I had one of ours fixed at the Apple store genius bar in Birmingham 2 weeks ago.
The cireteria is the Macbook must be less than 5 years old and not be damaged by abuse. This last bit is a bit subjective, but as long as it's just shows signs of normal wear and tear that's fine.
The bits that are part of the Apple extended warranty are the 'top' case (around the keyboard/trackpad, where most fail) and the bezel around the screen (I think that's where yours is damaged from what you describe).
The bottom case and the lid are not covered.
I had the bottom case replaced on my wife's at the same time as they did the free replacements for £40. The result is, apart from the lid which was fine anyway, a brand new looking macbook.
The service really is excellent, I think. Just make an appointment at a Genius bar and that's that. I collected the repaired Macbook the next day, and that was smack in the middle of the busy holiday period.
Well, just for completeness of the record:
I rang Applecare who confirmed I was indeed eligible for free replacement (my Macbook is early 2009), provided me with an Apple Care support number just in case my local service centre (a reseller, not Apple Store) asked for one.
I took it to the reseller, they told me it would take two weeks and advised me a Genius Bar would be much faster.
I booked with my nearest Genius Bar (Leicester)
I left the Macbook with them, an hour later I was collecting it looking like new. The charges would have been aroun £100 but it was all waived.
I'm more than pleased with the service from Apple.
For anyone else reading this thread with the same issue - don't mess around with resellers - go straight to an Apple Store.
Well, I have a 2010 White MacBook which has developed a crack in the upper case to the left hand side of the keyboard close to the power adaptor connection point. Encouraged by this discussion thread I have just taken it to my local Apple Store in Brighton to discuss repair but was told that I would have to pay the £100 it would cost to repair (I am out of warranty).
It seems that the Apple have identified an issue with the older 2008 white MacBook, where cracking is seen at the front of the case (as a result of the closing mechanism on lid which impacts those areas) and have initiated a quality program to address that specific issue. While the guy at the that Genius Bar indicated in his personal opinion that my issue looked like a result of a manufacturing defect, it is not something that has yet been officially designated as an issue by Apple, and so unless you are in warranty you'll have to pay for any repair. The quote was £81 plus VAT for replacement of the upper case.
5 years + 4 months = no go. Although that wasn't what "they" told me at Apple.
Don't know why I waited so long, but it was working fine with the cracks.
Called apple support, and they told me they would replace it.
Took it the LAS and they said that Apple might refuse because it was more than 5 years old.
I was confused, but trusted the guy from Apple, and then the LAS told me Apple refused. They even had me pay the service fee of 85$.
I complained 3 stops in the line of phone calls; all it got me was a Trackpad worth the 85$. I'm a little disappointed, but then again: I was too late.
Macbook2,1 (late 2006).
No - as I recall - I explained I didn't have Applecare, but understood that there was a replacement programme through them. Once they had checked the date of my Macbook's purchase and determined my eligibility for the free replacement programme there was no discussion of money right up to the point that I left the Genius Bar with a like-new Mac and an invoice waiving a £100 fee. I was under the impression that the replacement programme was time limited - it may be too late now
The Applecare phone operator gave me an Applecare support number, but actually said I shouldn't need one. My only hiccup in the whole process was trying to do the repair through a reseller.
It's been over a year since your post, so I hope you receive this query.
My daughter's white plastic MacBook -- about the same vintage as yours or a bit newer: Aug 2009 -- developed those well-known top case cracks about 2-1/2 years ago, within the 1-year warranty (I didn't even know about defects covered beyond that point). Was directed to a very good, nice, decent Apple support and repair store in NYC (which is a miracle, believe me!!!). No computer sales, just support. Very specialized and very personal. Completely different from other "authorized Apple" support stores in NYC. They replaced that one top piece quickly and for free. But perhaps a year later the top plate started developing new chips all over the place. I e-mailed Manny -- a terrific guy -- the person there who'd helped me before with both her Mac and mine, to ask about it, but got no reply. Maybe he missed it. E-mail is fallible. With a high schooler who "depends" on her Mac (social stuff as well), getting it out of her hands for any length of time is not easy, so I didn't pursue it further.
Now, it's 3-1/2 years old, but still functions perfectly well for all her needs and seems likely to for at least another year or more. (I know my MacBook Pro of the same vintage shows no sign of becoming "old" in any ways whatsoever.) But now her cracks, as with some other in this discussion, have extended further, and the entire frame around the screen -- directly around the screen and the entire top frame that holds the screen -- have cracks and breaks that really worry me functionally. (I have to press it down in the back after she closes it to get the top shell and bezel that hold the screen to snap back together at one, point, but there are holes, and yet new cracks forming!) I'm finally getting the courage to upgrade her machine from the Leopard OS it came with to the Snow Leopard disk that arrived with it, which I should have done immediately, but fear it will be for a machine that can't hold together. STILL...it does seem like a true manufacturing defect in all places. She's really a very careful kid.
Here in friendly NYC you'd be hard pressed to find any store that says "Apple" on it to actually do what they're supposed to do -- it's time spent on paperwork they could spend on something more profitable. Except, I hope, the one I used before, who has all our information, but has not seen me since 2010 or 2011.
My wife works for a well-heeled school that replaces all their harware every two years whether it needs it or not. To them, 2 years = out of date. But she gets her stuff for free. My daughter and I do not, and we really cannot afford to just replace the machine -- especially if it's working just fine, even with all the cracks and holes. (The economic recovery has not reached us, big surprise.)
YOUR success story caught my attention for this very reason, as did someone else's, here in the US, who mentioned a five-year period for cracked plastic on these things. So I want to clarify what you or anyone else has done.
You say you contacted Applecare. Is that right? What/who exactly is that? Who/what number do you call or what web site do you go to to find folks there who are truly helpful?
Do you need a special Applecare contract that we would have had to buy at the time the Mac was bought?
It really sounds like calling someone at the right # at Apple (esp. with their current Congressional tax problems!) might give me a "number" of some sort that I could just bring to Manny, or whoever is there, when my kid goes to camp and say: "Here, they said to replace all this crappy plastic. Apple will pay."
Any advice or solid info from anyone would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry this was so lengthy -- putting it off so long just made it grow and grow.
I just had mine replaced in a store in Los Angeles. They said it is a defect with the machine and they fixed it even though my applecare has expired. If you want to give me your email, I can forward you my work order. It says on there that the cost is $244, but they also noted that Mac would cover the cost.
Thanks for the info. Got it fixed at Digital Society here in NYC. I actually never even had any Applecare beyond the first year's warranty. But they did the whole frame around and in back of the screen for even less than that, and got Apple to pay for a new entire top case and installation (w/keyboard + touchpad), though that only had 2 chips, which would normally be about $170 just for the part. (They also re-checked the integrity of the hard drive since I was considering changing it up from leopard to snow leopard, and found several bad blocks, a pretty sure sign it's going to die soon, which even I know -- I'm not surprised about the bad blocks -- so they asked first and put in a new HD for the minor cost of the drive -- a much bigger one -- and transferred everything and upgraded it to snow leopard 10.6.8 and updated all other programs too and re-diagnosed the whole thing again, all for the $85 of a new 500GB hard drive. Needed new hinges too, which I could feel were gone. All in all a pretty big job, and lots of diagnosis and re-diagnosis included. Teens can be hard on these things. But now it's pretty much like new. Not bad for about $300 all told, considering most people have to pay for everything at almost the 4 year mark.) Just goes to show, there are good, decent places if you know where to find them. (Maybe having a friend in common helped too. Who knows?)
Thanks again for the offer.