MBP AppleCare SUSPENDED Due To Scratch!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Luftwaffles, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. Luftwaffles macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    I had a feeling my latest visit to the Genius Bar wouldn't go as great as I would hope.

    I just took my 2.33Ghz 15" MBP in to have a faulty left fan and SuperDrive looked at. Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I scheduled the appointment the Superdrive started to eject properly! When I got there, I intended to just have them start it up, see that the fan wasn't working and acknowledge that Yes, that is a manufacturer defect! However, I wasn't so lucky.

    The "genius" behind the counter gave my machine a quick look-around and noted a very slight (less than 1mm) bowing on the top of the superdrive slot, and a very slight (think .5mm or smaller) bowing on the bottom of the DVI port. Now, both of these are very understandable considering my palms have been resting on this machine for the last 1 1/2 years, and I tend to use an additional DVI monitor quite a bit - there's alot of plugging and unplugging going on. That's where the term "normal wear and tear" would come into play, would it not?

    Alas, my troubles didn't end there. He also noted that on the bottom of the palm rest that there was a very small (4mm) deep scratch. Okay, that's not too bad considering the laptop is a year and a half old. **** happens, ya know? So he went on for about 10-15 minutes, checked if a fan was in stock, essentially gave me no hints as to what was about to happen...

    After being led to believe that my fan would be taken care of, he gave me the verdict... instead of acknowledging that the non-functioning fan is a manufacturer defect, he opted to suspend my AppleCare warranty until I paid $650 to have the top and bottom cases replaced.

    At that point, I was absolutely shocked. Never in my years and years of dealing with tech support and warranties have I heard of something like this happening. Dell, HP and IBM, companies I have dealt with regularly, have never refused to fix their mistakes because I scratched a machine.

    The Genius never did explain to me why a small bow on the top of the superdrive would affect a fan on the exact-opposite corner. I promptly asked for a printout of the repair quote and got out of there before I freaked out.

    Now I'm sitting at home, on the phone with AppleCare. So far I've had the good fortune to speak with Lisa from tech support, who has been with me for the past 40 minutes. She's never heard of something like this happening, so we're going from department to department trying to get something worked out for me. If it weren't for her soothing voice, I'd probably be beating the crap out of an old Pentium II about now.

    I acknowledge the fact that my use of the machine has caused the small cosmetic defects, and all I want Apple to do is acknowledge the fact that the fan in my machine is faulty and replace it under the warranty that I paid for. I'm not asking them to fix my mistakes (scratching the case), nor am I asking them for an entirely new notebook... some accountability is all I seek!

    What are your thoughts about this? Feel free to chime in with your own war stories.
  2. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    DFW, TX
    a) go speak to the manager nicely
    b) contact customer service, not apple care, nicely

    one of those 2 places should get you what you need.
  3. drewsof07 macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2006
    This is the very reason I keep my machine in new condition until AC expires :eek:

    This really isn't like Apple. Any machines I have seen suspended had dents and several deep scratches. This is one part of your coverage that is very subjective for Geniuses.

    I would stay on the horn with AC and ask for a manager/supervisor, because it seems you have been gypped by a disgruntled Genius. Take some detailed pictures in your down time in case they ask.
    Good luck! :)
  4. Luftwaffles thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    UPDATE: I've uploaded a few pictures. Feel free to inspect the "damage" yourselves. How it would affect the left fan, I have no clue - your guess is as good as mine.

  5. johny5 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2007
    ouch, doesnt look too bad but if I were you I would have straightened those bends up by placing a flat headed screwdriver in (and placing a thick cloth over the tip) then twisting slightly.

    I hope you get sorted :/
  6. Luftwaffles thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    After Lisa handed me off to customer service, it all went downhill. I spent quite a while on hold while the other rep tried to negotiate a course of action. It didn't get anywhere and he claimed that the $650 repair bill was a good deal since it's flat-rate.

    I reiterated the fact that I don't *want* the cosmetic damage repaired, I just want a laptop that doesn't double as a barn heater. He claimed that because the genius didn't open the laptop in the store, there's no way they can guarantee that the "cosmetic damage" didn't result in any internal damage. Because as we all know, a scratch on the case can ruin your logic board much faster than, say, an overheating processor.

    Steve-o and the Corporate Relations folks will be hearing from me via e-mail, pictures and all... I've had pretty good luck when it comes to getting a response from the sjobs email, so I might as well give that a shot as well.

    It's like taking your car into the dealer and being told they won't honor their powertrain warranty because there's a ding in the door and your tire is almost flat.
  7. MVApple macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    Wow I'm surprised about how you are being treated. Sometimes stores have disgruntled employee's, but to be treated like this by Apple Care is surprising.

    Maybe you should try calling again or going in to the store again with a different person?

    It sounds strange to be treated this way when we hear stories about people getting entire new laptops because of a poor experience.
  8. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I think you're in the right.

    The only reason I could see that they don't want to fix the fan without replacing the top and bottom cases is because they're afraid it may be hard to get back together. That's a long shot though.

    Personally I think that you paid for AppleCare and you ought to get treated like you did. What's the point of having it if they won't replace a fan that doesn't work because of normal wear and tear?

