I think I broke my AirPort / Bluetooth card. Can the local Apple store fix it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by botsmack, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. botsmack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL, USA
    #1
    Believe me I feel terrible. I was adding an OWC Data Doubler and Samsung SSD to my mid-2012 MacBook Pro 15". The two screws holding the AirPort/Bluetooth were getting stripped (apparently this is common; iFixit's comments mentioned it, but the comments are hidden by default). They were way too tight. I was able to get one out, but in trying to remove the second, I accidentally snapped the bracket near the screw hole. On the surface, the only visible damage is the broken screw connector on the bracket.

    Everything works fine, except the laptop reports no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi hardware installed.

    I've added a second hard drive to multiple MacBook Pros (2008 & 2011 models) numerous times, but none were ever this difficult with regards to the stripped screws.

    I'm still under AppleCare and I know this isn't covered. My question is will Apple fix it for me for a cost? If so, how much am I looking at?

    I found the various part numbers online:
    • AirPort/Bluetooth 4.0 Card (661-6510), $60-$90
    • AirPort/Bluetooth Flex Cable (922-9750), $30
    • AirPort/Bluetooth Bracket (076-1380), $10

    I know it was a stupid mistake; I just want to get it fixed correctly. I know adding a Data Doubler or second hard drive doesn't void the AppleCare warranty, but anything I break in the process does. Will Apple cancel the warranty if I ask them to fix this?
     
  2. Mr Rabbit, Sep 6, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013

    Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Location:
    'merica
    #2
    This is all under the assumption that you're not ACMT (Apple Certified Macintosh Technician) certified and not working for a service provider.

    If I were you I would have an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP), instead of Apple, fix it. Apple could qualify the repair as accidental damage that needs to be handled under a tier 2 flat depot repair cost ($400+) in order to ensure the warranty is intact. An AASP would likely agree to replace just the broken bracket, airport card and stripped screws for the part cost (usually at least 15-30% over Apple's part cost) plus an hour labor.

    Reasoning behind this is Apple has to assume that since damage occurred during an upgrade by an uncertified technician there could likely be damage (ESD related) elsewhere on the logic board or other components. In order to ensure the Mac is still in "warrantable" condition they have to replace any affected components under the flat tier cost and run full diagnostics. The AASP likely won't be as worried about that and will simply repair the obvious problems.

    Hopefully that makes sense. With that said, you could still try Apple. They may very well say "oh sure, not a big deal" and replace just the damaged components in house. Never hurts to ask!

    Apple can't necessarily "cancel" the warranty, at least a Genius can't without spending a long time on the phone. All they can really do is make notes that such and such occurred, which a technician or AppleCare agent can see down the road when helping with other issues. Basically they can make a history that could affect future repairs if something isn't resolved properly within their eyes. Unless you actually check it in for repair though I seriously doubt the Genius would go out of his way (unless you're rude) to make a note of the damage.

    Also, you're partially correct in the data doubler / AppleCare statement. When an ACMT working for an AASP performs an upgrade (the data doubler in this example) AppleCare remains fully intact except for the removed/replaced component, though it's assumed that the new component will have a separate warranty of it's own from it's manufacturer. However, when a non user installable part is replaced by a non ACMT Apple has every right to assume the upgrade/repair was performed properly since the person has not completed the training/tests Apple provides to ensure they know and follow Apple's repair guidelines. This is the instance where they can (and often will) deny warranty coverage unless they go through the Mac with the tiered depot repairs I mentioned earlier. Typically though I wouldn't expect a Genius/AppleCare rep to even bring it up unless the failure is within the same area as the upgrade/repair. Basically, if you can provide a receipt showing the repair/upgrade was performed by a recognized AASP then you have nothing to worry about.

    Edit: Just noticed you're in Birmingham. Check out Perry Computer in Brookwood Mall. My sister lived in Birmingham for a few years and always told me that they took good care of her.
     
  3. botsmack, Sep 6, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013

    botsmack thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL, USA
    #3
    Thanks for the great response! I just saw your edit too. Thanks for the mentioning Perry Computer Services. I completely forgot they were here over in Brookwood Mall -- I pass it every day when going to work. I think I'll give them a call just to bypass any Apple Store issues and get their thoughts.

    I got in touch with Perry, but they're backed up. So I'm going to try visiting the Apple Store tomorrow and plead my case nicely hoping they can fix it up.
     
  4. nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #4
    well apple does at times make exceptions, but always better to be honest and let them know what happen, and ask for a solution.
     
  5. botsmack thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL, USA
    #5
    Most definitely. I plan to tell them everything, including my second SSD. Nothing I'm trying to hide. I fully admit it is my fault and am willing to pay out of pocket to get it fixed. Granted $400 might be more than I can afford at the moment, but I'll just see. I've heard great stories before with Apple Store techs being generous with problems. Maybe the tech angels will shine down this time as well. :)
     
  6. nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #6
    A friend of mine wanted to upgrade his hdd and while doing so he thought maybe let me re apply thermal paste. While removing the keyboard connector he broke the locking mechanism. The macbook would not power up, he went to an AASP since we do not have apple stores here and explained to them and even got the locking lever which broke of. The techs told him well these kind of damages are not covered in warranty but i hope you learnt your mistake we will replace the mainboard for you only this last time the next time if more damages your on your own.
     
  7. botsmack thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL, USA
    #7
    I wanted to post an update. Everything is working great and the Apple Store was very nice about it. I brought it in that weekend and just told the genius what I was doing and what happened. He was understandable and even mentioned that he was thinking about adding a second SSD to his MacBook Pro as well. I said that I was embarrassed by the whole deal and he said that it was ok, because they, as techs, make mistakes all the time and not to worry about it.

    He took it back and actually "fixed" it that visit. Turned out that the flex cable underneath the tape on the Airport Card was disconnected. I couldn't tell that from just looking and I didn't want to mess with it any further, so I never peeled the tape back. Besides, I figured the tape was strong enough to hold it in place. Visually it looked fine.

    I told him I wanted to get the repair done and all it cost was $50. $10 for the broken Airport Card Bracket (076-1380) and $40 labor. He even added new screws to replace the stripped ones for no charge.

    He explained that they had tools there to remove stripped screws and that it involved a second tech using a strong magnet to catch the metal shavings as the screw was drilled out.

    The parts were ordered, the laptop brought in when they arrived, and it was fixed in about 4 days.

    To my knowledge the repair didn't hinder the AppleCare for the laptop. The repair was performed as "Out of Warranty", but AppleCare remains intact for everything else based on what the tech told me.
     
  8. nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #8
    well thats good that everything is back to normal. On the good side the part that is not included in your warranty is not all that expensive.
    Enjoy the mac and be careful when working inside the laptop.
     

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