Apple’s Decline in Production Quality and Customer Service – The Failed Attempt at a Macbook Pro Refresh I recently purchased one of Apple’s brand new MacBook Pro 13” with the fancy new “revolutionary” touch bar. I went with the fully loaded version; Intel i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and a 1TB SSD. Totaling out at a whopping $2899 (before tax), I was super excited to receive my ultra-performance, top of the line machine. Little did I know, this would turn into and epic saga of extreme aggravation and disappointment. Let’s begin with strike 1. The sales associated who assisted me over the phone had mentioned that she caught an error with my shipping zip code and had corrected it. Well, it turns out that “corrected” meant transposed two digits and shipped it to the completely wrong city 300 miles across the state. I had to call Apple 4 times to get a straight answer if my expensive purchase would be in the hands of some lucky person. They eventually straightened it out and I received my MacBook only 1 day later than promised. The agent was at least kind enough to refund the $14 expedited fee that I paid extra for. Two days into using my freshly custom built machine I noticed a rather irritating “feature,” the case was warped. Whenever I went to rest your palm on the right side of the trackpad to type, the entire thing would wobble. My initial thought was “hmmm… it must be my desk.” I tried multiple surfaces and to my surprise, the case was warped to the point of it wobbling. STRIKE 2. I spoke with a very helpful Manager in Apple’s after sales support who offered me an advanced replacement (they send me a new MacBook and I send mine back after I get the new one). This was rather irritating to have to deal with as I just spent hours setting up my new machine, but I was thankful to have been given that option and gladly accepted it. A week later, my replacement arrived. I got it all setup (which takes me about 3-4 hours…I have a lot of software that I use). As I go to close the lid, after my lengthy setup process, my finger is cut open by a nick in the case. I was in shock. A second, brand new MacBook with another case defect. I was ready to explode in frustration. I immediately contacted the same support manager who helped me with the first replacement. He offered me a second advanced replacement and we got it all worked out. I was still mad as hell, but I wanted what I paid for. Another week goes by and my replacement arrives. I go through my 4-hour process of getting it all configured and loaded up. This time I notice that my screen is very warm, my keyboard is ultra-sensitive, and the haptic feedback in my trackpad is super weak. To top that all off, my graphics processing unit is completely defective. I was doing a PowerPoint presentation for a customer and a bunch of green lines and flashing black boxes start popping up all over my presentation. I looked like a fool! Yet again, another defective one. STRIKE 3!!! I am so angry that I am just about to take this thing out back and make one of those “smash my really expensive brand new electronic” video that those idiots put on YouTube. I call up my new “manager” pal at Apple support. This time things are not so “easy.” Mr. Manager informs me that I am unable to get an advanced replacement due to the fact that it has been over 30 days since my original purchase and according to their policy, they are unable to provide me with an advanced replacement. I fought with the guy for a week, hoping that they would make an exception since my case was a special circumstance. They wouldn’t budge. I was told that the best they could do was offer me a $200 discount and I would have to mail mine back first before they would ship me another one. I know that could sound reasonable to most, but my laptop is my lively hood. I use it daily for my 9-5 job as well as my photography/videography side business. Not having my laptop means not making money. Plus, why should I be even slightly inconvenienced because Apple can’t seem to keep their quality control up to the standards that a laptop with a $2899 price tag should have. After spending time with multiple 13” MacBook Pros, I have concluded that Apple has multiple manufacturers for their displays, keyboards, and track pad haptic engines, and graphics processing units. There are 2 versions of each. One version is good and one is GARBAGE. In addition to all of this, my wife has the base model 13” MacBook Pro w/touch bar and has the same graphic issues as well. We now must take hers to apple for a logic board replacement that will take up to 4 days to complete. In summary, Apple has tried very hard to make a new MacBook Pro, but has failed miserably. There a many defects and inconsistencies in hardware in addition to a battery that lasts nowhere near the advertised 10 hours. It’s more like 4-5 in the real world. I strongly urge you to NOT PURCHASE the new MacBook Pro line. They seemed to have jumped the gun and released a product that wasn’t fully ready. Honestly, I don’t think I will every buy another Apple product every again after the poor level of customer service and overall build quality of this “top of the line” laptop. That new Surface Book from Microsoft is looking pretty good right about now.