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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Paint and warranty repair?

Paint and warranty repair?
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Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Nov 11, 2002, 09:57 PM
Hey all,

I was hoping some of you could give your stories about paint chipping and your success (or lack thereof) in getting Apple to fix this under warranty.

Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: PA/NJ
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Nov 11, 2002, 11:43 PM

I've had paint chipping and bubbling problems from day one. I bought my PB 550 around the end of Oct 2001, but shortly thereafter noticed some nasty bubbling about the DVD slot. Afterwards, it started flaking off, so it looked horrible - this only after a few weeks of use (no watch, rings, excessive sweating, etc.). I placed tape over it stop the flaking, but it spread around it. Now it looked even worse with clear tape on it. I also had a host of other minor problems (faulty ethernet, off-kilter DVD drive, melted rubber feet).

So after a few months of this, I got so irate that I wrote a letter to Apple about the situation and what I'd like them to do about it. Politely of course. A few weeks later I hear no response. A few weeks after that, I finally call Apple and tell them about the problems I'm experiencing. Now the unique aspect in my situation is that I filed the problem over the phone as an ethernet/DVD problem (the guy didn't even give me enough time to explain the paint problem). So I was sent a shipping crate to send the PowerBook back in.

What I decided to do was write a well-thought out two-page letter that detailed, point-by-point, each and every problem I faced, when they occurred, etc. I hoped they would read it because I had so many problems and didn't have the time to explain them all. I mentioned that I wrote in weeks earlier and received no response. I mentioned that I had never once called in for tech support or warranty repairs and that I have been a loyal Apple customer (owned a Mac Plus, Mac Color Classic, PM 950, PB Duo 280, PM 7500, PM 8500, PB G3/233, and now the PB G4/550) and was surprised by the PB 550's quality. I added that I expected these repairs to be done under warranty. I placed this typed, well-written, signed letter inside the shipping box along with my PB and hoped for the best, since I had not requested paint repairs.

Three days later, I get my PB back and there is a printed list of repairs. Turns out they replace my DVD (good), replaced my CPU (had no idea this was even a problem), replaced my entire bottom case with the chips and melted feet (awesome), and replaced the fan (didn't think this was a problem either). They didn't seem to do anything with the ethernet (bad).

Interestingly, on the bottom of the list, they added that some repairs were not under warranty (didn't qualify), but didn't list which ones, and that I would be billed accordingly! I was really irked since I had sent in the PB after only 5 months of use! Luckily, months passed and no bill arrived, so I guess that was just a "billing glitch" to scare me. Anyway, shortly thereafter, I noticed the hinges were now too tight (a little warped on the right side) and now the hinges are scraped shiny. I had 2 months of warranty left, but decided to leave it alone - at least they repaired everything else. Plus, I might send it back and they'll give me back an LCD with dead pixels or something. So anyway, warranty just ended and I'm happy with my PB!

Sorry about the long-winded nature of post, but I thought it would help people if I explained exactly what happened and how I addressed the problem. Seems many people have had problems getting things fixed by Apple. I guess what I learned is that the repair center in Texas must have some sort of say in what gets fixed, etc. since many of the repairs they made were not even entered into their computer. Good luck getting your PowerBook repaired!

P.S. They shipped back the 'Book with a clear Post-It Note-type protector on the palm rest area and I've left it there ever since. It's an awesome way to keep the paint from peeling and it's invisible and washable!
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Nov 11, 2002, 11:57 PM
I read that some have had success to get this fixed on apple powerbook forum.
( Last edited by Sophie; Nov 12, 2002 at 12:36 AM. )
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Rhode Island
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Nov 13, 2002, 02:14 AM
I too found the paint on my Ti 550 bubbling and peeling after a few months. I decided to live with it until the end of the warranty. Well, I went back to the Northshore Apple store on 30 Oct. The first rep I saw took a look at my 'book and said "oh, I think we are out of touch up paint" (about 20% of the paint was missing at this point) I continued back to the Genius bar and whipped it out again. He had never seen anything like it. Off it went. 48hr turn around? Not quite. I didn't hear or see anything on the web for a couple of days, I called 5 days later and was told that some of the repairs needed weren't covered, and the case was being reviewed. The problems: A crack above the DVD (ok I dropped it, but the paint was bad anyway), The bottom case was bent (ok, I dropped it again, I'll pay for that) and finally a ram clip was broken. They wanted to replace the logic board! The ram was recognized and it ran well, it just looked like hell.
After another few days of nothing on the website I called again and was informed it was being repaired. I was never contacted about repair cost. It was listed as completed/shipped and a tracking number was listed. It was also flagged "billing discrepancy"
I received the 'book on Monday of this week with the dreaded "hardware repairs were not covered" letter. I called AppleCare and the rep looked at the case and told me to relax, no CC info was taken.
They replaced the MLB, the top case, the rib chassis, and the bottom case.
The original work order I signed stated "COSMETIC REPAIR ONLY!" I was planning to beef if they decided to replace the logic board without permission because of a $10 rework job.
I guess I got lucky.
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Michigan
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Feb 6, 2003, 09:33 PM
Just want to say that Applecare is the best!!! They did an excellent job in fxing my Tibook!!
(Bubbling problem all over)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Oakland, CA
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Feb 6, 2003, 10:49 PM
I just got my Ti 500 back from Applecare. I had an LCD line, and major paint chipping. They gave me a new LCD, and replaced the entire case. Looks fresh off the assembly line. I second that on Applecare. Now I can sell this suck for a 12" Powerbook. This Rage128 is killin me. LOL
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