Yet another broken hinge thread

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by PNutts, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    Deal me in. The hinge just broke on the wifey's MBA and I have a Genius appointment later today. It was purchased on 2/18/2008. Luckily she hadn't had any of the other problems discussed in the forum.

    Per the advice in this forum I haven't decided on my strategy, but it will definitely be one of the below.

    • Be aggressive
    • Be polite
    • Be clueless (not hard for me)
    • Get one of the mall hotties to take it in for me (female)
    • Get one of the mall hotties to take it in for me (male - about a 20% chance of success with the Genius dudes depending on the shift schedule today)
    • Go to Costco where the laptops only last a year but are priced accordingly
    • Send in the wifey with both kids (it should take about 10 minutes for the Genius to give my family a new MBA and free MB Pro to get them out of the store).
  2. rjdiedling macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2009
    Same thing just happened to me and the genius bar was no help at all. All they told me was I could pay $690 to have it fixed so I left and called apple it took awhile but I got a product specialist on the phone and he told me make another genius bar appontiment have them photograph the issue and link it to my case number. Then call him back and he would let me know what to do, called back and they told me to send it in and if they could prove it was not my fault they would cover the cost which they did. This all took about two weeks from breoken to fixed but it did save me $700 hope this can help!
  3. orrelse44 macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2007
    Glad to hear they are fixing these, finally.

    It is absolutely mind boggling to me that Apple is giving these people a hard time for an obvious flaw in design while these computers are still under warranty! It should an instant, "we're sorry, let's fix that!".
  4. gsampson macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2007
    I took mine in when the hinge was loose and its getting fixed now. I think that's the best way to go about it.

    But, since this one is already broke, I would suggest being very friendly at first. This will hopefully make the "genius" like you and do it anyway (theres hoping). But if they won't fix it, I would just be friendly and ask for a manager. The manager might be the only one who is able to authorize a broken hinge fix.

    Keep us updated on what happens!
  5. Vikz macrumors regular


    Nov 13, 2007
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    remember that we geniuses are the ones responsible for channeling what goes in warranty and what doesn't in apple stores and certified resellers.

    I have never passed a broken hinge by warranty because of the straight fact that it is due to use and abuse and if apple founds out i'm passing stuff through warranty when its not, i can get into big trouble.

    As you saw the genius that attended you did the same thing i would of done because we are doing our job right, but at the same time 600 for a broken hinge is too much I wonder what else are they charging in the repair.

    but theres always a way to circumvent this like callingl apple directly, and most of the time the ones that are answering the phones always side with the costumer so that is your best bet to get a problem resolved before going to a service center :)
  6. PNutts thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    I agree that it is use. I disagree that it is abuse. I am interested to hear the abuse scenario that causes one hinge to shed its mortal coil. The case does not have a scratch or dent, it was never dropped, and the lid was never opened too far (and I'm not even sure what that means from a practical standpoint meaning the lid opens as far as it opens). I'm not sure what else can happen to the lid but I honestly can't think of a scenario that breaks one hinge and not the other. I suppose one hinge could have less travel than the other but that seems like a poor design for one hinge to stop the entire lid. Like software I suppose version 1.0 of anything should be suspect. Wife 1.0 didn't work out for me either.

    My appt. ended up with no warranty service. We were quoted US$430 with a waiver of $100 (labor) for a total of $330. I decided to not have it fixed and see how this all sorts out. I would pay except that my expectation is that it will break again 13 months from now. And again. And again... I will not pay $330 every 13 months. My hope is that like HP, Apple will realize a hinge repair is appropriate for their high end consumer equipment. If some stores actually do pass this as a warranty repair then there are Geniuses in "big trouble" or more likely the word is slowing spreading that these are a defect and should be replaced.

