Mac Pro a1186 at apple store, feeling like they are giving me the runaround...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by audinutt, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2012
    I want to start off saying that apple products are a premium product.
    However, the service I have received has left me with absolutely no confidence in the apple store.

    I brought a Mac Pro a1186 (2006 intel dual xeon) into the Apple store for a diagnostic on Friday 4/20/12.
    At that time it would not post / no gong (power light came on and Diag LEDS checked out fine) - one note GPU present did not illuminate.
    The tech said it was most likely the logic board (part # 661-3919) but could be a defective CPU or both CPUs...
    I am a computer technician and haven't seen hardly any defective CPUs in over 15 years let alone 2 at the exact same time.

    This morning (4/23/12) I receive a voicemail from the apple store stating that both Processors are bad and the repair will be $1400 !!
    I called the store back and started asking questions, after asking several questions about processor failing and the logic board, it turns out that the Logic board has NOT been replaced yet and now he is telling me it is most likely only 1 bad CPU!

    I feel that the store is trying to take advantage of me and most likely is a ripoff. How do you diagnose a bad CPU without first swapping the logic board?

    Would a mac pro Gong or boot with 1 defective CPU? (part # 661-3921)

    I found a source for spare cpus for a fraction of the cost and asked if I could have them try these to verify it's the CPU... He stated that they can NOT. They can ONLY use APPLE parts.
    At this point I feel that I am being run around and they are trying to milk money out of me and replace parts without actually testing them.
    I am very disappointed and was talking to one of my techs... He said to come here to ask if the system would still GONG or POST with only 1 CPU functioning.

    Overall I can't say one good thing so far, infact I called the store back and asked to keep my old Logic Board only to be informed that they don't allow customers to keep old parts?!! Well how do I even know what they did or didn't change on this system!??
    This is a fiasco and will wait to see what happens when they finally install the new logic board but my hopes are not High on this at all...
    Can't say that I would ever recommend an apple product after this ordeal.

    If anyone can give me any other pointers I would appreciate it, sorry about the rant but this is ridiculous.
    If I ran my business like this I would be out of business..

  2. macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2010
    The parts are yours and you paid for them. If it were under warrantee they'd have a leg to stand on. I say eff them an go somewhere else. Actually I'd probably retire it and put the cash toward something new.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2012
    I am waiting to hear back after they put the logic board in.

    If it still doesn't boot, I'm telling them put the old board back in and I'm picking it up.

    I found a local mac repair that will send the logic board for repair for $350.
    That along with the 4 spare cpus I aquired for $60 should do it.

    Thanks for the response... I feel bad for people going to the apple store and don't know any better.

  4. audinutt, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2012

    thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2012
    If it was under warranty I wouldn't care if they changed everything inside the MAC! :)

    I am just frustrated that the tech called me to tell me 2 cpus are $1400 when I bought 4 today on ebay for $60... and they couldn't tell me how they tested them other than swapping them around on the board...

  5. goMac, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    All repairs are guaranteed for at least 30 days, I forget the actual number of days.

    So if they're wrong, they get to pay to fix it. They can't really rip you off.

    Are you sure you bought the right CPUs? I've never seen them that cheap on eBay. But what they're quoting you is the new price.
  6. macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Tempe, AZ
    This is no different than getting your car repaired at a dealership. They're going to use new OEM service parts, which are usually priced far beyond what one would consider fair market value. And the price typically won't change over time. A manufacturer's service department not allowing outside parts to perform repairs is pretty standard practice because it comes down to liability. They don't want to be held legally liable for potential defects in parts that weren't sourced through their own parts bin.

    CPU defects are pretty rare (as you've mentioned before), unless they were damaged due to improper installation. I'm leaning more towards the logic board being the culprit.

    Based on my recent out-of-warranty MacBook Pro repair (needed a whole new logic board), Apple gives you a 90-day warranty on their workmanship. I would assume the same would apply to anything they repair.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2009
    Michigan, USA
    I picked up two used L5320 Quad Core CPU's for my Mac Pro 1,1 for $30 total. The price he got isn't uncommon.
  8. macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2010
    Nope it isn't uncommon. I have two sitting in a drawer for more than two years. That is an old computer. Car analogies seldom work because they are full of exceptions
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2011
    Before spending that kind of cash I would consider getting another machine or at least my replacement parts somewhere else.

    Don't blame the store they are only parts swappers and only charge full retail.
  10. macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Yes. Like in 2010 they wanted me to pay $350.00 for a 500GB 3.5" bare drive. You will not ever get a deal from Apple unless you are a student or employee. Even then it covers your state tax or close to it. Get them to replace some things and find other sources for the rest. The retail store only deals with new stuff. I am glad OP found a 3rd party to help out.
  11. macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Wow, maybe it's time for me to pick up some new CPUs for my 3,1 even though it's in it's final few months. Would be nice to have a spare dual 3.0 or 3.2.
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2012

    I know they give me a 90 day warranty, but I don't understand how they can tell me that a CPU is bad when they haven't done any real troubleshooting.

