Apple Care is a joke

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michael
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Apple Care is a joke

Post by michael » 10 Aug 2009, 21:46

OK so I don't expect a lot of sympathy here, maybe some. :(

I bought Apple Care for the first time on the 17" Macbook I got almost two years ago. I figured it was worth $350 if something major went wrong etc. Well last Saturday I put away the laptop and went to sleep, in the morning when I woke up there was a golf ball sized black dead spot on the screen, complete with splinter lines etc. It really looks like it took a hit there, yet there are no marks, and no animal or other person around to blame.... I took it to the Apple store and because there is a scratch on the back where I removed it from the glove compartment of my car too quickly, nowhere near this hole, and because the spot looks like "accidental damnage", Apple will not repair it. They wanted $1200 to fix it. I spent time on the phone with customer relations and they simply parroted what the "genius" said. :x

You can buy 17" LCD screens for the Macbook Pro on ebay for <$200.
So even after fixing it, they still would have made money off of me buying Apple Care. As it stands I simply cannot recommend Apple Care, if you are at all handy, the parts in any laptop barring the motherboard are not as expensive as what Apple charges for an extended warranty that will very possibly be instantly rendered null and void by any and all dents ands scratches on your machine. :x :x :x Hard drives, optical drives, RAM all of these are under $200 for the same parts, so I simply see no reason for it, as the only thing expensive covered is the motherboard. At roughly $700 for an Apple laptop motherboard, you're basically paying half the price up front on the chance it might go bad..... and for someone else to fix it for you.


I have to say, the one thing that really sticks in my craw about Apple is this lack of a solid and well built laptop for heavy use. It's obvious to me that this was due to my constant use of the machine, I just recently bought a power supply for an old powerbook lying around, and used the 17" for at least 6 hours every day. Honestly the only "accidental damage" I can see causing this is me closing the lid mainly by grabbing the left side of the screen for two years. <-- this also explains why it was fine at night, and destroyed in the AM. The big fear I had of the 17" Macbooks happened; the screens are really flimsy IMO, they try far too hard to get that 'thin' look and sacrifice safety and stability for small width. I've always been put off by how easy it was to touch the back of the 17" screen in the Apple stores and see the LCD react to even slight touches. I got this machine at a good price brand new though. The apple representatives all told me that this sort of damage was always due to physical damage after manufacturing etc, that their labs proved this didn't happen without that etc. I'm curious as to how often they log someone like me calling as a possibility though. I doubt they do at all. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

Also, surprise surprise, one of the reasons for the new glass screens is that they don't bend as easily...
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gbevin
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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by gbevin » 10 Aug 2009, 22:34

I'm sorry to hear that you had this bad experience, mine is totally the opposite.I suppose it also depends where you are located and who handles your claim.

I've bought AppleCare for every Mac we've ever owned, that's 1 Power Mac, 1 Powerbook and 3 MacBook Pros. I've had trouble with the Powerbook and two of the MacBook Pros (they were bought in the first months after their initial release). Apple has always diligently replaced anything that went wrong. Nowadays, I see AppleCare as a sane investment since right before the 3 years are over, I take the laptop into the shop and it gets transformed into a new one. As is stands, there are always problems with the newer models and some hardware simply starts malfunctioning after a while. With Apple Care I've saved a lot of money. Actually, I just dug out my 7 years old PowerBook that was serviced at the 3 year mark, to have a controller for one of my Metric Halo boxes during concerts, even though the case has taken a beating and my young daughters have not been particularly gentle with it when it was their computer, everything still seems to be functioning fine. Without Apple Care, I would have stopped using the machine at the 3 year mark since it would have been too expensive to fix what was broken then.

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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by michael » 11 Aug 2009, 00:22

Thanks for sticking up for "Apple Care". That really makes me feel better about the fact they will not fix my computer. :headbang: The first time I ever bothered to buy it. :(
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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by Rico » 11 Aug 2009, 05:00

I sympathize with your situation Michael, it sounds like a real pain, but if your honest you said yourself "It really looks like it took a hit there" If even you say that then I guess it its no wonder the folks at the Apple store would think it as well.

How could it have happened? I mean it sounds Very very strange that over night when it was closed and asleep it could sustain such damage, I'm not saying it didn't but it is a hard story to swallow you have to admit.

Anyway I really do sympathize with your situation but I have to say that I think Applecare is in fact (usually) very good, I would always include it as part of the purchase, I had a mac pro break and they replaced it in three days, so I was very happy, I guess your best action is to get it fixed as cheap as possible, also are you insured in anyway maybe that would cover it?

best

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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by michael » 11 Aug 2009, 08:38

The simple fact is Apple Care for a laptop is not full coverage, as any LCD damage is always considered accidental damage. The person on the other end of the line can make exceptions. I called customer relations because the certified apple repair shop it's sitting in told me they repaired three machines with similar damage and that some apple rep had made an exception. This is random, and when I pick it up today, I wouldn't be surprised to learn this was also years ago. I think the obvious cause IMO is the simple act of closing the case from the upper left corner, but unfortunately I didn't think about that until last night, and I'm certain that a representative at this point would tell me I must have 'damaged' it doing so.

