Apples Double Standards and Warranty Escape Tactics

Hope someone has some recommendations for me on what to do after having major issues with Apple and their warranty terms.

I own an MBP 2016, Touchbar, 4TB ports. The computer was heavily used and this is pretty visible. At some point, i tried to close the lid with an airpod between screen and keyboard which caused a crack on the screen frame. No screen discolouration, no dead pixels, not even in the screen area, it is right next to the "Macbook Pro" writing underneath the display itself.

This never bothered me too much and i relied on the computer so i didn't want to take it in for repair. With time the keyboard started playing up, then the touchbar stopped working and last but not least two TB3 ports. I had no choice but to take it in to repair. I booked an appointment with Apple which they cancelled due to the Covid19 situation. There were no open stores in Vic and i had to get an appointment with centrecom.

I showed up to the appointment and was greeted by a not so friendly female worker. "You have to clean it if you want me to touch it" were her words. She handed over a dirty cloth and some unknown liquid in a bottle without any label. After i cleaned the computer she took it into the back room to the mechanic. He refused to repair it because of the crack on the screen frame. I was confused. Fair enough that he doesn't want to repair the screen, even if it is in a recall program due to a manufacturing fault, he also refused to repair anything else. He claimed it is policy that if he can't return the computer in 100% condition he is not allowed to touch it at all. He returned the computer and i left.

A bit confused i contacted Apple and after a while i spoke to a so called senior advisor which was supposed to know what she is talking about. I explained to her what happened and that i couldn't understand why the touchbar, keyboard and TB3 ports don't get repaired. They have nothing to do with the screen. She said that she couldn't understand that either and that this should have been repaired. She would give centrecom a call and see what is going on.

Next day she called me and was telling a fully different story. When i asked her how come that the Apple policy and guidelines changed overnight she said she didn't know them. That she is not a technician and tried to talk herself out of the statements she made. At this point, I had enough and said "i have recorded our conversation yesterday, you told me something fully different" What am i supposed to believe if Apple tells me every day a different story". When she heard that i had the conversation recorded she freaked out, mumbled something and hung up the phone on me. Without even saying good bye or anything.

Is this the customer support one can expect for such high priced items? Is a company allowed to lie over and over again and keep changing their "policy" as they feel? Does anyone know what i should do next and how to escalate this matter? The display itself is under a replacement program anyways, the crack is by all means irrelevant but APple is showing again that it will $hit over its customers whenever it feels like it.

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Comments

  • +106 votes

    TLDR; "I tried to get a repair on a visibly damaged, out of warranty product and a third party repairer didn't want to get involved."

    No doubt the rep on the phone is only getting half the story from both sides so they will just state policy wherever they can. Take it to Apple directly when they're open again and you might have better luck (unlikely though).

    • -18 votes

      The rep asked me for a photo of the damage which i sent them. She acted all shocked that the rest of the hardware didn't get repaired…

      • Apple's call staff are trained to empathise with the customer - more so than any other company I've encountered. So, in your first call that's what you got. I got the same too regarding my broken ear-pods (which have a much thinner protective coating than most earphones). This trained empathy is actually very annoying because it's not actually backed up by a generous warranty or customer service programme. I shall demonstrate…

        • That must have been frustrating experience. I know when companies give me the run around it is very inconvenient and upsetting. Equally that service representative was very rude, if someone did that to me, I would feel very upset.

          • @markathome: Just curious, if they were no matter what going to stick to a non generous warranty protocol, how would you have liked them to deliver the news to you? Telling it to you straight, rather than fake empathy? Or something else?

            • @phrank: Actually no. Telling it straight is not helpful. Every now and then you will encounter a really talented customer service agent. I've encountered one on eBay and one at PTV (they stand out because their customer service is generally really poor). I think what they do:

              1. They are disarmingly friendly.
              2. They focus on the most beneficial action within their admittedly constrained corporate policies.
              3. They put their own opinions and moral judgements to one side.
              4. They acknowledge the shortcomings of their own company's policies.

              I had one of the eBay representatives (not the good one), tell me it wouldn't be fair on other eBay Plus members to help me out. That is not helpful. In some ways though we need to be mostly critical of the company though. It's bloody difficult to be a good customer service agent at eBay or the PTV (their policies are insanely restrictive and anti-consumer). Companies like Amazon, Target and David Jones make it much easier for their representatives - we should celebrate them.

              • @markathome: Thanks for the insight. I've only had frustrating experiences with these kinds of customer service situations so it's good to hear that good customer service actually exists! Lol that eBay Plus example is pretty bad.

