My Apple G5 died a week after its warranty ran out - what now?
October 3, 2004 7:34 AM   Subscribe

So I've had an Apple G5 for exactly 1 year and a week. My warranty ran out 5 days ago and of course my computer died yesterday. What to do? (MI)

After a recent move I set it up and upon trying to turn it on, it's totally bonked, doesn't even boot. After doing much research and attempting the fixes, I've realized it's proably a major problem, logic board became unseated or somesuch. I'm an idiot for not buying Applecare. But the question is should I take it to the Apple Store and plead my case? My credit card was charged one year and 5 days ago for this, which is when the warranty starts. Or should I take it to an independent who is more likely to take pity on me and help me out?
posted by jeremias to Computers & Internet (20 answers total)
any specifics on HOW it died? if it was something that would have been covered under a warranty, take it to a apple store. have them look at it. i bet you, they will fix it.

on preview...yea...take it to them. they IMHO have great customer service. I had a 15 inch monitor that went south on me (now granted this was 3 yrs ago), out of warranty, they not only had some one come out and look at it, but they paid for shipping of a refurbished (but good) monitor, both ways. Good luck to ya.
posted by ShawnString at 7:44 AM on October 3, 2004

I think the first thing I would do is to take it SOMEWHERE, TODAY... Apple or wherever you bought it being the best choices. Have someone look at it... open the monitor and push some buttons, whatever. Then, no matter what happens or how usesless the efforts were, have the person give you a "receipt" of sorts, so that you can at least officially document just how close to the end of the warranty it really happened. Have the guy/gal confirm that, "yea, it be busted bad". I think the longer you wait to do anything about it, then more risk you're taking that eventually no one is going to "hook you up". If anyone is going to cut you a break, it's going to be sooner rather than later, is long-winded my point.
posted by Witty at 7:49 AM on October 3, 2004

You may also want to check the member benefits of the credit card you used to purchase your G5. I've read of some credit cards that will double the warranty of anything you purchase with it (except for automobiles).
posted by MegoSteve at 7:59 AM on October 3, 2004

FYI, The forums on MacRumors is not the place to go for tech. My recommendations are: Apple Support, MacFixIt, Accelerate Your Mac, MacOSXHints. And yes, get it to an Apple Store post haste, I've heard of them offering service in cases like yours. Be very, very humble and patient.
posted by anathema at 8:19 AM on October 3, 2004

Response by poster: MegoSteve, that's brilliant. I have to check for sure, but I think I may have put the whole purchase on my AMEX business card for that reason. (Although I seem to have forgotten that fact in one year.) I hope it's not just wishful thinking on my part and am going to hunt down the bill right now. But this might just be the ticket. Additionally, Witty and anathema, thanks for that, you've given me the extra impetus to go to the Apple Store immediately.

Wish me luck.
posted by jeremias at 8:29 AM on October 3, 2004

If you call Apple and ask nicely and you're within 30 days of when your warranty expired, they'll fix it anyway. I assume the same policy applies at the Apple Stores. Also, you can still buy AppleCare for 30 days after your computer is out of warranty and have it apply retroactively.
posted by boaz at 8:34 AM on October 3, 2004

get apple care - always get apple care.
posted by jmgorman at 8:44 AM on October 3, 2004

boaz: There may be a difference between the US & the EU Applewise, but here in the EU that system has been scrapped.
posted by i_cola at 9:01 AM on October 3, 2004

I heard they killed that, boaz, after all those people had trouble with their ibook hinges a while ago.
posted by amberglow at 9:37 AM on October 3, 2004

Doh. I did that 2 years ago when the screen hinge on my TiBook went. (The other screen hinge went 6 months later, but that's a different story) Ah well, you should still be able to get AppleCare within the 30-day window.
posted by boaz at 9:55 AM on October 3, 2004

Response by poster: Standing next to the genius bar at the local Apple store, man do they take a long time to get you in. Anyway, haven't been able to talk to Apple yet, but it appears that because I purchased the entire computer on my AMEX card, at the very least I will be covered. Whew.

