Early 2011 MBP consistent hardware issues. Can I expect a replacement under Applecare


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 22, 2013

I have a 15" MBP that I use for my full-time job as a freelance developer. The machine has had a number of different faults in the past, including 2 logic board replacements and 3 or 4 other miscellaneous hardware replacements under AppleCare (UK).

Last weekend I was about to tuck into some work when the laptop crashed. Upon forcing shutdown and restarting, I was met with a grey screen which I couldn't get past at all. Booked an appointment and supposidly everything was fixed - they replaced the hard drive and a cable. Got it back home and wanted to do a complete erase and reinstall, but I couldn't complete this because of an error that was preventing completion. Called AppleCare support who told me that it's definitely a hardware issue and that I'd have to book another appointment at a genius bar. Took it back in and the Apple genius told me what phone support said was completely wrong, and took me through an erase and reinstall. That brings me to today, just completed reinstalling some of my standard applications that I need and it's crashed again. Same problem as before except it's sometimes a blue screen and sometimes a grey screen. Took it in to Apple immediately but they wouldn't see it without an appointment. Nearest appointment is on Friday (5 days from now) which means I won't be able to work for nearly 2 weeks in total! What didn't help matters is that the genius appointment guy was super rude and abrupt and not friendly at all :/

Anyway, where does this leave me standing now? I purchased AppleCare because I thought I could rely on a top notch service to ensure that I'm able to do my job at all times since this is my work machine and I don't have access to any others. Having had to visit the Apple store 4 times now in total over the last week, as well as use phone support (that was apparently incorrect in what they were saying) I feel like I'm at a bit of a loss as to how I can proceed with this matter. Visiting the store takes about 2 hours in total for me, so them not being able to fix the issue now after having the machine in for repair twice for the same issue really leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth... The fact I can't do any work until Friday means I have to put all my clients on hold and not earn any money while the MBP is broke.

Is there any way I can escalate this issue? I'm sure the higher ups would appreciate that I've been through an unfortunate and terrible experience with their company and having purchased AppleCare to prevent this exact problem, I feel like I could be treated better.

Would I be within my rights to request a replacement MBP? I've read many stories online of people being given replacement laptops under AppleCare, and I feel my situation is as good as any for this to happen. This will be around the 6th time I've needed some form of hardware replacement in total, and if the geniuses just got it right first time round last week then there would be no issues at all now, yet here I am having to wait until Friday for them to even look at the machine. By the time they take it in and fix any issues it's realistically going to be 2 and a half weeks whereby I'm not making any money.

Any advice or wisdom would be much appreciated.



macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2013
...Would I be within my rights to request a replacement MBP? I've read many stories online of people being given replacement laptops under AppleCare, and I feel my situation is as good as any for this to happen...
I don't have any idea of the percentage of cases in which this happens, but I agree with you that your situation appears to match the typical profile when it does occur. It seems to be about 4 to 6 catastrophic failures under AppleCare when the towel is thrown in and it's acknowledged that you got a lemon.

I don't see any harm in asking, but it often seems to come as a surprise to those for whom it happens. That's when you see the posts like "Holy Jesus! Apple just took my computer and gave me a brand new one!"

My only advice is to be insistent that you require a long-lasting solution to the problems you've been having. But also be polite and understanding. I know that can be a fine line, but it really does matter. Those are the types of customers for whom you really do go pretty far out of your way to try to keep. The ones who come in angry and make a scene in front of other customers are the ones you really don't mind much letting go.

As for that guy who was rude, I'd personally be inclined to try to let it go. I've never experienced the holiday season in the UK, but if it's even one tenth of the rabid consumerism that occurs in the US, the poor lad is probably working on very little sleep. I'd try to find it in my heart to cut him a break and not mention it. It's doubtful that it's really relevant to the outcome here anyway.

Edit: Just to wish you good luck and to mention that I have the same early 2011 quad core model that you have. I've pushed it pretty hard every day for nearly two years (purchased refurbished). A typical day is to run Photoshop for hours while transcoding video in the background (at reduced CPU to keep things nice for Photoshop). Still, I've run 85C for hours and hours and hours on end almost daily without the slightest hiccup or complaint from my MBP. I just mention this to point out that what you're experiencing should not be considered normal. One way or another, I hope you get this sorted out with your next visit to the Apple Store.
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macrumors regular
Feb 20, 2011
seems similar to what happened to my 2011 MBP. sometimes HD or SSD can cease to work properly, but not completely die. I had a SSD from OWC that suddenly crapped out like that. they sent me a replacement and it's all good for now. and I have an HD that I shouldn't be using because it corrupts randomly, and I have to keep reformatting. I'm still using it because I'm cheap. LOL

anyways, looks like your MBP definitely has a hardware issue. good luck with sorting this out. it sucks to be without a working machine.


macrumors 68030
Jul 20, 2001
I don't think it's as much an issue of your "rights" as much as it is coaxing a manager to do right by you. I think the abruptness you got from the guy at Apple is probably related to the busy time of year—which unfortunately makes it a lot less likely that you'll get the attention and help you need.

I would suggest you try calling AppleCare directly first. They should be able to pull up your case notes. I don't know if phone support has the authorization to do anything, but the whole "6 repairs" thing sounds a lot like a lemon to me. If you don't get anywhere, perhaps stopping by the store tomorrow (Christmas Eve, yeah, I know) early morning (i.e., avoiding people getting off half-days of work) and asking nicely to speak to the manager will help.

Good luck!


macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2011
North Carolina
I had this problem exactly happen to me, early 2011 MBP, went in to a store and was nice but mentioned I found hardware replaced as a lemon for having the same issues over and over and they did they same for me.

They ordered me a 2012 MBP non retina at first but it had issues and the store rep I dealt with was not so friendly and talked down about the product he sales to downplay the problems.

I will say every outcome is different but if you have exhausted every avenue and Apple store reps were unhelpful, then I would suggest to escalate it.

I almost hate to say the outcome of mine because it was such a unique case with so many problems leading up to the conclusion but I had to involve the office of the CEO as I had evidence in notes and serial numbers including names of reps who did not do as they were supposed to.

To be blunt, at the very least, since the one you have is a lemon they owe you a replacement of like quality to the best of their ability. I got that initiated at a local store here in the states so no idea how it will be in the UK.
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