Faulty MPB? Need advice on dealing with Apple...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by serenamichelle, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. serenamichelle macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2011
    **Warning - this is lengthy but thorough**

    Yesterday (06/01/11) I was watching something on hulu.com on my early 2008 MBP- I paused the show and went away for about 2-3 minutes. When I came back and picked up my my MBP it was so hot I dropped it in my lap. My
    first reaction after that was to disconnect the power so I went to
    disconnect the MagSafe charger and it sparked then zapped/shocked me.
    The Mag"Safe" charger was insanely hot (like touching fire - and the
    left side of the computer was also extremely hot) - as I pulled on the
    charger to disconnect it the little metal/magnet part melted away from
    the plasticpiece/housing and was stuck to the computer. The inside
    of the plastic housing for the charger was scorched and there's scorch
    marks on the body of the notebook just above the charging port.

    I scheduled a Genius appointment last night for today and in the morning I decided to call AppleCare. AppleCare basically said all they can do is replace the charger- and since the computer is out of warranty (barely by 1.5months) they would essentially be "doing me a favor." Seriously? I was burned and shocked and their generosity of a charger is doing me a favor? HAHAHA and some more HA!

    So I went into the Apple store appointment to see if I can fare any better. They too said they think the incident was isolated only to the charger and not the computer and offered to replace the charger.

    I, personally, do not find this acceptable. Obviously, something is wrong
    if the computer was sooo hot I couldn't even hold it - AND the charger
    subsequently melted (not in the usual way people complain about because
    of the wires being exposed, etc - my charger was in perfect condition
    prior to this). I was upfront and told them I didn't feel comfortable with just a new charger - something more needed to be done. In the 3 years of the life
    of the computer it has had NUMEROUS repairs, including a whole new
    clamshell, LCD as well as logic board, etc... etc... I felt like this
    was the proverbial last straw... so the supervisor and tech looked
    overall the records and ultimately agreed to send the computer into
    the"depot" to be inspected and have any "necessary" repairs done, free
    of charge.

    Since I couldn't backup before going into the Apple store (not enough battery
    life and no charger) - they sent me home with a new charger, told me to
    backup my stuff and bring the computer back. They had the computer
    plugged in at the store and said that it appeared to be in fine working
    order so they didn't think anything would be wrong.

    I go home, plug in the new charger and start my backup. I left the
    computer since I knew it would take forever and ran some errands. When
    I came back home the computer was super hot again - hot enough to be
    uncomfortable to hold for more than a few seconds. I thought, sure, it
    was fine in the Apple store because it wasn't doing anything but
    sitting there - no programs were running for any length of time, etc...

    I tried to call the Apple store back and ask for a manager - because at
    this point - I feel as though they should just replace the computer -
    go ahead and send it in to the depot to be evaluated, etc... but give
    me a new computer (I don't even care if it's a refurbished model - and
    in fact I really like my year's model).

    Of course the store manager wasn't there. I asked for a district manager and she said there isn't one. She recommend I call tech support again. Called
    tech support and asked for a manager - I got Joshua, Senior tech
    advisor. After SEVERAL minutes on hold and a call back - he basically
    said that this incident was not deemed a safety issue. Again, he said
    the best he can offer is a new charger. Really? Not a safety issue?
    My fingers were burned (as was my thigh), I was mini shocked and I had
    a melted/fried charger to prove something was wrong and yet there's no
    safety issue?

    I was in utter shock and disbelief. Our conversation remained very professional and respectful - I expressed my thoughts and concerns and said I thought this was highly unacceptable. He said, I should just take advantage of what the Apple store was offering to do because that's the best I was going to get - and it was a LOT more than even he would offer. He also said, even if they send the computer in, they are only going to repair what's broken - so basically, if it ain't obviously broken they ain't going to fix it. I asked to speak to his manager and he said he was the highest person there - there was no one above him. He said I could speak to customer relations - but that was pretty much my only option from that point on.

    So, what do you all think? I've been pretty nice and patience thus far -
    but I'm wholly prepared to start unleashing the not-so-nice,
    take-no-for-an-answer side of me any minute. Am I being too unreasonable by requesting/demanding a replacement computer?

    PS. My husband is an electronic engineer and he believes the computer caused the charger to melt/disintegrate because of the excessive heat the computer was generating. I don't know about all that stuff - so if anyone out there has technical expertise on that - it would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Gol27 macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I would write all that down in a letter and send it into apple. I don't know where you are located but I would read up on a few consumer laws, the laptop isn't fit for it's intended purpose and if anything Apple should be bending over backwards to help especially if the laptop is a safety risk.
    I know you said the laptop is just outside of the warrantee, you didn't by chance pay by credit card did you? A lot of CC companies offer additional coverage for products purchases.

