Absolutely frustrated by Apple Care

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by carlosbutler, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. carlosbutler macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2008
    London City
    This is more of asking for help than a rant.

    I have got a uMBP late '08 (although purchased in Feb 09) and its totally screwing me over. It started of with the machine just acting strange and then went to on one or two minute beach balling sessions which pissed me off.

    I took it down to Apple in Kingston and first time they were meant to replace the hard drive, and had told me that they have run loads of tests on it and it was perfect. All I guess they did was reinstall OS X which as you can imagine didnt do anything helpful since no hard drive had been changed.

    Second time the same thing again, except I explicitly got told that the hard drive has defiantly been changed and even more 'tests' (I can only presume that their tests mean switch it on, go away and deal with someone else's machines and check back is a thorough test). And the same result as what happened first time.

    Third time (maybe lucky) took it back and I have seen that they have changed the hard drive since it was actually on the receipt this time. After installing iWork and iLife and firstly having done all the updates it is now messing up again. Beach balling even from just opening up things or transferring music. I am reinstalling OS X (by now I am pretty sure I could do it blindfolded) again and seeing what happens.

    I have also sent an email to sjobs@apple.com, steve@mac.com, steve@me.com to see if I would get any thing out of that. I didnt even get an automated email.

    I am going to book yet another appointment at the Genius bar. Any suggestions on how I should approach them? I do not want them to 'change' or change the hard drive since that is not working. And these tests they run or a complete load of crap by the looks of it as the first two times was just a lie.

    I am starting to get really annoyed with Apple, considering I need my laptop for work and notes. If this does not get sorted out, I can only hope I still have enough faith in Apple to not have to go back to Windows machines. At least DELL will actually repair the thing, even if it takes a month.

    Honestly, I do not want to go back to the days of CTRL+ALT+DEL:(
  2. daflake macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2008
    What is your question?

    It could be anything at this point.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I think it isn't the hard drive, maybe logic board or RAM. Ask for replacement this time.
  4. creon macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2009
    Tell the genius what you told us. Be frank and upfront with the guy and you might have some luck.

    It really depends on what kind of day your Genius is having.

    Best of luck to you.
  5. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    AppleCare and the Genius Bar are not the same thing. Have you tried calling Apple and talking to phone support?

    If you're not satisfied with support at the Apple Store, call them. I'm not sure how great phone support is in the UK though.
  6. carlosbutler thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2008
    London City
    I think the phone support is the same as america, since americans seem to answer the phone:p. Is the logic board the mother board?

    And last time I had spoken to the guy and said what I had just said, he sort of seemed to ignore me and already had planned out what he was going to do, which sort of annoyed me as well.

    I though that Apple Care phone support would simply say for me to go into an Apple Store and speak to them? Can do they do other things like get it picked up, or special drop of at the store or something?
  7. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Apr 26, 2003
    I really wonder why my experience with Apple is so different from what is reported in threads like these.

    My experience with Apple is at 20+ years - numerous machines - very very few problems. Both Apple as well as third party resellers sorted things quickly and resolved the problem. My biggest issues have involved AEBS updates that created problems for many and took toooooooo long to admit and issue a patch.

    Apple continues to top the rankings for customer satisfaction - not perfect - but at the top - for a reason.
  8. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    Would recommend getting footage of it happening, having activity monitor open, maybe having music running wso you can show the beachballing, and maybe also look at the (error) logs for the beachballing. Being polite, but trying to get through other routes helps. Making asking specifically to talk to Tier 2 might help.
  9. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Phone support has more options than the Apple Store. They can force the Apple Store or Apple Service Provider to make a certain repair regardless and they're in charge of replacement products, etc. With phone support, you can always escalate your problem to a higher person. That's hard to do at the actual Apple Store.
  10. carlosbutler thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2008
    London City
    Well every one has different stories with each product. It could be that I simply recieved a 'bad' one. This can happen with loads of things like cars for example. I've three other apple products and even windows machines that are perfectly ok. Heck a black MacBook that probably 3.5 years old now and works perfectly. Just a shame that on the most expensive thing I have ever paid for (except university fees haha:p) it breaks. Ah well.

    Ok thanks. I'll give it a go before heading of to the Apple store
    I just wish they did the honourable thing and gave me a new machine:p. Alienware (which is DELL) did that, Apple should.
  11. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2006
    To be honest, to me it sounds like a software issue.

    But if it does it on a clean install of OSX with NOTHING but iLife and iWork installed, then probably not.