                I actually dread calling up. Bad customer service, x min queuing to get your call answered and multi-step processes make me question whether it's worth it or whether I should just put up with things like being $10 overcharged.

            • @phrank: In fairness to OP too, he does have a point. The Apple/partner issue is a real problem in Melbourne. Apple may actually have really good customer service now, but people who live in the majority of Melbourne would never know.

              My earpods were not replaced by a partner who admitted, "a genuine Apple Store might have replaced them but as a partner we don't have that flexibility".

              Later when Apple offered $29 battery replacements, I was charged $59 by a (different) partner because "it is uneconomical for us to do it at that price".

              Apple tried to remedy this situation by building an Apple Store at Federation Square but this was shot down by the community. My friend suggested they be given special consideration to build on Elizabeth Street just before Collins Street (actually fill-in the street that Melbourne City intends to eventually make pedestrian-only anyway). That location is less than 400 metres from Fed Square and is presently of very low public amenity.

              • @markathome: Yeah, I didn't know that. I haven't had experience with Apple customer service but I do remember years ago seeing those people going undercover filming their repair/warranty experiences so the bad reputation surrounding that is all I have to judge them by. I guess it shows how important good customer service and consistency is.

          • @markathome: they call this acknowledge and align.. you must have worked for Apple

      • @dosada Is your name Karen by any chance?

    • I appreciate the first comment being a TLDR.

  • There were no open stores in Vic and i had to get an appointment with centrecom.

    Why is the title suggesting this is Apple's doing? I'm confused.

  • What happens when they open up the laptop and, in the process, the whole screen falls apart and they can't put it back together again because of the broken screen?

    Who pays for the new screen?

    • Why would they touch the screen anyways if they refuse to repair it? I can live with that. I don't understand how the keyboard or touchbar have to do with this.

      • Even without physically touching the screen itself.. what if they accidentally knock the laptop slightly while putting it away and the screen falls out? (A knock that would otherwise have done nothing to a non-cracked piece of glass).

          • @dosada: You can say whatever you like, but the slightest touch to a piece of broken glass can easily cause the whole panel to shatter and fall apart.

            Then we get another thread here about how the repairer made your screen fall out!

          • @dosada: And that's why they won't do the repair. They don't want to be held responsible for something that's likely to break during the fixing of something else.

            • @dizzle: We live in a world where some people (I'm not at all saying that this is you OP) have the worldview where everything is someone else's fault and will use this to their advantage. E.g. causing the underlying damage and then blaming the person who happens to be holding it when it finally falls apart.

              So businesses have had to adapt to protect themselves from this kind of thing, which is why their procedures might seem puzzling.

        • That's correct. Same thing applies to iPhone. If you want to replace a broken component inside the phone with cracked screen, you will need screen to be replaced too.

          • @Lexan: They actually cannot enforce that rule. I would know as I've worked for HP, Lenovo and now Dell. If you for example the HDD is faulty but the screen is cracked that has nothing to with the HDD failing. Apple are just being rip off people as usual. By law a repairer cannot pick and choose what part of the laptop they want to repair.

            • @Sean8802:

              By law a repairer cannot pick and choose what part of the laptop they want to repair.

              Please provide a citation for this law whilst I grab my popcorn.

              • @Chewiebacca: You gotta trust him. He was a r e p a i r e r so he's got to know the law :p.

              • @Chewiebacca: I think he's confusing policy with law.

                It may be a partner agreement with the manufacturer that if they deny a repair they lose the preferred repairer title.

                May have confused it with a ACL issue that used to happen when a product was repaired by a third party and manufacturer denied warranty on another part (just an example - 3rd party replaced screen on phones, manufacturer couldn't deny warranty repair/replacement on battery).

                However as I understand it if a product is physically damaged, they can deny warranty, and if it's outside of warranty they have to provide support for a certain number of years, but requesting they repair the screen first is not unreasonable.

      • Because the touch bar, keyboard and screen are all connected to the mainboard, you will need to remove the screen from the mainboard to get to keyboard/touch bar

        From what you have described, it wasn't manufactured fault, it was your fault when you close the lid with your airpod inside. And by the location you've mentioned "next to the "Macbook Pro" writing underneath the display itself" which is in fact right on the touch bar, and with the force that caused the screen to break, so yeah, you did break it at the same time as well.

        I would be shocked if Apple would agree to repair for free

  • +3 votes

    Did you see, a genius?

    You are not, a genius

  • When did the Apple Warranty end?

