Once upon a time in Apple land. A MacBook Pro tragedy. (you can laugh at/with me)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kntgsp, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2004
    I consider this a Crime Drama, as what Apple is doing is, to me, criminal.

    Here is the story of my MacBook Pro (RIP) and why I almost c***punched an apple rep.

    Once upon a time, a college student who had saved up a bunch of money for a shiny new laptop, decides to plunk down $3000 USD on a brand new MacBook Pro from his College Bookstore Apple Store. The college student is sold by the employees showing off the MacBook Pro, and so he decides to go all out and get the loaded version.

    He goes home, the whole way eyeing his new MacBook Pro in the seat next to him. He gently unpacks the MacBook Pro, making sure not to tear any wrapping or scratch his shiny, new $3000 USD investment. He boots up his laptop and is greeted to the wonderfully pleasant guide to set up his new computer. He even takes a few snapshots with his fun new built-in iSight.

    He makes sure to update all the software and install the latest firmware and updates to make sure his sound investment is up to snuff with the latest the tech world and internet has to offer. He smiles proudly at his shiny, new $3000 USD investment.

    But alas, the elation was not for long, when not one, but two aberrations appeared in his shiny, new $3000 USD investment. He began to hear a faint whining noise from the sides of the shiny, new $3000 USD investment that randomly changed in volume and frequency. And whenever he played an audio file on his laptop through his headphones, an audible click was heard before each file was played. Assuring himself that his shiny, new $3000 USD investment could not be at fault, he switched headphones. But alas, the same noise was heard.

    He then checked the forums on MacRumors.com, only to be greeted to "MBP whining", "whines on new mobo's", "why why why the whine?", etc. etc.

    Convinced that Apple, being the customer oriented and honest company that it is, already had a fix for the problem, he checked the software updater and website for updates. Sadly there were no updates. However he found relief in a slew of programs that claimed to eliminate the whining. Not content with the idea of having to run a program to ELIMINATE A NOISE on a shiny, new $3000 USD investment, he tried to ignore it.

    The college student was then swarmed with postings about windows on the mac, and boot camp, and millions of other fascinating stories. So, in an attempt to see what all the fuss was about, he installed Boot Camp and booted up a copy of XP Pro. "Meh," he thought, interesting, but useless. Then he noticed, or failed to notice, something. The whining. It was completely absent. He waited and waited, and ran different programs, but the whining refused to rear its ugly head. "My GOD" he said, "Running windows on my shiny, new $3000 USD investment eliminates the whine. Maybe I could just run windows permanently"

    He then realized that doing so would involve selling his soul, and so he immediately deleted the partition, to avoid becoming posessed by evil demon spirits that are a shade of blue and constantly recite "A fatal exception has occured, a fatal exception has occured."

    Cleansed of his sins, he decided to take the shiny, new $3000 USD investment back to the store to demand a refund for a defective product, as it was clearly defective out of the box.

    Told by the desk worker that only the manager can handle those issues, he was told to come back the next day when the manager would be working. So he waited......and waited........and waited. The next morning could not come fast enough. He felt odd as the excitement that poured through his veins was in many ways similar to the excitement he felt when he purchased the laptop......which made him sad........for apple.

    The next morning, the college student spoke with the manager and explained the problem and dropped the laptop off to have it looked at by the tech shop onsite as required by the store policy. Apparently the Apple Store is an Apple reseller, and not a store, therefore the return policies do not apply, something which the salespeople neglected to mention. The college student deems this acceptable, as it was partially his own fault for confusing store with reseller......and goes home for a day. The next day he is greeted to a phone call by a techie who claims he cannot duplicate the whining. He also was unaware there was a problem with the audio.

    Frustrated, the college student drags his headphones with him to the Apple Store and demonstrates the audio clicking to the techie. "I don't hear anything" says the techie. Convinced he isn't crazy, he decides to ignore the minor problem and focus on the major one. The laptop is unusually silent as the whine fails to manifest itself in all its evil glory in front of the techie.

    He goes back to the front desk and begins speaking with the manager, explaining the problem once again and how the techie didn't hear the noises, only to be interrupted with "oh yea, his hearing is terrible".......................

