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I have a Mid-2010 MacBook Pro with AppleCare. I've had a few minor/cosmetic hardware issues:

  • My power cord recently started coming apart. The rubber/plastic coating around the MagSafe end of the cord has begun to fray a little bit. I've covered it with electrical tape for now. I did find this question which seems to have a satisfactory answer for this particular issue. But more interestingly:

  • The right-front corner of the body is scuffed and losing its silver coating. I haven't put any particular extra stress on this part of the body, but the silver coating is coming off. The left side is fine.

  • My left command key is starting to wear through. A layer of the material seems to be chipping away slowly; here's a picture where you can see the backlight shining through a few tiny holes. The right command key is fine.

Is it possible that I could get these issues repaired since I have AppleCare? Is it even worth taking in to an Apple Store? If they wouldn't do this for free, how much would they be likely to charge me?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Is it worth taking it in? Absolutely! Apple have legendary customer service and will likely fix things they have absolutely no legal obligation to fix.

The power cord is absolutely covered. Apple will replace it free of charge under your warranty. As for the weathered keyboard key, they may likely do the same as that shouldn't be happening and a replacement key (which they will likely have a plentiful supply of in the back) costs next to nothing and is trivial to swap.

As for the scuffing on the case, they may shy away from that as that is a) a considerable amount of work to do and b) not cheap. But press them and you'll find that they may just acquiesce. The unit should after all retain its coating and they may tell you it's a "one time cosmetic replacement," but will still do the servicing.

I have personally had them replace my iPhone even though I couldn't reproduce the problem I had reported. My friend had his replaced, free of charge, after he dropped it and admitted to such when bringing it in (he is not alone here, as I have had other friends receive the same treatment). They also overnighted a new battery when my MacBook Pro was 6 months out of warranty!

I always encourage people to make use of their warranty. Apple's customer service is bar none the best in the world. Truly. They will make you feel like you own part of the company. I cannot express here how good it really is.

While you may not find precedent for them to fix any of those issues, you'll soon find that you won't need to. Apple works to make you happy, and not just to meet some legal requirement.

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I think this is excellent advice. I always go in with an open mind. Ask instead of demand - listen instead of insist. I've always felt like Apple looked for any reason to cover something that was borderline with my repairs. I would focus on how the wear affects your use of the product. Functional problems are much easier to justify than someone wanting a cover replaced simply because it's scratched or lightly used. In this case - sharp edge, keys feel off when touch typing - you've basically loved it so much it's wearing out a little early. –  bmike Mar 21 '12 at 0:18
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@bmike I totally agree. I've always been honest and up front with Apple. If a junior technician couldn't help because of policy, I just politely asked to speak with a senior employee who had the authority to say "yay." It has always worked out in my favor. From my own experience, I have a laundry list of things Apple has gone out of their way to do for me. Most of which they were in no way legally required to do. I am an Apple customer for life not only because of their great products, but because they treat me like kin. I cannot express how great their service truly is. –  cksum Mar 21 '12 at 0:22
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Well said cksum. AppleCare has always been great, even in the very old days. I've used it overseas, and while on the road in the US since the service started. They will go out of their way to make things right for you. –  Richard Mar 21 '12 at 3:00
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I want to add two things to address the repair - but cksum nailed in on the big picture. Normal wear and tear is excluded from both the warranty and AppleCare by wording, however when it interferes with the operation or might be premature, I've seen coverage in practice.

  1. Backup your mac before the bar appointment and bring in the backup if you are not 100% sure it's perfect and reliable. Better safe than sorry. Repairing the top case is a major repair - not hard, but everything moves into a new case.
  2. Even if the repair is quoted as out of warranty - $320 covers all cosmetic and non-abuse related damage to most portables with a short (less than a week normally) turn around. You can get good information as part of the quote process, so ask the tech at your appointment how things are repaired.
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