Don't buy the Retina --- Apple just lost a customer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rutski89, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. rutski89 macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2010
    I write here to vent some frustrations that I've recently had with the MBP Retina, and with Apple's incompetent repair services.

    I bought a 15" Retina a few months ago. From day one the machine had problems. Several times per day the keyboard and trackpad would stop working, completely out of nowhere. The system logs had some generic and not-very-useful error message like "Finder has halted the input system for 1 second... input system restarted."

    I assure you that the the input system took something more like 5-10 seconds to restart, not just 1.

    I went to the Apple store and they decided to replace the keyboard and trackpad, but it didn't fix the issue.

    Soon after this keyboard repair a few pixels died in the upper left quadrant of the screen (though I'm sure the pixel deaths were unrelated to the keyboard issues). I dropped of the machine to get the screen replaced. They did indeed replace the screen, but the new screen they gave me had a horrid yellow tint to it.

    The tint would take any colors that were supposed to be vibrant, suck all of their saturation out, and then give them a slight yellowish hue to boot. I'm attaching a picture of this effect below. One of the screens is mine, and the other is an Apple Store display model. I'll let you guess which is which (though here's a hint: Facebook's homepage is supposed to be blue, not gray; blue is their thematic color, not gray).


    The Apple repair people apologized for the bad display and said that they could have the machine shipped out to a large repair facility in Texas where a more experienced technician would replace the screen and make 100% certain that it had decent color fidelity before shipping it back.

    I agreed, and left my machine to be shipped out. An hour after I left the store I remembered that I had left some sensitive files on the disk. I called them back and asked them to hold the machine from shipping. They said they would indeed hold it until I came back to delete the files. They did hold it, and I came back and removed the files later that same evening. After deleting the files I gave the machine to a tech, and he said that they would ship it out with a batch going to Texas that very night.

    A week past. Let me repeat: an entire 7 days went by. I called the store and asked if my laptop would be back soon, and guess what they told me? They told me this: "Oh, your machine is still in the store, you had asked us to hold it until you could come delete some files."


    They apologized, and promised to ship it out express on that same night.

    Five more days go by, and the laptop finally gets back from the Texas repair facility. I go to pick it up and find that I've been given a desaturated and yellow-tinted screen for a second time.

    I go to an Apple employee to complain that I've been without a computer for a month now between keyboard repairs, multiple screen repairs, and silly delays like "oops, we forgot to ship it out, sorry!"

    The employee apologizes profusely, and tells me that the yellow screens are a known problem related to differing LCD manufactures. He seems very sharp and generally intelligent compared to the previous techs who had been helping me, so I develop some trust in him. He tells me that if I leave my machine in the store he would have the screen replaced for yet a third time, that he would expedite the repair so that it would be done within 24 hours, and also that he would make sure that the person repairing it replaced the screen over and over again until I got one that matched the color fidelity of the store models.

    Well, I left my machine for yet another repair. I went back today and the screen looked slightly better at first, but it still felt out of whack. It wasn't extremely yellow anymore, but all of the colors felt generally off. I looked at my repair receipt and saw "Software Repair: $0." I checked the color calibration panel in the system preferences app and found that a new color profile had been created, and set as active. This time the blues were actually blue, and the greens were actually green, but it regardless felt very off. I can't quite describe the effect accurately, but it was definitely off.

    I went back and complained that the screen hadn't been replaced as promised, that a poor quality display can't be color calibrated into looking like a good one, that I was sick of all of their bull@$&*, and that I had spent a fortune on bus and train tickets traveling back and forth to their store for repair after repair.

    I demanded to have the computer taken back for a full refund. The tech went back and spoke with his manager. When he came back I was asked to allow them to make one more repair attempt, which they would do in-store and within 24 hours. The deal now is that if the colors are still off after this attempt then I will return the machine for a full refund (presumably in the form of store credit).

    I highly doubt they're capable of finding a good quality screen to put on my machine; if they were then they would have done it already. Their whole batch of repair screens seems to be tainted with this yellow desaturation effect, all the way from New York to Texas.

    It's a bummer that those pixels on my original good display died and started this whole mess.

    When I get the store credit I'll probably use it to buy a Power Mac, because that way I can find a display elsewhere from a company that has better quality control. Either way, I'm never buying another Apple product again.

    And here's to waiting for iOS 7 come along and forcefully rip out a perfectly good looking UI for one that looks like it was drawn by a 3rd grader.

