Topic : Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental damage

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Christiaan Hunter

Posts: 2
From: Australia/Vietnam
Registered: Feb 4, 2009
Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental damage
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 11:19 PM
 

Hi Apple

Is closing the screen normal operations of the macbook air?

my apple air has a defect with the hinge. could apple please change your policy to accept hinge as warrant on apple air models

purchased my air 28/2/2008 from Sydney Broadway apple shop. I think this was the first day they got delivery in Sydney.

Last week when closing the screen, it was about half way down, it made a crack noise, and the hinge moved. (see photo from link below)

I have been to two apple care centres in Saigon, Vietnam this week. Spoke to apple in singapore and usa. They all told me i broke it and the damage is accidental. Offically on paper it was "it might be accidental damage, warranty repair declined"

Many people have had this problem, mostly in USA.

Below is the link to a post i made on the problem. It has a photo of my laptop hinge, it is not as bad as others, because i stopped using the air as soon as it happened

http://www.crashzone.com.au/2009/02/04/apple-macbook-air-has-a-defect-hinge-problem/

some more links to more of the same problem

http://mindspacemind.blogspot.com/2008/06/macbook-air-damaged-hinges-little-too.html
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=495259&page=3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7uEMfJVm4U&feature=related
http://flickr.com/photos/landung2008/3247328478/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKJLUMBCF98&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Siq84YBlv7E&feature=related

Regards Christiaan Hunter

PS. Apple Air is the BEST laptop yet for me personally. light, 13" screen, full size keyboard, multitouch huge touch pad, nice casing, no dvd player and osx
I have owned these laptops:
compact portable iii
dell latitude d600
toshiba portege 3500 tablet
fujitsu lifebook p7010
motion ls800 tablet
apple macbook air

Macbook Air   Mac OS X (10.5.5)    

Dave Sawyer


Posts: 24,079
From: Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Registered: Jul 31, 2000
Re: Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental da
Posted: Feb 4, 2009 7:54 AM   in response to: Christiaan Hunter
 

You're not addressing Apple here; with the exception of the Discussions Hosts who have nothing to do with Apple's warranty policies, only we your fellow users will see your post here.

All anyone here can suggest is that you attempt to contact Apple Customer Relations and discuss your problem with them. Call Apple tech support and ask to speak with Customer Relations. It may take a bit of work before you can find a way through. The official phone number for support from Vietnam is:

1-201-0288, then 800-708-5413

but whether that contact can get you to a Customer Relations representative I don't know. Other Apple phone numbers can be found here:

http://www.apple.com/support/contact/phone_contacts.html

Good luck.

iMac 2.8 Core 2 Duo 24" 4GB ATI 2600   Mac OS X (10.5.6)   PowerMac G5 2.0GHz DP, Dell w/ Windows Vista Unlimited SP1  
Christiaan Hunter

Posts: 2
From: Australia/Vietnam
Registered: Feb 4, 2009
Re: Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental da
Posted: Feb 5, 2009 1:44 AM   in response to: Dave Sawyer
 

Thanks David for your reply. Yes I understand that apple care is not here just us users hoping for a solutions to this defect.

I have been to two apple care centres in Vietnam, called apple australia, apple singapore, apple usa support. And spent hours talking to apple customer relations, which by the way does not even know what apple care centres i went to, they had to ask me for there names and numbers.

This is a desprate apple user wishing for help. I never had such bad warranty serivce in my 30 year history with computers. :(

I have now gone out and bought an eeepc. and put my apple air away in the cubboard.

Regards Christiaan Hunter

Macbook Air   Mac OS X (10.5.5)    

stevenbrown

Posts: 5
Registered: May 4, 2006
Impossibly lame - my air hinge just broke the same way!
Posted: Feb 26, 2009 5:03 AM   in response to: Christiaan Hunter
 

The hinge had gradually gotten sloppy over the last few months (.75" of "rock back and forth" looseness when open).

One morning I OPENED my MacBook air, and CRACK! The left hinge cracks. I can't close it, for fear of making it worse. Made appointment with local apple-authorized repair place, wife drove me there with me holding Air in my lap, still open. Paid the "90 bucks to back up your data" fee, wait a couple days, and get the call: "Apple has decided that IT'S MY FAULT the hinge broke, and they offer to "fix the whole thing FOR $900".

Two weeks before, the fan had started making a very loud buzz.

Unreal. No macbook since Sunday. I bought a early rev MBP for my wife and that thing was falling apart as well. I just installed leopard onto my old PowerBook G4 1.67 - there is no way I'm paying $900 to fix what is clearly a defect.

