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apple lies to avoid repairing under Warranty

by stiiphiin / December 3, 2008 9:59 PM PST

Hi all,

I was a big Apple fan until a really bad warranty experience this october.

I bought a macbook air a week after launch and loved it despite frequent overheating, spontaneous shut down issues, keyboard backlighting issues, loud fan noise, feint electrical shock issues, etc.

I used the macbook air everyday until it died and wouldn't start after i closed it to put it into standby.

apple wanted $1500 for the repair because they said it was my fault because i spilled soda on it. i politely called them back to tell them how the macbook failed. i asked them to investigate it further for proof i didn't spill liquid on it because spillage generally has certain tell-tale signs left behind that I doubted they would find because I didn't spill anything on it. they refused and would not send me photos of their proof while they had it in their care, but were happy to call me and offer to fix it if i paid the cost for it. this was not acceptable, the macbook air failed under normal usage, i should not be out of pocket for it's repair.

I took the macbook air home and opened it up to check on their claims. i have a fairly strong technical background. I've been building, repairing pc boxes and giving technical support since I was 14yo back in the day of dos and 386. i have seen the trials and errors of over-clocking and water-cooling a motherboard. I spent a year as a sound engineer/ dj fixing microphones that singers spat too much into. my brother owned a mobile phone store where i helped people fix phones that were dropped into the toilet and spilled drinks onto. I have a good idea what a liquid effected circuit board looks like.

the internal evidence of the macbook air was absolutely contrary to their claims of spilled soda. I sent them back photos proving they were wrong and confronted them with evidence proving they lied to me (and they did lied to me and made claims that were untrue). in response to this they changed their story when they were proven wrong. i sent them back the same photos again tearing apart their second version of how i spilled water on the macbook air. at this point they just became evasive and avoided saying anything that could be disputed by evidence. they refused to admit they were wrong.

since than they have really backed off all claims that i spilled liquid on the macbook air but at they same time they wont consider the possibility of humidity damage or condensation or the fan sucking up moist air. they apparently believe that it is fair to void my warranty for accidental damage whilst at the same time not really having to justify what the accidental damage was or how it happened.

they should not be allowed to get away with this. if any one else has had an unfair warranty experience please add to this post. i think apple's poor warranty support is a great issue to bring to media attention. apple's a big brand and i think would get a lot of media interest. i am also open to legal action at this point.

regards

extremely disgruntled customer

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Here's what I recommend
by BeatleMegaFan / December 4, 2008 9:09 AM PST

For starters, I too would be extremely upset if Apple avoided repairing my machine. I was quite dissatisfied with the communication between myself and Apple when I had my original MacBook Pro repaired twice, and then replaced. I never really learned what parts were repaired or swapped, nor did they fix the splitting seams on the edges of the computer. Fortunately, the Mac the manager presented me with has none of the previous problems I encountered. The Genius and manager I spoke with that day were most helpful and understanding, where the last two techs I had dealt with were not so interested in helping me out. Depends on the person, and when you get a good employee, you find that Apple's support is very good. Last time I went in for technical issues, my old G4 fried my 6-month-old WD hard drive. I had bought it there and my Mac caused it to die, so I asked if Apple could work it out. I didn't want to ship it off to WD and wait for it. So the Genius decided he would give me a new one. He walked over to the shelf next to the bar and handed me a brand new one. Nice service for me.

I had the Genius Bar handle my problems, and once everything was sorted out, I was able to happily leave the Apple Store. If Apple is claiming you have caused liquid damage to your machine when you have not, see if you can speak with a manager of sorts. If you're going to one of the retail stores, simply ask for one if you haven't dealt with them already. If that falls through, call Apple's support line and request a representative that's high up in the ranks. Explain the situation calmly and ask what you can do to resolve the problem.

Some tips:
1. Again, stay calm and keep a neutral tone with the employee. Has worked well for me.
2. Pray you get someone who is in a good mood. That really makes things easier. Wink
3. Keep and record everything that has transpired and file it. As boring as paperwork is, it is very helpful to have on hand when engaged in these matters. Present what you have to the representative and explain everything in detail.
4. Try not to directly accuse Apple of anything. I would advise referring to the facts that the Air's warranty has been neglected and that so far the machine hasn't been taken care of.