    Could be a lot of things at this point but if it passes ASD and the disk checks, there's not too much any repair center can do. What do the notes on file for the repair say?
  12. jedijoe macrumors 6502


    Oct 13, 2005
    Boulder, CO
    call applecare directly

    I loathe the GeniusBar. I had my 500GB 7200RPM piece-of-crap seagate drive die on me.

    If I take it to AppleStore, I have to, one give them access to all my personal data to start. then...

    Previous experience ... they replace my harddrive (days later), don't zero-out the old drive (if possible) or destroy it. Finally, I have to make a second or third trip up there to pick up the computer.

    GIANT waste of time.

    This time, I decided to call the 1-800 AppleCare number. Person was helpful, treated me with respect. Said the best he could do is ship me out a new drive GROUND, but then I install it and deal with my old drive before putting in the pre-paid return box. OK. better than driving all around back-and-forth to Apple Store. AFter I got off the phone, I got the Fedex tracking number about 2 hours later. The tech upgraded my shipping to next-day air. I had the new drive in less than 24hrs.

    Long story short. Call AppleCare, handle it yourself, forget the Geniusbar. The AppleStores and everyone who works there are dumb f*$Ks. GeniusBars are for grandmas who forget their passwords and such... IMHO. :p
  13. Sneakz macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Couldn't agree more.
  14. jfyrfytr25 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2008
    when you reinstall the OS, do you do any migration from another machine or a time machine back up.

    I had an issue with beachballing and i found that if i reinstalled the OS it was fine until i did the migration. after that the ball was back.

    if the original image is corrupted and you keep copying it to your new FRESH OS, it may bring your problem back all over agian.
  15. carlosbutler thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2008
    London City
    No not this time, when I first got my machine I used it migration thing from my iMac and was quite impressed as absolutely everything was the same and saved loads of time. But that was months ago.

    Ive been doing erase and install only. I think after what people have said, I shall ring up AppleCare.
  16. Shaduu macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2007
    On the subject of Apple Support, I agree that there seems to a distinct lack of consistency when it comes to repairs. When I bought my first 13" MBP I noticed the sleep indicator light wasn't working after about a month of use so I took it off to the local Apple Store. I consulted a Genius and after a quick look at the machine he replaced it with a brand new one.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with Apple. I always wonder why some people like myself get such great service while others just seem to get screwed over time and again.

    In regards to the OP's issue, it could be a problem with the SATA bus. That would explain the beachballs when you're accessing the drive.
  17. xpovos macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2007
    That last statement is rather categorical, and I wouldn't personally go that far, but we certainly share a deep hatred for the Genius Bar. I was lucky to find an authorized service center close to my home where they know how to treat a customer with respect, they actually listen to what you have to say, they never say they did a repair that they didn't actually do, and they actually TEST their repairs to be sure the issue is resolved.

    I stay away from Apple Stores and their Genius Bars like the plague.
  18. carlosbutler thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2008
    London City
    Well after ringing up Apple Care (and waiting 15 minutes on hold after explaining the problem, although I just started playing my guitar with the speaker phone on :p) I have been asked to drop of the machine at my local Apple Store and give them some number (I guess a case ID or something). They will 'diagnose' the problem and then most probably end up changing the hard drive. If they end up doing that I was told to ring up Apple Care again to sort out a replacement machine:) so I am hoping, that after 10 trips to and from the apple store (or 450 minutes worth of driving and £12 on parking) it has been sort out:p.

    Advice to anyone who has this problem:
    If the Genius' at the Apple Store don't sort it out first time round, either argue with them and cause havoc in the store or ring up Apple Care and get them to sort it out.

    Cheers for the advice
  19. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Sometimes it's just better to call AppleCare first. There's a strong chance the AppleCare agent will know the problem and state it in the notes with what actions should be taken. Once it has been noted, there's nothing the Genius can do to decline service, once they read it the just follow what was written.
  20. dawnzig macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    to heck with the Apple stores

    I'd say always send it in!!!

    I sent my Macbook in via FedEx (they mailed me a box) and they diagnosed the problem after the rep couldn't get me booted up over the phone. That was in Feb. Very fast turnaround.

    Then we had a broken screen, but I was told that the repair would be $300 or less if I sent it in (my son dropped it). The local guy said he'd match the price, but I had Apple mail me a box anyway.

    I was PISSED when I got an email a day later saying the repair would be $775. I called in and the first guy basically said that he'd mail it back broken so the local Apple service place could fix it. I told him no frickin' way. I said the rep on the phone gave me a price and I was NOT taking it back broken. So I demanded a supervisor. So he got on the phone and I gave him an earful about how tired I was of getting two different stories from two different people.

