Took my iPad Air to an unauthorized repair shop to fix glass, chaos ensues.

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by bjornagain, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. bjornagain macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    #1
    Hi all,

    (tl;dr at bottom)

    I'm a longtime Macrumors reader and lurker on the forums, so hello everyone! I'm in a bit of a bind. I made the very stupid mistake of taking my iPad Air to a local computer repair shop here in Davis, California to get the glass replaced over 6 weeks ago. I had caused the damage myself by smooshing it in my laptop bag and didn't want to pay $300 for just replacement glass. The business has good reviews on Yelp but most of the reviews are for laptop repairs, but they offer flat rate iPad and iPhone repairs as well.

    After dropping it off I received a phone call a couple days later that it was ready for pickup. When I arrived at the store, there was a plastic film over the glass so I started to take that off so I could inspect it. The front desk clerk immediately said I shouldn't take that off until I got home, which sounded fishy so I said I wanted to make sure everything worked before leaving. When I took the film off, I immediately noticed concentric circular scratches all over the LCD, like someone had taken steel wool and brushed the LCD. Well crap.

    I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they somehow actually didn't see this but it seems obvious that they did, and they took it back and said they would look into it. I received a call the next day saying that it was the LCD and it had likely been done during the repair, and they would fix it. A week later, I received another call saying it was ready for pickup again. I go to the store to pick it up and turn it on and they're like "see, everything's fine". I notice the home button is a lot looser than before and there are scratches all over the bezel from prying off the glass. I mention this and the repair guy said that was impossible to avoid, wtf? I then go to a white page and notice 3 giant dark spots on the LCD. Again, how could they have not noticed this? They take it back and say they will look into it.

    So now they have had my iPad Air for another 3 weeks while trying to get a new LCD from whoever sold them the faulty one. I realize these are almost certainly not official Apple parts and I'm very skeptical that they're going to be able to find a replacement display that is of sufficient quality. Not to mention the bezel is all scratched which has killed the resale value. I've called them many times, each time they say they need a few more days and then never call me back.

    So my question is this, I know the warranty with Apple is now voided as it's obvious to see. If I ask for the device back will Apple still repair it out of warranty if I explain to them what happened (for $300?)? Should I send a letter to the repair shop requesting that they replace my device and then contact consumer affairs if they don't, since the damage was caused by them and not me? Or am I just totally screwed here? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Unfortunately I naively didn't take any pictures of the initial damage. I do have a receipt for the original repair that says "replace glass" and I have a phone log of all my interactions with them, giving me a timeline of what has happened. They also refunded my initial payment at my request (when I picked the iPad up after the LCD replacement I didn't notice the dark spots until after I had paid), so I have a record of that as well.

    tl;dr - Took my iPad Air to an unauthorized repair shop, they damaged it significantly and still have it (it's been over a month). What should I do now?
     
  2. Rodster macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #2
    You need to inform them that either they make it right or you will go Sammy and Amy Bouzgalo on them on Yelp and just let everyone know what they did to your Air.

    The bottom line is, they need to make it right. Check consumer rights in your area. California has tougher consumer laws than other areas in the country.
     
  3. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #3
    I think if worse comes to worse, Apple will replace your device for $300, as that is the out of warranty replacement price. And your iPad was out of warranty anyway from whatever damage it had that prompted you to take it to the repair shop in the first place.

    But I think it's reasonable for you to request that the shop replace your device. Not sure how far you'll get, or how much time and effort you'll have to put in to get a satisfactory result.

    So if the goal is to get a working device as soon as possible, get it back and call Apple, pay the $300. If you want the repair shop to make things right, keep pushing. Good luck.
     
  4. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #4
    Apple won't touch it. Not even with the out of warranty $300 payment they still won't touch it. I came across an iPad Mini about a month ago that looked like someone had replaced the screen and had a loose home button. Took it to Apple and they said they couldn't do anything with it at all. Warranty or not.
     
  5. Geekbabe macrumors 6502a

    Geekbabe

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    #5
    1. Your resale value was shot the minute you took the device to a 3rd party repair shop. Could you seriously sell a device without disclosing that the iPad had been broken & the repair voided any further support from Apple?

    2. Be pleasant but firm with these people, you want the repair work you paid for the device needs to be working flawlessly and have a great screen.
     
  6. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #6
    <pessimist mode: on>
    If they could have fixed it they already would have.
    Leaving it with them longer won't achieve anything.
    Will they replace it? Of course not.
    Your best case scenario at this point is walking away with your iPad and paying them nothing.
    You could take them to small claims court but your chances are slim.
    You can't prove they caused the damage and the reason you walked in the door in the first place was that your iPad was already broken. Arguing that it's now more broken is not really a winning strategy.
    I wish things were different but I really don't see a scenario where you're going to be satisfied.
    :(
     
  7. kaielement macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    #7
    This is why I never take anything to an unauthorized repair shops. I mean never. Best bet is to sue them but good luck proving your case.
     