It seems you have already documented some of your experience, so that will help. Here's a problem though: you say you opened your machine to investigate their claims. I would be very cautious about mentioning this. Under normal circumstances, Apple will void the warranty if you open it up. If you speak of this to Apple, be sure to have that paper handy. Someone may try to use this action as an excuse to deny you any free repair. At this point, I would press for a new machine since you have seem to be ignored. The new Airs are supposed to be much more efficient and reliable than the originals.

As some say, the consumer is always right, for the most part, so Apple should not be contesting this with you. I really enjoy using Apple products, and the company has always come through for me when I've requested assistance. For the majority of Apple's customers, things work well/great, so throwing this out into the mainstream media or court won't do much for you. I would hesitate to turn to legal action at this point; only if the situation escalates to an out-of-control level should you consider the notion. From my experience, Apple's warranty is okay, and their support is generally above average, so I doubt that you could make a successful case out of it all.

If all else fails, send a nice email to Steve. Some high school kid got a free copy of Final Cut Studio 2 a little while back (although why should a person with an 8-core Mac Pro need help buying $1200 software?). You could be lucky and Steve may take a glance at your story. Good luck.

-BMF

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Should you really blame apple?
by kevanatkins / December 5, 2008 10:32 AM PST

My understanding is that repairs are carried out by authorized apple technicians who are employed by the shop they work at, well at least that's how it works where I go. If that's not the case where you are then just ignore everything else after this point. I've had some bad experiences with a few crap technicians who've either done more damage to my laptop than when i took it in the shop so I end up paying for some other repair or they find some ridiculous reason to charge me outside of applecare. I just changed shops, because they were idiots. Try not to get indignant, keep your cool and you might be able to sort things out. I'd take the issue up with the shop rather than apple. Like with any companies, there's always a chance of few bad eggs, just like with apple technicians, but there are plenty of good apple techies would would serve you very well. If the issue is unresolved with these people, I'd ask them to give you back the laptop and have someone else deal with it.

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RE: apple lies to avoid repairing under Warranty
by dj_erik / December 5, 2008 10:44 AM PST

Honestly, I can understand you being pissed off. One thing though is that you've got to remember that the CSR isn't out to screw you over, they just are there to get paid. I would call again and ask to speak with a upper level manager about the issue. I would also do a mail bomb, as the consumerist would call it. Basically email higher ups at Apple, and hopefully one of the assistants will help you out. Posting to profile sites like CNET obviously doesn't hurt either. Here's an example: http://consumerist.com/consumer/apple/get-your-defective-laptop-replaced-by-sending-well+written-emails-to-steve-jobs-256931.php
I've not had too many issues with Apple, and when I did have an issue with the iPod Touch (January update), they actually refunded me the money for the software. All in all I wouldn't say the Geniuses at Apple are all that they claim to be, but I've had rather fair experiences from them at least.

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My experiences (PLURAL0 have been very good
by pyrdek / December 5, 2008 1:41 PM PST

I have had a number of warranty repairs done on the Apples I have responsibility for. This is from a University so there are a couple hundred Apples in my area and occasionally, like anything mechanical or electronic, a problem will occur.

Because of service contracts, I have had to deal with a couple different Apple warranty service providers. Both have been very good. There was one system, a G4 that was almost out of the third year of Apple Care with only a few months left. It developed an intermittent freezing problem. After a couple of trips to the warranty repair center, Apple just replaced the system with the current new model on the shelves at that time.

The other times I have had warranty service, it was done in just a couple of days. In fact, once a system had some really vital info that was needed immediately on it and the service provider got the thing repaired and returned to us just the second day following when it was delivered to him. That time included the time needed for a part to be shipped to him.

Overall I would grade me experiences with Apple warranty service as an A|

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Service for Apple Products
by Sue Howell / December 5, 2008 9:49 PM PST

I worked in marketing for IBM for nearly 12 years. During that time, two major universities were my customers. Customers who represented major revenue always got the best service available. I can't imagine that Apple would be any different.

One of the first things I did when I left IBM was to buy a MAC. (NOT because I didn't believe in the IBM products I sold; rather, because the philosophy behind the development of the Apple computer, and consequently, its normal "user experience," better suited my needs and desires than did the IBM computer and the philosophy/mindset of its development/"developmentors." "Invisible tool" versus PFM, "pure f_______ magic.")

For the most part, I've been very satisfied with my choice and have continued to purchase better, newer Apple computers as needed. However, I agree with above posts regarding one's success with service depending a lot on one's luck with individual employees. This appears to me to be more true during times of overall financial stress -- like now.

