After a series of repairs I'd be interested to know my options.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by charlieegan3, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    #1
    In 2012 I bought a built-to-order retina macbook pro. Since then I've had the following repairs done:

    - screen replacement for ghosting issue (feb 2013)
    - motherboard replacement (mar 2015)
    - top casing replacement (mar 2015)
    - motherboard replacement (mar 2016) - covered under 'Customer Satisfaction' as Apple care has expired.

    Today I dropped the machine off again with overheating issues and 'visual anomalies'.

    I'd be interested to know if anyone's gone through quite so many repairs on one of these models. At what point do I stand a chance of asking for a trade-in or a new machine? Are newer rMBP models more reliable?
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    Apple will repair the same issue three times within warranty before offering you a replacement, your machine is out of warranty and, unless you are in the uk, consumer laws don't favour you. Any repair has a 90 day warranty and if they replace the logic board this time and it fails within that 90 day window they should give you new machine, but they don't have to.

    If you are in the UK you can claim a replacement under the 5 year consumer laws for an obvious machine defect but they won't make it easy for you.
     
  3. charlieegan3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    #3
    I am in the UK so that sounds like good news.

    So would it need to be a replaced this time, and once more in the 90 day window before claiming it's 'an obvious machine defect'?
     
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    #4
    Personally I think it's an obvious machine defect now, and you should maybe have a chat with Apple about it under uk consumer law. Apples obligations under UK consumer law are on their website, print them off make sure you understand them and maybe check up how to go about arguing your case on an online advice forum (citizens advice, or one of the many money and service blogs) then contact Apple and make your case.
     
  5. charlieegan3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    #5
    Assuming that this is the relevant document: https://www.apple.com/uk/legal/statutory-warranty/

    What's my claim here though? They have (apparently) been able to replace the defective parts (only to have them fail again). This still counts as "defect or non-conformity of goods"?
     
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    #6
    Consistently failing for the same issue is a defect that can be considered to have been present from new. It's a tough one and you may not win the argument but it's worth a try, as soon as a fix lasts for more than 90 days you may struggle to get any more support at all.
     
  7. charlieegan3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    #7
    A key point here.

    Thanks for all the information - much appreciated.
     
  8. ChinkyBob macrumors regular

    ChinkyBob

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    Oct 10, 2014
    #8
    If it were me, I would prepare myself as per samuelsons comment, and would report that the latest motherboard issues seems to have surfaced again, but that the issue is now intermittent (so impossible for them to disprove) and thus the problem is officially reported within 90 days buying time some time. If they suggest yet another replacement board, say enough enough, that you have lost confidence in the laptop, and that buying applecare should have protect you more than it has and has gone on too far - kick up a little fuss in the shop, look frustrated not angry, and ask the manager of the shop (just deal with him) if he would have put up with the same situation if he was in your shoes. His answer will be a resounding No as he is older wiser - then ask him if he wouldnt put up with it why should you.
    You paid a lot of money for what is an unreliable laptop. Say that you are considering all legal options too and ask for his name card. Again, be polite and professional, but frustrated at the unreliability of a professional expensive product.
    You will succeed in a replacement.
    Best of luck.
     
  9. charlieegan3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    #9
    I had a call. They've redone the thermal compound on the board. I'm told. It seems odd that they went on to repair the machine without my consent. Normally I get a call before and after the repair.

    I'm going to have a go at the 'loosing confidence' story, think that's a good line to take. If they don't buy it I have a feeling that I'll be back within 90 days anyway.
     
  10. charlieegan3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    #10
    I spoke to them in store for the best part of an hour. Here's what happened.

    They brought out my machine and informed me again that the thermal compound had been reapplied. I made the point that this repair wasn't okayed with me. They claimed that this wasn't a repair but I find it hard to believe that this was done without them deciding that there was a fault first.

    After a short back and forth where I made it clear that I wasn't happy with the number of times the machine had been in for repair I was allowed to speak to a member of the store management.

    He went on to tell me that the reason the machine had been overheating was because the automatic gpu switching had been disabled (I never changed this setting). They claimed that this had been enabled and that the issue was now resolved. I booted the machine to find he option wasn't enabled, and he saw this. We re enabled it and rebooted the machine. The setting now seems to remain enabled, funny that.

    After talking at some length about my options it appeared that there are none. They didn't want to give me an extension on the cover or replace the machine. He just endlessly reiterated that they would review the situation when the machine was next in for repair.

    I told them I was happy to go small claims on the matter and they were happy enough to print out the paper trail for all the repairs.

