31
Jul
08

“Avoid This Ebay Seller” and Other Computer Repair Mishaps

By now you all know the story of the freak accident involving my Macbook, a subwoofer enclosure, and a 3 1/2 foot drop. You also know that besides the screen being cracked and shattered, one of the keys of my keyboard (the letter X key) was chipped during this accident. Well I contacted Applecare (the extended warranty repair service for Apple, which costs extra by the way) and the guy told me that this is a case of accidental damage and Applecare only covers hardware and software malfunctions. He also told me though that sometimes the repair center will go ahead and repair even accidental damages under warranty even though officially they are not supposed to do so. So he drafted a service request for me and said that Applecare would be sending a box with which I would ship my Macbook to the service center.

However there is a major catch to all this. If they do not repair it under warranty, it is their policy to charge $800 for this repair. Yes, that is an 8 with TWO zeroes after it. I know for a fact there are 3rd party repair services that will do it for under $300 and they use original, new OEM parts. The other part of the catch is that, while I am able to decline service if it is not under warranty, I will still have to pay a fee of “up to $100”. So I am basically betting up to $100 that they will fix it for free. And if I lose I will have to pay the fee and pay some other company to repair it.

But I let him write up the request and I have received the shipping box I have not sent it yet. This is because I have read online that one thing the Applecare servicemen look at and use as a potential reason to turn down repairing not-really-in-warranty repairs like this is signs of abuse or misuse. Well I have babied my Macbook so besides the now busted-to-smithereens screen, it is flawless…except for that chipped letter X key. So I decide a simple plan: I will replace the X key before I send the Macbook to Applecare. Easier said than done.

I head over to my best online friend, eBay. Let me tell you, I find a great deal. There is a seller who is selling Macbook keys for $1 with free shipping! He explains in the details that his feedback has taken a bad hit because of some recent shipping problems and he’s trying to get his feedback rating back up. I look at his feedback and his last several buyers didn’t’ have nice things to say. But hey! One dollar and free shipping? I was willing to give the poor sap a break. So I asked him if he has an X key available and he states that he does so I make the purchase and immediately pay my one dollar. Then I wait.

And wait.

and continue to wait.

Four days pass and I do not hear a single thing from the guy. I paid him the one dollar on June 30. I didn’t hear from him until July 3 after emailing him a lot. He said he got bogged down at work and that he would ship the key that day, July 3. It is now July 29 and I have not received it or heard a peep out of the seller. I have contacted him in the interim with a very stern message stating that if I did not hear from him by the end of that day that I would leave him negative feedback and report him to eBay. He responded within hours and stated he was sorry that he had indeed sent it the day he said and that it was free standard shipping and was bound to be slow. It only had to go from New York to Georgia, how long could it possibly take? Basically he went on to say that I should not be mad because I only paid a dollar. Yes, but it was MY dollar that I worked for! I contacted other buyers who had purchased the same kind of item from him and they have had the same experience.

The most annoying part is that there is a 30 day expiration on the Applecare service request and mine expired Monday, July 28 after which I will have to call and set up another request. So here’s a word to the wise: if you are shopping for computer replacement parts or electronics on eBay and you see an item from the seller named mobileloungeny, do not buy from him. You will get oh-so-shafted.

That’s what I get for being cheap and for giving a guy the benefit of the doubt.  Never again.

Josh H.

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