Nevertheless, please note that I will NOT purchase the notebook I was planning to treat myself to this Christmas. I will wait until I see that Apple will not use the sort of excuses that might arise from a carry-around device to blame the user as opposed to the product. Perhaps, if LOTS of individuals without the power of being a major, multiple-user let Apple know how we feel about their service response, Apple will care enough to improve their current service attitude.

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Never had bad Apple support
by sjallyn / December 5, 2008 10:15 PM PST

I have been one of the faithful since 1984, owned many, many macs along the way, desktops, laptops, minis, Cinema Displays, you name it and have not had many needs with regard to warranty repairs but there have been a few. I can very honestly say that applecare (which I buy for every machine, always) is the best warranty/service package from any manufacturer ever. Apple replace a 30" cinema display because of 1 bad pixel. Their phone support is US based and generally I find people who know what they are talking about, I have escalated one or 2 things to upper level support and found them amazingly thorough. Except for a general non-support of 3rd party items that need to interface to my macs, I have no complaints with Apple service and find it better than car dealers service or companies like Maytag, Whirlpool, etc. and cars or major appliances cost a lot more. I think you must have run across an anomaly and you should write to Steve Jobs and talk to Apple support managers.

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Never Had A Problem
by robertmro / December 5, 2008 11:15 PM PST

I never had a problem with Mac service. They even gave me a brand new MacBook Pro (the latest model) when they couldn't repair my two year machine.

I suspect there might be more to your story.

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once again they lie to get out of warranty repair
by zippy77 / October 23, 2010 1:48 PM PDT

i have an iphone. 11 months into use it ails compltely and won't charge.
sent for repair. when it comes bak girl in shop turns away from me and rtends to checkk charging. she says it's fine. i say I want to see for myself, she says 'oh, charger not working!! then reads report that phone was not repaired under warranty as it ws due to water damage. this is a blatant lie. they want ?170 to repair it.there has 100% been no water damage to this phone and there is no visible evidence of any

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Logic board died on Macbook. only 1 year and 4 months old
by laduked / February 14, 2012 2:17 AM PST

We recently had a bad experience with Apple also. We purchased a Macbook for our daughter at college, which cost $1000. It was running great until last month. Only 1 year and 4 months after we purchased it, the logic board died. So, since it is out of the one year warranty, and we did not spend an extra $300 on the the extended warranty, Apple refuses to do anything about it.

So, we are wondering why should a person spend the extra money on a Macbook when they can purchase a laptop PC that is much cheaper?? Might as well save your money. Then you won't feel so bad when the logicboard dies!

This was our first Apple computer. We have always owned Dell, HP or Toshiba (All of which are still working and have never died).

I guess Apple has gotten so big and rich, that they don't give a rats behind about the individual persons purchasing their products.

We spoke with thier customer service 4 times. They basically told us "To Bad", it is our fault for not spending the extra $300. They don't care that their technology failed. They also told us that it is not free for them to fix their own products, because they buy their parts froma third party (maybe China??).

Unbelievable! The cost to fix the Macbook was around $500.

Good luck with your issue! Because so far we are not impressed with the Apple company or their faulty technology!

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He goes to court and wins. Link follows.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 8, 2012 6:30 AM PDT
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MacAir Warranty
by dhiker / September 3, 2014 10:56 AM PDT

I bought a MacBook Air in November of 2013 and upgraded to the 3 year warranty for an additional $300.

In August I took to the computer to the local Mac store where I bought the computer because one of the USB ports had stopped working.

The technician and later the store manager told me the the computer had been damaged and the it would cost about $435 to repair it. I replied that the original 1 year warranty and the 3 year warranty was still in effect. They said that the warranty was void because of damage to the computer. They would not discuss what the damage was, would not discuss anything with me. I am trying to recover the $300 from my credit card company but don't know how that will turn out.

Bottom line- No Apple warranty is worth anything. They can cancel at any time without any reason.

PCs are worthless and Apple has no warranty. We better all learn Linux.

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Sorry to hear that but, you should have gone for a
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 4, 2014 9:00 AM PDT
In reply to: MacAir Warranty

second opinion.

If there is visible damage to the machine, usually the outer case, then AppleCare does not cover the "accidental" damage.

However, if there is no visible damage to the device and the local store still refuses to honor the warranty, it's time to move up

P

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