Macbook LCD Screen Oopsy!

You all know that I love Apple Inc. I love Macintosh computers, iPods, the whole bit (though the jury still out on the iPhone). But alas the halo has dimmed. The angel’s wings have been clipped.

You see, this past Sunday, an accident of freakish proportions happened. Lyndsay had sat the Macbook down and walked away. The place where she sat it was below a book shelf upon which sat a speaker system. Somehow (possibly invisible goblins) some books that were on the shelf with the sub woofer fell over and pushed the sub woofer off the shelf and onto the Macbook shattering the screen. Lyndsay heard the startling crash, came back to check on it and was mortified to find the damage that had been done. I was not home at the time so the poor girl had to wait an hour and half or so for me to return at which time she had to reveal the accident to me. But of course there was no way this could have been anticipated or prevented. It was just one of those things that life throws at you.

The real story begins when I called Applecare, the extended warranty I paid for when I bought the Macbook. They guy on the phone, Chuck, said that Applecare does not cover “accidental damage”. I decided that then was not the time to expound to him my invisible goblin theory.

Chuck: *entering information*
Josh: *waiting*
Chuck: Well, Josh, their not giving me a price to quote you so it’s possible that they will cover it. But that’s not to say that they won’t call you after checking it out and say ‘sorry but you’ll have to pay for this.’
Josh: I understand.
Chuck: Anyway, we’ll send a box to you. Simply pack the Macbook in the box and put the shipping label on it and send it out to us.
Josh: Ok. Thanks.
Chuck: We’ll see what they say. That’s not a cheap item. It could possibly cost around $800.
Josh: *gulp* $800?
Chuck: yep.

I am a nice guy on the phone. I used to be in customer service and had to deal with many irritating customers, so I try to be understanding when I am the customer. I was civil on the phone with Chuck. However after I hung up my first words were “Eight hundred freakin’ dollars!?” That is completely outrageous. That is over half what I paid for the Macbook in the first place! I just can not see it costing that much.

There is another option though. There are a number of companies that replace Macintosh components and I can get the screen on my Macbook replaced for under $300 through a company like eTechparts.com or iFixit.com. But there is catch and you probably know what it is: having my Macbook repaired by a 3rd party could possibly void my Applecare warranty. This is something I will have to call again and ask Applecare about. Of course this would really only come into play if I later had to have something repaired that was damaged on account of having a 3rd party replace my screen now.

I can send it to Applecare and if it is $800 (or some other outrageous price) I can decline service and they can still charge me a fee of “no more than $100” just for checking it out. This whole experience has me looking at Apple in a new light. I understand why Applecare doesn’t cover accidental damage, but $800? And that for an item that many other companies will replace for a fraction of that? I am beginning to wonder if Apple really loves me. What if Apple isn’t really in the computer business to help me out, as I previously thought. What if they really are just…in it for the money? That can’t be. Can it?

Josh H.


6 Responses to “Macbook LCD Screen Oopsy!”

  1. July 1, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    This is my biggest gripe with Apple: Hardware pricing.
    I realize that they are picky about what hardware they use, and that increases stability etc. The problem is that they price themselves out of the market that could get the most use out of their product: College kids and old people Senior adults. The simplicity and stability of the Mac is great.
    Windows has the simplicity (if you leave the training wheels on it), but lacks in stability. Linux has the stability, but simplicity is the probably the last word I would use to describe it. Mac  has a great balance of the two, but this kind of thing is what keeps me and plenty of other folks out of the Mac world.
    Oh, and Dell CompleteCare covers accidental damage including drops or lightning strikes. I’m a risk taker, so I have never bought it.

  2. July 2, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    One of the mantras of the mac faithful is that they’re not really that much more expensive if you compare it with truly "comparable" systems by other manufacturers. But I disagree.  I find that Macs are far and away more expensive. But to me they are so worth it.
    But it does sound like Applecare should take a page from the Dell Completecare playbook.

  3. July 3, 2008 at 8:51 am

    I agree that they are more expensive, but I think in some ways it isn’t fair to compare the two. Realistically, while they share some common capabilities, one is more suited for different tasks than the other. (Mac for multimedia, Windows for business applications). One can do both functions on either system, but it really comes down to what you need the system to do.

  4. 4 Amy
    July 5, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Sorry but I have to defend Apple. The screen is an essential part of a laptop so of course it wil be a bulk of the cost. I am also quite positve that Dell would have the same response. Apple still produces a highly superior product. Anyways good luck with the laptop. Hope everything works out. Oh yeah by the way they are in it for the money.

  5. July 6, 2008 at 8:13 am

    @Amy: Blast!  I was afraid it was all about the benjamins.

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