Dissatisfied with my new MacBook Pro; questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Egosphere, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. Egosphere macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2006
    I recently became a switcher to Macs with my purchase of a 1.83 GHz MacBook Pro. Although I very much like OS X, the MacBook Pro's problems annoy me--problems unacknowledged. Specifically, I am bothered by the noise problem and the heat problem, and mostly the former than the latter. I have a W8613-numbered unit but still experience noise and heat issues. Although the Magic Noise Killer reduces the hum, I do not consider it a proper solution as it is a hack and it diminishes battery life. I'm considering returning my still under 14-days old unit and demanded a full refund.
    I post here to ask for recommendations on what action to follow. I would like to remain a Mac user, but will not if issues persist. So, I would like to ask you the following questions:
    Has anyone successfully gotten his or her MacBook Pro repaired properly by Apple to eliminate the hum? Has anyone successfully negotiated a full refund (no restocking fee) within the 14-day return period? Beyond it? Does the serial number mean much? If I negotiate an exchange of my unit for a unit from a later batch, will these problems most likely be solved in the newer unit? Has anyone had successes or failures in negotiations with Apple that are relevant to this in any way? Does anyone have any relevant advice?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Try to send it in for repairs a few times, chances are it won't do anything.

    Then just keep bring it down to the biggest most crowded AppleCentre in town and kick up a stink. Quite a few MR members have done that and gotten freebies like that. :D
  3. Egosphere thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2006
    I don't want to send it to repair where I wouldn't have it for a week or more and yet have no results in terms of these issues.
    When you say freebies, do you mean a full refund or baubles like RAM? I don't Apple's RAM.
  4. vgoklani macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2004
    return it and just wait for a few weeks - then buy another!
  5. Egosphere thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2006
    That would be a good idea and probably what I would do. But, I would want a full refund and so the question becomes whether can I negotiate that. I would love to hear about others' experiences with Apple in trying to get full refunds or any other relevant experiences.
  6. modernpixel macrumors member

    May 15, 2005
    New York, NY
    If you are going to use the money to re-purchase a MacBook in a couple of weeks anyway, then getting a full refund is kind of a moot isn't it?

    Return it, get a brand new one. Refuse repair service, tell them that you are not at all comfortable having a machine serviced that you just purchased - that it's unacceptable that it arrived in this condition.

    When I did this with Apple.com - for my PowerMac G5, they not only agreed to an immediate replacement, they sent it to me at the same time I was sending mine back. They were very accommodating.

    If the one you get has the same problems, repeat the situation - but this time when you go to them you get to act really, really outraged.

    Hopefully you bought it online, it's easier (for me at least) to do this process over the phone. But, doing it in a store might be prove even more effective, since they have the merchandise there to immediately give you.

    Hope that helps.

    p.s. - full refunds for opened computer equipment without paying a restocking fee are rare to say the least. But, if you really need that - then definitely go in armed with a loud mouth and a harsh argument. The best position to take is that of an outraged consumer that feels betrayed by the company. They might do anything to shut you up.
  7. someguy macrumors 68020


    Dec 4, 2005
    Still here.
    You mean you don't like Apple's RAM? I'm very interested to hear exactly what is wrong with Apple's memory modules...
  8. munckee macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    And just how many times do you think they'll let him get away with that?

    I'd go in and speak to the manager. Explain that you intend to remain a mac customer, but that you want to wait a little while until they've worked out the bugs.

    THEN, if he refuses the refund, raise a stink. :p
  9. Egosphere thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2006
    I meant to say that I don't want Apple's RAM. Not because it is terrible (I wouldn't think it would be), but because I don't want RAM; I want my money back.

    I bought the MacBook Pro at my local store. I'd rather argue with AppleCare over the phone, but if I must I may go to the local Apple Store genius bar and make a scene. Also, I may not buy another Mac with the money returned to me because I do need a laptop now. I may just go PC, maybe. Apple annoys me. I wouldn't like to say goodbye to OS X, but I might do that anyway.

    EDIT: Also I have another question: if I send my MacBook Pro to repair(s) and through all the time it was in repair the 14 days have passed, does that mean no grace period for returning the MacBook Pro?
  10. Southerner macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2005
    The deep south of England
    Just try to ignore the humming noise and just enjoy your new MacBook Pro, taking advantage the exciting world of Apple and Mac OS X!

    At least, from what I have read, you are not having major problems as some users are such as kernel panics etc... Well, either put up with the humming or go back to tearing your hair out with Windows XP with its endless issues.

