Spilled Coffee on MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MBA-MD, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. MBA-MD macrumors member

    May 27, 2008

    I spilled some coffee about 6 months ago (first week I got the MBA) and recently I started having some problems with the keyboard. The scroll keys would activate and my text WoULd lOOk lIke thiS.

    I took it to Apple and was told that because of the liquid spilled they cannot touch it, but would have to change the battery, the logic board, the keyboard with the top case. The total amount was ~$750 plus tax. The warranty of course was voided.

    Now, I know the only thing wrong is the keyboard. Why would Apple want to change the battery and the logic board and charge me an outrageous amount of money??

    I talked to the IT department at school and was told to just buy a keyboard with a top case and they will replace it for me. If this does not solve the issue then, buy a logic board. The total price for the keyboard and top case $199.

    I was also told by a friend of mine that is a computer engineer to just take the keyboard out and soak it in distilled water and then let it dry for a few days and put it back together.

    What's the deal with Apple? Are they that greedy that they like to just milk every penny? It's ashame because I was planning on going all Apple. iPhone, Apple Tv and desktop (I already have the darn iPod) but this makes me think twice about their products.

    Why isn't there anymore honesty in big corporations??? Arghhhhhhh

  2. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Go with your IT Department's suggestion, and it sounds like they offered the best solution without any "witchcraft." IMHO
  3. ScottFitz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2007
    I think they should at least take it apart and replace the keyboard if that's all that wrong. I can only assume the build is such that liquid on the k/b pretty much automatically gets into all those parts.

    I guess it's their company, they can run the repairs any way they want. I'd try taking it apart myself first. If that didn't work, then I'd put it in a box and pay them to fix it. Warranty is already voided. What do you have to lose?
  4. Diseal3 macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2008
    Not really apple's fault, It in the warrenty for their products and many others. Although dell does offer spill and damage protection for more $$. Apple didnt deny to fix it for you its just because of your accident your computer warrenty is void. Anywho distilled water or rubbing alchol would work best, as alchol will acually clean the chips and disolve any water/coffee and not leave any residue.
  5. gcmexico macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2007
    New York City
    there is always a quick and reasonable fix...if you take it to the Apple store, they will charge you up *ss!:mad:
  6. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    I think it's a bit much to say they're being dishonest. Because of the design, some liquid almost certainly got on the logic board, although it may not be ruined. Perhaps some got on the battery too. What if they only replace the keyboard and you plug it in and the logic board shorts out or the battery causes a fire and burns down your house, then you turn around and sue them?

    They're obviously erring on the side of caution, and perhaps you'd prefer they err on the side of cost effectiveness, but they're the ones as risk for a law suit. I'd echo what others say and try to repair it yourself-- maybe you'll get lucky and only need the keyboard.
  7. MBA-MD thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2008
    Well, I agree with your point of view. However, they specifically said that, they will not touch the laptop unless they change those parts. There is nothing wrong with anything else. Only the keyboard.

    So according to that logic, if a patient is going to the hospital for pancreatitis, they should go ahead and get a liver and pancreas transplant done because there is a chance that chronic pancreatitis might lead to pancreatic cancer which might spread into the liver and the patient can turn around and sue us.

    Let's be real, i bought a Mac because I heard it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have since been disappointed terribly. Even if you look past the outrageously expensive products, you can't help but realize that you are only getting raped by them. The warranties and the costumer service are only forms of lubrication.

    How come you can't buy insurance for iPhone ?? Because they know you will buy a new one.

    Thanks for your input, I appreciate your time.

  8. off in the wood macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2007
    Very True, but you know it will be back to 100% and if it isn't, then you don't have to worry about any hassle down the road.

    If you would take to a 3rd party (school IT department). You never know. Might not be a quick fix

    Like they always say "you get what you pay for"

    You wouldn't take a porsche to VW dealership, even though they are the parent company.... I know completely different, but the same context.

    That being said however, there are always good deals out there
  9. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    So what you're saying is that you're not only an Apple Certified Service Technician but a doctor as well?

    If the tech has said the keyboard, logic board and battery are affected then that's what the problem is. That's certainly what I would be expecting to see after a liquid spill on the keyboard. Underneath the keys sits a monster battery and a little logic board, all easily accessible through the gaps around the keyboard by a cup of piping hot coffee.

    It's not Apple's fault you split the coffee on the machine, it's yours. You should own up to responsibility and either pay the price to get it fixed or stop whinging.

    The technicians are right, you're wrong. You did not buy an insurance policy, you bought a warranty covering hardware faults. A hardware fault does not include someone pouring a latté into the computer.
  10. MBA-MD thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2008
    I don't want to get into a pissing contest with you as to what my credentials are.

    You don't seem to want to read what I am writing. There is nothing wrong with the rest of the laptop. I read other stories on this board and other boards where Apple will not touch the laptop, regardless of the problem unless they completely change the logic board, the battery and the keyboard. That is their standard answer.

    My battery worked fine, my computer works fine, the control key not so much. i have spoken with three technicians that agree that Apple is going way overboard.

    Just because Steve Jobs has turned the Apple culture into a cult, does not mean that I should throw my money to Apple like a drone without questioning their policies.

    I specifically asked why they would need to change the rest of the laptop. Their answer was that they will not touch it until they change those three parts. If you like you are more than welcome to throw your money into Apple products. No one is stopping you. I am just disgusted with the policies that Apple has instituted where they have total control over their products, parts, repairs and warranties.

    It is a free country last time I checked isn't it, so with that I am going back to Windows. I got a new Lenovo X61T tablet with my name on it.