    If this is an ACL matter, then…

    Section 54 Guarantee as to acceptable quality
    (6) Goods do not fail to be of acceptable quality if:

    (a) the consumer to whom they are supplied causes them to become of unacceptable quality, or fails to take reasonable steps to prevent them from becoming of unacceptable quality; and

    (b) they are damaged by abnormal use.

    • There is warranty for about a year left. The screen has a manufacturing issue and is part of a replacement program. How does the crack change this? Is it now Faultier than faulty?

      • My work does Apple repair in Qld. Even with a cracked screen Apple will replace the display if it's under the repair program.

  • Did you record? How very unlawful of you.

    • +2 votes

      Of course they didn't; they lied

    • Lawful in QLD :)

      • +4 votes

        But OP is in Victoria (and the Qld border is closed)

        • I didn't know that while the border was open Queensland's laws could leak out

          • @ribbonsofnight: Recording is lawful in Victoria as long as one party is aware. That being said expectations are a bit screwed up here by the OP imho. Firstly they admit the computer has had a rough ride and they broke the screen but takes no responsibility because there is a product recall then wants somebody to half fix the computer and return it in partly damaged condition which most likely in violation of their contracted obligation to Apple. Sounds a bit of a double standard. Why not just get the whole thing fixed and work out if Apple will pay for their recall issue as part of the repair and thank your lucky stars if they do - you did break it yourself. Otherwise go see those clever phone repair guys at any Westfield or some backyard fixer who may have spare parts from other abused computers and take your chances? I think your expectations are too high And unreasonable.

            • @MontyMacaw: Do both parties need to be in VIC for it to be lawful?
              What if the call center for apple they reached was not in VIC?

              • @91rs: Just read up on it. It appears the law applys from where the recording took place, and NT and Vic both have 1 party consent. So OP can record anybody he wants in any part of the country as long as he does it from 1 of those 2 places. Qld he can record as long as he doesnt publish/distribute the recording or its transcript/direct report to anybody other then those who were party to the call.

                The other states get a little trickier about needing a good reason for the recording.

    • I thought it was legal in Victoria to record a conversation as long as you are one of the people involved in the conversation - https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/is-it-legal-to...

    • VIC is a one party consent state.

  • +26 votes

    Just take it to an Apple Store now instead of dealing with a reseller. After having several Apple items repaired without any issue I would argue you are the problem in this process not Apple, you being either paranoid enough to record phone calls or willing to lying about it confirms this.

    I would also refuse to touch a customers laptop without it being cleaned in the current climate.

    • I don't want to think about the pandemic. But I think this is really important to me in interpreting your comment.
      Are you a:
      * not so friendly female
      * friendly female
      * not so friendly male
      * friendly male

      /s

  • It's a 4 year old computer.
    I have a feeling warranty would be out of the question for this, especially given the damage.

    Apple have been known to make it hard to repair laptops, they've already brought you into the ecosystem, if they tell you a ridiculous price to repair the laptop and just say it'll be cheaper to buy a new one you'll most likely just bite the bullet and get a new one…
    Unfortunately that's how Apple operates.

    • Unfortunately that's how Apple operates.

      Thats how Apple, Dell, HP and others operate

      • The computer has another 12 months warranty. The screen is under a replacement program for manufacturing issues.

        That's why I pent understand it. I got it basically with a faulty screen. How does a crack change that? Is it Faultier than faulty now?

        • Mac's in 2016 had a 36 month warranty so that would take you to end of 2019 or start of 2020, so would be borderline depending when you bought it/won it.

          Hypothetically if i buy a TV and i throw a remote at said TV because I saw Donald Trump (its a reflex) and dent/deform/break the panel, even if the TV had a faulty panel that would be recalled i wouldn't be covered because the TV hasn't been subject to normal wear and tear during it's lifetime.

          Closing an airpod inside a macbook is not normal wear and tear (i'd say you're lucky, in many cases it would write off the screen.)

          In your defense though Apple should at least attempt to repair it (at your cost), bit poor of them to just give it back to you and chuck it in the too hard basket, given you have barely anywhere else to go due to servicing restrictions.

        • Yes as the housing is broken. That is not part of the replacement

      • No, it's definitely not like that.

      • I was quoted $617 by HP to replace a faulty keyboard (part retails for $25 online) on my laptop that had 2 years left on warranty because I could not physically bring it into HP due to Covid lockdown restrictions.

        Ended up buying the keyboard and changing it myself.

      • Except others don't tie you into their eco system as such.