    I'm extremely displeased with you Apple,
  2. NickPhamUK macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2013
    Many people bought rMBP 15 with no problem out of the box. Consider yourself... unlucky?
  3. sarthak, Aug 9, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013

    sarthak macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2012
    All screens need to be calibrated to give accurate colour in a particular environment. Many displays come with a warm colour tint (6500K) which can be corrected by using tools such as the Spyder or manual adjustment in Color Calibration to cool white (7200K). I think Apple provided you with more than sufficient replacements when all you needed to do was calibrate the display to your desired taste. There are many who prefer a warm tint to the display rather than cool blueish whites. I have owned more than four dozen monitors in the last few years and many of them came with a warm tint.

    If you find the screen to be desaturated, increase the Gamma to 2.2 or greater. I actually prefer a Gamma of 1.7 as it provides a balanced colours (in terms of contrast and saturation).

    But they could have done better when you left your machine to be shipped off to Texas.
  4. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    I sympathize

    These things cost money and I can understand your frustration. Apple simply should have just taken the machine and replaced it with a new one after so much trial and error. If the new machine display the same results, then I could better understand offering a refund at that point.

    Personally, I am preparing to purchase my first Mac later this year, but it certainly won't be from the notebook line up. The Retina display, while nice, right now is a early adopter niche and the numerous complaints I have read in this forum about it and the reviews from professionals who bought one but realized it was a mistake justifies reasoning. Some persons here are gonna say, this forum is like a hospital and you are obviously hear and see a lot of sick people analogy.


    Some persons spending 2000 to 3000 on a notebook in this economy yet getting a mediocre experience, something a cheaper 600 dollar notebook can deliver says something.

    As with anything first gen though, I guess it comes with the turf. I plan to by a Retina 15" one day, but that day is next year when Broadwell comes out. They always say 3rd times a charm. Apples notebooks have for years been aesthetically pleasing but have been known to be rife with problems, whether its a high rate of logic board failure, bad video cards, display issues, material issues and a number of others.

    I know, because although I am a Windows user, I keep up with all things Mac and I have the reports of issues with the form factor in Macworld and other sources. I have had good experiences briefly using Macs. A friend at a print shop used old G3's to produce amazing illustrations, design t-shirts, logs and artistic works enough to make a living and even enough to take him back to his native country, Mexico.

    A friend who had a first gen MacBook Pro, used it for all her work studying accounting, lent it to me regularly and it works great for entire year I had access to it and this in addition to year she had it before. In fact, she gave it away to her brother a couple years ago which she said is still useful. So there have been some highlights.

    I don't know if there is a depreciation is attention to QA and testing and ensuring these come off the production line really ready. I don't know if its high demand that's causing the problem, but Apple needs to really look into the issue.

    Tim Cook is really living off the residue of Steve Jobs right now, the cracks are beginning to show with the Board questing the lack of true innovation and industry changing products. The fact that there is lack of that and drop in quality says a lot. If I was the board, I give him 6 months or else. If he can't meet expectations, then maybe its time for someone to take over being CEO with attention to details and send him Tim Cook back to Supply Chain where he truly belongs.
  5. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003

    I feel sorry for Apple with customers like this. I agree with the OP that the dead pixels and non-working keyboard and trackpad should be fixed. The rest of his tirade is just subjective whining...

    As somebody who actually has a degree in Fine Arts AND Science, many, many factors effect color and a person's perception of it. It is so subjective that we have a derogatory term called "eyeballing it". This is what the OP was doing.

    Now if the OP had a professional color calibration kit and still had issues with the panel I would have much more sympathy and understanding.

    Standing in a room eyeballing the display (probably with some fluorescent lighting..shudder) is just terrible. There is a reason we have professional color calibration kits vs people standing around trying to guess the color, you know?

    This is why I could never work at an Apple store...

    Oh, and good luck with that Power Mac!


  6. i4Collin macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2011
    Happy rMBP user checking in here. 1 month after purchasing the computer I noticed a dead pixel. I made an appointment at the Apple Store, took it in, and was given the option of having it shipped out or fixed in the store. I decided to have it shipped out as the genius explained that the people in the store fixing computers are from the genius bar and working the late shift. 5 days later I got a call to pick up my computer. Everything was fixed and working 100%. 1 year, 2 months later I still love this computer. Please know that your bad experience doesn't reflect all of Apple. A good thing to do is to write Tim Cook or write about your experience on the feedback section of Apple's website located here. Best of luck to you :).

