Broke my iPod with only 7 days left on the warranty
November 4, 2006 2:56 PM   Subscribe

I accidentally dropped my 5th-gen iPod on the floor, and now it doesn't work. I checked the serial number of the unit on Apple's service site, and it tells me that I only have 7 days left on my 1-year limited warranty. What should I do?

Now, the reason why I ask this is because I know that the fine print in Apple's Terms and Conditions for the Applecare Protection Plan says that it does not cover "Damage to the Covered Equipment caused by accident, abuse, neglect, misuse....blahblahblah", but I have also heard anecdotal stories of people going in to their local Apple store with a busted iPod or Powerbook or something (broken by "accident"), and walking out with a brand new replacement unit. In many cases, the replacement unit is actually an upgraded version of the unit it was replacing.

Not that I'm trying to rip Apple off or anything, but realizing that a 6th-gen iPod is undoubtedly going to ship by the time Macworld Expo rolls around in January, I'm wondering if they might cut me some slack by replacing/fixing my iPod, even though it was "accidentally" broken.

It sucks that it broke, because I had the iPod in a protective case that had protected the unit from previous droppage, but this time, it happened to land on the exposed corner of the case, so it directly impacted my tile floor.

Other than normal wear and tear (i.e. scratches and smudges) There's no obvious physical damage to the iPod, even after it's meeting with the floor.

What should I do?
posted by melorama to Technology (20 answers total)
 
If it doesn't look broken, take it to the Apple Store right now right now right now (or, buy the extended warranty- you are still eligible to do so, until the limited warranty runs out). In 7 days you are SOL and will not be eligible for a replacement. You probably will not get an upgraded version of your iPod, but at least you will get one that works.

IAABrokenIpodExpert.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:58 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


And, of course, say nothing about having dropped it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:00 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Suck it up. I'm tired of people abusing warranties and nice customer service.

Take it to the Apple store and tell him you dropped it, it doesn't work, and how much it'll cost to fix it (because you know its not covered under warranty). Maybe they'll give you a new or refurb. Probably not. Don't lie.
posted by mphuie at 3:14 PM on November 4, 2006


In my experience, getting a replacement iPod while still under warranty is very simple.

Go back to the online service site, fill out a repair request and they overnight you an empty box. Put your iPod in the box, ship it off, and as soon as they verify that it's broken, they overnight you a replacement (usually refurbed) iPod.

There's no need to mention that it's the result of your dropping it.
posted by roomwithaview at 3:23 PM on November 4, 2006


It's very easy. My sister stood on hers and to me it looked fairly obvious. She was worried about whether they would replace but they did..they sent a courier to the door to uplift and she had a brand new sealed replacement within weeks, and she was in a similar position to you - only weeks remaining on the warranty.
posted by fire&wings at 3:26 PM on November 4, 2006


I agree with mphuie. When you take your ipod into the retard genius bar, they'll look over it for visible damage. So if there's a dent in the back, they will not replace it (warranty, extended warranty or otherwise). You'll be able to recycle your ipod for 10% of the cost of a new one.

If there's no visible dent, you'll be able to get a refurbished one.

On another note, it may just be a stuck needle. My ipod is out of warranty and I just hit my ipod against the wall a few times when it stops working to get it working again. oh and don't try this until your warranty runs out.
posted by special-k at 3:34 PM on November 4, 2006


OK, assuming that Apple refuses to service this iPod, does anyone have any experience with third-party repair companies, like iPodResq? Will the cost of having someone like them fix it be worth it?

Luckily, I backed up the entire contents of my iPod a week or so ago, so I'm not concerned about data recovery.
posted by melorama at 3:42 PM on November 4, 2006


I wouldn't worry about that, melorama. I even took one in with a dent once (a dent unrelated to the hard drive failure I was experiencing), and they still replaced the iPod.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:50 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


my 5th gen had DENTS in it and the battery wouldn't hold a charge. got a new one on Apple, turn it in! before its too late.
posted by Max Power at 4:01 PM on November 4, 2006


Dents don't matter, you could almost make out the footprint on my sisters and she got a replacement.
posted by fire&wings at 4:29 PM on November 4, 2006


(where on earth did you get this "undoubtedly" nonsense from?)
posted by cillit bang at 4:52 PM on November 4, 2006


I just got my iPod back from iPodResQ. it was out of warranty, so the Genius Bar recommended I give them a try. the diagnosis is 30 bucks (which includes overnight shipping 3 ways--- box to you, iPod to them, iPod to you) and the GB guys indicated they do most repairs for around 100-150 USD. I had them replace the logic board for 120 bucks. this is going to sound promotey, but you asked: they were fast (I had my iPod back to me within 10 days), very communicative, relatively cheap, and my frickin' iPod works again. it was worth the $150 total. they have a coupon code on their business card: APL18 for 5 bucks off the diagnostic service. also, if you have them do any sort of repair, they'll replace the battery in your iPod for IIRC 30 bucks (I did not opt for this).
posted by carsonb at 5:25 PM on November 4, 2006


addendum: if you're still under warranty, for however many more days, take it to the GB!!! don't bother with iPodResQ unless your warranty is up.
posted by carsonb at 5:27 PM on November 4, 2006