    You are lucky to own a Mac - just enjoy it and try not to fret too much or you'll never be happy. Remember computers are not always 100% perfect whether its Mac or PC. :)
  11. Egosphere thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2006
    First of all, XP didn't give me all that much trouble, but OS X sure is still nice and pleasant to operate. Apart from that, the noise is extremely annoying, but I could bear with it if I didn't have the choice of returning the MacBook Pro. But, it is still very annoying and I would rather use a PC laptop with XP that doesn't have this noise and I do have the option to return the MacBook Pro.

    Anyway, I called AppleCare and the representative told me that I can go back to the store and ask for a replacement laptop on the spot--a new, non-refurbished, right-from-the-factory unit. Now, my question is this: will the new unit most likely still have the noise problem? Then again, if I do get a replacement and I still experience the noise issue, I will have a better argument. Still, I would like to not have the noise issue because I really do like the MacBook Pro.
  12. munckee macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    It seems to be a pretty common problem given the number of complaints around here. That probably means two things for you:

    1. Your replacement is pretty likely to have the same issue, unless there are far more users out there with no problems who simply aren't speaking up.

    2. Apple's more likely to do something about it because its a widely recognized issue.
  13. Josias macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2006
    After these many complaints, I think Apple will have fixed any issue. Just because there haven been many issues with the mbp, and airport problems with the rest of the intel models, doesn't mean apple's bad. They are pro, do stuff right. You have before had larger issues with rev. a machines. this is a larger change, they got new processors. i wouldn't worry about it.;)
  14. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Of course, they also may never admit to any issues and never fix them either. This was the case with the original mini with the vga/dvi display issues that never got fixed. I assume that the new Intel versions have fixed the problems, but that doesn't help anybody with a G4 mini.
  15. Southerner macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2005
    The deep south of England
    Kind of Apple for agreeing to give you a replacement MBP.

    As it's said here somewhere that Apple probably is aware of this issue and if you find the same problem on the replacement MBP so you will probably have to wait for Apple to eventually release a patch to resolve this.
  16. Egosphere thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2006
    Allow me to update you on the happenings. The Mac Genius at the store gave me a replacement even without inspecting my unit. After they transfered my data and gave me the new unit, I noticed that it exhibited the same issue. I went back to the same Mac Genius and he took the unit to his quiet office at the back of the store to inspect it. He said that neither he nor his coworker was able to hear any noise, but that he isn't denying that I hear it or that it's there. He said that he did have people come and show him crackling in the speakers and noise from the screen. Most likely, when I went to him at first, he thought thay my issues were similar and didn't bother to inspect it. Still, he offered me a full refund or another replacement, but suggested that I take the unit home that day (the store was about to close and they wouldn't be able to transfer my data the same day anyhow) and inspect it further so that they may diagnose the problem better and consult internal Apple personel. I took it home and after some experimentation I was able to use a realtime Fourier transform on the input from the built-in mic to show the noise. There was definately noise around the 14 kHz to 18 kHz range. Either running Photo Booth or unplugging the MagSafe plug reduced the noise level and doing both virtually eliminated the noise. I came up with a procedure that the store techies can follow and come to the same conclusions. The next day, I met with the store's head techie and he told me that he heard this noise in every MBP he had used. He took my unit to his office to inspect it with my procedure. He said that as an Apple represntative, he cannot recognize the noise as a problem or a defect. He layed my options before me: return the unit and recieve a full refund, replace the unit once more, or send the unit to repair. He explained that sending the unit to repair means that I am keeping the unit and I cannot any longer return or replace it and that it is not guaranteed that the issue will be fixed in repair. I decided to return the unit and the courteous manager gave me a full refund (no restocking fee).

    This is all quite unfortunate because I did like the machine very much, but that noise vexed me so much. I could hear it even as music was lightly playing in iTunes. I will probably wait and buy the MBP again once the issue is resolved. Beside that, what would be the best estimate of when Apple will release Merom-based MBPs? Are Merom processors even avilable for sale? If not, has Intel annuonced a launch date?

    If anyone wants it, I can share my procedure. The print-out I gave to the head techie also included my observations and conclusions.

    Can anyone recommend the best action to take to bring this issue to Apple's attention and to get them to fix it? Should I send them my procedure (which shows scientifically and without human bias that this noise issue exists)? To whom exactly should I send it?

    I can't wait until I get a MBP again. Those machines are amazing.
  17. odedia macrumors 65816

    Nov 24, 2005
    Please share with us the procedure to recreate the problem for the tech guys. I think I'll take my machine to get fixed as well.