    Anyway I really hope you can sort things out I personally know how stubborn Apple can be some times.
  3. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    did i miss something? they said to bring it in tomorrow (after you backup your stuff) and they'll get it repaired. it seems perfectly acceptable to me, because it is out of warranty, and you don't have applecare.

    for all you know, it could have been a power surge at your house (do you have a surge protector?). now the charger and/or computer is damaged (totally unrelated to any manufacturing defect). this is just a possibility. i have no idea, and neither will apple until they take a look at it.

    it may well be a problem in your computer, but it's out of warranty, so i would take anything extra i could get, and i wouldn't expect a replacement (refurbished or otherwise).

    the letter to apple might get you something, but if it does, consider yourself extra lucky and apple extra nice. as for joshua, why are you wasting your time with him? deal with the apple store people in person and i think you are far more likely to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. i really doubt some guy on the phone somewhere is going to replace your computer for you sight unseen, because he doesn't have that authority.
  4. jimbo1mcm macrumors 68000

    Mar 21, 2010
    Apple Store First

    I agree with other posts that recommend the Apple Store route. What they offered, to send it to the depot for repair, seems reasonable. Whether the computer is causing the problem or it is charger related, might be determined. However, in any event, even if your computer is out of warranty, the incident, as you described it, is very serious, a safety and fire hazard and should never, never happen. There is a design fault in either the charger or computer or charger/computer. I will absolutely guarantee you that this has happened before to other similar Apple computers. If you had the resources, you could probably force Apple to divulge the other instances and even force a recall. I like Apple and they obviously don't want to get involved in a recall.( although they should and it would end up costing them less money than a class action lawsuit).

    The bottom line is that you should get a new computer and charger. It would help if you had photographic evidence. Good luck.
  5. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Jun 24, 2010
    Glasgow, UK
    If it's getting that hot, it sounds to me (I also hold a degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering) as though something is shorting out - the excess current would generate significant heat. Either way, there is no way in hell that laptop should have been taken home again. At worst Serena, the genius should have removed the hard disk and given it to you for safe keeping while they ran diagnostic tests.
  6. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    How do you know it wasn't a power surge that caused the problem? How do you know this has happened to other computers as a result of design flaws? You don't.

    Obviously, this should not be happening. And, it MAY be a design defect. But, we don't know.

    I strongly urge the OP not to jump to conclusions. Have them perform the diagnostic and replace the parts for free if necessary. That is so far beyond what they are obligated to do (nothing) outside of warranty that I find it amazing that you are even bringing up the option of a lawsuit.
  7. jimbo1mcm macrumors 68000

    Mar 21, 2010
    Do a thorough search for charger problems

    The failure rate on MBP chargers was significant. Do a search then come back and tell me I don't know what I'm talking about.
  8. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    I don't agree with your statement suggesting that because the MBP was hot - there had to be something wrong with it. If the charges was faulty and that seems to be the case, it is possible it was outputting the wrong voltage causing your MBP to heat up substantially. I do not know MBP's very well but being an Engineer I can say without doubt that it is possible for a bad charger to heat up a perfectly healthy computer due to bad circuitry.
  9. head honcho 123 macrumors 6502

    Dec 18, 2008
    New York
    if worse comes to worst write ur story with some pics to consumerist.com

    get ur story rollin' on the net and I'm sure apple would be more than happy to change their tune and might even give you a 2011 mbp (yes, i know u prefer ur older model, but still... it's newer!)

    don't budge with ur reqests/demands.
  10. acedickson macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2004
    I understand that you are upset but you have a product out of warranty and they are trying to work with you. I also agree that there may be a level of hazard here, and I'm not sure that entitles you to a new computer, but a replacement of a similar model isn't too much of an expectation. It's a difficult situation.

    If you were still in warranty I would think you have more right to not be so nice at this point. Good luck!
  11. asdad123 macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    It may have been getting hot as a result of it being over three years old and there being dust in the system.

    Have you ever taken it apart to clean the system out? A little cleaning of the fans every once in a while helps from dust getting stuck in the fans.

    Also, I feel that the way apple is handling it is more than fair. It's out of warranty and they're offering to fix it for free. They will not give you another computer, new or refurb, for a computer that's three years old with no warranty.

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