    I have the voicemail from them that says $1400 for 2 new cpus this is what you need, call us back to let us know if you want to repair it.
    That's ludicrous to NOT test $1400 worth of parts and just say they need to be replaced, that's like taking your car to the dealer and it's due for a timing belt so they replace the engine... it's BS
  13. TennisandMusic

    Aug 26, 2008
    Well yeah, it's definitely BS. But that's sorta how they work. Places like that always make me mad because they prey on the ignorance of most customers. In that sense it is definitely like a car dealership.
  14. macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Tempe, AZ
    I would agree, that is ludicrous. In this case, I'd recommend getting a second opinion at a 3rd-party Apple repair shop. In my experience, the third party shops tend to have better service techs. It still seems fishy that they're pegging the issue on the CPUs. I'm still willing to bet it's the logic board.

    It's starting to sound like me that they have no way to properly diagnose your Mac Pro in-store, so they're simply assuming what's wrong and trying to throw parts at it. All good if you're under warranty, but not if you have to pay.
  15. macrumors 65816

    Mar 28, 2007
    Just thinking the same if they can be found at that price. It might be worth the hassle of taking the machine a part.

    Apple will always charge the original cost price. Although how they knew it was both CPU's without even looking at the motherboard is rather odd.
  16. macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2011

    actually they do... you simply put a new CPU in. the machine will boot with only one installed. Then you mix and match, and through a process of elimination you determine what the faulty part is. There is no magic diagnostic machine, it's just logical thinking.

    I can tell you first hand, many of their techs are paid too little to be experienced. Too often they are put in the job for reasons other than their troubleshooting chops...
  17. macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2011
    the car analogy works perfectly fine... OEM parts from the dealer are always way more expensive than used parts found elsewhere, and dealer doesn't scrounge around on ebay looking for parts.
  18. macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2011

    There is no incentive for them to take advantage of you. They get no commission, no credit , no points , no anything based on how much they charge you.

    You don't need to swap a logic board to prove a faulty logic board. All you need is one good CPU. They could even get 2 new CPU's and drop them in. You just need to be methodical.
  19. macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    I've worked in an Apple Store.
    This is basically Apple Tech Repair procedures for desktop Macs:

    Does it boot?
    No--->Reset CMOS/PRAM
    Does it boot?
    No--->Try fresh OS drive
    Does it boot?
    No--->Start replacing parts.

    Then they start replacing the motherboard, and continue with PSU, then CPU and finally GPU if it does'nt solve the problem.

    It's true.

    If you are out of Apple Care, you are really better off fixing the problem yourself.
  20. macrumors 68020

    Apr 26, 2003
    My belief is that a large part of your feeling that this is a fiasco has to do with your expectations. You sound as if you think you know more than the Apple staff - if so, go purchase the cpu(s) and swap them out yourself to start the Dx process. In the alternative, go to an independent tech shop and let them have a go at it. Or, purchase a more current model and not sink more $$$ into an old computer.
  21. macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2005
    I would buy a used mac pro and be on my way I ended up paying like 800 to get my logic board fixed this was a few years back though. And they took the old one as a core otherwise a new logic board is $$$$
  22. macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2011
    That is exactly backwards.. If you had no clue, GPU, CPU, PSU, and then MLB. It would be the most knuckle headed thing to do on a Mac Pro to replace the MLB first.

    The OP's situation sounds like they do in fact have knuckle heads at that Genius Bar.
  23. macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Techs have to guess and start swapping parts?!! No plug-in diagnostic tools? That seems archaic.
  24. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    This is one of my major complaints with the imac's format. If you're not under warranty, you go through that. I'm not sure if the ssd only bay still accepts generic parts, but the capacity still isn't entirely there without spending half the cost of the base computer on a hard drive upgrade.

    I know this is anecdotal, but whenever you read about someone's problems on here, it's almost always the gpu or logic board. I've never actually read about someone frying a cpu.

    Anyway your assertion is correct. The Genius Bar was give an unintentionally ironic name:D.
  25. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2012
    Received an email from the apple store, that the computer is repaired.

    Called them, to figure out what is going on... Turns out they changed the logic board (which I had insisted).

    Well guess what, the system boots now... I am still frustrated that they told me 2 cpus were bad and never tested them.. Both CPUS are good... wow what a shocker! (not)

    Very odd.. I will be talking to the manager of the store and send an email to corporate...

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