    This chapter ended but the story isn't over...
  7. byke macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2007
    LDN. UK
    Yes the hinge can be broken from abuse, but its also a very badly designed
    area and needs to be revised.
  8. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    There ya go. I deleted the options that probably wouldn't work and left you with a list of options that would likely work, sorted by probability. Hehe.
  9. manhattanboy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2007
    In ur GF's bed, Oh no he didn't!
    Love these 2 options LOL :D
  10. gsampson macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2007
    That's weird, since mine was fixed under warranty (not broken just loose) and on the receipt it says it would have cost $280 if not covered under warranty. Its a totally new lid... I'm just confused why they wiped the hard drive. This was listed: We clean installed the latest Mac OS version to resolve a known issue.
  11. jeremybuff macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    I cannot express to you how upset and angry I am about this MacBook Air hinge issue. No, I am not angry that there was a design flaw, I am angry that I am being accused of overextending the screen. Wtf? Who in their right mind would pay one thousand eight hundred dollars for a MacBook Air and force the screen open past the stopping point? This is an asinine excuse Apple is giving us customers and really insults me.

    I have a strong feeling that my attempts to call Apple will not succeed, since a small piece of the plastic broke off; that is, broke off due to the hinge breaking. My MBA has 86 days left of hardware support and I can guarantee you I'm going to get this fixed. I understand that design flaws will happen, there is no way to get it perfect.. but Apple's insulting stance really has me ticked. Hell, the MBA hardly left the desk for months and months, was never on an airplane, in a car once or twice, was never dropped... no accidents at all.

    What's the news on any class action stuff? I know this is a widespread issue for the Rev A. I don't want to profit from this, I just want it fixed. I don't want a Rev B, I just want the damn hinges fixed. Even a used screen will work. I'm not one to fly off the hook on something, especially with Apple, since I love the company, but insulting a customer in such a disrespectful way is going to bite them in the asses.. Truly a sad mistake for Apple.

    I will post updates on my blog, Hopefully this can be fixed, and when it is, I'll share my experience.
  12. PNutts thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    Wow. It doesn't seem like a month has gone by already.

    It turns out the genius severed the video ribbon cable while he was looking at it. The quote is now $1100 to repair. <sigh>
  13. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    Ug, that would seriously peeve me off. That dumb genius is going to charge you for his mistake? I'd be all over that and on the phone with Applecare directly. I think it's pretty easy to prove that a normal user wouldn't be severing ribbon cables through typical usage.
  14. johnny13oi macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2009
    Good luck, from my experience with multiple Apple laptops that have gone bad, they will always try and blame you for any of the damages. This way you would either be stuck with paying a massive amount of money to fix it or pay a large amount of money to buy a new machine. Either way the make loads of money. Trust me this is why they do this. I mean come on, why else would they make a 17in Macbook Pro have a non-upgradeable CPU. That thing is huge and I am sure a tiny socket would not have made much of a difference. Many other laptops at 12" have replaceable CPUs. They want you to buy new laptops.

    Even Steve Jobs himself said that you would have to buy a new iPod every 6 months to keep up.

    But really though good luck. Don't back down. Everyone should stop buying shoddy Apple equipment, this just encourages them to produce terribly low quality products and make a fortune.
  15. mrrippey macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2009
    I bit nervous...mild rant, I guess

    As an Apple owner since the IIci (back in 1998) I have never been more nervous in buying a Mac product. I need a light notebook and recently gave my wife my white MacBook. I keep hearing about these hinges and replacements being 50/50 at best.

    I cannot believe Apple will let this issue mar what is otherwise a superior product, even if it is niche. These are the types of things that loses Apple faithfuls, ones that have been with them when their market share rhymed with 'free.'

    I am still thinking of getting a Rev B 1.6/120 but may save to get the 1.8/128. Either way, I am nervous that I will have issues with this hinge...
  16. PNutts thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    At this point if you want to stay Mac I would (obviously) recommend the Mac Book. You get more horsepower and there are the aluminum ones if you need the bling. :)

    I decided to try one more time at a locally owned Apple Store and when they heard I didn't have Apple Care there wasn't anything they could do. They have a used MBA with the solid state hard drive for $1200 but I honestly believe the hinge will break again. They hadn't heard of any issues with the hinges, so until the problem is more widespread the laptop is mine as is. Hopefully it will work with an external monitor.

