MacBook: Apple Store told me all 3rd party RAM voids warranty. Furthermore...

maknik

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 17, 2006
172
53
Edit: Everyone seems to agree that 3rd party RAM does not violate the warranty, despite what the Apple Store staff and the Apple sales person on the phone said to me. Thanks, everyone! Sorry I can't edit the subject heading.

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So I just bought a MacBook at the Apple Store in Manhattan. I was told by the floor sales person that installing my own RAM would void the warranty, but that I could bring the computer back in and have the RAM installed for free. It turns out though that Apple's deal for upping the RAM to 1GB is not bad ($100 for two 512 sticks, though they keep the two old 256 sticks), so I called to ask if I could bring it in to add the RAM.

After a lot of backing-and-forthing, they all agreed:

1) any RAM you install yourself voids the warranty
2) they won't install third-party RAM
3) if you buy RAM from Apple after the purchase, it costs $200 to upgrade to 1 GB (though you get to keep the old sticks)--plus $30 more for installation if it's after the first 14 days.

I'm still not 100% certain this is all true, but the guy consulted a lot of people when answering these questions. I thought I should post this to warn folks to get the RAM when they purchase, or else they lose either $100 or their warranty. (Though I suppose you can get some of that $100 back by reselling the two 256 sticks.) As for the 2GB option, I guess you have to pay Apple's high prices or lose your warranty.

Luckily, I hadn't opened the box yet, so I can return and rebuy it with no restocking fee (which otherwise would be 10%, or at least $110).
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
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If you eff up your machine in the process of installing the RAM, you've got warranty problems. But otherwise, it's fine.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
Info ...

http://www.apple.com/support/macbook/

Just because an Apple MacGeek tells you something, find out the truth on your own.

Otherwise you will buy a service contract because the car dealer told you installing your own floormats will void the warranty.

And you will always be paying them to add air to your tires.
 

bill4588

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2006
588
0
Kennesaw, GA
amacgenius said:
Just keep the factory sticks, and if you have problems with your machine reinstall those and THEN take it into the store ;).
exactly.....this thread is kinda dead now lol....but it's definitely a good thread. i didnt know this info.....but im a noob to macs
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
2
This sort of misinformation is what bothers me most about uninformed employees misleading customers. Sigh. At least the OP is here on MR and could get the facts... but what about those customers who aren't lucky or savvy enough to know to double check? :(
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
2
maknik said:
But before I take your word for it, where does it say that you can install RAM without violating the warranty, and that they will install 3rd party RAM?
Okay, I just went to Apple's Support site and downloaded the MacBook manual.

Look at page 79, Ch. 4: Adding Memory to Your MacBook.

Read that chapter.

It does imply that users are allowed to install RAM, but that if you cause damage to the equipment in the process of doing so, then that damage will not be covered by the warranty.
 

Attachments

Cooknn

macrumors 68020
Aug 23, 2003
2,111
0
Fort Myers, FL
devilot said:
Okay, I just went to Apple's Support site and downloaded the MacBook manual.

Look at page 79, Ch. 4: Adding Memory to Your MacBook.

Read that chapter.

It does imply that users are allowed to install RAM, but that if you cause damage to the equipment in the process of doing so, then that damage will not be covered by the warranty.
Thanks for that info devilot. I wasn't sure myself...
 

maknik

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 17, 2006
172
53
I believe you...

It's odd that we're forced to make inferences from page *79* of a fairly obscure manual; and at least from that one page, the inference still seems a bit ambiguous. I only say that because the people I spoke to at the Apple Store sounded very certain, if a bit young. I'm only pressing on this point because I have an unopened MacBook sitting beseechingly on my floor right now!
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
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It's not all that obscure...it is the user's manual after all. And it's on page 79 because the first 78 pages are the introduction to using your Mac. You don't need to upgrade your memory in order to do that. Upgrading RAM is a secondary consideration to actually using your computer. If you're still not satisfied, call up Apple's customer service.
 

iGary

Guest
May 26, 2004
19,583
1
Randy's House
I calle AppleCare today, as my return label for a dead machine came.