  8. bandofbrothers macrumors 601

    bandofbrothers

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Location:
    Uk
    #8
    I would put in writing to them what you expect them to achieve and within a reasonable time frame.

    Search out fir the owner of the business / CEO and make initial contact via e mail so it's in written form.

    They have a duty of care to provide a reasonable service that your paying for.
     
  9. GalFriday macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    Location:
    Northeast US
    #9
    I agree with this but do it by regular mail, sent registered-and if you can get a lawyer to write it for you on official letterhead, even better.
     
  10. Tommy31 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #10

    just a query, how do they find out if it's been opened?
     
  11. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #11
    Short of pry marks around the bezel, they can't.
    Now if they were to open it and find after-market parts then they'd have a reason for denying coverage for those parts, but they'd still have to honor the rest of the warranty.
    In other words they can't deny replacing the screen because you replaced the battery -- unless they can demonstrate that it was the replacing of the battery that caused the damage to the screen.
     
  12. Tommy31 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #12
    very helpful. so for an example, should I replace an iPad screen, and then something happens to it (eg battery had stopped working). Would I be able to take it to the apple store, and possibly get a replacement?
     
  13. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #13
    Pretty sure that Apple can test the battery without opening up the case so as long as there's nothing visible on the exterior to make them suspicious I don't see why they wouldn't proceed with their usual replacement policy.
    Whether that's replacing the battery in your iPad or swapping out your iPad with a different iPad, I couldn't say.
     
  14. bjornagain thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    #14
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I actually returned to the repair shop today and they had finally repaired the LCD. I sat in the store and made sure all parts of the iPad were functional, and other than some bezel damage it appeared to be in working order. I'm fairly certain it's not an official Apple LCD because I don't know where they'd even find those, but I can't visibly see a difference. I told them I was very disappointed with the repair, they kept claiming it was impossible to repair the iPad without damaging the bezel, which I know is BS. They offered to take off 20%. I just wanted to get this over with, I mentioned that I would be sharing my experience as I felt it was a totally botched repair job and they boosted my discount to 40% (basically so I wouldn't write a Yelp review).

    I give the owner some alternatives that would appease me as a costumer which include them buying the iPad from me for $400, which would be the original cost of the iPad minus $300 that Apple would have charged me for a new unit. They declined citing that they can't sell an iPad with a replaced LCD (despite claiming on their website that their repairs don't void the warranty from Apple and that they were the ones who broke the LCD in the first place). They told me their website is outdated (again, how is this my fault?).

    So I take the thing home, and it seems to be working and then I notice the software update from the other day, which I install (7.1.2). I don't know what happened during the process but the screen went black and now it won't turn on at all. I can get it in DFU mode (screen never turns on) but the restore process fails via my fully updated iTunes. I've tried using different USB cords, rebooting, downloading the software directly, using different USB ports, ensuring iTunes is updated and even restoring from another computer. It just gets hung up on the "waiting for iPad to respond" and eventually shows an error 4005. I'm not sure if somehow the hardware they installed could cause this problem, I've heard of some people having problems upgrading to 7.1.2 but not like this.

    I figure I can either take it back to the terrible repair shop and let them damage my iPad more, or take it to the Apple store and hope they don't notice that it's been taken to another repair shop. I'm honest and would tell them what happened if they ask. I'm hoping that Apple might offer me a replacement unit if they can't get it working, unless their diagnostic tools indicate to them that it doesn't have an original LCD. If Apple voids my warranty at this point, I'd be left trying to deal with the local repair shop and then my only option is probably to take them to small claims court or get a mediator. I'll let you all know what happens, but thanks for the advice given. And don't worry, I wouldn't sell my iPad Air to some hapless person without disclosing that it had work done by an unauthorized dealer. I was going to try and sell it for $399, and I paid $699 for it (it's 64GB).

    ----------

    One of the good things is that their receipt to me actually explains that they had damaged the LCD during repair and replaced it. Proving that the LCD repair caused the problems I'm having now might prove difficult, other than the fact that it happened 4 hours after I took the unit back from the repair shop. But yeah, never taking anything to an unauthorized repair shop again.
     
  15. GalFriday macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    Location:
    Northeast US
    #15
    The minute you tell them you had an unauthorized repair shop work on it, they will tell you your warranty is void and won't touch it. Not sure why you think they should give you a replacement when you and the repair shop are responsible for breaking it (you for taking it there instead of to Apple, and them for lying about knowing how to repair iPads and being incompetent and unprofessional). There's no way they are going to want to have anything to do with an iPad an unauthorized repair shop broke. (I am sure your software issue is related to their shoddy work-if they were sloppy enough to mess up the outside of the device I am sure they messed up the internals too) You are pretty much out of luck, but I just googled the Error 4005 you got and found a ton of info, so try that. Here's a video to get you started:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_ihCVfRRv4

    Good luck!
     