  • Before COVID, my iPhone 11 had a dead pixel. Organised an appointment at Centrecom because it was close to me and I could get in that day. Took one look and said “sorry, too bad” (basically). Thought f that, tried to Get an Apple appointment. Managed to get in later that day, took one look and 30mins later they replaced the screen and the screen protector

    • That seems to be standard procedure for centrecom. Pay some ridiculous amount and we will do it.

  • Take it to an Apple store and find out that their warranty expressly excludes devices with any phyiscal or water damage.

    This is not new, the old.. i know the screen is broken but the screen is not the problem argument sadly does not cover you.
    ACL would not even help you, excluding your item from warranty due to damage is common and accepted in almost all tech warranties.

    The other issues could have arisen due to condensatio due to the body of the device being open/exposed due to the crack etc

    You are SOL, they are completely within their legal rights to refuse to repair

    • The screen is under a replacement program for manufacturing issues. How does the crack in it change that in any way?

      • because you broke it
        You literally void your warranty when you break something

        Unless the crack in the screen is due to the manufacturing issues then you should get that replaced first (as long as they are directly connected) and THEN your warranty would still be valid

        i dont not think closing the lid with something inside though is covered by that replacement program so sadly as i said SOL as far as warranty/repair goes

        worked in the industry for many many years and dealt with Apple (on behalf of customers) daily
        No grey area, its black and white if something is damaged due to negligence then your warranty is immediately voided

        • -12 votes

          You don't get it, the screen was installed faulty when the computer was manufactured. Simple as that

          • @dosada: I get it!
            The screen was faulty!
            BUT
            You Broke it and voided your warranty on the entire device

            • @jimbobaus: Just so i understand you. It is OK that someone sells you something faulty and admits it in Form if a recall program if you do some extra damage to it

              • @dosada: well according to the thread linked below
                You had the cracked screen fixed for free in 2016?
                So that means they fixed the screen and you have cracked it again?

                What i am saying is that when you break something through you own fault and actions the manufacturer has zero obligation to repair or replace said item.

                When you break it, you void your warranty plain and simple (and given the age of your machine, you have no warranty anyways)

                Their ONLY obligation to you now is under the recall program which means the screen is still covered for one replacement (which as i said you said has already been done)

                The touchbar, TB3 Ports etc sadly have ZERO warranty as you broke the device

                • @jimbobaus: NO, that is not correct. The macbook i have had the issues years back was a MacBook air. This one is a MacBook pro that has never ever been repaired so far.

                  • @dosada: So as i said:

                    If the crack is directly attributable to the replacement reasons then they will replace the screen under the program

                    if the crack is due to user negligance then not only do you have no warranty on the device anymore, their obligations under the recall are also gone.

                    So.. Did you break the screen ? : Apple has no obligation to you
                    Did the screen break due to a manufacturers fault ? : Apple is obligated to address the screen fault first and then would address any other warranty claims you may have

                • @jimbobaus: You need to read up on Australian Consumer Law, because about 99.9% of what you said is rubbish. If there is evidence of damage to a component, they certainly don't have to cover that part (though they are obligated to provide parts and repair services for a reasonable length of time). However, a manufacturer cannot choose to refuse to cover the entire product simply due to damage to a component, same as they cannot refuse to cover it due to using third party consumables (the printer ink thing). And to top it off, the manufacturer doesn't get to arbitrarily determine the length of warranty, the length of time the product is expected to last taking into account its usage, purchase price, and claims made by the manufacturer as to quality.

              • @dosada: Dude, I used to work for Apple support and sorry to say, you are the worst type of customer we came across. Someone that feels entitled to a repair when they have no valid claim. In those types of cases, no matter how logical our explanation was, the customer would refuse to hear what we were saying and scream bloody murder. They would eventually make all sorts threats such as going to the media, consumer affairs etc. if they didn't get their own way.

                So by your argument, if i bought a car with a manufacturing fault, but crashed the car, I would be entitled to a replacement?

      • Because you may have damaged something else inside it which they would then be liable to fix. You may not have in this specific case but as a general rule, it could have affected something else.

        Just take a step back and listen to what everyone else is telling you here. Your thinking is incorrect no matter how (unjustifiably) outraged you feel.

  • Wait…

    "Why I will never again give a cent to Apple dosada on 20/10/2016
    "Accidentally we cracked the display on it. Can happen to anyone. I went today to an authorised repair centre since Apple has no free appointment any soon.**"

    You got form…

    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/271461

    • And what am I supposed to do if the alamanda college has apple as a requirement? Take my kids out of school

      • Take out accidental damage cover and claim on it.
        Take out accidental damage cover and claim on it.
        (No, I'm not Irish and there isn't an echo, echo, echo).