    Frustration moves to Anger.......for employing someone with terrible hearing to check for AUDIO PROBLEMS. No, not Banjo Albums, AUDIO PROBLEMS. Are you hard of hearing?

    Frustrated with the lack of direction in regards to a resolution, he asks what is to be done. The manager replies that he has to go through apple to get a DOA certificate or to exchange a faulty product, and says that he could let me open a few more and test them to see if they have the problem. The student tells the manager that his suggestion is asinine and would only lead to them having to mark down a half dozen laptops.

    The manager says that he agrees, since there is a likelihood of the problem being evident in another laptop as well, since they were all ordered at the same time, and that they would then have to mark them all down. Basically regurgitating what the student had just told him.

    The student says he would like his money back then for a faulty product. The manager begins speaking with apple and while the student waits......30 minutes to be exact, the manager speaks with an applecare rep.

    When he returns, he explains that they will not DOA the product because it is considered an "easy fix". The student asks what this 'easy fix' entails. The manager explains that the student would mail the product to Apple and they would examine it, repair it, and mail it back to him. The student replies that "our definitions of easy must be quite different. Boxing up a 2 day old laptop, mailing it across the country to be fixed, then having it mailed back to me, is not what I consider within the realm of 'easy fix'. 'Easy fix' would be replacing some bad RAM, or reinstalling the OS."

    The manager looks appropriately puzzled and defeated. He hustles off to the manager room once again to speak with Apple. Returning another 30 minutes later with promises of being able to exchange the product for a different model, say a powerbook, he begins explaining the process. Having already filled his daily requirement of Red Tape for the day, the student indulges him regardless. He is instructed to speak with Apple tech support to get a case number, which they would use to return the product, and as a result give the student his money back.

    So the student obliges and calls tech support. The conversation is as follows:

    them - "Hello, welcome to Apple Tech Support, what seems to be the problem"

    College Student - "My shiny, new $3000 USD investment doesn't work as intended"

    Apple- "Could you be more specific?"

    C.S- "My shiny, new $3000 USD loaded MacBook Pro doesn't work as intended"

    Apple- "what exactly is the problem?"

    C.S. - "It whines at me. The computer makes a high pitched whining noise. Constantly. And everytime an audio file is iniated, including the volume buttons, an audible click is heard before each file is played."

    Apple - "Hmmm I don't believe we've heard of this problem befo--"


    Apple - "I'm sorry, what was that sir, I couldn't hear you?"

    C.S. - "sorry, had something in my throat."

    Apple - "Well we haven't heard of this problem before, but we can set you up with AppleCare support and have you mail it in to have us take a look at it."

    C.S. - "it's one day old. I would like to return it. I'm not going to mail a shiny new $3000USD investment across the country when it's 1 day old and clearly DOA."

    Apple - "Well we don't consider that to be DOA"

    C.S. - "DOA stands for Dead On Arrival, correct?"

    Apple - "Yes it does"

    C.S. - "I consider the motherboard making a whining noise and and audible click being played before each sound file, despite numerous reinstallations of the OS to be Dead-On-Arrival. Not working as intended. Broken out of the box. Kaput. I require a case ID so that I can return the product to the apple store i purchased it from at my college bookstore."

    Apple - "the college bookstores are not apple stores, merely authorized resellers. You will have to go through them."

    C.S. - "but they told me to go through you"

    Apple - "right, but you need to go through them. Is there anything else I can help you with."

    C.S. - "Yes, the whining has slowly driven me insane."

    Apple - "yes, well I'm sure the store will be able to help fix the whining"

    C.S. - "Broken laptop and no good audio make Karl go something something"
    (obscure simpsons reference)

    Apple - "excuse me?"


    Having had enough of the run around, the tired college student decided to march to the bookstore and back again. Uphill. Both ways. In a blizzard. In April.

    Having gotten there, the manager asked for the case number. Not having one, the story began again.........as if by some nightmare.

    Realizing that it wasn't their fault, but Apples, the college student retained his composure and asked what could be done since he was being given the run around, and quite frankly, his legs were tired of running. Uphill. Both ways. In a blizzard. In April.
  2. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2004
    The manager informed him that they would call their AppleCare rep. Which they did. And the college student waited, and waited, and waited. 45 minutes later, the manager emerged from his festering cheeto cave to ask if the college student would be interested in getting a different model instead of a refund, and the college student said yes, "I wouldn't mind a 12" Powerbook plus the difference, since at least I know it works."

