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Help... What can I do??
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2005-03-25, 16:36

If you own an Apple Computer you should READ THIS

Apparently some people on Craigslist don’t like what I have to say about Apple’s Policies regarding warranties. People keep flagging my posts, probably in an attempt to shut me up. I would guess that these are probably people who are trying to sell PowerBooks on Craigslist for high dollar amounts, but the Powerbooks may have a dent or two, so they don’t want you to read this information.

First, let me start off by saying that I have always been an Apple faithful. I have been using Apple’s since I was 12 years old. I have owned 5 PowerBooks, 3 G4 desktops, 3 iBooks, and two iMacs, 1Powerbook 150, 1 Apple IIgs, 1 Mac se, and 4 iPods. Yes I have had some problems on one or two occasions, but after some hard work, Apple came through with reasonable solutions. But, that was then, and this is NOW!

Let me give you just the basics information that discovered starting 1 week ago:
• When you buy a Powerbook/iBook the computer is covered by a 1 year limited warranty.
• After the first 90 days you no longer get phone support and must pay $49 per call.
• There is definitely an sales pitch for you to buy the Applecare Protection Plan for you computer when you buy the computer.
• There are letters mailed to you during the course of you first year of ownership, reminding you of all of the benefits of the Applecare warranty.
• Each time you call during the first 90 days for support, the agent will ask you if you are ready to purchase the Applecare warranty to ensure continued excellent service.
• What they don’t tell you is that if you dent, bend, or otherwise damage your Powerbook/iBook that Apple can and will void all warranties immediately. And yes, they are more than happy to keep that extra $349 you paid for the extended warranty!!
• If you send your Powerbook into Apple for repair without disclosing that there is a dent etc. they will place your computer on hold and offer to do the repair once you pay for it. In my case, they wanted $1000 to replace the motherboard!
• However, I sent my Powerbook into Apple after fully disclosing that there was a dent in the aluminum case. In fact I notified Apple of the dent twice before I even discovered a reason to send it in for repair/evaluation.
• It doesn’t matter if you dented your Powerbook 2 years ago and it has been running just dandy up until now. As soon as Apple sees that there was a dent, they are going to claim that your warranty is void.
• Don’t believe me? Well I have been trying to convince Apple Corporate to work with me, but they are absolutely unwilling to do anything. I will explain my situation below.

I keep trying to keep my story short, but bear with me…

This last month I decided that I wanted to buy a 12” Powerbook. I began searching Craigslist for a Powerbook that was in good condition and that was still covered under warranty. There must have been 15 or so 12” Powerbook’s for sale at that time. Finally I found one that had the Applecare Protection Plan through 2006. Prior to buying the computer I called Applecare on two separate occasions. The first time I called to verify that warranty was still active on the Powerbook. I also told the person I spoke with that the previous owner had dented the computer, but that he had provided me with a reference number giving the Powerbook a clean bill of health after the dent. The second time I called was so that I could get the information needed for the previous owner to transfer the warranty into my name. Again I brought up the reference number that the previous owner provided to me, because I wanted to make sure that Apple wasn’t going to tell me that there was a problem.

Guess what? Do you think Apple, despite reading the case notes pertaining to the dent, told me that the warranty was void?? I was assured that once the appropriate information was submitted to Applecare that the warranty would be fully transferred into my name for full coverage. So knowing the computer was working and that there was warranty, I bought it. Two days later I had some concerns about the battery so I called Applecare and they replaced the battery the next day. Doesn’t that mean that the warranty was considered valid?

Then after spending more time with the Powerbook I discovered that it wasn’t always waking from sleep and required me to force it to shut down and then restart it. I also noticed that occasionally the screen would give me a brief distortion or color bars when awoken from sleep. I also noticed the fan came on more frequently that I remembered happening with my 17” Powerbook. So I called Applecare and they tool notes and gave me a dispatch number. On my birthday (March 23rd) Apple contacted me and informed me that my computer had damage and that any repairs would need to be paid for. They stated that it needed a new logic board and a top and bottom case assembly. The quote for this was $975. That is more than I paid for the Powerbook! I started to ask questions, but was quickly told that if I wanted to have the repairs performed that I would have to cough up the $975.