    The topic of operating temperatures was discussed at length. He seemed to think that running over 100C chewing through battery was all just fine. I had been using iStat menus, he claimed that this was unreliable and that the information was also available in the activity monitor. It isn't, I knew this but let him look anyway. When asked, "as a user that is concerned with the temperature of the laptop, how should I monitor the temps in an apple approved way?" He said I didn't need to worry about the temps. He offered to run through the tests with me.

    Saying 65-70C was a good idle temperature on a pc forum would get some laughs.

    So I have the paper work but other than that I don't really feel I got anywhere and that I continue to sit on a financial time bomb.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G4

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    At some point, you're going to have to bite the bullet, and look for something new...
     
  12. charlieegan3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    #12
    From a day-to-day performance standpoint the machine is still more than capable and suits my needs well. I'd normally look for closer to 5 years before replacing a machine. (was a top-of-the-line macbook)

    A new machine at some point is inevitable. However, I see this thread as being about a sub-standard and unreliable product where currently packing it in and buying a new machine doesn't make sense.
     
  13. ChinkyBob macrumors regular

    ChinkyBob

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    Oct 10, 2014
    #13
    Firstly - They have obviously repaired your laptop without your consent despite what they say.
    Secondly - Did the manager actually claim that disabling the automatic GPU switching causes overheating?? Really ??
    If so this is clearly a design fault - why put that it in it fries the machine?
    You clearly have a strong case.
    Not being based in the UK, I just quickly read the Apple UK 5 year consumer protection laws listed on the Apple page (link by samuelson above). Having read that I fail to see what Apple-Care provides above and beyond your legal rights.
    If you feel like going back to the store, go back and ask the top Manager if he familiar with the 5 year protection that you have under the consumer laws as printed on their own website. Tell him that you are protected by those laws for 5 years till 2017, that you want the 'automatic gpu switching design flaw' BS as explained to you, in written form. And that you will see him personally every time your lemon of a laptop goes in for repairs for a detailed chat and explanation of whats wrong with your laptop, from now till 5 years is up in 2017.

    Personally I think the below sentence in red is very clear.
    If a repair or replacement is not possible, would impose a disproportionate burden on the seller, or could not be performed in a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to the consumer, the consumer may choose either to have the price reduced or to withdraw from the contract by returning the product in exchange for a full refund

    Lastly - you have a clear right to know what the advantage of the Applecare you paid a large sum of money for has over and above your normal consumer rights.

    I think applecare may have been mis-sold in the UK as clearly as PPI.
     
  14. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    Feb 5, 2011
    #14
    I can pretty much guarantee that if you go back to the store with the very litigious attitude suggested above, you stand equal chance of either getting what you want, or them calling your bluff and going to court.

    It seems to me that you've already started down the road of litigation, and they called that bluff by handing you printed copies of the repair history. This suggests that proceeding any further down that path may not go quite as smoothly as others suggest.

    Also, keep in mind that judges are still human. You stand a good chance of any human being not giving you the outcome that you may feel you deserve, and you must be willing to accept the fact that if you try to go to court over this matter, you will be trusting the outcome to a complete stranger that has no idea of who you are or your character. Their decision will ultimately be made within the span of five or ten minutes, tops. It's not going to be anything like on TV, where you get a good half hour to an hour to state your case. Most people end up leaving court with the reaction like, "What just happened?" because it was nothing like they had seen on TV.

    In the end, you would be better off calming down, taking a step back, and play things out with the Apple folks. Stop making threats of taking them to court. If you find that you have no recourse but to take them to court in the end, you don't have to tell them, until you are ready for them to be subpoenaed, so it makes no sense to threaten such things. It only puts them in a defensive stance, and most times the outcome is hardly ever a desired one when people are forced to be defensive.
     
  15. charlieegan3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    #15
    That's what I thought. It was like talking to a wall when I repeatedly asked "So you opened up my laptop and reapplied the thermal compound, and this doesn't count as a repair?"

    So after being told initially that the thermal compound had been reapplied the manager added the fact that this setting being enabled was what was causing the laptop to run hot (normal employee hadn't mentioned this). I told told to leave this enabled. I was made to feel like it was my fault for turning it on - though I'm sure I didn't (can apps change this setting?).

    I think I'll look to make another visit or call phone support sometime next week. I would like them to have the GPU switching issue explained.

    This does say "If a repair or replacement is not possible" - it does seem to have been 'possible'. Won't they just come back with that?

    I have wondered this myself and I think you might be right.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 1, 2016 ---
    I don't really have the energy to do this. I think at the end of the day they'll continue to repair the machine given the history - though I can't count on this and that's the issue.