    The manager returned to said cheeto cave, reappearing an hour later, as the store was actually locking its doors. They claimed they had spoken to no less than the head of AppleCare, the holy grail of defect laden Apple products himself, in an attempt to rectify the situation. The college student asked if now, he could finally have his money back.

    The manager of the whole bookstore, an older gentleman, then spoke with the student and said he would gladly refund his product, but he would take the 300 or 400 dollar hit on having to mark it down since Apple wouldn't take it back. Refusing to allow Apple to shove off what was and is clearly their problem on a small campus bookstore and an old man with book budgets to worry about, he asked the younger, cheeto cave dwelling manager what could be done so that the owner would not be penalized by apple.

    The manager informed him that he would need to speak with their AppleCare rep to resolve the problem. Picking up the pieces of his head that landed all over the room after that statement made his head asplode, the college student, now hungry, tired, and angry, made his way home.

    With every last ounce of patience and a B.S. meter that was about to asplode as well, he called the AppleCare rep. Greeted with the exact same run around, the college student's sense of restraint finally left him.

    Apple - "This is an easy fix, and we can guarantee it will come back working"

    C.S. - "you're missing the point. I don't want to mail it in to get something fixed that should be working in the first place when I open the box. It's not even a week old. I want my money back"

    Apple - "Der Der Der Derpy Der Der Derp. Der Derp dee Derpy Derpy Der."

    C.S. - "Yes I understand you acknowledge the problem, how nice for you, I will promptly have a statue cast in your honor. I would still like my money back."

    Apple - "We would exchange it with one in the store but there's a good chance that they might have the same problem"

    C.S. - "Right. See, I know that. That's why I didn't ask for an exchange, since they all came in together."

    Apple - "Right, we could exchange it for a different one in the store but there's still a shot that you'd get one with the same problem"

    *College Student is 99 percent sure that he has lost his mind at this point*

    C.S. - "If I saw a gumball machine filled half with turds and half with gumballs, I wouldn't throw away a quarter at a chance of getting a big fat turd. Sure the gumball looks appealing, but I'm not going to gamble a quarter and have to handle a turd"

    Apple - *silence*

    C.S. - "And I'm sure as hell not going to gamble with that situation when you're dealing with laptops and shiny, new $3000 USD TURDS."

    Apple - "Ok I see that you're frustrated, and I'm going to speak with someone about getting your product DOA'd so that we can get you your money back without penalizing the bookstore"

    What followed was honestly the longest the college student had ever been on a phone without speaking with someone. It was a Hold of Colossal proportions. So colossal in fact, that a time out would have been in order. About 45 minutes later, the rep returned:

    Apple - "Hello?"

    C.S. - "Yes."

    Apple - "Wow, I'm surprised you're still there."

    C.S. - "As am I. Now can I please get my money back"

    Apple - "Well I went through alot of people and spoke with alot of people, and told alot of people the situation, and listened to alot of people tell me what they thought, and then spoke with one person."

    C.S. - "I'm sorry, I only speak English. Can i please get my money back?"

    Apple - "We managed to get a case number setup and they are most likely going to DOA it for you, and you just take this case number in on Monday morning to the bookstore and they should be able to work it out and get your money back"

    C.S. - "So just like that, I hand them this number and the laptop and I get my money back?"

    Apple - "Well you'll need to set aside some time for them to speak with the Case rep to........(at this point the college student has slipped further into insanity). Did you get all that?

    C.S. - "No"

    Apple, - "I'm sorry, would you like me to repeat that."

    C.S. - "No"

    Apple - "Can I do anything else for you then?"

    C.S. - "Yes"

    Apple - "And what is that, sir?"

    C.S. - "Give me my hard earned $3000 USD back."

    Apple - "Right, well I explained you'll have to do that on Monday."

    C.S. - "Okay"

    Apple - "Ok, so you understand the next process of this case?"

    C.S. - "No" (simply apathetic by now, if you haven't realized)

    Apple - "Ok would you like me to explain it again?"

    C.S. - "No"

    Apple - "Ok will that be all then?"