So, I called Apple corporate to resolve the issue. I actually called the head of Corporate Relations, Jeanne Toulouse and left a message, because they never actually answer their phones just in case you are some angry customer. Later that afternoon I had not heard back so I called Corporate Relations and ended up speaking with a woman who told me that there was an Allen Rhodes already working on the issue. A while later I received a call from Mr. Rhodes who is a very calm and mellow fellow. He very coolly stated that my Powerbook had evidence of damage and therefore the warrant was void. I tried to explain the situation to him, but like a machine, he stated Apple’s policy of voiding warranties when there is evidence of damage or abuse. If you read the upper portion of this letter, you know that I made every effort to make sure Apple was aware of the previous dent prior to my purchasing the Powerbook. I provided them with an Apple case number that was given to the original owner referring specifically to the dent. The original owner was never informed that his Powerbook 1 year warranty or this $349 Applecare warranty had been voided. Still, Mr. Rhodes contended the Apple had no responsibility to honor the warranty. I then asked him if they planned on refunding the $349 extended warranty since they were choosing not to honor it, and he said absolutely not. He said that Apple does not refund unused warranties for any reason. For those of you who are familiar with Apple policies or who have had your warranties refunded, you know that this is not true. I realized that I was not getting anywhere with Mr. Rhodes so I ended our call and decided to call Jeanne Toulouse again. I later received a phone call from Mr. Rhodes stating that he had been appointed and give the power to make this decision and that he had decided that Apple warranty was void.

The next thing I did was draft a fax to both Mr. Steve Jobs and Jeanne Toulouse regarding this issue. However, I knew that Mr. Rhodes had said that any correspondence that I sent to Apple would be funneled directly to him. So I called and left a voicemail informing him that I had sent a fax. He called me back later stating that he had both faxes that I had sent and that he had discussed the matter with them and they were sticking to their guns. Who is them? He talked to Jeanne Toulouse and Steve Jobs?? We then went on to have further discussions about the matter.

I tried to reason with Mr. Rhodes. I made the point that I would never had purchased this Powerbook if Applecare had told me that the warranty was void. Mr. Rhodes defended Applecare by claiming that there are thousands of records in the system and that it would be impossible for the Applecare rep to know that the warranty was void. This is quite interesting considering that I told the Applecare rep about the dent and provided the case number referring to the dent! I did this twice! Mr. Rhodes responded by stating that there were no notes in the computer indicating that his Applecare rep had told me that the computer was covered under warranty. Interesting since two days after I spoke to Applecare, they replaced the battery on the Powerbook under the Applecare warranty!! Still, Mr. Rhodes refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing or mistake on the part of Apple. He used some vague analogy about a car and the warranty on a car, which made no sense whatsoever. When I called him on the fact that he had mislead me about refunding the $349 warranty he said he did not tell me for legal reasons pertaining to the fact that the warranty had not yet been switched into my name. However this time he confessed that indeed a refund was possible. However, he merely attributed it to a miscommunication, YEAH RIGHT! Of course none of this would have happened had I not taken the time to read the fine print on the Apple 1 year limitied warranty and the Applecare Protection Plan Terms and Conditions. Neither of these documents state that a dent will void the entire warranty! His final suggestion was that I look on ebay for replacement parts or take it to a local computer repair place and see if they would do it with spare parts, or pay the $975.

What would you do? I asked them to send my Powerbook back to me, but this is far from over. I have started an email petition to get Apple to honor the warranty. If you were are a Powerbook owner and you have a small ding, are you going to pay the $975 for the repair on top of the $349 you paid for this valuable Applecare Protection Plan?

Send me you support in the form of an email. Let me know if I can use your email address and support to tell Steve Jobs and Apple that they made a mistake and that they need to rectify the situation. There are a lot of people waiting to see the end result of this situation.

Thanks yall…

Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
2005-03-25, 16:43

Originally Posted by macaddict23
He used some vague analogy about a car and the warranty on a car, which made no sense whatsoever.
Now this bit made me laugh out loud.
Join Date: Feb 2005
2005-03-25, 17:31

I recently had my Toshiba hard drive in my iBook crap out, in my 3 month old iBook, and so I went up to the St. Louis Apple Store and showed them that its S.M.A.R.T status was failing. They asked me for where I wanted it shipped to, they took it. Six days later, I got back my iBook with a brand new hard drive. That's pretty awesome service in my book.

