Warranty issue (Apple pisses me off): what can I do?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by NightSun, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. NightSun macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2011
    I've got a Macbook Air, the one released last year, with a 13" screen size. One morning as I open it (waking it up from sleep), I see a small spot on the screen inside, where seemingly the liquid crystal has broken. No sign of this the day before, so it surprised me quite a bit. Naturally, then the screen slowly turned into a mess with bluish and black lines, spots, as it started to flow here and there inside.

    I brought my MBA to an official Apple Service Provider to exchange the screen. Now here starts the issue indeed, which really pissed me off. My laptop is well under the 1-year warranty, but Apple Service says that changing this screen with its broken liquid crystals is not eligible so that I would have to pay 500 EUR in order to get it fixed.

    Which would be straightforward if the issue had been my fault, in case I dropped the MBA for example, and in this case the only one I could blame is me. But this is not the case here: even the Service says in its report on their diagnostics carried out on my MBA, that there are no signs of damage on the outer surface of the screen, neither those of any excessive pressure applied, and overall, my laptop is in a perfect condition externally. And in fact, I have taken thorough care to keep it in its best shape, never dropped it or let anything hit it to cause a damage.

    What do you think about this case and is there any chance that I get my MBA fixed within warranty? I simply find it ridiculous that I would need to pay such a high amount to get a damage fixed that is not my fault, while it was already a quite expensive purchase at the beginning. I like my MBA otherwise and this made me switch from PC to Mac, but I'm starting to get really angry at Apple for their excessively greedy attitude.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I guess their contention is LCD displays don't just blow open on their own. All they see is a dead display with LCD problems that generally only come from physical damage.

    Would any other computer manufacturer say anything different?
  3. ZStation macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2011
    Warranty covers manufacturing defects, NOT accidental damage.

    Claim the damage on your house insurance, that's what it's for.
  4. NightSun, Jul 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2011

    NightSun thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2011
    Yes, you guessed right, this is what they say. But as much as it seems impossible, it can happen indeed, as my case shows. And then you start to realize that warranty is not a warranty.

    Regarding your question, I don't really care what other computer manufacturer would say. The case is that you pay a lot of money for Apple's products and we all know that they are selling them with a large profit margin. As a customer I accept that but then I expect that they support and service be at an accordingly high level as well. But this is clearly not the case.

    I know but read again, I haven't encountered any external force that would accidentally provoke this issue. I simply can't image else than a manufacturing defect indeed.
  5. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
  6. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    Sorry for what happened, call Apple instead and see what happens? Also, herein lies your problem see it many times here - where did Apple state they would provide you a higher level of support? Lots of people assume I paid more, I should be treated better, but unless Apple explicitly promised better, these 2 are unrelated to each other.
  7. NightSun thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2011
    Yes, I try to appeal somehow, calling their support line probably.

    From a purely legal perspective you are probably absolutely right that Apple nowhere stated they provide a higher level of support. But it still does not help your perception that it is a rip off. I guess that almost anybody of us would perceive it in the same way. Certainly, Apple can disregard this, because this is just one customer from the millions and continue with their greedy policy what they pursue now.
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I'd suggest that you call their support line, and state what you believe your case is, politely but firmly. Record and document (if possible) every encounter you have had with personnel in the Apple Service Provider etc so that you have a record of who at what level handled it and how it has been handles. This may have to go through a number of layers before approval is granted.

    Above all, stay calm; be polite but firm. Staff will feel under no obligation to help someone who is aggressive and rude. And "polite" means that the use of loaded adjectives, such as "greedy" and "Apple pisses me off" are best left unsaid when dealing with them personally.

    Best of luck with it
  9. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2010
    I think you damaged the screen. Get it fixed and stop whining.
  10. ZStation macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2011
    I don't believe that for a second, and neither will Apple. YOU may not have, but something has. LCD screens don't just suddenly break.

    If there was something stuck in the back of the screen that would be big/hard enough to cause glass to crack, you'd have seen it before. You'd have had a black shadow, or some sort of distortion in the image. THAT would be a manufacturing defect.

    So, I think something sharp has struck the back of the screen, which makes it a non-warranty issue.
  11. Kyllle macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2011
    Just keep calling and trying different people, eventually someone will fix it for you.

    Yeah, it might be a hassle, but for most it would be worth the $500 saved.
  12. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    OI am sure when you call Apple and explain they will provide you the service a third party repair shop will not.

    If they dont, then I would say that the screen of the MBA needs to be inspected in your presence for physical damage. Is the glass really broken?

    If there is no sign of such damage, then it is a manufacturer defect and needs to be replaced.
  13. NightSun thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2011
    Thanks for those replies with a helpful tone.

    On the other hand, I'm quite astonished at some people's lack of basic reading skills here, so to be absolutely clear on the issue: the glass is NOT broken at all, not even a hint of scratch can be seen on it and all in all, both the glass and back of the screen is in perfect condition. And this is what the report of Apple Service says as well, literally they did not find any trace of excessive pressure or hit against the screen or the back. So the problem is inside the screen.

    Regarding how I encountered the issue: at the end of one day, when the screen was still flawless, I simply closed the MBA and put in a safe place where it used to be. The next day I opened it and there was the spot with the liquid crystal broken. That's it. No object has hit the glass, nor the back. Were it otherwise, I would not have started this thread, 'cause then it were clear that it's an accidental damage which is not covered by warranty so only option is to get it fixed and pay for it. But it's clearly not the case, regardless how much I could prove it for someone or for Apple.
  14. Kavrocks macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2011
    Me too but from what I've observed on this forum there is a certain attitude from some people towards anybody who posts anything that does not protray Apple in the best light so if I was you I would just take those responses with a pinch of salt.