    C.S. - "Sure"






    *I apologize in advance if a nice man named Eddie reads this, as he was the only sane, kind person I spoke with at apple the entire time. I left his convo out, because it obviously isn't comedic. I lumped together alot of the Apple reps, too many to count, into the conversations, and don't want Eddie to think that he wasn't helpful. He was, in fact, the most helpful Apple employee I have ever dealt with.*
  3. macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    Wow. And I thought I had it bad when I was trying to return my screwed up iMac. I guess I was lucky I didn't have to deal wth a reseller. sheesh. I feel your pain, man.
  4. macrumors member


    Mar 7, 2006
    I did it! I read the whole story in one sitting!

    I can empathise with you though (and so can hundreds [of thousands] of other people) - applecare does a tremendous job of giving people the runaround. When I called them the morning after I opened my MBP, I only stayed on the line for 2 minutes. I got the "Well this is a first. We've never heard of such a problem..." and hung up. (Sadly, I paid good money for applecare too). But it's a stellar machine if you use a widget fix - chances are a firmware fix from apple will rear it's head in a while anyways.

    But $3000 IS A LOT OF MONEY!
  5. macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2005
    Man... that is a long post...
    And i must admit... dropping $3000 on computer; it should be a problem free computer.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2005
    Jeez. This is a fine example on why Apple needs to have a bar none 2 week return policy. "If you are unsatisfied for any reason whatsoever, even if your only complaint is that Mac OS X is difficult to adjust to, Apple will take it back. Bar none." This would be a good thing, I tell ya!
  7. macrumors member


    Mar 7, 2006
    Maybe, but maybe not. I would have returned my MPB the day after due to the whine - if it was an easy process. But now that a fix is so easy, I love it to death.
    And think about it, if 90% of the buyers returned their MBP's - the price would probably jump to $4000 for the machine (just to cover their butts on returns).
  8. macrumors newbie

    Kuru Kuru

    Feb 17, 2006
    I still don't know how that rep wasn't aware the problem existed. (in other words, like hell he wasn't, lol)

    *awaits Episode II in suspense*

    May all go well. If not... road trip to Cupertino? :p

    (This post makes me love the text-derived ads. This time it suggests noise canceling earphones, "instant privacy" trees, and white noise machines...)
  9. macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    Hey, you're not vniow, you cant use colors! :p
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2004
  11. macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    I would have agreed with you a few months back, but having gone through what I did just to get Apple to concede my Intel iMac had any problems and that I wasn't just crazy I have to sympathize with the OP. Seriously, Apple can treat its customers like complete crap at times, or incredibly awesomely at others - luck of the draw, I guess. I know my experience with Apple support made me unlikely to ever buy Rev A products from them, though I love the systems and the OS enough that I'll be a customer for a while still. For switchers and other new customers, though, I doubt they'd be willing to put up with the incredible level of BS they can shovel at you.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2004
    Bad support happens to everyone at some point. I've had great luck with Apples support, but it hasnt been perfect. That said, this was by far the most dramatic "look at me and my problems" thread I've ever read on MR. :p
  13. macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    So what are you going to end up doing?

    To get it all over with, even though it is a week old, just send it back and it'll all be over before you know it, and you'll be happily on your MacBook Pro loving every minute of it, without a whine or click between a song. :)
  14. macrumors 65816


    Oct 28, 2003
    Wow, I can't believe I finished that.

    So let us see what we have: One OS does not have the whine, one OS does.

    Same hardware, different software.

    Maybe you could have waited a little while to see if Apple fixes the issue with the next point release?

    Nah, you were probably right in acting like a total ass to Apple.

    Also, when spending a large ammount of money on a product, it is usually a good idea to actually research any problems that other buyers may be experiencing.

    Define comedic for me. :rolleyes:
  15. macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2005
    I agree with that. That really sucks. I hope that doesnt happen to me when I buy one...
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2005
    Didn't you know?
    All Apple Stores and Certified Resellers have a 100% guaranteed Noise Jammer (C) noise jamming machine installed on premises.
    This Noise Jammer (C) noise jamming machine will make the Apple Genius not be able to hear any noise-related problem.
    That thing must've saved them millions of dollars worth of MBP's.