  16. bjornagain thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    #16
    Thanks again. I don't feel entitled to a replacement from Apple at all and I know that it's not Apple's responsibility to help me, I was not trying to insinuate that. I I know I made a big mistake taking it to a 3rd party repair place. Live and learn. I still want to pursue all my options and see what happens, though, because you never know. At least then when I go back to the repair shop I can tell them that my warranty was, in fact, voided. If Apple decides it's a software issue that they can't fix, then there's a slim chance they may replace the unit. Either way I'll find out tomorrow.

    Apparently Error 4005 can mean a few different things (lost connection with iTunes, inability of the iPad to go into restore mode, or hardware issues).
     
  17. laudern macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #17
    Honestly from my experience with issues like these you are not going to have a happy ending no matter what you do.

    You will never get a new ipad or compensation from the shop. Small claims will be a waste of time and will cost more money.

    If I were you I'd still put the review up on yelp (you don't owe them anything). You should have got your ipad and walked out without paying a cent. If the shop contacts you about the review, that's awesome as you can then negotiate for more compensation.

    (I'd even make a bunch of fake accounts on yelp and run them right down, but I'm very vindictive)

    It sucks it was such an expensive ipad, but really, it's a lesson in life and what you have learned will eventually save you from more drama down the road.
     
  18. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #18
    Same thing happened to me, but not in the US.

    I dropped my ipad mini and it was pretty messed up.

    I gave it to a repair shop and they fixed it within 12 hours for 100€.

    When I took the foil off, i immediatly noticed, that the homebutton got stuck.
    I told them about it and they took it to 'fix it' for another few hours. Well, they didnt.
    Now, 2 1/2 months later, I noticed that white spots are accumulating under the screen and in the middle I get the lcd-rainbow effect, when I start pushing. I brought it into the store and they said, that thats just the way it is and it obviously is not like new anymore. I think they have a point. My mini costs 299€ new now and i see no point in pursuing this any further. I'll just use it, until I get a new one.

    The lesson learned are:
    1. Get insurance for more expensive purchases.
    2. Take care of the cheaper ones, because its not economical to fix them.

    ----------

    Well said!
     
  19. charlituna macrumors G3

    charlituna

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    Nope. It's now modified and ineligible for service. Only recourse is to buy a new one. Or try to get the shop to do it.

    ----------

    Pry marks. Plus they have several tests that will tell them is a third party screen. Improper scattering if you shine a light directly on it, weight, etc.

    ----------

    Incorrect. If you read the terms of the warranty you agreed to when you bought and kept the device ANY third party parts voids service in whole unit. In part because the only way to install any part means you opened it without authorization and poked around connectors etc. The only exception is the back plate on a 4/4s. If that is the only third party part they will replace the unit but generally swap the good plate from the replacement for your third party one. But you can bet they will verify that that is the only part (since generally such swaps are for breaking that glass and often the front breaks also)
     
  20. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #20
    Actually, it says:
    See the words "may" and "should"?
    The Magnusson Act forbids Apple from denying 3rd-party parts and service so the burden is upon Apple to prove that it was the 3rd party parts and/or service that caused the damage.
     
  21. charlituna, Jul 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014

    charlituna macrumors G3

    charlituna

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #21
    You try that in real life. Take an iPad in with a third party screen on it and say it's a bad battery. Openly tell them that it's a third party screen but legally they can't refuse to repair it.

    They will deny service for tampering. And tell you to have your lawyer contact theirs if you want to press the legal issue.

    Oh and if you are going to try to look like an expert in warranty law you might want to start by getting the name right. It's the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act. The Magnuson Act is about immigration.
     
  22. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #22
    After all of this is said and done, it still wouldn't hurt for the owner to drag his iPad down to the Apple store and see if they will replace it. As the owner stated, if they ask about 3rd party repair, he would be honest and tell them yes, he took it to a unauthorized dealer. The worse they can say is no--but then again maybe he can walk out with a new iPad for $300--can't hurt.
     
  23. bjornagain thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    #23
    Just walked out of the Apple store with a replacement Air (not refurbished) for $0. Since the update bricked my iPad, they couldn't do any diagnostic tests. They never asked about the glass or LCD. I'm really lucky that they didn't notice the screen replacement scratches and that my iPad was bricked. I buffed out some if the scratches with extra fine #0000 steel wool which really helped.

    Anyway, I lucked out. If there was a hardware issue and the iPad still turned on, they would have noticed the repair problems. I was in and out of the store in 10 minutes.
     
  24. laudern macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #24
    Wow!
    You sure did come out on top. Well lesson learned...... I hope.
     
  25. midwestfisherma macrumors 6502

    midwestfisherma

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    S.E. Mich

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