  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    That is probably the tier for replacing those components, and for a typical spill that is what is replaced.

    You can try some of the places like DTT and only replace the keyboard.

    But I don't know if only replacing the keyboard and topcase for $295 will remove the liquid damaged flag from the account -- even though they are Apple certified.
  12. off in the wood macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2007
    Doesn't look like Lenovo will cover your coffee spill either

    What this Warranty Does not Cover:

    This warranty does not cover the following:
    # uninterrupted or error-free operation of a product;
    # loss of, or damage to, your data;
    # any software programs, whether provided with the product or installed subsequently;
    # failure or damage resulting from misuse, accident, modification, unsuitable physical or operating environment, natural disasters,
    power surges, or improper maintenance by you;

    # damage caused by a non-authorized service provider;
    # failure of, or damage caused by, any third party products, including those that Lenovo may provide or integrate into the Lenovo
    product at your request; and
    # any technical or other support, such as assistance with “how-to” questions and those regarding product set-up and installation.
    This warranty is voided by removal or alteration of identification labels on the product or its parts.


    Good luck with that
  13. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    I don't quite understand... were you disappointed with your MBA or the Leopard operating system before the coffee spill or are you only disappointed terribly that spilling coffee on an $1800 laptop is a costly repair?

    I'm sorry that it happened (I lost a treasured buckling spring keyboard to Diet Coke) but it's certainly not Apple's fault that you spilled coffee and it's certainly understandable that it's not covered by the warranty. They're probably being overly cautious with the repair but I do think it's motivated by safety and not greed. If you're sure it's only the keyboard, that should be easy for you to pop in by yourself and you'll be all set!

    If not, Thinkpads are great computers (I actually prefer the feel of the Thinkpad keyboards) and I'm sure you'll be happy with your x61t. Good luck.
  14. MBA-MD thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2008
    Just got my Air back. Changed the keyboard for $189 + shipping. Working fine. That saved me over $600. So yes, THERE WAS NO NEED to change the logic board and the battery.

    I was disappointed with the MBA before the spill. It's slow as **** and it overheats rather quickly and despite all the patches it still sucks when it comes to performance. Not to mention the blue scree core shut downs. I bought this laptop so I wouldn't have to run around campus and hospitals carrying a large case. All of our lectures are video recorded and put on the site. I watch lectures every day for over 4 hours at a time. MBA sucks at watching videos. This has rendered the MBA virtually useless for me. I have to carry my old laptop when I watch videos and the MBA when I do other work. It's just NOT a solution. Apple HAS to fix the core shut downs. I think my episode with the warranty and the coffee spill was just the last straw for me.
  15. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    Do what everyone else does: Write a letter to Steve Jobs. :rolleyes:
  16. Chandler Adaway macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    I don't think anyone that pays for the MacBook Air has the right to complain about the speed of the machine.

    You spent 1800 dollars on it because of it's size and looks.

    If all you wanted was a portable machine that was fast, then you could have spent 1800 dollars on a refurbished MacBook Pro.

    The MacBook Air wasn't built for speed.
    It was built for being the ultimate portable machine.

    Looks like you got suckered into the cool commercials that Apple cleverly designs.
  17. MBA-MD thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2008
    Unfortunately, I have to say, you are 100% correct. I got suckered into a cool commercial and a bunch of friends from school swore by their macs.

    I also forgot to mention the 1 inch give on my screen. It's so loose. People should not have to deal with this many problems when they buy and expensive laptop.
  18. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    i-Skin, for the keyboard, saved my bacon once from a donut,(oozing jelly):eek: and a fresh cup of morning coffee last week:D
  19. Chandler Adaway macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    Don't get me wrong, I'm a total Apple geek and love the products, and would recommend them to almost anyone, but I just think that the MacBook Air is for the people with too much money.

    It's not to late to sell and swap that thing for a nice black MacBook.

    Promise you won't be disappointed there.

    It's very nice computer and is worth the money. (IMO)
  20. MBA-MD thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2008
    Oh my friend, thank you for your advice, but I don't think I am going to fall for that again. I am already down $2300 on this mediocre Air.

    I can tell you this was probably the last time I flushed money down the toilet with Apple products.

    Do you know of a way to get rid of my Air? I would love to sell it.
  21. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    Wow. Glad you got your Air back working for $189. Sorry it's having the core shutdown issues - I consider myself lucky there, so far...:rolleyes:

    $750 for battery, logic board and keyboard is really reasonable compared to the $1100+ they tried tagging me for a logic board on a MB. That portable is now a desk unit.:mad:

    Not sure why they'd try to replace all those pieces for an apparent keyboard only issue - besides the obvious.
  22. MBA-MD thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2008
    Yea, I was pretty upset about having to pay over $800 and still have to deal with core shutdowns, the flimsy screen, etc, etc, etc. I guess live and learn. I wish Apple would just MAN UP and deal with these issues. instead of "patching" the problems
  23. Vulcan macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    eBay, Craigslist, etc. And yes, there is a lot wrong charging 750 for a logic board replacement, other companies would never charge that much.
  24. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    Well, I'd love to have a $750 logic board option for my MB.

    If you think about it, $750 for logic board, keyboard, top case AND battery. That price isn't bad at all.
  25. Chandler Adaway macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    Well, I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience with Apple. :(
    It's rare when people that call them selves a "switcher" are talking about going from Mac to PC. But, I guess it happens.
    Any of the above options mentioned for selling, I'm sure will do its justice. Just be careful.

    Just out of curiosity, what are you replacing your Air with?

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