My PowerBook's Adventure in Las Vegas

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Date: Monday, April 25th, 2005, 23:12
Category: Archive

This article relates my experience with using AppleCare to have my PowerBook repaired while I was on vacation in Las Vegas last week. Read More…


Two friends and I flew out to Las Vegas from Philadelphia for a vacation. On the flight to Las Vegas on April 16, my 1Ghtz 15″ PowerBook worked fine. By the time my friends and I checked into our room at the Excalibur, and I set up a wireless network via Airport Express, my PowerBook’s display began to fail it me. It would display severe pixelation and then turn all white on me.
By Tuesday, April 19, my PowerBook’s display was totally useless. I decided to take my PowerBook over to the Mac Genius bar at the Las Vegas Apple Store. Nothing could be done there to fix the problem.
About a year ago, my PowerBook flew out of a cheap backpack when I slung it over my shoulder as I rushed to an appointment. My PowerBook slammed against a concrete abutment and than it bounced on the ground next to my car. The case was severely damaged. The case was scratched and dented in several places. The damage caused the metal CD-RW slot to bend shut and I had to use a screw driver to pry it open.
As soon as I got to my office, I turned on the PowerBook. It booted up fine and I tried to burn a CD-W and it all worked fine, but I knew at some point, this incident would come back to haunt me. That point happened when I was in Las Vegas and I wanted to download some photos from my Canon Digital Rebel.
The Mac Genius who examined my PowerBook immediately noticed the damage that had occurred a year earlier. I did have a three year AppleCare warranty for my PowerBook with a year left on it, but the Mac Genius said it might be voided if the motherboard was found to be damaged due to my dropping the PowerBook. I suspected as much. The Mac Genius also pointed out that the AppleCare warranty would not cover the cost of fixing the scratched and dented case.
After signing some forms and waiting for the Mac Genius to discuss my case with his manager, my PowerBook was wisked away to be repaired. I left instructions not to do any work on my PowerBook if it was not covered by the warranty. The Mac Genius said the motherboard was probably bad. If I had to pay to replacement the motherboard, I would just as soon scrap my PowerBook and replace it with a new one right away, even though I prefer to hold out another year before buying a new PowerBook in hopes of a G5 based model being available.
When I returned home in New Jersey on Friday afternoon (4/22), the door man for my apartment building told me a package had just been delivered by DHL for me. I quickly opened the box and there appeared to be a new PowerBook inside! A letter in the box explained that several parts were replaced, including the case and the motherboard under warranty! Net cost to me was zero! I really did not expect this, especially the new case.
My PowerBook works and looks as good as new thanks to the impressive service Apple provided to me in my time of need, far from home. As a result of this experience, I would never consider buying another Apple computer without also purchasing an AppleCare warranty for it.

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