I dropped the Machine off at FedEx, and I wanted to inform Apple that it was in FedEx's system (and on the way) so they could release my replacement from the factory.

The guy was like "we have to wait until we receive the old one back."

Now you'll have to understand I've been on the phone with Apple over 12 hours over the last month (cell phone bill proves it), so Graham got an earfull.

"Who told you that?" I asked.

"Oh, it's just policy. "

"Well that's funny, because when you guys sent me an RMA for a dented PB I received I called you guys, told you it was in FedEx's system, the guy checked, released the factory hold and I got a new PB the next day. So in other words, you're just making what you said up."

"Let me check, sir."

So he checked, and of course they can manually release a shipment...I told him I was sorry that I has snipped at him, but he shouldn't just answer questions he has no idea about, and that I had been through a lot over the last month.

What burns me is how some of these guys will bury their feet in the ground and tell you that you are wrong, when you aren't. God, that pisses me off. Best way to deal with Apple is to investigate on your own, or question anything that just doesn't sound right.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,369
They may be "geniuses" but they sure aren't lawyers cause the Moss-Magnuson Act makes it illegal to void a warranty because you use 3rd party parts if those parts were not the cause, directly or indirectly, of the product's malfunction.
 

maknik

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 17, 2006
172
53
I actually first called customer sales...

And they were the first ones to tell me upgrading the RAM voided the warranty. It was only after talking to them that I called the Apple Store for more details. However, the sales people are probably less knowledgable that the customer support folks. But I'll edit the original post to make it less inflamatory-looking.

I still say, though, that I wouldn't want to be in a legal setting where I had to argue that, because the manual said you'll void your warranty if you damage the computer during a RAM upgrade, therefore it has been implicitly promised that the warranty is not voided if you upgrade the RAM yourself. The logic is true, but given the arguments I've gotten into with Apple in years past about what was and wasn't covered, it's not an especially strong reed to base a case on.
 

dblissmn

macrumors 6502
Apr 30, 2002
253
21
Unbelievable. I can just visualize it now. . . . three Apple employees talking about the taste of ice cream, and after twenty minutes of back-and-forth, agreeing that it tastes like bitter melon -- or deciding by committee that the sun sets in the east. I guess they just don't see the user in "user installable."

My advice . . . if $100 is indeed the extra cost and if 1GB is enough for your needs, go for it off the bat -- it's a fair price. Apple's 2GB price is outrageous, and there are suppliers that use Samsung or similar materials in products running $100-$125 per 1GB module.
 

codo

macrumors 6502
May 17, 2006
475
3
England, United Kingdom
Chupa Chupa said:
They may be "geniuses" but they sure aren't lawyers cause the Moss-Magnuson Act makes it illegal to void a warranty because you use 3rd party parts if those parts were not the cause, directly or indirectly, of the product's malfunction.
I do hope there is some sort of EU or UK equivalent - I know there are quiet a few strict"ish" warranty laws, but no idea if there is anything of this nature.
 

®îçhå®?

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2006
1,826
2
The 2 RAM slots are accessable so that you can change it yourself. This is the same with the hard drive.
 

madmaxmedia

macrumors 68030
Dec 17, 2003
2,923
32
Los Angeles, CA
I agree this is hogwash. But let's say my MacBook started having problems...

One of the first things I would do is take out the 3rd-party RAM, and put the original Apple memory in as a troubleshooting step.

If that (and other steps) did not work, I'd just take the MacBook with original Apple RAM to the store. It's not like they'd even know you put 3rd-party RAM in there.

Also, it's not like Apple RAM is special, or made by Apple anyways. It might be better QC-ed or something like that, but it's just RAM.

I think the salesperson was probably trying to get a add-on sale.
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
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SuperSnake2012 said:
Does all memory have to be installed in pairs? Datamem only sells in 2x512 configurations. :confused:
It doesn't have to be installed in pairs, but dual channel memory sees a minor (most sources say 10-20%) speed boost if you do use matched pairs.
 

®îçhå®?

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2006
1,826
2
Either way, more RAM is better anyway. If you opt for 1.25GB (1GB & 256MB), it would give better performance than 2x 512MB.