    Phone Apple and ask for customer relations.....talk to them because they can replace your mac, not the first rep you speak too.....

    Hold out for a MBP as a replacement to make up for all the trouble your MB has caused you......and keep us informed of the outcome....
  19. skir0987 macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    Right now it's at my retailer getting Leopard installed :p

    I hope to call apple tonight... if they don't want to replace it at first I'll just make something up about how a windows laptop lasted for much longer perfectly fine... then they'll probably replace it XD
  20. cogsinister macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2006
    Fredericton NB Canada
    Dont leave it too late, customer relations go home earlier than the standard applecare droids.....
  21. skir0987 macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    Any idea what time zone they're in? I'd assume most would be in western america, so that would be -3hrs for me (I'm on the east coast). Hopefully I get them before they leave :/
  22. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley

    really? that scares me, since i just upgraded my ram to 4GB. someone confirm?
  23. cogsinister macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2006
    Fredericton NB Canada
    I phoned them at 6pm here in Atlantic Canada, and they had gone home, so they probably work till 5pm eastern......
  24. skir0987 macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    Well, I haven't gotten my computer back from my retailer... they were supposed to install leopard but my computer managed to scratch their disk too, so now they have to do tests on my disk drive :p I should be getting it back some time later today, though, but I'm not sure I'll be able to call customer satisfaction today :(

  25. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    There isn't an official number of repairs; replacements are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Since you have had separate issues with separate components, I'd say it's unlikely they will swap the whole thing unless you make some noise about it.

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