We see tons of questions like this: “My iPod went through a huge wash, and the screen is black, when I hold the flashlight to it, it is seeable, but, it’s very inconvenient to have a black screened iPod nano in the public.” that ultimately boil down to: my iPod’s busted, how can I get it fixed cheap?
If something goes wrong with your iPod, whether it be an iPod Touch, an iPod Nano, Classic, or whatever else kind of iPod you have, in the first year of ownership, I would definitely start by going into an Apple Store and talking with one of their “geniuses” about what’s going on and whether they can just replace it.
Depending on the damage, it might just be that easy to walk out with a completely new, shiny, in-the-box iPod. Now, if it’s water damage like having it go through the wash, well, that’s usually not covered. To find out if you’re within that year of purchase, you can go to the Online Service Assistant area of Apple’s site and enter the serial number on the back of your iPod.
In the limited warranty for your iPod, Apple explicitly says that it does not apply if the damage is due “to cosmetic damage, including but not limited to scratches, dents, and broken plastic on ports; to damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, liquid spill or submersion, flood, fire, earthquake or other external causes” and a bunch more things.
Which is where you are. Whether you claim that going through a big wash was a flood or just a regular old submersion, the warranty on your iPod isn’t going to help you.
You can still go to Apple and see what they can offer: if you do that, I strongly recommend that you make an appointment with the iPod “genius” on your local Apple Store’s web site rather than just walk in off the street. It’ll be faster and much more satisfying as an experience. Go here to make an appointment at your local Apple Store.
If you’re still reading, well, you’ve probably talked with Apple and they said “you’re on your own, pal” and offered to sell you a shiny new iPod at full price. Not so helpful.
There are two basic choices you have at this point: you can try to find a deal on a used iPod as a replacement, or you can look for a third-party service facility, because, heck, your warranty is already DOA so why not give it a shot?
In the former case, one place I suggest you look is the refurbished iPod area on the Apple store. Particularly after a new generation of iPod devices are released, Apple often has substantial discounts on older units, up to 40% off or more. The best news? They’re covered under the Apple warranty for that first year so assuming you don’t have a flood or earthquake problem (cough cough) you’ll be good even if something goes south.
As I write this, for example, there are a bunch of current generation 8GB iPod Nano devices on sale for $99, and a current generation 8GB iPod Touch for $149. Those are good prices, for sure!
You can also check out Craigslist, eBay or similar to see what you can find, and don’t forget that Amazon has a marketplace area too: search for the iPod you have and check the used prices. Pay close attention to the seller ratings and feedback, though: there are a lot of rip-offs with small electronics, and a lot of stolen goods being fenced.
Really love your device with its custom engraving and really just want to get it fixed? Check your local computer stores: lots of them can do basic iPod repair for considerably less than Apple charges, though there’s usually a non-refundable service fee for them to pull the device apart and properly diagnose what’s wrong.
One final suggestion is that I have had good luck with TechRestore, a service where you mail in your broken devices and they charge a flat fee for basic repairs like a new screen or new trackwheel. They seem to have an army of techs and turn things around quite promptly. Here’s a link: iPod repair at TechRestore.com.
Good luck with it, whatever path you choose to travel! iPods are very nice gizmos, but they aren’t particularly tough…