"Liquid Damage" ?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Necronometer, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. Necronometer macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2012
    Recently, my 2010 MacBook Pro 15" hadn't been able to hold a charge. Finally, the battery just ran out and I had no way to turn it back on. I took it into my local Apple store where they told me that it had sustained liquid damage on the bottom and pretty much every major part (the battery, hard drive, etc) needs to be replaced. They said that the liquid is brown and sticky and they said that it's either coffee or Coke. They explained to me that my warranty/Apple Care doesn't cover liquid damage, which I already knew.

    Here's why I'm confused and pretty mad: I take good care of my Mac, I don't keep it in areas where it CAN sustain liquid damage, I don't drink by it at all, and I NEVER drink either coffee or Coke. In fact, I definitely would have noticed if there was any sort of liquid damage since I used my computer daily. If this mystery dark beverage spilled into my computer from the bottom, I would have noticed. Any other part of it would have been wet and sticky and I would have flipped out. The way that the damage was described to me sounds as though something was spilled in it while the bottom was unscrewed, but I've never opened my computer myself and I never ever let anyone borrow it or use it.

    I was told that it would cost $1,225 to repair and I just don't have that kind of money. I need my computer because I'm a graphic designer and I currently haven't been able to locate any other source of income. They told me to take it up with Apple Care, but I have no idea how to do this.

    I'm kind of at a loss for what to do/say, who to contact, and if this is even something that I can complain to Apple about. All I know is that the only way that I know that it has liquid damage is from one guy's word. I didn't experience this liquid damage first hand and the liquid damage that they're describing doesn't match my lifestyle or the conditions that I keep it under.

    Am I screwed?
  2. Fairfax macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2011
    Deep Web
    Call apple care, state your case to the rep explain that you never spilled a beverage and if they are of no help, ask for a supervisor and keep escalating it within apple care until someone can finally help. If no one helps you there people here will say that you should send Tim Cook an email and someone within Apple who has some juice will try to help you out. Just be polite and don't lose your cool, stuff like this can be frustrating.

    Have you tried contacting your credit card company to see if they can cover the charge of the repair? Depending on the card you have the card company will cover repairs a year after your warranty ends. Since you have Apple Care maybe that bought you some extra time with the extended warranty provided by your card company. You can give them a call and see if they will cover the cost and explain that Apple Care refuses to honor their warranty through no fault of your own. If Apple ends up not helping you see if your card will cover the cost.

    Good luck.
  3. Necronometer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2012
    Thank you for the response. I'll call tomorrow morning and see if I can get this resolved.

    My mom bought this computer on her American Express card back in August 2012 as a graduation present. While AmEx does have great insurance, my mom cancelled her card a few months after this purchase, so I'm not sure if contacting them will do much good, but I'll keep it in mind as something else to try if Apple will not help me.
  4. Necronometer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2012
    I tried calling Apple Care today, but they told me that there all they could do is refer me to other certified Apple repair centers in my area for a second opinion and refused to transfer me over to customer relations or anyone that I could effectively complain to. They described the incident as "unusual and unfortunate," but told me that there was nothing that they could actually do for me other than tell me to get it repaired. They said that their jurisdiction is software problems only and my case doesn't fit the criteria to be sent over to customer relations or a supervisor.

    Is this the point where I send an e-mail to Tim Cook or are there some other people that I can try and take it up with before resorting to that?
  5. divideby macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009
    Honestly if you're not trusting the Genius that said it had liquid damage, use a phillips head screw driver and look for yourself. If LD is inside of the machine Apple will not cover the cost, period. Unforunately, they will quote a flat rate only which is the ~$1240 price you got, even if its a small amount of liquid. They will not give you the option to replace individual parts. That being said, if you assess that the damage is limited to the battery or the magsafe adapater, you could get those replaced at a third party which might be less than $500. Your best option is to open the machine yourself or pay someone to do it (a third party). Apple Cares should also be able to send you pictures of the LD if they took them so you may not even need to open it. If the LD is on the logic, then you might be outta luck. The reason Apple offers only the $1240 is it is the only thing that will get you back under applecare.

    Also if you have renter's insurance or homeowners insurance it might be better to claim that.
  6. Necronometer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2012
    Thanks for your response.

    I understand exactly what it is that Apple does when a computer has liquid damage.

    My issue is not with the actual liquid damage, but the fact that I believe that Apple is responsible for the damage or is using a "liquid damage" excuse to not repair the real damage.

