Dissatisfied with Apple's Response to MacBook Air's Low Reliability

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by imelv, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. imelv macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    Hi, Just wanted some advice if I can still seek redress on this matter.

    In Jan 2009, I bought my 1st gen MacBook Air (80GB HDD, 2GB RAM, 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo). From that time till the Sunday that just passed (23 Aug), I have sent the unit to the local service provider (I'm in Singapore) 4 times for repair, each time taking an entire work week to resolve the issue.

    On Occasion 1, the symptom was the startup blue screen flickering between shades of blue. The logic board was replaced.

    On Occasion 2, for the same symptom in #1, the fan was replaced.

    On Occasion 3, the Airport Utility in the Menu Bar was showing "No Airport Card installed". The fix involved some rewiring and a PMU reset.

    On Occasion 4, for the same symptom in #3, the airport card was replaced.

    I can safely say that, save for the exterior parts of the Macbook Air, the entire unit has been replaced. In a way, that should be a good thing but given the number of times I have sent this in for repair and the amount of downtime I have had to endure, this is just unacceptable.

    After I collected my MBA the 3rd time, I called Apple. They told me that since the issue is resolved, I should see if any other issue crops up, and if so, I should call them again.

    Sure enough, I had to send the MBA in for a 4th time and this time, the Customer Relations rep told me that she would be in touch with the service provider. After some back and forth between the 2 of them, I managed to get my MBA repaired but the Apple rep didn't get back to me. I called her just moments ago and now she's saying that there's nothing Apple can do (I had asked for a replacement unit). She added that she understood my frustration and my low level of confidence in the unit and suggested I buy AppleCare warranty, also to call her when the MBA fails again.

    The warranty on this unit is due Jan 2010 and I'm not sure I want to spend hundreds more just to have to send my MBA in for repair for free once the 1st year is up. This is just appalling. I want to know if this is all that I can do (until the MBA dies on me once more) or can I surface this to someone higher up the food chain?

    Any advice please?
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    It would seem like this is a very appropriate case to e-mail Steve Jobs -- sjobs@apple.com ... if you do a search here you'll find other posts about doing so. Typically the e-mail is read by someone at Apple Corporate and they're usually very good about trying to help you find a good solution.
  3. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    If it were me, I would call Apple support and tell them how this computer has been worked on so many times. Tell them how you cannot count on it for anything. Tell them all of the normal problems of the original... ask for an updated model. A rev B/C MBA with Nvidia GPU would be a heck of an upgrade.

    If that doesn't work, send an email to Steve Jobs. I would tell support first how you have been wronged and see if you can get an upgraded model. The truth is Steve Jobs will likely not reply to you, and if you've contacted support first, and Steve does read your email, he may be even more willing to help you out. Go up the chain properly. You shouldn't have to have your Mac worked on four times. Everything shouldn't have to be replaced. Use the word LEMON.

    Good luck.
  4. aaronacw macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2008
    It took me 5 repairs before I got a replacement from Apple Singapore, When I called, ask for customer relations and press the point.

  5. Paradigm macrumors member


    Feb 14, 2008
    I agree with what the others here have said. My only other advise to any Mac user, is to buy the AppleCare Protection Plan for one's unit. It is worth the money for quality of Customer Service one receives. I bought my 17" MacBook Pro in Apr '08, with all the bells, whistles, and apps. It was replaced because the bottom case was "bowing out" at the ExpressCard slot :eek:. I called Apple Support, gave them the Serial #, told them the issue, they did have me take it to a Retail Store, the Genius took it, and I had a new one in 3 days. :D Shipped right to me. My only effort was phone call and a drive to my Apple Retail Store (45 minutes away from me).
  6. beavster macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2008
    I second this! First I had my battery act up on my Macbook Air, and they just flat out replaced it at the Store - 10 minutes. Then my sound went out just last month, and I brought it in to a repair shop and it was fixed in one day. It was that easy. Aple Care is worth it. Sorry this doesn't help ya, but it's worth mentioning to all the Lurkers out there!
  7. jfyrfytr25 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2008
    I have a question. Why is it that whenever there is an issue that is not immediately resolved by a the low level customer service agent, the immediate solution is contact steve jobs.

    i am a firefighter. as a firefighter there is a chain of command. if you have an issue, you go to your next in command. and only if you do not get satisfaction do you dare move to the next in command. if you went to the chief with every little complaint, you would get a repremand. furthermore if the chief delt with everything, the important stuff like securing grants would never get done.

    i agree there may be a time to make that contact. i just dont think it is

    1. call customer service, if they don't help
    2. call the president and CEO of the company

    one more thing... I don't think the answer to a obviously faulty machine is buy applecare.

    I always felt that warranties should be bought for the unlikely event it breaksdown. 9 times out of 10 it won't, but have it for the one time.

    it seems we have grown accustom to it being, better get a warranty because the machine is likely to break down. 9 times out of ten it will so be prepared.

    i think it is awful, and the reason it has gotten that way is because we accept it.
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I don't think anyone here (ever) suggests that. :rolleyes: The person above indicated that they already went through customer service multiple times and also already contacted Apple directly to try to get a handhold on the process without going through the Jobs e-mail account... Trying to get a handhold from Apple corporate one more time as Scottsdale suggested is certainly a reasonable plan. If that doesn't work, at that point, this method has been known to get results.
  9. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    I had 5 different Air's, both Rev A and B, and they keep having problems (many which have still not been fixed). I strongly suggest you call customer support again, be firm, but persistent and keep going up the chain of command if necessary. Demand a replacement for a new Air (or a Macbook Pro, like I did). You will get it eventually.

    Talk about how ridiculous it is that it needed five repairs and is still not fixed for such an expensive computer, as well as the fact that it has many widespread issues still and that it is a lemon of a product especially for Apple's standards.

    I traded a REV B Air for a 15" Macbook Pro with a 128 SSD. Very happy. Now that the Pro has a 13", I say go for that, especially cause it has a much better battery.
  10. jfyrfytr25 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2008
    from what i read, it seems they have had 3 contacts with the same LOW LEVEL CUSTOMER SERVICE REP.

    so if you are not getting satisfaction, atleast escalate the matter to that persons immediate supervisor.

    and yes, i have seen people on here say things like "my hinge is loose and the apple store said it was in spec" reply, "email sjobs@apple.com"
  11. itou macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    i'm not sure whether or not there is an apple store in singapore, but i took mine in yesterday re. a very, VERY loose hinge and my isight failure. they ordered a new display assembly, a new logic board (overheats sometimes), and they replaced everything in 2 days.

    they called me to come in, when i said i couldn't, they sent a driver to pick up the computer from my office. i got it back with a letter from apple that everything was done. i didn't pay one yen.

    apple service is not perfect sometimes, but it's much better than anyone else.

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