8 Replies Latest reply: May 7, 2012 10:23 AM by captfred
jlmnjem Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

My son was on a school trip and was rooming with a few friends in a motel room. My son was sitting at the desk in the room, and one of his friends was sitting to his left on the end of the bed with his MacBook Air in his lap. The power cord was connected to the MagSafe connector on the left side of the laptop, and it was plugged in to an outlet by the desk where my son was sitting, with the cord stretched across the walk space between the bed and the desk. Someone knocked on the door and my son got up to answer it. My son's foot caught the power cord, which should have simply pulled the MagSafe connector loose. However, my son's friend is claiming that the cord somehow got caught in between the two halves of the laptop and caused the damage shown in the photo. This is even harder to fathom since my son was moving in the direction away from the small gap between the two halves of the laptop.

 

The laptop didn't get pulled from his friend's lap, hit the floor or anything else. He's just saying he heard a loud pop sound when the end of the cord pulled through the gap. Of course, the issue is his friend's dad wants my son to pay the $200 he was quoted for the repair. Is it plausible that the cord could do this kind of damage, especially considering it didn't fling a computer as light as an MacBook Air across the room?

 

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  • 1. Re: Anyone seen damage like this before?
    ezollars Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)

    It certainly looks like something snagged an edge and was pulled, so it seems conceivable that a cord might have been a culprit.  It clearly would have been easier to snap if it had already been loosened so there was a gap there, but that fact the Air didn't go across the room would make that sort of damage more likely, because it looks like the computer stayed put and whatever it pulled across and the cover surrounding the hinge was what gave to release the tension.

  • 2. Re: Anyone seen damage like this before?
    carl wolf Level 6 Level 6 (14,040 points)

    "the cord stretched across the walk space between the bed and the desk"

    That certainly reads as if it's a problem waiting to happen.  Regardless, since you do not believe your son and his friend, how would you explain the damage?  I'm surprised that the cost is only $200.  Pay for the damage, maintain the relationship with the other family, and take it out of your son's allowance.

  • 3. Re: Anyone seen damage like this before?
    jlmnjem Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I believe my son, and he is adamant that he did not do the damage. With a little more research, I have found reference to a recall on early MacBook Airs for faulty hinges (http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2948). In fact, my son says the laptop had play in the screen when his friend bought the laptop off of Craigslist, as well as a few other signs of wear and tear. Since the play in the screen and the broken hinge are both criteria for the recall, I'm coming to the conclusion that the hinge was already compromised and my son tripping over the cord had little to nothing to do with the damage. I had my son send the support article url to his friend and encourage him to pursue the problem with Apple.

  • 4. Re: Anyone seen damage like this before?
    Tony T1 Level 6 Level 6 (8,385 points)

    I don't see how this is your sons fault.  If he had tripped over the wire and was injured, a reasonable person would fault the person who stretched the wire across the walk space, not the person who tripped over it.

  • 5. Re: Anyone seen damage like this before?
    JoeyR Level 6 Level 6 (8,275 points)

    Agreed... whether or not yanking the cord caused the problem, the damage is not your son's fault.  The person who strung the cord in a walkway is at fault, not the person that trips over it.  If your son walked over, grabbed the cord, and yanked on it, that would be one thing... but tripping over a cord that was recklessly placed in a walking area certainly would not be his fault. 

  • 6. Re: Anyone seen damage like this before?
    captfred Level 7 Level 7 (26,235 points)

    This MBair has been highly user modified.  First, the back plate wouldn't separate unless the screws holding it in place were striped or missing.  Second, the back plate is one piece of aluminum.  The picture shows a damaged area that is not the original aluminum back.  It's been cut away and some form of plastic substituted.  If it's this modified on the USB side expect simular modifications on the magsafe side.

     

    I suspect the battery swelled on this Mac and the user disassembled it, Replaced the battery and modified the damaged backplate in order to sell it on Craigslist.   I wouldn't pay a dime.

     

    Edit:  Or it's a Chinese knockoff and not even a real Apple product

  • 7. Re: Anyone seen damage like this before?
    JoeyR Level 6 Level 6 (8,275 points)

    Hmmm... I was thinking something didn't look right, but didn't really notice that.  Interesting that the owners father said he was quoted a $200 repair fee.  I doubt Apple would do such a repair on a machine that has been modified (at least not for $200).  I don't even think an AASP would be able to do it as they pretty much have to follow Apple's guidelines.  I'd be curious to see pics of the whole machine.

  • 8. Re: Anyone seen damage like this before?
    captfred Level 7 Level 7 (26,235 points)

    It's definitely a fake MBair.  No apple dealer would touch it.  Compare with a real 1st generation machine.

     

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