    If you can find a tech company with better customer service than Apple, please let me know as I have yet to find one. Good luck dealing with call centers when the new non-Apple products you are going to buy need servicing.
  7. tgi macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2012
    After reading this thread, I purchased a Retina Macbook.
  8. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    You have got to be kidding :eek:
  9. RoboWarriorSr macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2013
    It's probably because Tim Cook isn't Steve Jobs. He has only been CEO for about 2 years and that's not exactly a lot of time to leave a legacy. As you can tell, it seems that Tim Cook is leaving innovation to Jony Ive and other more knowledgeable people, Tim Cook's specialty is finding the most efficient manufacturing, distribution, and supply apparatus for Apple. I'll wait at least 5 years before making too big of a judgement. And it's not like Tim Cook was new to the party. :rolleyes:
  10. rutski89 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2010
    Fine, color temperature is all a matter of preference. In this case here's how a retina purchase might go down.

    Customer: That machine on display there, I have a preference for how it looks, may I buy one? It pleases me.

    Apple: Yes, you may. Here's one now, just for you.

    Customer: Hey, the colors are different, and the display is from a different manufacturer. This isn't what I paid for.

    Apple: Too bad.

    Seriously guys? Seriously?
  11. rutski89 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2010
    I'm not going to buy a professional color calibration kit on top of a $3,000 machine. It should look like the machines on display out of the box, period.

    Also, I fail to understand where you're coming from with the comments about eyeballing it. Yes, I'm eyeballing it, and the lighting conditionds do make a big difference. But I was comparing two machines side-by-side which were supposedly the same model, so they ought to have been behaving the same color wise, and they weren't. Did you not see my picture?
  12. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Please, consumers should not have to do this on their own, and the store should be capable of making the adjustment, and they could not get it right.


    I presume that the computer was out of the 14 day return when you first brought it in?

    Never let them fix a computer in its return period...get another.


    Guess what, we would not want you in a store either.... If the Apple store cannot get it right why should the consumer have to spend more. My, out of the box rMBP, looks break...and so should EVERY OTHER ONE PURCHASED.

    This story seems to confirm what we all know....apples in-store technicians are hardly competent.
  13. MacReloaded macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2007
    I totally understand your frustrations since I just went through this last month.

    I had a 2012 model with a perfect Samsung display. It had no defective pixels, very little backlight bleed and bluish whites. That was until last month when some spot had developed on the screen.

    The display was replaced in store with another Samsung display. I immediately noticed the yellow tint when I was picking it up. At home, I noticed bad backlight bleeding. I used it for a couple of weeks until I decided to go back for another replacement. The next one was also a Samsung (all the replacements are Samsung now). Same yellow tint, less backlight bleeding but 6+ stuck pixels. Brought it back the next day and got an extremely helpful Genius. He performed the repair within an hour while I waited around. It also had the yellow tint so I brought it up to him. I sat my machine next to one of the store demos that had a Samsung display. We tried calibrating it but we couldn't come close to match it.

    The Genius went in the back room and had a chat with management. They decided to replace it with a brand new 2013 model. This new machine has a LG display (SJA2) and it just blows away what I had for the past several weeks. The colours just pop, deep black levels, very little backlight bleed, no defective pixels and bluish whites. The display is gorgeous. I also got a bump from 2.6 to 2.7 GHz and I paid for an upgrade from 256 to 512GB flash ($300 compared to $500 last year).

    In the end, I was extremely satisfied with how Apple handled this.
  14. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    If you would've made as much noise at the Apple store as you did here you'd have had a replacement MBP or a full refund weeks ago.
  15. sarthak macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2012
    You don't have to but, it's suggested you do if you're going to be using it for media work. Just go in to Colour Calibration, check "Expert Mode", click next to skip manually adjusting each colour dial and when you get to the Target White Point setting, adjust the slider to 7200K (COOL WHITE) or your desired preference.

    It takes only a few minutes and it should look as you want.

    The Genius would calibrate the display using a tool to the lighting environment in the store which can significantly different than the lighting in your home. But perhaps they could have done better by adjusting only the Target White Point as I mention to someone else above.
  16. sjinsjca macrumors 68010


    Oct 30, 2008
    Could the yellowish tint be related to the similar temporary defect seen in many iPhones and iPads when they're brand new?

    In their cases, the tint fades in a couple weeks.

    Maybe giving a new display a little time might solve the problem?
  17. Xerotech macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2011
    There are many errors and problems with screens. A lot of Apple stores wouldn't even replace yellow tinted screens. It's unfortunate that the store consistently got bad quality parts. The fact that they put fourth some sort of effort to try to help you should mean something.