Just wanted to corroborate your story - furiously typing this on my iPhone at 5am, so forgive any formatting errors.

macbook air   Mac OS X (10.5.6)    
stevenbrown

Posts: 5
Registered: May 4, 2006
Re: Impossibly lame - my air hinge just broke the same way!
Posted: Feb 26, 2009 5:07 AM   in response to: stevenbrown
 

Oh yeah, I left out the most hilarious part - I PAID FOR APPLECARE.

macbook air   Mac OS X (10.5.6)    
Jeff Chapman

Posts: 7
Registered: Nov 8, 2005
Re: Impossibly lame - my air hinge just broke the same way!
Posted: Feb 26, 2009 1:07 PM   in response to: stevenbrown
 

Apple makes really attractive and expensive products that perform better than you could hope for - until something goes wrong due to design or programming. Apple has repeated this pattern of accusing the consumer for practically everything they've produced. You'd expect an extended service agreement to be honored more often than challenged (by a reputable company). I dropped Apple (due to the way they handled my son and his iPhone purchase) and have gone back to Dell and, aside from missing a few navigational bonuses OS X has, I'm doing quite well with Vista and looking forward to Windows 7. I can only hope my son's MBP (which was purchased just before the shiny, new all-glass screened one came out) lasts him through college!

Dell 2.66 Ghz Quad Core, 8 GB RAM   Windows Vista  
Glorfindeal


Posts: 5,000
Registered: Nov 11, 2002
Re: Impossibly lame - my air hinge just broke the same way!
Posted: Feb 26, 2009 1:15 PM   in response to: Jeff Chapman
 

This is bull. Apple typically will make no statement until they have fully researched the issue and resolved the problem. Most don't like this approach because it leaves them hanging on issues. I have followed and used appple computers since the early 80s and I have never heard of apple placing blame on the user unless they had good reason to. The hinge issue is the first time where I will disagree with apple on the defect. They do in this case need to fess up to the problem. It is starting to occur to regularly to be user damage.

Glor

Macbook 2.4 GHZ (4GB) late 2008, 30" Samsung 305T   Mac OS X (10.5.5)   iPhone 3G 16GB White, iPod Nano 8GB, iPod Video 60GB  
ApplePogo

Posts: 7
From: Montreal
Registered: Mar 11, 2008
Re: Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental damage
Posted: Feb 26, 2009 12:49 PM   in response to: Christiaan Hunter
 

Hi guys the same issue happened on my macbook air brought it to the apple store at first they did not want to repair it but I asked to speak to a manager and explained to him that I pay the premium for apple products and that Ive been with apple since 2000 and that ive never had any trouble getting my stuff replaced or fixed and told him that I dont think I would just crack a hinge like that for fun on a 1899$ machine. He gladly changed it for free under the apple warranty and that was the end of. I figure that as long as there is no liquid damage or signs of abuse there is always a way with apple to get repaired.

MacBook Air   Mac OS X (10.5.6)    
Glorfindeal


Posts: 5,000
Registered: Nov 11, 2002
Re: Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental damage
Posted: Feb 26, 2009 1:11 PM   in response to: Christiaan Hunter
 

Here's an interesting article:

http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/26/macbook-air-hinge-defect-not-covered-by-apples-warranty/

Glor

Macbook 2.4 GHZ (4GB) late 2008, 30" Samsung 305T   Mac OS X (10.5.5)   iPhone 3G 16GB White, iPod Nano 8GB, iPod Video 60GB  

stevenbrown

Posts: 5
Registered: May 4, 2006
Re: Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental da
Posted: Feb 26, 2009 1:56 PM   in response to: Glorfindeal
 

thanks for posting that link.

At the suggestion of apple phone support, I'm getting the air back from the apple-authorized repair place and going down to the apple store tomorrow to show them. I'll post the results.

So ironic that I had just talked my wife into ordering a new mbp 15" to replace her orig mbp 1.83 this very weekend - no lie. I guess it's obvious that we're waiting to see how this comedy of Air-ors concludes. ;-\

macbook air with defective hinge   Mac OS X (10.5.6)    
stevenbrown

Posts: 5
Registered: May 4, 2006
UPDATE - apple does the right thing
Posted: Feb 27, 2009 8:45 PM   in response to: stevenbrown
 

Went to apple store, made case to apple genius, they agreed to fix all at no cost, before I really had a chance to bring my full dissatisfaction to bear. Well, I didn't break it, and now that they're fixing it, I'm cool.

Reconsidering my tactics, I think my problem was:
With a case of hardware damage that theoretically "could" have been from user abuse, I would have been better off going to the apple store first. Regardless of what I "should be able to do", I think Apple is less likely to rubber stamp a warranty repair if they have to rely on the assessment + digital pictures of the problem from a third party (apple-authorized repair services).

I like to support my local mac retailers now and then, but I'll probably use them for less dramatic damage. Supposed to get mba back in 4 or 5 business days. If all is well, I'm out!

ps: To some posters that were speaking badly of the overall value of apple products, I don't share your opinion - I've been using the living bejesus out of macs since 1994 because for me, they work better, faster, easier. That's why we can't have them breaking by themselves, eh?

macbook air   Mac OS X (10.5.6)    
MtlChris

Posts: 8
From: Montreal
Registered: Feb 27, 2009
Re: Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental da
Posted: Feb 27, 2009 9:15 AM   in response to: Christiaan Hunter
 

If I can add my two cents... Mine broke just like the others on this thread, and almost like everybody else, the first genius I consulted with told me that it was accidental damage and that they won't cover it. I left the Apple Store and called Apple customer service, explained the situation, including the fact a 1800 $ computer shouldn't broke without reason, that there was multiple people on the internet with the same problem... a few days later, Apple called me to say that they will cover the display change under warranty. Still, i'm not impressed :

  • The attitude of the first genius was very arrogant, telling me that I shouldn't try to "steal from Apple" by trying to cover accidental damage...