    Oded S.
  18. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    glad to hear that the people in the apple store were fair, although if you are in england, its the law to offer a full refund or new replacement on all equipment that is DOA. I'd wait a while (if you can) and buy a mbp in a month or two, hopefully the issues will be solved by then.
  19. cynikal macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2003
    firstly, i'm happy you were able to get it straigthened out with apple, as far as getting your money back and didn't have any headaches.. i haven't always had the same luck when dealing with the mac geniuses, but when i get someone good, they are really nice.. i guess i could attribute their attitude sometimes to the fact that i go to one of the busiest apple stores, the soho retail store in nyc.. and they probably deal with people of varying friendliness quite often, but i digress..

    well with that said, i'm kind of perturbed that a slight sound only some people even notice could make you totally give up on mac's for the time being.. and i don't mean to criticize you or belittle your problem, but wow that's rather picky of you there.. granted i have an older 1.5ghz powerbook and have wanted the 15" MBP since it was announced (but the fact it took a step backwards with no dual layer burning prevented me from looking more into it), so i have to wonder how bad the noise really is. well now that the 17" has dual layer, maybe i will have my job get me that and let ya know if the problem is corrected on the 17" (but i dont' know if you want that big a laptop).

    still, like others, i'm interested in seeing what research you've come up with to document the noise (and i'm rather impressed you went to such lengths professionally to document it).

    student trap: i don't think his noise issue would count as DOA under english law :p
  20. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Egosphere is not the first and will probably not be the last to give up on mac (if just for a while) because of this noise issue. There are plenty of threads all over the 'net about this.
  21. cynikal macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2003
    good point about the other threads, i didn't realize it was such a widely noticed problem.. but as far as giving up completely for now, i think that's extreme.. it's still a perfectly usable machine, and he found a work-around or two at least.. i understand he had the option to get a full refund for it, and hence he used it, but i would have to have thought long and hard before i would chose to exercise it. i guess he just didn't want to wait until the option was gone and he would be stuck w/ a noisy machine, albeit perfect in almost every other way?
  22. Egosphere thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2006
    The noise vexed me no end and I just couldn't deal with it. The noise would probably annoy other people less. Maybe I'm just sensitive. For example, in a studio recording, I could hear a very annoying high pitched hum over the recording. My friend thought I was crazy. To prove it, I did a Fourier transform on the waveform, and sure enough there was a constant line around 19 kHz.
    Anyhow, a friend of mine who is into Macs (but doesn't own a MBP) said that the issue was actually fixed and that the store people were trying to dump old units on me. I think this is probably BS. I dunno, though. The second unit had a W8615 serial. Aren't those serials the latest ones? What's the newest serial reported today?

    Also, attached is my print-out as I gave it to the store techie. It instructs to use iSpectrum. That software is shareware and its trial only allows 5-minute use. Quite honestly, I illegaly cracked the software to allow further use. I do not usually pirate software, but I didn't wish to buy iSpectrum. I just wanted the software for a day to show the techie the noise. I don't condone piracy in other cases. Anyhow, the procedure instructs to run iSpectrum from where I put it on my machine since this is the exact print-out I gave to the techie. So, go ahead and change it.
    Good luck to everyone. Also, please bring this up to your local Apple store even if you don't mind the whine. We need to get Apple's attention so they will fix it.
    Oh and, I don't want to look like an idiot, so please don't bring exactly the same print-out to the Houston Apple store.

    Attached Files:

  23. astral macrumors member

    May 9, 2005
    Note to anyone with a DOA computer:

    If you ordered online, and your model is not stock, go ahead and get them to replace it over the phone instead of trying to get the Apple store to fix it. They are only allowed to replace stock models, and the repair times can be excruciatingly slow.

    My G5 came with a faulty FW chip. The Apple Store said it would take 5 days, but it took 2 weeks to get a replacement motherboard. The board they ended up sending was DOA as well, at which point I was instructed to get it replaced via AppleCare, who overnighted me a new, working one.

    Though, they are really good at replacing those ipods I drop.:)

    Stock - Exchange at store
    Custom - Use AppleCare
  24. Kaiser Phoenix macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2005
    Yeah but the whole point is that there should be NO WORKAROUNDS needed for such a PRO machine. I dont buy a Mercedes over a toyota and then realize I need to fix that or fix this or what. I want perfection and comfort, because that is what people pay premium for in the mac. Comfor in the OSX and premium in the looks and aesthetics of the computer even though the insides are similar. If i bought a 1000US PC laptop, i wouldnt give a damn about a little noise or heat. But if I pay 2000-$ for a more high end pro machine, I want it to operate without annoying issues!
  25. Max on Macs macrumors 6502

    Max on Macs

    Feb 25, 2006
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Call up your nearest apple store (not a reseller or other store) and tell tem you get the buzzing when running off the battery. I did this and the guy said that they know all about it and to take it into the store and they'll give me a whole new system - and copy my stuff over - with no questions asked. So I'm doing that next Monday.

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