Now let's see what Apple has to say. I just rechecked my invoices and even though they billed me on September 29th they didn't actually ship until October 2nd of 2003. Which means that my system broke down exactly half a day after my 1 year warranty. That must be a record of some sort.

posted by jeremias at 11:31 AM on October 3, 2004

I just rechecked my invoices and even though they billed me on September 29th they didn't actually ship until October 2nd of 2003.

I would say you could argue that your warranty should begin the day you received the machine. Apple knows when that was, since they have the shipper's tracking data.
posted by kindall at 11:58 AM on October 3, 2004

Somewhat offtopic but still related: for regular old Mac repairs, don't be afraid of your local Apple authorized service center. More often than not, they'll offer a faster turn-around time than even Apple's already excellent response time. e.g., First Tech in Minneapolis swapped out the hard drive in my PowerBook in just 36 hours. If I'd sent it to Apple, it would have taken 3-5 days.
posted by nathan_teske at 12:25 PM on October 3, 2004

I second what nathan_teske just said. If your local auth. center doesn't have the part they need to repair, they can usually get it overnight.

If you haven't called Apple yet, call the service center first and ask them if they can help -- they sometimes have a little flexibility in regards to the warranty in cases like yours, esp. if Apple doesn't already have a call from you in their books.
posted by britain at 1:02 PM on October 3, 2004

Standing next to the genius bar at the local Apple store, man do they take a long time to get you in.

My local Apple Store started doing online reservations a few months ago. If you want to see a Genius, you have to get a reservation, period. It's not clear to me whether all the stores are doing this now, but it's worth calling your store ahead of time to check on that. If you show up at the store without a reservation, your wait time is actually worse than before, because the most immediate slots have usually been snapped up already.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 1:04 PM on October 3, 2004

Response by poster: Update. Thanks for all the feedback. I wish I had known about the reservation thing cause I had to wait about 90 minutes to talk to the sole "genius".

The long and the short of it is that Apple starts the warranty the day your credit card is charged, even if shipment is a few days later. The 30 day "grace period" after your warranty is officially over (as mentioned above) seems no longer to be in effect, the Apple service guy said he couldn't enter a warranty call into the system because of the dates. Maybe if I pushed it I could have done something.

In any case it looks like Amex will be taking care of it. Because the full purchase price was put onto my card I can submit a claim. It's a good thing too because the initial diagnosis is either a bad logic board or processor: cost about $720 when all is said and done. Taking it to an independent would actually have been my first choice now that I know that Apple won't cover it, but it was already there and G5's are heavy! It will probably add another week to the return of my computer . . .
posted by jeremias at 1:25 PM on October 3, 2004

Apple starts the warranty the day your credit card is charged

That just seems... wrong. Doesn't it? The warranty should start when you receive the product. It covers your use of it, not Apple's preparation and shipping. It should start when the thing comes in to your hands.
posted by humuhumu at 1:39 PM on October 3, 2004

Response by poster: Yeah, it does seem wrong. The explanation I received is simply that they don't differentiate between an online shipping order and an instore purchase. To the warranty computer they are one and the same.
posted by jeremias at 7:21 PM on October 3, 2004

You know, I've always had better luck talking with an Apple rep on the phone. If you ask around, you're more likely to get someone who can help you out. I recently returned an iPod mini that died just a short while after the 90 warranty. One fellow said I'd have to pay postage, etc. But after calling again, I got a woman on the phone who said it'd all be taken care of.

And lo, it was.

On the whole, I've had good experiences with them - but always through phone support. It takes longer, but I've never had a problem. Over the years I've sent back two monitors, a hard drive, an airport base station and two iPod minis. All (except the first mini) were technically out of warranty.
posted by aladfar at 10:12 PM on October 3, 2004 [1 favorite]

Wow. I've got a MDD dual-867 G4 tower that's been *thrown off a desk onto a concrete floor* twice (dont ask), and all I had to do was pop the front fascia back on the first time, and replace the (bent) DVI-to-VGA adapter the second time. Other than a tiny 1/8" scratch on the front, it's never had a problem.
posted by mrbill at 1:08 PM on October 4, 2004

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