    Seriously though, that sucks. I understand what you're talking about though.
    You WILL get a refund if you call and complain enough. It works with every company.
    Just remember to always stay friendly (big one), never curse and always be patient.
    If you call in, the people there are generally more welcome to replacements than the Geniuses are.

    Best of luck on your MBP! Get an iMac with your $3000 when you get it! :p

    Oh, and about the whine not being there running Windows, the nice people at Microsoft issued a patch that killed the whine... several weeks ago.
  17. macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2006
    You should have purchased your MBP from apple. When my first iBook was DOA (the casing was loose and uneven) and I got a new one in like 10 seconds. I thought they would give me the run around because it was such a minor problem. Sure enough they DOAed it and gave me a new iBook.

    I personally wouldn't buy from a reseller unless it was a major company (think bestbuy, ect...) that had a good return policy. I almost bought a 12 inch powerbook over my 12 inch iBook off the internet for a hundred some odd dollars more (after tax and shipping). Thank god I didn't most said if a product was defective or DOA you had to take it up with apple and if I wanted to return the unit I'd have to take a 15 percent hit...Pretty lame I say.
  18. macrumors 65816


    Jan 7, 2003

    Well, we have a patch too. The magic noise killer program really worls great. No noise at all
  19. macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Exactly, all that effort wasted.

    And the number of billable man hours you've wasted, not just for yourself, but also the manager at the AppleCentre and also the Apple rep over the phone. Just pick up the damned thing with both hands, raise it over a table edge, and slam down on it. There. Now call Apple and declare it DOA.

    It is only a cheap dent on a cheap aluminium casing. Beats paying 3 hours worth of salaries for nothing :mad:
  20. macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    The best way to get really good help is NOT to act like a complete ass/whiny bitch (not saying the OP was a whiny bitch). "The squeaky wheel gets the grease" is a load of ****. The squeaky wheel gets kicked, punched, then cut off with an oxygen-acetylene torch. Sympathy gets you more than making noise.

    Of course, by the time you're done going through what you need to do to get your money back, you could have sent the Mac in, and gotten in back in perfect working order. Apple is (usually) very quick with the pro-level laptops.
  21. macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2004

    I have the same problem as you....I am currently on my third macbook - my first one had a defective dvd drive, my second also made whining noises - but worse, it was running at 200 degrees (!!) I couldn't even type on the keyboard....my third one has a creaking screen hinge....i will probably just call my credit card company and claim the lemon law. I hope steve rots in hell.
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2001
    Yeah, it's his fault for assuming that Apple's products work right out of the box. I mean, what does he expect? If he wanted quality and customer service, he should've gotten a Dell. What a moron!

    edit: Sorry, that post was made in anger. I love Apple products, obviously. But I don't think it's unreasonable for anyone to expect a full refund if a product requires a repair right out of the box. ANY product.

    The last PC I owned (waaaaaay back in the 1990's) was a Dell. It was such a miserable experience (mostly because of Windows 98) that I was on the phone constantly with tech support. After 60 days, which was a full 30 days after my return period had expired, Dell took the entire $2500 computer back for a FULL REFUND.

    So while I still loathe Windows, I'm the first person to recommend Dell to anyone who's looking for a PC. They took responsibility and understood the true meaning of customer service.
  23. macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    And I have to add that Dell's equivalence of AppleCare under Dell Small Business is waaaaaaaaay superior than anything Apple users can even dream of.

    You can literally stand upright squarely on your 2 feet, release your Dell from 5 feet, and send it back for service, and it will be on the house. Try doing that with your MBP and see your service plan (costing as much as 1/4 of the laptop mind you) get voided and consumed as free gravy.
  24. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    Berkeley, California
    I'm not even gonna get started on my issues with apple support, but as to the Dell thing, I have to agree. One of my friends had a really old (nearly four years) Dell laptop that broke, but it was still under warranty. Since Dell wasn't making that type of laptop anymore they instead provided him with a new one that had the same value as what he payed for his laptop originally. There was something more to it than that, but in the end he got a really nice computer for free... I was impressed.
  25. macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2004
    first revision products tend to have bugs.

    3000$USD? did you pay 300+$ to get the 160MHz speedbump? i sure hope not.

    is it just me or is 'mac book' a stupid name?

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