    My best advice is to understand what isn't covered by a warranty more than "abuse". For example, ask if the hinges are covered. ;)
  17. Gen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
    Why are you taking this so lightly? The hinge broke itself and the Genuis cut your cable and you're just accepting all that? Pshh ...
  18. Anuba macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2005
    Haven't they learned from their last hinge-related construction flaw on the Titanium PowerBook? Man. Say what you will about PCs being ugly, but hinges snapping off like twigs... only on a Mac.
  19. Sound Evolution macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2007
    Dear All,

    I type this from my 5th. MBA REV.A SSD.

    Since last month my screen start to become intense slobby and when opening I hear cracking and smearing noises at the hinges. The screen support feels so slobby and fragile now that I think it is about to break.

    Second I have many Kernel panics, CPU temp over 81 degrees Celsius and Graphical problems.

    Apple Europe was always great to me, and without any problems they always exchanged my MBA for a new one, without difficulties or questions. So kudos to Apple europe, and because of them and their great service I still have lot's of trust in Apple.

    Polite and friendly I wrote to Apple Europe and told them about my issues in all honesty, But I did stated that I am kind of disappointed about the fact that I spent almost 3000 euros (yes I payed the full price for the SSD when it came out) and I end up with a product that never really works as advertised.

    Next day I got a phonecall from Apple. I could choose. Or exchange for a rev.B, or they wanted to do me a special offer to compensate my trouble. That is a full option 17" MBP.

    At first I would choose the the MBA rev.B. since I love the MBA and it change my mobile life. But Apple told me (sorry this might be the bad news for MBA owners) that as far as he know there aren't really changes in the hinge design in the rev.B He didn't really acknowledged the problems either but kept things in the middle and put it that way that the MBA might be to light for my demands :D Since he did me such a great offer I didn't really wanted to argue about that :D

    I decided I don't want to take the risk with the rev.B and end up with hinge or other problems again, so I go for the MBP 17" I will miss the portability but I rather have a computer that always serve me.

    I will come back to the MBA one day if we there will be a substantial redesign.

    Keep you guys involved.

    Kudos to Apple. I am still a very satisfied customer and I appreciate very much the effort they did by calling me personal.

    With best regards,
  20. dudeitsjay macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2009
    LOL more like over 50% ;)
  21. PNutts thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    I haven't posted the details because, frankly, I don't think they are interesting or add to the thread. In hindsight I should have mentioned that I don't have AppleCare and instead bought an extended warranty from the Apple Authorized Reseller I bought it from (Apple Stores did not have any MBA in stock and weren't going to in the foreseeable future because of demand). I'm not a "stand in line" sort of guy.

    Since you asked, I'm taking it lightly because at this point it's a process and I don't think it's over. I just happen to not yell and thump my chest in forums. I've been doing a lot of work and research and this thread was intended to be information so the next person who Googles or visits the forum will see it. At this point there's probably no new information anyone can give but I started the thread anyway.

    So if it helps anyone, here's the breakdown:
    * Bought MBA from reseller with an extended warranty
    * Hinge breaks 13 months later
    * Reseller denies warranty repair due to hinge failure considered "cosmetic"
    * Manager of reseller store agrees
    * Apple Genius claims breakage from abuse
    * Manager of Apple Store agrees
    * Discover next day that video no longer works
    * Back to reseller and laptop sent to Apple to repair covered by warranty due to video not working
    * Reseller provides loaner laptop
    * Make calls to different Apple Stores to see if this is a known problem and get the deer in the headlights response
    * One month later laptop comes back from Apple with summary of video cable is not covered due to damage caused by broken hinge (also not covered)
    * Next day (Saturday) I make light attempts to contact Apple directly but because it is the weekend I don't knock myself out
    * I visited a locally owned Apple Store because they have more leeway than the Apple owned stores to get an "exception code", but when they heard "no AppleCare and 13 months" the shrugged their shoulders. They buy used laptops but not broken ones.
    * I will go back to Apple Store that broke video cable and try to convince them a month ago they broke the video cable
    * This week I will make persistent attempt to get someone at Apple who cares
    * I'm considering taking it back to the Apple Store that provded a written estimate of $330 and roll the dice on if the video cable is also now covered.
    * Laptop now on eBay, please leave good feedback (kidding)
    * Laptop on Craigslist (kidding, but considering) :)

    I feel like I'm leaving something out, but it comes down to five store visits and less than a dozen phone calls during the few days when it wasn't at Apple for a month. Not much but it is a start. It just means I'm working with the wrong people and I'll work on that, too.