    I think that I need it to break, as in need a part replaced, again before the 5 year period is up next year. At that point I show up and say that I'm not satisfied with the product requesting a refund. Otherwise I have no case other than a series of repairs and a laptop they'll refuse to admit is running too hot.
     
  16. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    #16
    Well, I think eventually you will get the outcome you want (positive thinking??) Just that I've seen too many times, more often than not people do not get what expected when going to court. So, I'm just saying use that as a last resort, and for the love of God, do not tell Apple "you'll be talking to my lawyer" or anything like that. You don't need to tell them anything at all if that's what you are going to do. When the time comes, if you feel you have no other recourse, go out and file the claim with the court, and then go back to the Apple Store and hand them the summons.

    Might be moot at this point anyway, since the whole court "cat" seems to be out of the bag at this point, but try not to mention court to them anymore, if you can. (Count to ten if you start to get upset with them and want to use the "c" word.)
     
  17. charlieegan3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    #17
    Though they couldn't hold that against me? (and would they have noted it down? seems unlikely) I just asked for a paper trail and definitely didn't leave it as "I'll see you in court." I did mention that I'd "have a good case".
     
  18. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    #18
    That might have been enough for them to infer that you are going to sue them. Tough to say, as it depends on the person.
     
  19. charlieegan3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    #19
    And what action are they likely to take based on that? Other than note me down as a 'problem customer'?
     
  20. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    #20
    Hesitance to provide you any further assistance beyond what they are contractually obligated.

    i.e.: they didn't have to reapply thermal paste (fwiw, that's not repair. Consumable items like thermal paste do not constitute an actual repair. Doing that is on the same level as cleaning the dust out, or cleaning the screen or keyboard.) They did it because they were trying to help, but they didn't have to do it due to any contractual requirement.
     
  21. charlieegan3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    #21
    For what it's worth I don't think the thermal paste change made any difference. I still think that most would still see this as a repair. It is more than a diagnostic effort and is done in response to a machine that is running too hot.

    If I've screwed things up then I'll just have to live with it.
     
  22. ChinkyBob macrumors regular

    ChinkyBob

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    #22
    Thermal paste is NOT a consumable. To reapply you have to open up the case, dismantle chip from board, remove existing paste from heatsink of chip, clean it, reapply new paste to chip and heatsink, reconnect chip to heatsink, reconnect to board, reassemble laptop. How is this not a repair.

    To be fair to duervo, he is right to warn of going to harsh (note - I am on holiday and maybe a little cavalier atm). But definitely return, speak ONLY to the top manager, be polite, firm, clear, but professional (dress professionally too ), request 1. the timeline of events in writing, 2. their description of the overheating issue in writing (where they claim you caused the damage with a setting they provided, just to be clear of the facts should you continue to have issues with the product), 3. that managers business card for reference, and 4.the contact details of the head office manager, address and legal office should you continue to experience problems, and need to take things further.
    The last point will depend on you and if u feel.it's worth perusing. Personally I think I would.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 1, 2016 ---
    Another thing. Have u tried another apple store?
    You don't have to stick to the same one you know.
    Find one with a nice middle aged manager who will be more understanding and sympathetic.
     
  23. pika2000 macrumors 68030

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    #23
    Have you tried a different store? Store employees are also people. Each has different decision making mindsets, and many also have different sets of technical knowledge. Also, have you also tried bringing this up through a chat with Apple support? Some of them seem to have more leniency too.
     
  24. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    #24
    Redoing thermal paste is considered maintenance, not repair. Calling it a repair is stretching it quite a bit, and using that tactic as the "first" argument to get a new laptop is kind of ridiculous. Thermal paste itself is a consumable item. You use it once, and once only.
     
  25. ChinkyBob macrumors regular

    ChinkyBob

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    #25
    Thermal paste is not a consumable item it's not maintenance. If u open up your MacBook to do maintenance of applying thermal paste you invalidate your warranty. You realise you have to dismantle your chip, and chip heatsink form the motherboard and each other to apply.
    You may do this in a pc when you upgrade cpus but keep the motherboard etc but no way is this consumable. Jesus Apple won't let you upgrade the ram or hard disk, y think they will let you replace thermal paste?
    You never replace paste on a laptop unless it's faulty applied from the factory.
    Anyway this is off topic. Lets agree to differ and think of a solution for Charlie.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 1, 2016 ---
    Very good suggestion from pika, connect thru Apple support and discuss, they will likely be more sympathetic. Ive dealt with them in the past on a hard drive issue with my mac air 2 years out of warranty and with their online support got my laptop back up and running thru a deep system re-initialisation.

    You have nothing to lose.
     

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