        • -5 votes

          Ahh, insurance fraud, that will end well.

          • @abb: Um, take it out before the damage…

            • -5 votes

              @holdenmg: Oh… Did I miss the deal on time machines? I got a few mistakes in my past to undo too.

              • @abb: My "Command-Z" isn't working.

                (Blame Apple). lol

              • @abb: It was clear to the rest of us he was saying what OP should have done.

                Like all those posts about car accidents where the guy doesn't have insurance. Someone's going to tell him he should have had insurance.

                • -4 votes

                  @Quantumcat: Not at all clear to me, but then again I'm not a quantum cat so maybe you have special perception powers that I lack.

                  "You should have taken out insurance before the damage", now that's clear to me. Either way it's useless unactionable advice to OP (unless it actually is a wink-wink suggestion towards insurance fraud).

                  • @abb: Context is important for comprehension.

                    And what am I supposed to do if the alamanda college has apple as a requirement?

                    OP asking theoretical question.

                    Take out accidental damage cover and claim on it.

                    Theoretical response.

                    Makes sense. It's just you mate.

      • So you or your family accidentally broke the screen on Macbook Air in 2018 and MBP in 2020. Sounds like there isn't much care in handling delicate electronics. You and Apple won't go well especially as their products are very super incredibly unbelievably fragile and very super incredibly unbelievably expensive to repair.

      • I thought I'd you purchased it through the school insurance was included.
        http://alamandacollege.vic.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/05...

    • dosada on 02/11/2016 - 16:39

      Update

      After many here recommended i took the macbook to apple cheltenham. Got it repaired without being charged for it.

      Maybe i did make up my opinion to soon, it however was based on the information i received from a support agent through the apple chat.

      Just wanted to put things right.

    • Yikes. You know how many laptop screens I've broken in the last 4 years? Still zero

  • An out of warranty and visibly damaged by the user MBP, would cost a bucket load to repair. You say there is a screen replacement warranty… that won't cover User Damage since you cracked the screen, so the warranty is voided unless u got additional insurance on it. Not surprised a 3rd Party would want to touch it, since u won it in a competition, they have the right to refuse it.

  • What sort of extended warranty did you get? Doesn't Apple Care only extend to three years in total?

  • So apple wouldn't give you warranty on a second hand, abused land broken aptop that is out of warranty? What pricks.

    • Apple chat confirmed warranty until

      2021-04-30. The display is under a replacement program but i guess you haven't read the post.

      • Nope, I read it. You have damaged around the screen. They can't repair it without risking further damage, which you will then blame them for. Buy a new laptop, and look after it this time.

      • If you're referring to this program https://support.apple.com/en-au/13-inch-macbook-pro-display-..., yes, the display is under a replacement program.

        However, it also states:

        Note: If your MacBook Pro has any damage which impairs the service, that issue will need to be repaired first. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair. Your consumer law rights are unaffected by this program.

        Given the "flexgate" service program is on the very area you damaged by jamming an Airpod into the screen, I can understand Apple not automatically covering it under the service program.

        You also don't know what damage you may have done internally when you cracked the bezel.

        I would assume that a 2016 model is out of warranty in all other regards apart from keyboard, but depending on the condition or damage to the keyboard, that might not be covered either.

        Also, you might have had a different response with Apple/Centrecom if you had cleaned your device before taking it in for repair during a pandemic. Based on how you described her reaction, I wouldn't have wanted to touch it either.

        My advice? Clean it up as prettily as you can, book a Genius Bar appointment, and change your attitude to the poor sod you're dealing with.

        You catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar.

      • " At some point, i tried to close the lid with an airpod between screen and keyboard which caused a crack on the screen frame. No screen discolouration, no dead pixels, not even in the screen area, it is right next to the "Macbook Pro" writing underneath the display itself."

        You really need to let go of the screen being covered under the replacement program.

        If there was no physical damage to it, then yes it would be covered, however once you've physically damaged the screen (even if the damage is to a limited area of the screen, i.e. the frame), then your chances of obtaining warranty / replacement is nullified.

        Also I suggest going directly to Apple (forget their authorised service centres, as they can only do what Apple allows them to do), be very nice in your interactions, don't mention anything about past negative experience on the phone, or having recorded anyone, etc. and ask what their manager can offer you.

  • I won an MBP 2016,

    What is the manufacture warranty on there?