    I also said that $775 was way off, esp. if the local guy was willing to take $300! He explained some sort of 'tiered-price' thing - blah blah blah. And I also complained that the same gal that said $300 also said that the Leopard disk that came with my brand new MBP would update my iMac and MB I already owned (running Tiger). And I found out from the guy who set up the screen repair that it was incorrect! I was hot!

    So he fixed the screen for FREE and also sent a FREE Leopard disk for all of my runaround. Just mail it to Apple and talk to a supervisor. If I had listened to the first guy, I would have a) paid $775 for a new screen or b) had the broken computer mailed back to me.

    The way it ended up I was totally satisfied!
  21. carlosbutler thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2008
    London City
    blimey thats quite a way to go about things. well im going to the apple store today (that being saturday) see how it goes.
  22. carlosbutler thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2008
    London City
    Well for anyone who may be reading this, this is what the end result is (quite long to explain...):

    After the first problem that was taken to the Kingston Apple store, London on August 1st I believe they had come back and said the hard drive had been replaced. Which it had not. They apparently ran numerous tests on it and it was perfect. The out come was that they had only reinstall OS X by the looks of it.

    Second time (5 days or so later) same thing, I went to Kingston and gave them the machine. No replacement and so forth...

    Third time (3 days or so later) same thing, except this time they actually replaced the hard drive. Again they ran tests and said it was perfect.

    Fourth time (5 days or so later and getting pissed off) surprise surprise, the same thing. Lied to me again saying they ran tests and blablabla.

    I then decided to ring up AppleCare. Got sent over to CR (Customer Relations) and was spoken to by a very rude, abrupt person who was in a rush to get me of the line and didn't let me speak. But I was referred to Cancom UK in Guildford which is luckily, much closer to home and only a 15 minute drive. There they took the laptop (and the laptop case which is something the Apple Store never did) and after speaking to the technician face to face, I explained the problem. They firstly got back to me saying its yet another hard drive. Although when testing it, it did stop working so they tried another hard drive, and then did more tests and nothing.

    About this time roughly 40 days after initial Apple Store visit I was just starting to not care any more and thinking to my self that if I ever buy another laptop, it's sure as hell not going to be a MacBook Pro, or any MacBook. I had a phone call from them and was told they are replacing the logic board (mother board I guess) and yet another hard drive. They had also let me drop of Adobe CS4 which is what found problems with the laptop when I got it back each time from Apple Care, since the installation of CS4 thoroughly checks the system, and by the sound of it more than Apple as well...

    After the machine had a new motherboard, 5 or 6 hard drives (one of which turned out to be a SSD they accidentally put in it) the machine was working and I was once again happy with the laptop. Until, using it on the night I picked it up I discovered the back light was not working. I picked it up about 50 days after first Apple Store visit.

    So another phone call to Apple Care, and since this was the fifth or sixth repair according to them, they decided to replace it. So I spoke to them over the phone, some slight mess up with their system although that was only a one day delay. They picked it up last Friday at 1300, and the replacement arrived the next day at ~1045 the next day. This was same GPU (9400M + 9600M GT 512, but upgraded CPU and bigger hard drive, enclosed battery and SD card slot were all new).

    So after ~five hard drives, two logic boards, £75 worth of driving to and from Kingston and more paper work than I'd like to think, I have finally got a working, 2.8GHz Alu MacBook Pro...

    All in all, to anyone who has bothered reading this far and does have a problem with any Apple gear, do not bother going to what is the MOST useless, waste of time, no-knowitalls Genius Bar and either contact Apple Care, or go else where.
  23. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Dec 10, 2004
    thanks for the updates. I have found that the genius bar does very little and likes to re-image a machine whenever possible and avoid any quick resolution.
  24. jt2ga65 macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2007
    Indeed, the Genius Bar is the worst support that I have ever gotten from any computer or electronics company. I imagine that it is actually a great help for the target audience for Apple, the people that are basically computer illiterate, and come to get shown what they are doing wrong. For those that are technically proficient, the Genius Bar is very annoying at the best, and downright insulting at the worse. Going in knowing what the specific issue is, and not letting the genius get away with anything other than doing what you want is about the only way to deal with them, although still expect to be insulted by their "superior" attitude.

    I also find the term offensive, as these people certainly do not all have the IQ required to be considered a genius. As someone who has a tested genius IQ, I wish that Apple would call it something else.

  25. electroshock macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Mensa Bar? :D (Sorry, couldn't resist -- suitably chastened now.) All kidding aside, quite sympathize, believe me.

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