  • When I got my MacBook Air back, the genius told me that they did put a new hinge design in there, which feels much more sturdy indeed. So if Apple changed the hinge design, they know there was a problem with the hinge, but they still won't change your failed hinge unless you complain : what kind of customer service is that ?

I'm feeling a class action over those first gen MacBook Air, really... 1800 $ gets you a computer that doesn't perform (kernel_task problem), with failing hardware (hinge defect).

By the way... mine have also a decoloration of the trackpad that Apple won't cover because they say it's "cosmetic". How ironic from a company who charge big preniums for design not to cover "cosmetic" issues.

MacBook Air   Mac OS X (10.5.6)    
Bradley Olwin


Posts: 82
Registered: Nov 4, 2004
Re: Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental da
Posted: Mar 1, 2009 7:34 PM   in response to: Christiaan Hunter
 

Just to let you all know that my hinge issue was less serious, just a wobble and it was replaced free of charge. I went to the Genius Bar and there was no issue, the entire top panel and screen were replaced. I do have Applecare.

MacBook Air 1.8 SSD   Mac OS X (10.5.6)   2GB RAM  
justdhruv

Posts: 9
Registered: Jan 30, 2006
Re: Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental da
Posted: Mar 2, 2009 12:43 PM   in response to: Christiaan Hunter
 

mine just broke. Heard a crack sound. Posting it here, so that apple knows that there are significant number of airs affected by this problem.

Macbook air 1.6 80GB   Mac OS X (10.5.1)    
DeidreW

Posts: 1
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Mar 2, 2009
Re: Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental da
Posted: Mar 2, 2009 3:04 PM   in response to: justdhruv
 

The same thing happened to me. I took it to the "genius bar" and they said it was accidental damage and it would cost me $450 to fix. I called AppleCare and got a similar response. In both cases I explained to the person I was speaking with that many others are having this problem and that it appears to be a design flaw. In both cases the customer service person expressed disbelief and maintained the party line that it was accidental damage. I am a loyal Apple fan and love my Macbook Air but this situation has made me bitter about supporting this company.

macbook air   Mac OS X (10.5.6)    
MtlChris

Posts: 8
From: Montreal
Registered: Feb 27, 2009
Re: Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental da
Posted: Mar 2, 2009 4:15 PM   in response to: DeidreW
 

I would keep insisting, trying to move up the decision channel, by taking it to the store manager in person and asking for customer service and then a supervisor on the phone. Be nice and polite to everyone, but don't let yourself be intimidated. You paid a important amount of money for the computer, you have the right to get it to work in perfect condition.

MacBook Air   Mac OS X (10.5.6)    
carl wolf


Posts: 2,103
From: Bangkok, Thailand
Registered: Jan 8, 2004
Re: Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental da
Posted: Mar 3, 2009 12:30 AM   in response to: Christiaan Hunter
 

I believe that Apple's perspective is that a customer should return the computer when the hinge is "loose", rather than "living with it". Continuing to use the computer with a "loose hinge" is probably viewed as "abuse", and that's not covered by the warranty.

I'm in "Shanghai", and I met Gong Li. Woohoo!!      
Digoxin

Posts: 2
Registered: Jul 13, 2006
Re: Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental da
Posted: Mar 3, 2009 4:50 AM   in response to: Christiaan Hunter
 

My MBA Rev A suffered the same fate. One day I heard a pop when opening the lid and then I realised that the left hand corner hinge had slipped. I could put it back in place by pushing really hard but it would recur when I opened it again. I use my laptop against the wall so there is no chance I could overextend the lid as the Genius that I saw initially suggested might have contributed to the problem.

I got my MBA online through Apple Australia on the same day it was released. When I realised the machine had a serious fault I quickly panicked and remembered I was going to get Applecare but had not. My one year warranty was to expire that midnight and the hinge became an issue at 8pm that evening. Fortunately I was able to buy Applecare online and registered the machine in time.

I made an appointment with the local Apple Store and had an appointment with the Genius Bar. The Genius was excellent and when I explained how it was unlikely I had overextended the screen(which he told me was a common cause for the hinge to fail) he authorised a repair under Applecare. I was shocked to find it would have costed me AUD800 because the whole LCD screen was replaced as part of the hinge.

Most of the hinge faults have been on the side where the power cord attaches to and I wonder it is heat related.

Further to the replacement of the hinge/LCD the trackpad/keyboard(intermittent freezing) started to play up after I took the MBA back from repairs. Long story short it took replacing the top case and the logic board to repair the problem. My MBA is almost new now with only the HD and power supply and bottom case not yet replaced. Applecare has saved my butt

MBA Rev A 1.6   Mac OS X (10.5.6)