9 Replies Latest reply: Mar 23, 2008 6:27 PM by Pismo 900
PBookie Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
Hi all,
A friend just wrote saying she was still having problems with her 2nd generation 15" 1.67GHz PowerBook. According to her it usually starts up normally as it should, but sometimes it refuses to startup at all. Other times it runs for a while then loses all functionality. (Not sure what she means by that yet.)
She didn't buy the extended Apple Care at the time of purchase. and it is now 2 1/2 yrs. old, and of course, out of warranty .

Her question to me was: "can I buy the two year extended warranty now or is it too late?"

My question is: I have heard that there is a flat rate approx. $350 for the Aluminum PowerBooks at Apple Stores to replace logic boards with bad lower slots.
Does this same flat rate hold true for any other repairs on Aluminum PowerBooks?

Pismos G4 550/900-Titanium 1GHz-Aluminum 1.25GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    The extended AppleCare Protection Plan can be bought at any time during the original warranty period of one year from the date of the hardware's purchase. No matter when it's bought during that year, it runs from one year after hardware purchase until three years after hardware purchase. So even if your friend could buy it now, it would end about six months from now.

    The availability of the Flat Rate Repair program is a little mysterious, and I wouldn't take the word of anyone but an Apple representative about it. If I were you, I'd call the nearest Apple Store and ask about it. If they said no, I'd call the nearest AASP and ask about it. If they also said no, I'd call Applecare and ask about it. As soon as anyone acknowledged the existence of a flat rate program, I'd get a case number and arrange to take or send the Powerbook in. Of course you may be asked to perform some diagnostics first, to assure that the problem is hardware-related.
  • PBookie Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
    Thanks eww,

    I wrote her back and told her to try to buy the extended Apple care even if the normal time to buy has expired----who ever knows what the Apple People might decide to do?

    As far as this flat rate, well again who knows what they may say on any given day.
    I will forward your answer to her and she can make the decision to do as she sees fit.
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Well, I sure wouldn't advise anyone to try to buy the extended APP under those circumstances. I'm afraid she'll go buy the package, and then find when she tries to register it to her Powerbook that the PB is ineligible and her money has been wasted.
  • PBookie Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
    Thanks again for the new info eww,

    Having never bought a computer new, I wasn't aware that one had to buy the extended policy from Apple prior to finding out if their computer was available for coverage.

    I wrote her immediately after receiving your reply to say: "don't buy anything until you are absolutely assured that your laptop can be covered".

    If I know her, she will be buying a new one MBP. As a photographer, her computer is second in priority only to her cameras.
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Having never bought a computer new, I wasn't aware that one had to buy the extended policy from Apple prior to finding out if their computer was available for coverage.

    You don't have to, but it's possible to buy an AppleCare Protection Plan without finding out whether your computer will be covered. It's just a little box you pull off a shelf and carry to the cash register like anything else. The rubber doesn't meet the road until you register it to your computer.
  • Pismo 900 Level 4 Level 4 (1,110 points)
    You can always check if your machine is covered by going to the Support page and on the right hand side under "Services & Programs" click on the "Check My Warranty and Repair Options" and it will give you detailed information after entering your computer's Serial No.

    Then, if your machine is not covered under warranty, you can choose options for repairs that Apple will perform--even if it's not covered by warranty and/or AppleCare--and where you can go to get it done, and how much it will cost.

    On a different note, even if it says your machine is no longer covered, sometimes--in rare cases, and as such, my case--the information can be incorrect or corrected. I bought my 12-inch PowerBook from CompUSA as an open box unit and it was already 1.5 years old according to the automated system.

    However, I called AppleCare, (e-mailed rather) and told them that this machine was never used before I purchased it other than being an open box or demo unit in the store, and that I was its first owner. My proof was my purchase receipt, and upon faxing it in, I gained a full year of coverage (limited warranty) from Apple starting from the day that was reflected on the purchase receipt.

    I ended up being able to get a brand new LCD screen and a replacement AC adapter under AppleCare. A package worth $750+ had it not been under warranty!

    (Which was kind of a bummer too since CompUSA required me to buy their TAP warranty due to policy on demo units... but I'm not complaining, even if CompUSA is gone, since I still have less than two years left--three year service plan--on their warranty which is being serviced by a third party after their stores closed. Screen replacement and battery and what not are covered still! Plus I could also have bought AppleCare extended warranty, but with the TAP already paid for, I figured, no need to spend more money on something that will be outdated in 2009... already outdated in 2006, really!).

    Message was edited by: Pismo 900

    I guess I should have provided that link, in case it moves somewhere else (though this link could expire as well!):

  • t0ken Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I actually asked a genius at my local store yesterday, and (for PowerBook G4s anyway), you can get flat-rate repair work done at any point out of warranty. That being said, any kind of damage to the case, certain wear and tear, 3rd party parts etc can bump you into a new tier, and the flat rate for parts at that point won't apply. Basically, if the repair would have been covered under AppleCare or the original warranty, you should be good to go. They will call you if the flat-rate doesn't apply, at which point you can opt-out of service, but you will still be charged for labor.

    Hope that helps.
  • PBookie Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
    Thanks Pismo 900 & t0ken,
    I appreciate the extra info and will for ward your comments to my friend.

    She has boxed her PowerBook up until I get back to the states to see if anything can be done to it or to list it in ebay since she is now sporting a brand new MBP 17" with three years of warranty.
  • Pismo 900 Level 4 Level 4 (1,110 points)
    Wow. That's interesting. I never knew all of this. That's why it caught my eye and I wanted to read about it. I know about AppleCare, but not about the "Flat-Rate Repair" option. (Though after participating in this thread, I did a search online, and as early as 2004, people have been talking about this-- funny thing is that a direct link someone provided to the flat-rate repair option on the support site has disappeared, though most likely because the site has changed many times since then).

    You learn something new everyday! It's nice to be able to learn things from others--that's what these discussion forums are for--once in awhile. =)

    Usually I'm the one with a "wealth" of info.

    I may inquire about this for a friend. Her iBook G3 bit the dust and she only uses it for e-mail, internet, typing, etc. I recommended to her that she just buy another used one (hers was bought new though back in I don't know) on eBay for the price of a repair.

    Something is wrong with her screen, or the video card connection. I'd fix it for her, but opening up an iBook looks pretty painstaking.

    If more people knew about this, they'd flock to Apple Stores to get their machines fixed! Then again, not everyone--no offense to anyone--takes good care of their machines and will have a dent or a ding and it becomes the "catch 22" where they say, well... I won't comment I guess, per TOS.

    (My machines are next to perfect as I take good care of my things so it's nice to know that I can walk in to a store in the near future if I ever need a repair. They'd probably be like, "Where did you get that? That wasn't sitting in the back of a store unsold, was it?" Ha ha. I was going to say the Apple Museum or something, but probably even theirs don't look like mine).