Everyone else has covered most of the ins and outs of Applecare, but as far as this goes:

Not that I'm trying to rip Apple off or anything, but realizing that a 6th-gen iPod is undoubtedly going to ship by the time Macworld Expo rolls around in January, I'm wondering if they might cut me some slack by replacing/fixing my iPod, even though it was "accidentally" broken.

"Undoubtedly" is not a word I'd use when it comes to iPod revisions. And regardless of when the next refresh is, Applecare isn't going to shrug their shoulders and "cut you some slack" because of it.
posted by Remy at 6:06 PM on November 4, 2006


Well I just got back from the Genius Bar. Not only was I suprised at how nice and helpful they were (pretty much everything I've read and heard led me to believe that the Genius Bar dweebs were snobby and not very knowledgable), but they swapped out my iPod on the spot, after a $30 processing fee.

The GB guy examined my iPod, and mentioned that he saw a few dents and "expansion" of the case, which apparantly indicated to him that "something heavy" was placed on top of the unit (which is incorrect, being that I only keep my iPod in the side pocket of my backpack, going to and from work), and normally that would exclude it from being serviced. But since the dents weren't egregious, AND the fact that Macworld Expo was so close (insinuating that it wouldn't be worth it for me to try and pay to have this 5G repaired since a new iPod is likely to be released RSN), he went ahead and authorized the swap-out.

Unfortunately TPS was right, they didn't swap it out for a newer 80GB 5.5 Gen iPod, but I don't care...it would have been nice if they did, of course!

And not to hijack my own thread, but you'd have to be nuts to NOT think that Apple isn't going to be releasing some crazy new 6G iPod at Macworld. The 5G iPods are already long in the tooth, and Apple is NOT going to let Microsoft steal away the spotlight which heretofore shined 100% on the iPod.

Thanks for the comments!
posted by melorama at 7:14 PM on November 4, 2006


I wasn't kidding when I said I'm an expert at broken iPods- in the little over 2 years I've owned them, I've had...... at least 8 or 9 replacements. All under the warranty, all hard drive failures. I go to the Genius Bar, they look me up and go, Man!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:10 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Somehow I doubt that a genius bar employee was motivated by the fact that MacWorld is coming up, and I doubt even more that he/she has ANY knowledge of Apples intentions, especially considering Apple's policy of secrecy before product releases. I imagine it was more of a verbal warning, or trying to coerce an admission of major damage.
posted by SirStan at 11:06 PM on November 4, 2006


SirStan: "Somehow I doubt that a genius bar employee was motivated by the fact that MacWorld is coming up, and I doubt even more that he/she has ANY knowledge of Apples intentions, especially considering Apple's policy of secrecy before product releases. I imagine it was more of a verbal warning, or trying to coerce an admission of major damage."

I'm not (nor are most mefi'sters) naive enough to insinuate that the hipster dweebs behind the Genius Bar counters are somehow secretly clued in to Apple's next product releases. I was just making a common-sense assumption that the GB guy would make a similar common-sense assumption that NOW is a bad time to be plunking down full price for a new iPod, or any significant amount of money for a 3rd party repair job.

It certainly would have been much easier for him to say "sorry bub, but your iPod was clearly broken by your own negligence, so I can't help ya..." (jn fact, as I was waiting in line, I overheard him mentioning to one of his coworkers that he was almost done with his shift, and he couldn't wait to clock-out), but he actually took the time to process my replacement instead of blowing me off.

But this argument is moot, since I now have a new, working iPod. But there is a moral to this story: Don't take legalese, EULAs, or any other consumer-oriented "rules" at face value. Just 'cause they say you can't do something, doesn't mean you shouldn't try to be the exception to the rule.

(IMHO, of course.)
posted by melorama at 11:29 PM on November 4, 2006


And not to hijack my own thread, but you'd have to be nuts to NOT think that Apple isn't going to be releasing some crazy new 6G iPod at Macworld.

I would happily bet hard cash they don't.
posted by cillit bang at 3:38 AM on November 5, 2006


Wouldn't ya know it...the replacement iPod I got from the Genius Bar failed on me exactly one week after I got it. I went back to the Apple Store again today, and got yet ANOTHER replacement.

They're obviously swapping defective iPods out with refurbs. Either that, or it's karma catching up with me.
posted by melorama at 7:55 PM on November 12, 2006


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