    I had issues with my retina too. The SD card slot didn't work, track pad consistently failed, LCD flickered and ghosted. I was quite angry that they did not thoroughly test it prior to releasing. The ghosting was a wide spread issue and spending 2.4k USD on a computer with issues is ridiculous. My service with Apple, however, was superb. They had my LCD replaced in under 24-hours. Don't let a few small issues push you away. I suggest you file a Better Business Bureau complaint. Send some emails to upper division employees and let them know about your issue. If no one speaks then nothing will be done to improve quality issues. Let your voice be heard. :)

    The newer retinas seem to be great machines. IMO I'd wait for the haswell ones to come out. They should have perfected the machine by then. Good luck.
  18. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    I'd like to see a $600 notebook deliver the same experience as an rMBP. I've had mine for around 9-10 months now and it's still the best machine I've ever used.
  19. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    Whem SJ was around

    You could have emailed him and I can tell you, issue would have been sorted out. A friend of mine a few years ago switched to a Mac. It was a MacBook Pro that had some issue. He managed to find Steve Jobs email address, emailed him and someone on his PR team got in touch directly with him and sorted it out. Had a brand new MB Pro and was a happy customer ever since.

    Stuff of legends.

    These days, the man with the southern drawl is unlikely to respond to a customer which shows how impersonal the company has become. What leadership at Apple has to understand, whoever is in leadership is a reflection of the company. Steve Jobs was a people person, if you were lucky sometimes, you would end up in a conversation early morning on a Saturday. When take into account this was a busy man, coming up with important ideas, running one of the most important companies, managing a family and likely sick through all it, yet had time for his customers, even if it was a one line.

    If you look at how incompetent and impersonal Apple stores have become, the complaints have increased, the lack of focus on putting the customer first, this is not Steve Jobs company anymore. The sad reality is, that's not a good thing.

    Its about how much profits we can make to please stupid shareholders who have enough already. Its about hoarding up products for the end of the year to have big numbers. Its about, cutting cost by trying to 'claim to fix it' until the customer just gives up.

    Tim realizes he is no Steve Jobs yes, that's why he has delegated what Steve use to do to others like Jony. I don't know if that's a good thing, because after 14 years of knowing Steve, Jony himself is making mistakes.

    Although Steve considered Jony to be his spiritual soul mate at Apple, part of what made the magic happen is 6 feet under. It was Steves vision that really brought to market what we have seen since 1997. Jony was just a muse. As much as Jony complained Steve took the spotlight, Steve deserved 100% of it. Because he Jony needs guidance or else he will go to the wayside.

    Daddy Steve did, Uncle Tim can't.

    Right now all Tim is doing is burning time fiddling around in Excel 2011 for Mac everyday, checking out a few adult websites on company time, posting to his Twitter account under some unknown alias, waiting every quarter to call out big numbers and waiting on the time to cash in that restricted stock while it still has value then cop out.

    Scott Forstall I believe is the ultimate savior of Apple, he worked with Steve from the NeXT days and understood Steves weirdo mercurial ways better than anyone else. The fact that he was demanding that he got kicked out the same way Steve did in '85, I believe the innovation will return when gets the chance. All will be restored then. Maybe Jony will be around then or not or maybe Scott will have his own muse to carry out and continue the legacy that Steve truly wanted to leave behind. Not this former Compaq/IBM SCM numbers guy!
  20. nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2012
    Had dropped of my retina a few weeks back for case creaking and some hardware error.

    the guy at the AASP powers up my mac to check stuff and pull out the serial. He then goes sir your display is perfect it does not have a yellow tinge like the others that come in. I replied "I calibrated the display myself":D
    when i went to get my mac back they had done a clean format had asked them to calibrate it to what it was when i handed it over after many attempts they just could not get it the way i had calibrated, so i asked them to give it to me and infront of them a few clicks here and there and its back to normal wile their faces are:eek:
    The bottom line is they would not be able to calibrate it the way you would like it, hence you should give a try on your own. Its a variance in all displays not only on the retina. Ive had a macbook pro non retina get a display change due to a faulty cam and when i got it back it had warm colors. I have seen the same variance between in the macbooks we have at home and work. However its good they did actually offer to change displays for you, apple does not consider that as a warranty claim rather a 'MINOR' variance for some reason.
  21. IndoX macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    You can definitely go elsewhere for your products. Be sure to report back when you have issues and tell us of the service you received.

