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I cracked the LCD screen of my Macbook Air a few days ago and dropped it off at the Apple store to get it replaced. The 'Genius' there said it would cost around $500 and that having another repair shop fix it would void its warranty (I have the Apple Care package), so I authorized the repair. Today I received a call from the Apple store that the technician who opened up the laptop found 'a few dead bugs' in the laptop and since this is a 'biohazard', they won't be able to do the fix themselves. They weren't specific about the kind of bugs they found.

Bugs are definitely a pest but not a biohazard unless they're known vectors of transmittable diseases but I'm pretty sure the Apple store doesn't have trained entomologists on payroll masquerading as technicians to make that distinction. By this logic, the moment anyone sees a bug in an Apple Store, anyone can scream 'OMG, biohazard!', have the store shut down and wait for the friendly folks in hazmat suits to arrive. In fact, I have half a mind to do precisely that this weekend.

AFAIK I have no bedbugs whatsoever but anyway, can I try taking it to another store? Also, will this void the warranty?

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    If the bug isn't a biohazard, call it a feature
    – Munesawagi
    May 9, 2016 at 15:05
  • And yes, if the Apple Genius said another third-party repair would void the warranty, then it will. :(
    – Munesawagi
    May 9, 2016 at 15:06
  • But seeing that they're refusing to work on this laptop themselves, aren't they twisting my arm to void the warranty myself?
    – Craig
    May 9, 2016 at 15:07
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    That's true. I would call them back and confirm that they absolutely can't work on it. If they say yes, that's great. If they say no, just take it in for a third-party repair.
    – Munesawagi
    May 9, 2016 at 15:09

1 Answer 1

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Just doing a quick bit of research, I ran across this post on Apple's support forums that sounded eerily similar to your situation.

What I gathered from the article is that

  • You should immediately ask for photographic evidence
  • You should document with Apple customer relations (1-800-676-2775 in the US)
  • The bugs themselves won't void the warranty, but the Apple tech can void the warranty on his own accord (if he believes they are a biohazard)

There are a couple of things you can try:

  • Take the MBA back, remove the back cover and using a can of compressed air, blow out any remnants of the bugs. There are no tamper resistant stickers or tags that will indicate that you did this. Bring it back to another Apple store, tell them what the first one told you and claim it's BS. Depending on the year of the MBA (2012 and later) you might need a Pentalobe screwdriver. Older than that, and a regular jeweler's Phillips will do just fine.

  • If that option isn't feasible, avoid the "Geniuses" at all costs. I have never found them competent in solving problems. There are some good Apple repair shops. One that I have found is based in NYC and have done better work that the authorized guys (https://www.rossmanngroup.com/) Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with him, I just had really good results on may occasions.

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  • Thanks for the recommendation of the Rossmann Group - they saved me!
    – Craig
    Jun 14, 2016 at 2:15

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