They tell you, if there is something physically damaged on your Apple the warranty is (probably) void.

Don't know what to tell you...

~ Krientle
Likes his boobies blue.
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
2005-03-25, 17:45

Did you give him the name of the AppleCare rep who told you that it was still coverable with dents? Did you *get* the name of that rep? If not, and there's no note on file regarding it, then I'm afraid all they have to go on is your word, and as someone who has dealt with retail customers before, that's not usually a reliable source. :/ (I'm not saying *you're* not a reliable source, but *in general* it's not a good policy.)

I don't know what to tell you either - I have had nothing but excellent service with AppleCare repairs, and the one time my wife had a problem with her iBook getting repaired (turned out to be that flaky video card connector problem), they ended up giving her $200 credit at Apple that she used towards an iPod. This was strictly for wasting her time, and the iBook came back fully repaired on the third attempt.

And, are you sure the battery replacement wasn't under the recall? That is *entirely* separate from AppleCare, and in fact, batteries are *NOT* covered under AppleCare unless there is a manufacturing problem. Decreased life due to wear and tear doesn't count. So if you had the battery replaced, I'd have to ask: under what circumstances? It may be that that completely bypassed AppleCare and any warrantee, and you simply misunderstood.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.

Last edited by Kickaha : 2005-03-25 at 17:52.
Fishhead Family Reunited
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Slightly Off Center
2005-03-25, 17:46

Good Luck!
Join Date: May 2004
Location: In your dock hiding behind your finder icon!
2005-03-25, 18:39

Just to balance things out and keep good karma, here's a little AppleCare story of my own.

Slot load iMac Blueberry + Square credit card CD ROM = Bust CD Drive.

The machine was 2 weeks out of the std 1 year warranty (No Applecare extension) and they agreed to replace the CD drive without begging or anything. I just said I thought it was over a year old - which the guy on the phone said was correct but don't worry. I took it to an authorised dealer and it was repaired and back with us within a week.

OK, I have given up keeping this sig up to date. Lets just say I'm the guy that installs every latest version as soon as its available!
Multi-touch Piñata
Join Date: May 2004
2005-03-25, 19:05

Buy new.
Antimatter Man
Join Date: May 2004
Location: that interweb thing
2005-03-25, 23:09

Originally Posted by johnq
Buy new.

Get what you pay for was my first reaction. Used vs New.

Pestering corporate with multiple calls per day (because they didn't get back to you in hours) doesn't sound like a productive approach. Paints you as a whiner.

Even if the stick seems to be the short end, there is written legal grounding for their position. Unless you have written confirmation from the reps you talked to, it sounds like they don't see a need to be flexible. Shitty perhaps, but defensible.

Not sure what else to say. "Penny wise, Pound foolish" seems too obvious.

If it were a new purchase, I'm sure they'd bend over backwards.
Join Date: May 2004
2005-03-25, 23:41

yup, used vs new. Hell, I actually sold a used 1yo 500 mhz titanium powerbook to a buddy of mine and it started getting lines on the screen just a couple weeks after. It was his fault for not getting applecare before the year was up like I advised so he wasn't upset (and it still is being used as a server to this day), but for me it reinforced the fact that buying used means taking a risk.
formerly "trav"
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Behind you
2005-03-26, 02:10

Just wondering though, is he right when he stated that having a dent or "ding" in your powerbook voids the warrenty??
2005-03-26, 02:23

Wow, the board lives and breathes!


Yes I have the Applecare Rep's name, both of their names actually. No the battery replacement had nothing to do with the recall on the 15" batteries.

Of course there is a risk buying used! However, I bought this used because it had Applecare, and becasue I had already spoken twice to applecare and made them aware that there was a dent with a case # attached to it.

After all the spout'n of I did earlier, I still feel like Apple needs to take responsiblity for it's actions or lack thereof.

I ain't no freeloader! I have had excellent experiences with Apple, and mediocre experiences too. However, this is a first for me. And yes, I agree, if this were a brand new Powerbook that I had just purchased from the Apple store, they probably would be more flexible...
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