    By the way, my 3 year old 12" PB has similar bowing near the SuperDrive. I think it's shoddy design honestly. Thankfully they should've fixed that with the alum. MBs.
  9. Vulcan macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Call AppleCare and ask for a specialist. Don't talk to anyone else.
  10. Luftwaffles thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    That was one thing I did note while on the phone with AppleCare. As we were talking, I mentioned the fact that it's obviously Apple's fault for not reinforcing the Superdrive slot enough to withstand normal use - somebody at Apple obviously realized that mistake at some point in time, because they changed the drive location for the unibody pro.

    The email has been shoved through the tubes, along with the attached pictures... And yes, I've heard many stories of brand-new computers being awarded in some situations. I won't cross my fingers... but as an aside, one of those unibody pros would be *really* cool... ;)
  11. mackmgg macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2007
    WOW is all i have to say. i guess it really does matter who you have.
    i have been to the genius bar about 6 times had 4 hdd failures a faulty superdrive, keyboard keys fallen out that were replaced... the list goes on. so all this i have had countless scratches with a FEW dentS and they just keep on replacing. i am sure if they let me through speaking to the right people will get ur warenty unsuspended. o and one dent is from dropping it.

    edit: i just checked mine and it has the slight curve over the superdrive. and the faulty superdrive replaced was LAST WEEK
  12. Karpfish macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2006
    I had an experience like this a little while ago. My superdrive stopped ejecting so I took it to the apple store. When I got there I was told that the bottom casing had bent just enough(the same bowing you talked about above the super drive) to yield the superdrive inoperable. The genius told me that I must have been putting excess pressure on the PALM REST, WHERE MY PALMS ARE SUPPOSED TO GO, which caused the casing to bend a bit. O ya, he told me that the repair would be about $900! I was shocked. I need to go back and if they say that again I will speak to a manager, because it is ridiculous.
  13. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

    Aug 6, 2007
    That's ridiculous. My MacBook Pro is completely destroyed cosmetically compared to that and it's in the shop right now getting its second logic board replacement under Apple Care.

    Good luck man, I hope it works out for you.
  14. rick3000 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2008
    West Coast
    That is ridiculous. I have never heard of Apple treating people this. A friend of mine works at the Apple Store, I'll ask him about this (If he's willing to divulge any Apple procedures.)
  15. Sayer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    You want a fan fixed as a mfg defect after 1.5 years? LOL!
  16. misterpasta macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2007
    self induced damage

    This machine looks dropped and or heavy objects placed atop.

    Likely good call Apple
  17. MVApple macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    Yeah the nerve of some people. I mean do they actually expect an EXTENDED WARRANTY to actually cover anything? Doesn't everyone know Apple takes your money and then flips you the finger? The only reason I'm hundreds of dollars for an extended warranty is so I can laugh at myself when Apple flips me the bird. :rolleyes:
  18. Fonzijr1964 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    wow sux

    I know my Black book has been the the genius bar 3 times for OS problems (apparently i got the PPC version of tiger and not intel) i had the huge bend in the drive and i had marks from a screw driver i try to get a stuck CD out with on it and the Genius told me it looked like i took excellent care of my mac lol
  19. Luftwaffles thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    The underside of the laptop is pristine. The superdrive is minimally bowed to the extent you'd expect from 1.5 years of moderate use. The DVI port gets plugged in/unplugged every day. Where do you see any damage that indicates it's been dropped or crushed?
  20. JustGretchen macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    Do you have the 3 year applecare protection plan? If you do, they should replace the fan with little to no questions asked. If you don't they are under no obligation to fix the fan since it's past it's 1 year parts and labor standard protection.

    You should go to the store and speak with a manager or the head genius. State your case as you have here, and make it clear POLITELY that you don't care about getting the cosmetic damage fixed.

    you can email sjobs@apple.com
  21. kockgunner macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    They should definitely fix the machine. That DVI port kinda makes it look like the Macbook Pro got dropped though. I don't know if I should get Apple Care since my machine has a few problems but also has a few unrelated scratches on the bottom since the rubber feet are so small. I don't know if Apple will just void my warranty. I hope it all works out for you. Keep us posted!
  22. drewsof07 macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2006
    I don't think he's quite at that point yet... Seems a bit drastic for something trivial and personal only dealing with his machine and the genius who denied his claim. Especially since he hasn't updated with further information yet. I'd say they will resolve it.
  23. Bubba22 macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2008
    I don't see how it's funny...You do know that the fans are supposed to hold up to standards which say they should last for somewhere in the range of 10 years, right?
  24. winninganthem macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2008
    Your MBP doesn't look very nice, but I can't see how that would stop the fan on the opposite side from functioning. Thats pretty annoying dude, sorry for your troubles. I'd be very angry if I paid a lot of money for AppleCare for them to terminate it for a cosmetic issue. Maybe the guy was having a bad day.
  25. Luftwaffles thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    My phone calls to AppleCare have turned out to be useless. They're still telling me that the only course of action I have is to A) Fix it myself and void my warranty or B) Send it to a repair depot where they will inspect the machine and *officially* quote me for a repair, but still not cover it under warranty.

    I don't consider either an option. I paid for my warranty, the problem I'm having is covered under the warranty and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let some guy at my local Apple store breach Apple's contract with me.

    The genius wasn't helpful, AppleCare was mostly useless, so I've done two things:

    1. Contacted my Corporate Relations rep who handled a complaint I made last year
    2. Fired off an email to Steve-o, complete with pictures and a thorough account of the incident

    I'll keep you guys posted, thanks for the moral support :)

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