apple support in japan

MacBook Air Repair, Part 3 – Mission Accomplished – Apple Support in Japan Tips

My Top Tip on Getting your MacBook Air screen replaced in Japan

 

Where to find a MacBook Air 11.6 inch replacement screen? Well, it’s not at the local Eiden, shockingly. 😉
Having looked online the best deal all I could find was $299 on ebay.com. Nothing directly from China. Shame. Throw in shipping, and at that price point, possible import taxes, and it gets pretty steep.
I thought I’d ring Apple, just to get an idea what they’d quote. They told me all out of warranty repairs on MacBooks, iBooks, and MacBook Airs, are a flat rate 34650 yen. That’s ridiculously expensive – for anything other than a MacBook Air screen. Considering the hassle and the likely delays in getting it from abroad, then still having to fit it myself, I went for the convenient option. Maybe I’ve been in Japan too long. 😉

They turned it around in 5 working days, which, I guess, is acceptable.

So, here’s a top tip: if you cracked your MacBook Air’s screen, don’t contact me, just call Apple. Shocking, isn’t it?

You can call support on 0120-99-4477, then press 5 for English. This is free to dial from landlines. The number to use from Skype or other VOIP software is 03 5334 2096.

What to expect?

Well, as I have said the turnaround was quick. The price is high, but at least they won’t charge you for just looking at it, like Sony does. Shipping back and forth is included; there’s no benefit to going to an Apple Shop. They’ll send a Kuroneko delivery guy with a box to pick it up, so you won’t even have to package it (more on that later).

Wait times on the phone were tolerable. I got between 5 to 10 minutes every time. Operators are a mixed bag. Some speak really smooth English and can understand natural speed English, some don’t. My advice is to hang up politely and redial if you get the low end. A guy named Hasegawa was fluent and very helpful – you can ask for him by name if you get stuck.

Further, the system is all Japanese – all the automated emails, the status updates you will get are in Japanese.
These are fairly concise though – “we’ve received it,” “we’ve sent it back.” They can be easily decoded with Rikaichan.

My experience was not 100%. However, I don’t regret having gone with this option.

– The next day my Air was picked up I received a Japanese email, addressed to the previous owner, telling me that the laptop wasn’t under warranty and I should call them. Gee whiz, that’s why you wanted my card number when booking it in, right? I was having a chuckle.

– The same day I found the original packaging for my Air outside my door, on top of the garbage bags. Turns out the Kuroneko driver took my MacBook Air out of the box, and put it in a box they have prepared. The Air has a nice box and I would have been upset to lose it. I was not chuckling anymore.

– I did ring them, and spoke to a lady who was less than helpful or competent. She shall remain unnamed here. She didn’t know what was going on and promised a callback. That never happened. I left it – I trusted that my point has been made and they can sort it out without further chasing. Sure enough there was an email in my inbox a couple days later, telling me the repair is complete and they’re sending it back.

– Laptop has arrived as scheduled. It worked OK; they’ve replaced the whole top case, including the screen. Just as I have expected. The screen assembly wasn’t meant to be taken apart; the amount of glue in it is ridiculous.
On the downside, 2 screws on the bottom of the machine were loose. No biggie, but it can be rather annoying if you don’t have a MacBook Air pentalobe screwdriver handy, like I do.

 

Tips on dealing with support (not just Apple Support, but any PC support)

– Always ask for and make a note of the person’s name you’re speaking to. It helps with accountability. You may think this is not relevant in Japan, take it from me, it is. Remaining faceless and hiding behind company policy is in vogue here more than anywhere else.

– Ask for the ticket number they’ve logged the call under. This ensures that, in fact, your call has been logged on their system. It also saves time during your next call.

 

Good luck! Feel free to contact me for laptop repairs and upgrades! Except for MacBook Air 11″ screens, that is. 😉

Who Am I?

Hi, Sandor here. Thanks for visiting. Computer trouble in Japan? You've come to the right place!


I am 34 years old, and have been fixing computers since 1994, since before I finished high school. Then I got a degree in Computer Science, had my own PC shop, worked at a top laptop maker in England. Then I came to Japan; it's what I always wanted to do.


I pride myself in providing the best service possible and by being honest about my work. I now service all of Japan by a simple mail-in system. Use the "Contact Me" tab on the top menu to get in touch.


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