    As for your problem did you ask why the screen was not eligible for repair under Applecare when their report states that there has been no accidental damage to your MBA?
  15. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    Likewise on the reading comprehension. A screen doesn't need to be cracked for it to be damaged. Pixels can go dead, a number of other things can potentially happen. Just because it physically looks fine on the outside doesn't mean you or someone isn't at fault somewhere.

    Anyway, just call Apple directly to get it resolved. Not much else we can do for you here.
  16. tdfreeman macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2010
    I had the exact same issue happen to me, except it was an HP computer. I turned it off that morning with no issues, then turned it back on late at night with a "star" in the screen. I assumed it was a heat issue as I was on vacation in Florida and it sat in the car in the heat all day. I called support and sent it in to be inspected. A day later, some lady called back and said flat out the warranty doesn't cover the LCD. From the attitude she had, I knew I wouldn't get anywhere with her, so I hung up and called back in. That person said they didn't cover damage that wasn't a "defect". I asked what the definition of a defect was since there was no damage to either the screen or the back of the computer. I got no where quickly. I escalated to a manger with the same response and they wanted $467 to repair the computer (I only paid $600 brand new). After the second (maybe third?) escalation, they offered to repair it for $200. Since I had been wasting my time for 3 days, I decided to take the deal.

    Bottom line, if there is anything wrong involving the display, your SOL.
  17. NightSun, Jul 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2011

    NightSun thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2011
    One has to be rather brain-washed to act with such an attitude just because Apple is not portrayed in the best way. I also stated that I like my Macbook Air and Apple certainly has its merits in designing this product. But I'm not going to worship Apple just because it is Apple.

    I did not have the time to speak again with the service personnel yet, they notified me in email with attaching the report and the quote. (Probably I'm going to see them tomorrow.) But beforehand they explained to me that yes, seemingly no external signs of damage, still it could be caused by a hit or excessive pressure and for this reason they probably would not treat it under warranty. So this reasoning is nothing new to me, while I'm 100% sure that nothing has hit my laptop screen. At least if you wake up in the morning with all the objects in your room being at their normal place just as they were left the night before, and you are the only person in the apartment, it is quite difficult to imagine that something or somebody could have hit your computer during the night (the only possible time period), unless you would assume that something moves there to hit and then magically moves back to its place where it originally had lied.

    Hi tdfreeman,

    Thanks for reporting this - at least I see that this issue is not something utmost improbable and also others can see who would not believe my story. Yes, it was a sort of "star" at the beginning, just a tiny spot with some short branches. In my case even heat issues are ruled out as that night was a rather cool one as I remember.

    Anyway, I'm perfectly aware that it is almost impossible to prove that nothing has hit your laptop screen to cause such an effect. Granted, generally you would assume that it is caused by an external force and I would not blame any company for not repairing an accidental damage under warranty, this is completely understandable, and I would definitely not complain then, should this be my case.
  18. And1ss macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    I have no recommendations nor insights to solve your problem (I do hope it gets resolved somehow), but the above quote bothers me to a certain degree.

    Yes, a higher the cost of a product typically correlates to better service, but that doesn't mean one should automatically assume this. Whether your issue is accidental, defect, or whatnot, you shouldn't assume Apple will just say "Okay sure" to make you happy. Also, just because the product is $$$, that doesn't mean the support/service is awesome.
  19. NightSun, Jul 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011

    NightSun thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2011
    I know this well and learned about some stories beforehand about Apple support so that I did not have much illusion when my issue arose. But anyway one would rightly expect to have a better support when paying a hefty premium for a product. The overall problem, however, lies in a broader context that Apple is cutting some paths short already in production, in order to have a bigger margin and these short-cuts imply lower quality components. This is off-topic here, but there were some discussions about this in the Mac Pro forums that I have followed.
  20. Aboo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    It is possible that some piece of debris was in between your keyboard and your screen. This could have caused a single pressure point that subsequently lead to the LCD damage you noted. This type of mechanism can also explain why there is no external damage to the computer or LCD housing, yet the LCD still cracked.

    You can appeal to Apple customer relations and see if they will help you out, but its going to be hard to prove.
  21. NightSun thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2011

    This could have been an explanation, but that also means that I must have seen that debris right after that I opened my MBA on that morning, since in that very moment the spot was already apparent. But I have not seen anything like that. Only dust could have left between the keyboard and the screen at maximum, but that would be a hair-raising theory to suppose that dust could cause such a damage.
  22. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    It's not up to the service provider to decide to cover this for you. It's not their fault. If they send this part back to Apple, which they need to, Apple is going to charge them for the part for covering something that Apple deems not covered. You need to call Apple and get them to cover it. The service provider just turns the screws, they can't make decisions like this for coverage.

    Reference: I work for an AASP.
  23. Blondie :) macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

    May 12, 2010
    Prescott, AZ
    As much as I've heard people gripe about the Best Buy warranty and issues they have had with it, I still use their warranty service for this reason alone. Accidental Damage Protection. I've the same issues with PC manufacturers with warranty issues before. Even when something isn't my fault, they claim that it is because it's something that could be damaged by me. And I haven't gotten warranty service for it.

    So, I go with best buy's warranty, because then, whether it's my fault or not, they replace the part without fuss, because I forked out the cash beforehand ($100 more expensive than applecare, which is totally worth it to me).
  24. NightSun thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2011
    Thanks for this information, it's important. Then I will definitely call Apple support to clarify this issue if anything else can be done.

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