    A few months ago, I had some trouble with the battery. When I brought my computer into the store, they told me that my battery should be okay, but it's possible that I would need to get it replaced in another few months or so. This was after taking it to the back and coming back with it five minutes later. Even so, they assured me that it shouldn't be a problem because the battery could easily be replaced, especially since my Apple Care is still in effect. I assumed that they opened it then and there was absolutely no damage back then.

    This last time that I brought it in, it took the guy 45 minutes in the back and he claimed that my computer suffered from severe liquid damage and that there's a brown, sticky liquid on the inside.

    From those two points in time, it was not possible for my computer to sustain that type of damage. I think that this "liquid damage" is fishy. It's something that I definitely would have noticed happening and I most certainly would have taken it in awknowledging that it sustained that type of damage had such an incident occurred and the entire report makes no sense. I feel like Apple should be responsible for the cost of the repairs, but my recent call to Apple Care reflects that making a complaint is a bit more of a detailed process.

    I suppose this isn't really about what I should do about liquid damage, but how to actually bring this to Apple and if it's even possible to get a response from Apple over something like this.

    Note: my Apple Care is still in effect for another 316 days at the time of this post.
  7. divideby macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009
    I dunno mate. It sounds like you're suggesting he took it to the back and spilt something on it in five minutes and brought it out... When you brought it in the first time was the issue for intermittent charging or was it because the battery was dying quickly?

    Because if it was intermittent charging thats rarely a battery. It's also very possibly that the first guy opened the back, looked at it, didn't see liquid, reseated battery, ran a diagnostic that passed gave it back. The second guy prolly tried the battery, same issue, tried logic or MagSafe board, and discovered liquid underneath the logic board, suggesting that it may have existed before the first time you brought it in and was just under the logic board (spilled through keys, harder to discover just by opening back).

    If im wrong, it sounds like they didn't fix it the first time ie replace the battery. I bet they could try putting in a good battery to see if that resolves it. It sounds like you may be owed that, at least to be worked with to isolate the issue to a battery. Or MagSafe board less than 75 dollars. If its on the logic they'll stop. Unfortunately you don't have evidence that they spilt liquid in there, and Apple has a strict no liquid policy around customer machines.

    Good luck though, I hope it's a small issue to be fixed like a battery, it would be much easier to swallow then trying to prove that apple should pay $1200 for machine in your possession for 2+ years.
  8. Necronometer, Oct 10, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012

    Necronometer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2012
    To be honest, I can't remember exactly what my computer was doing when I brought it in the first time. I do remember that it wasn't just randomly shutting off or anything like that. I remember that they specifically said that my computer should have been good for a good few more months, so they didn't want to replace it right then.

    The reason why this seems off to me is that the guy told this last time that the type of damage is similar to the computer sitting in a puddle with this brown, sticky liquid seeping in through the bottom, so I don't think it came in through the keyboard. Also, I don't understand how it would even have the chance to come in through the keyboard because I don't drink any dark-colored drinks, I don't let anyone else even touch my computer, and I certainly don't drink or do anything liquid-related near my computer. I would have noticed if my computer was sitting in a puddle of a liquid that doesn't ever come into my household. :p

    I really hope that it's just something like the battery, too. My biggest problem is that I just don't even know if the damage exists. No pictures of it were taken. I heard that if you open your computer up yourself, you automatically lose the warranty. I have no idea if this is true, but I really want it to not be true because then I could just find out for myself. The guy made it sound like the entire computer absolutely NEEDS to be gutted. I understand that they just do that anyway and give you a flat rate, but he said it was all over the logic board, the battery, the hard drive, etc. But I'm confused because I lost a computer like this once and the computer just stopped working entirely as soon as it sustained the damage. I have no idea how it could be working perfectly and then just not be able to hold a charge all if a sudden because of severe liquid damage that had supposedly been sitting for a while. And I'm confused because the way this guy talked made it sound like there's no way they wouldn't have been able to notice the damage when I took it in a couple months prior.

    I don't know what happened, but I mulled over a few possibilities. I even wondered if the liquid damage doesn't exist, but I was told that it does so I could get $1200 squeezed out of me, which is NOT happening. I already need $2500 for a tonsillectomy, which takes priority since I can't work any type of job while my computer is out of commission if I'm sick with tonsillitis for a week every two weeks and I can't make money to fix my computer if I can't work. Again... I have no idea what happened, but it really sucks because I can't do any of my graphic design work. :/

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