I've never bought Apple Care, this is my first experience with it, and honestly I should have known better than to report about it here, as it's an almost certain guarantee that people will post back with happy stories about it on this forum. I've always fixed my own computers, and 99% of the time any warranty work will be done in the first year, covered under the standard warranty. I've never seen the point of it, and what with recent events, I will never buy it again.
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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by timemist » 11 Aug 2009, 17:55

Anytime I have had to use Applecare, it's been great. Have you tried calling customer care and escalating up to a supervisor? If not, it can work wonders, and I would recommended being civil with them on the phone.
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michael
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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by michael » 11 Aug 2009, 18:21

timemist wrote:Anytime I have had to use Applecare, it's been great. Have you tried calling customer care and escalating up to a supervisor? If not, it can work wonders, and I would recommended being civil with them on the phone.
yep, did all that. I ended up begging them for compassion, didn't help. Basically they say the type of damage is ALWAYS due to customer negligence, in as round about way as they can....
At first I called Apple Care, and talked to a guy at tech support, who sent me to an Apple Store where the lady blamed me, (hinting that I dropped it) so I went to a mac authorized service store and they recommended getting a diagnosis at least. The technician that looked at it said he'd seen at least three other cases where Apple had actually repaired it under warranty, if you talk to customer care. The guy from customer care referred back to the girl at the Apple store who said I must have damaged it....
he said he was the supervisor.... :(

I have in the past been able to get Apple representatives to honor ethics over company policy. The original 500-667mhz Powerbooks had a lousy paint job on the plastic edging around where the case closes, the things would start chipping in the first couple mohts of use. Apple called it run of the mill wear and tear, plenty of people were refused warranty work on them, but I was able to get them to repair mine through being civil on the phone with them. I just don't think that's the way they play anymore, it's all cut and dried. :(

At this point too, it's really not financially worth it to spend more time trying to get them to honor the warranty, the fact is it's an LCD screen and they don't cover it unless you can prove to them you didn't do something to it.

I'm certain for $350 I could probably buy 2 years worth of coverage from an insurance company that would cover accidental damage even. I may eat my words on this, but I'll look into it with my insurance agent.
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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by michael » 11 Aug 2009, 22:05

Dell offer accidental damage coverage on top of the extended warranty ($199+$169) for instance. This is for a similar specced machine as I have. 3 years for both company and accidental damage for a total of $18 more than Apple sell Apple Care for.

This is a total shortcoming on Apple's part, that they sell boutique designed LCD cases especially for their 17" laptops with no real coverage for the LCD.... and a suggested $1200 repair... :x

I'm going to do it for around $200 to put that into perspective. :roll:
The guy at the mac repair store said he'd instal my ebay LCD for $90, so even with an instal, we're looking at an $800+ difference in price. :o
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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by buddhabelly » 11 Aug 2009, 22:42

Where did the $1200 quote come from? Should be closer to ~$700 give or take plus 1/2 hour of labor, if the only problem is the cracked display. Still more than a used display panel from ebay, but then again the ebay one is used. Also, not all the parts are the same, if you're thinking about buying it off of ebay, better get the exact same model. Be sure to get the whole display assembly, not just the panel, which is a lot more difficult to install.

Applecare is not 'complete' coverage in the sense it's not insurance, doesn't cover accidental damage. I'm sure that was probably made clear when you purchased it and certainly is in the agreement. If you want accidental, try your home owner's/renters insurance.

Unfortunately, cracking the LCD is 99.99% of the time user negligence. I have yet to see one just crack, and I've seen a lot of them. I guarantee you that the scratch on the back is not what they consider to be the evidence of the damage. It's the crack on the screen. There is one other contact you can try to get your issue resolved, no guarantees, but hey, might be worth the phonecall. PM me if you're interested.
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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by michael » 12 Aug 2009, 00:22

buddhabelly wrote: Unfortunately, cracking the LCD is 99.99% of the time user negligence. I have yet to see one just crack, and I've seen a lot of them. I guarantee you that the scratch on the back is not what they consider to be the evidence of the damage. It's the crack on the screen. There is one other contact you can try to get your issue resolved, no guarantees, but hey, might be worth the phonecall. PM me if you're interested.

There's no physical crack on the screen, but if I get the time I'll post what the dead pixels look like, and it does remarkably resemble cracked glass and a hit with a golf ball sized rock. Ebay retailers sell brand new LCDs for +/- $200. I'm in email contact with a few discussing the model # etc.

PM sent. :)
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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by funkyappledog » 12 Aug 2009, 02:18

Good luck with that Michael and 3 cheers for budhabelly for really caring.

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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by G » 12 Aug 2009, 03:00

I'm curious to see a photo of this and get the details of the eventual repair. Keep us updated if you can.

I don't buy AppleCare for desktops. My last iMac G5 died a couple of months after it would have expired anyway, which would have made it even more aggravating. I did buy it for my new iPhone. Even then, what can go wrong besides dropping it? But it's new and small, and there were overheating rumors, so I took that gamble. (It never even gets warm, btw.) I definitely wouldn't mind some kind of total insurance plan option from Apple, if it were priced reasonably.
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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by ottoman42a » 12 Aug 2009, 08:24

The Consumerist is running an Above and Beyond article about AppleCare I thought I'd pass it along. http://consumerist.com/5335289/applecar ... rth-buying Maybe they know something you might not or give you an argument that might open some doors, I have always had good experiences with AppleCare but crappy experiences with some Geniuses. Luckily the AppleStore in Pentagon City is top notch and I do not even have to bother with calling Apple any more I just take it right there and they have it fixed with in the 2 hours or so.
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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by MoonKHOP » 12 Aug 2009, 08:49

you have to be a squeaky wheel

you have to keep calling, asking for managers

you cant give up

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Re: Apple Care is a joke

Post by upriver » 15 Aug 2009, 01:46

I've only ever had a logic board die in it's first year, still covered obviously, but still always felt Applecare was a rip. I always assume my clumsy arse will ruin my computers, and any dead components, if still alive after a year, will chug along past Applecare cutoff anyway.

My home and contents insurance was recently updated though, any damage whether mine or Apple's is covered no questions asked. Much better peace of mind to me than Applecare.
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