    You may have had issues with the hardware - but the support you received from the genius bar is unlike any other. That's what keeps me staying. At least you know whenever you have an issue with Apple they'll try their best to resolve it.
  22. rutski89 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2010
    They did indeed say that there is an acceptable level of color difference among devices, which they would not consider worthy of replacement, and that's fine with me too. Of the two yellow displays that I've gotten, one was significantly more yellow than the other, despite them both apparently being of the same make. I know it happens, and that it's not a big deal.

    The problem is that this color difference isn't minor, and the many techs I've talked to all agree. My photo clearly shows that what one display thinks is blue the other thinks is gray.

    Moreover, a one line shell command I found online showed that the store models had displays made by LG, and that my yellow display was made by Samsung. My original machine was apparently an LG.

    So this definitely isn't one of those minor color differences internal to a given make of display, it's the drastic difference you get when you have fundamentally different displays made by different companies.

    If I get a display back tomorrow that shows the blue on the Facebook's homepage as a little more blue, or a little less blue, then that would be fine. But if it shows that blue as gray, then that will not be fine.

    I'm not a color expert, but I'll repeat that I don't think it's possible to calibrate away such a drastic color difference without throwing off other colors, and if it is then it's not reasonable to expect customers to know how to do so. I did indeed try calibration the first time I got the yellow display, but I couldn't get it to look anything like the original display which I had when I first bought the machine, the one from before the replacements for the dead pixels, which was clearly from the same LG line as the display models.

    I'll repeat again that what they display on the tables at the stores needs to be what comes out of the boxes. And the displays that get used in repairs need to be the exact same displays that came with the original machines, especially when Samsung and LG have such different color profiles.
  23. rutski89 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2010
    No, actually the service has never been unlike any other. Not for me at least.

    I once had an iMac that had terrible ghosting issues, and it took me a full year of going back and forth to the store over 5 times to get them to acknowledge and fix the problem. Images took about an hour to ghost into the screen, which was longer than the in-store tests ran for, and so they didn't believe me about it until I made a video of the ghosting with my cell phone and showed it to them.

    They've had their hands on this machine now for about a month now, and they still haven't been able to restore it to its original condition.

    On the other hand, I once had a Motorola XOOM tablet that I shipped off to Motorola under warranty for a dead pixel. It took a while, but it came back good as new. No more dead pixel, and no weird surprises like "oh, by the way we gave you a totally different display type."

    Likewise I have a Spec case for this MacBook which broke when I was taking it off once, because one of the arms was slightly loose to begin with. (If you know how those things are packaged then it won't be surprising that they get banged up a bit during shipping). I called Spec to complain. They had me send back the broken case, and they sent me a replacement with good arms in a box that had extra scrap paper shoved in as padding, since that's what I had suggested was the probable culprit of my original gimpy case.

    Other companies honor their warranties too, and they do so intelligently.

    Just because Apple's technicians are physically present and their services are easy to get a hold of within 24 hours of doesn't necessarily mean that they're any good. May I remind you that I originally brought that laptop in because the keyboard and trackpad were spazzing out several times per day, and Apple's repair job failed to fix issue as well.

    Did the tech even let the machine sit for a few hours and then check to see if the error messages from the input system showed up again in the logs? I doubt it.

    Each time I brought in that iMac for repair I asked the tech to make a note that the ghosting took longer than their 15 minute test to settle in, and each time I got the machine back with a comment saying that they ran their 15 minute test got and got no burn in.

    Did the guy doing the test even read the note that the ghosting took longer than 15 minutes to create? Probably not. Either that or he didn't care.

    Each time I brought in this yellow MacBook pro I asked the tech to make a note to actually check the replacement screen against a store model before calling it good, and each time I got back a screen that looked nothing like the store models.

    Again, did they guy doing the repair even bother to check that the issue was actually fixed? It seems not.

    They really don't pay any attention to their work, it's horrible.

    But then again you don't really need to pay much attention to replace dead batteries, or to reinstall OS's for clueless users with malware ridden machines. So I guess they're services are often helpful. But when it comes to non-trivial issues, they really fall flat, or at least they always have for me.
  24. alyshehata macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    This is EXACTLY what happened to me. I was reading your post and everything is the same. Gotta love my local apple store service. The LG display does actually have amazing colors compared to samsung. Haven't and will not test for IR haha.
  25. Baytriple macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2012
    Your going to buy a Power Mac eh? Will you be going back in your time machine to the 1990s?

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