    So, to summarize this stinks but it isn't the most important thing going on right now. I just happened to buy the wrong product from the wrong vendor from the wrong reseller with the wrong extended warranty. My whole life I've refused to buy the first model year of any car, and in hindsight that should of applied to revolutionary laptops. But I drank the koolaid and thought Apple was low risk and after Vista on a klunky HP the wifey loved her MBA. The benefits I received were, let's say, less tangible. I'd put her on Windows7 but that won't be out soon (no betas for the wifey).

    I've had friends who were very aggressive in their dealings with others to the point of occsionally being ejected. I'm not passive, but I have been successful looking people in the eye and calmly telling them why they're wrong (especially when the girl with colored streaks in her hair guessed when she told me hinges "should" be covered by AppleCare). If I don't get the answer I want I escalate or try something else. But, as Dennis Miller once said, "Sometimes you've got to suck the pipe, baby." I might have lost this one, but I'm not done. In this case time is on my side. If there are enough reports Apple, like HP, may change their mind and fix my laptop in six months or a year or who knows. It may work with an external monitor and the kids have Macs at school so I still have a use for it. My five year old will tell the other kids she has a MBA at home! LOL!

    If nothing else, I can be smug and honest when I tell the Mac fanboi at work he's wrong when he tells me Apple fixes anything for everyone and they are the greatest company with the greates products in the WORLD!!!

    If anyone disagrees with the efforts I've made and believe they can get a different response I'll sell you the MBA at a discount. Really. Send me a private message. I'm OK losing money on this because I'd like for it to go away. I've already spent too much time on it, which is more important than the $$$.

    I'll repeat myself: My broken MBA is for sale at a discount. If you have a Genius friend or an Apple Store who repairs these at no charge, now is your change to own a piece of history. Buy a refurbished MGA before the reburbishment. That will make you unique and interesting. Sorry, but I will remove the girl porn before shipping (unless you want to make that part of the negotiations sir and/or madam).
  22. PNutts thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    Holy CRAP that was a long post. I think I missed breakfast. And lunch. :D
  23. PNutts thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    Quick update. While getting an iPhone replaced I mentioned my situation to the Genius and she suggested I bring in the MBA for another evaluation as Apple constantly reviews their repairable items. I'm happy to report that Apple fixed my MBA at no charge. Almost six months of patience paid off.

    If you have the same problem and haven't been to a Genius for awhile, now's the time!
  24. uniforms macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2008
    South Orange NJ
    Wow, Lots of issues with hinges. I had a problem with my air rev B, ssd. It was getting all dented at the top of the screen due to the mouse track pad button. They said it was abuse. That I had dropped it and got it out of line. I was insulted. I ALWAYS took very good care of my air. Kept it in a padded case, or padded case in my computer designed brief case. Anyway, I was told it would cost around 700.00 to fix. I was angry, called Apple and they stuck by the stores take. Then I was in another store, told them of my problem and like our original poster, was in with an iPhone I brought it in and they took care of the air all covered under applecare.

    Bringing me to one suggestion. Buy Applecare! I bought my 13" MBPro when it came out from Best Buy, and they don't sell Applecare. You can bet I will be buying Applecare from the apple store for this. Not only does it cover the laptop, but also provides phone support for three years! So my recomendation is to always buy Appplecare instead of the warrantee that resellers may push.

    Glad you got your air taken care of. It's never fun fighting for what is right, but every once in a while, you get the right person, and it all comes out.

    All in all, Apple still makes one of the best computers. If you go out computer shopping lately you will notice!

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