iMac Pro iMac Pro Failure and Apple Support woes

Discussion in 'iMac' started by amphibiousrodent, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. amphibiousrodent macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2016
    My 3 month old iMac Pro died on March 21st; just bricked after a few weird dialog box warnings with cryptic codes. A long phone conversation with Apple produced a Genius Bar appointment five days later. After weeks in the store for repairs I was told a week ago that Apple decided to replace the machine. One month later, I just got the call today that a replacement machine was at the store for pickup. Am I wrong to expect that Apple should be able to repair or replace a defective machine in less time than a month? This was a major purchase for me and my small videography business. Being without this machine, for this long, has been a huge damage to my business.
  2. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Not sure anyone can answer that.... How was the iMac Pro configured? I suppose if it was an off the shelf iMac Pro with standard configuration, Apple could have replaced it very quickly.
  3. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
  4. richinaus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2014
    Er, no.
    I had a similar incident with Apple not so long ago, and forced them to refund [within my legal rights], then I re-purchased. I was without a computer for about 2 days [is a business machine too] - I bought a base machine, then also ordered the custom, and returned the base when the one I wanted arrived.
    If it is your business don’t let them make the decisions. Know your rights as a consumer and act on them.

    Suffice to say Apple dealt with my problems professionally [after a little nudge] and made sure I was happy. As far as I am concerned they are a great company to deal once they are reminded nicely of their legal obligations. This was for an iMac pro too btw.
  5. Mac32, Apr 22, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018

    Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    If it's a brand new replacement unit, what's the issue? I don't really see the problem here. If there is a warranty case early on, you tend to get a brand new unit. That's my experience anyways.
  6. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    You are absolutely correct and I have experienced the same problem. Six weeks after I purchased it, my 10-core Vega 64 2TB iMac Pro starting having thermally-related graphical corruption problems. Apple support said take it to the Genius Bar. They worked on it for three weeks, ordering various replacement parts and finally decided it must be replaced. The estimated replacement time was one month. The total time from malfunction to replacement will be about two months.

    Apple's current policy is they don't stock any Configure To Order (CTO) machines, so they cannot quickly replace a CTO machine. In theory they could have loaned me a base iMac Pro or I could have purchased it then returned it within 30 days. However the base machine isn't that much faster on my H264 workflow than the top iMac 27 which I already have.

    Imagine a customer who has a brand new $13k 18-core iMac Pro or who next year purchases a $25k top-spec modular Mac Pro, it fails within days, then Apple spends weeks troubleshooting it and an additional month getting a replacement -- a total outage time of two months.

    For that class of machine, offering a base model replacement does little good. Apple's current support posture is simply not designed to deal with higher-end professional customers with needs like this. Neither Apple's Business Team or Joint Venture program are equipped to handle this.

    There are several issues here:

    (1) They seemed unfamiliar with service procedures on the iMac Pro and I was told they had never worked on one before.

    (2) Ordering parts for the iMac Pro was delayed. In particular the specialized VHB adhesive tape required for re-assembly was backordered. This is obviously available from some sources else manufacture of the iMP would be impossible. IMO for a Pro machine -- whether that's the iMP or the upcoming modular Mac Pro (which may cost over $20k), all parts ordering should be next-day.

    (3) Apple supposedly has no extra CTO iMP machines available anywhere in their manufacturing or distribution system. Other large retailers such as B&H and Adorama have many CTO iMac Pros in stock for immediate delivery but they do not accept returns on Apple products. If other retailers can carry an inventory of professional CTO machines it seems Apple could do this in limited numbers for specialized or urgent support cases.

    Apple is investing a lot in the upcoming 2019 Mac Pro, such as having Pro Workflow teams provide feedback during design to ensure it meets the needs of professional customers. The value of this investment will be diluted if commensurate after-sales support is not available. It's a problem for the iMac Pro now and will be an even bigger problem next year for the new Mac Pro.
  7. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    There are three popular configurations Apple and other retailers appear to stock, although they often run out of stock (even B&H).

    Currently there is a two week lead time to build a iMac Pro and perhaps another week to package and ship, so 4 weeks is probably not far out of line. You would think they could jump yours to the head of the line, but I suspect everything is sold and none are going to stock that could be reconfigured.

    You would think Apple would have a few of each configuration built up as spares, but they don't yet for the iMac Pro. They seem to stock more versions of other models, and their production lead time is days vs weeks... which leads one to believe that currently they are not keeping up with iMac Pro demand.

    Just a different POV, but it does certainly appear that Apple is doing little to support iMac Pro failures.
  8. pat500000 macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2015
    this is one of those...take it or leave it.
  9. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    I ordered the maxed out model on April 7th, a Saturday, with estimated shipping of 1-2 weeks and delivery in 16-23 days. It shipped 3 working days later on the 11th from China, and it was delivered on the 17th - 10 days order to delivery.
  10. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    I honestly wouldn't care how long their time is for new orders, once bought if it cannot be fixed within 48 hours of taking to an Apple store (why no onsite option for this machine??) then I would demand a full refund.

    As a business user if Apple cannot properly support me then I'm off to another platform.
  11. SRLMJ23, Apr 23, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018

    SRLMJ23 macrumors 68000


    Jul 11, 2008
    New York
    From what I have heard is that Apple does not even have a repair guide out yet, and that when they get an iMac Pro they usually just replace it because no one at Apple is even certified to work on iMac Pro's.

    Now, I got this information from that stupid YouTube kid that broke his iMac Pro and took it to an Apple Store and was going to pay cash for all the repairs but they would not fix it for him and gave him quite a few different excuses why they could not.

    If you want to watch the video to see all the explanations they gave him I will link it below. The kids is super annoying so you will have to ignore that, but once you get past that you will see Apple wouldn't even let an Apple Authorized Service Center order the parts so he could pay to have his machine fixed.

    Sorry if this does not make that much sense, but it is 5:00 in the morning and I barely got any sleep so I am exhausted!!!


  12. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2009
    I agree apple should have sorted this issue faster. 48 hours is the turn around I would expect on a machine of this caliber.

    No offence if your running a business you should have a back up plan if anything should happen. Makes no business sense to rely on one machine, machines break regardless of age. Its not apples fault its damaged your business, you should always have contingency plans. If you can afford to spend a minimum of 5k on a machine you should be able to have a back up plan. If not that budget should be split between two other options.

    If not at least have a contingency fund to replace a machine to fill in the downtime.

    My Mac pro bricked installing High Sierra. Its out of its warranty period etc so no apple support but I have 2 other desktop machines one a windows workstation the other an i7 PC and I have 2 other laptops that I used while I figured out what was wrong and how to go about fixing the Pro.

    I have a small photography/graphic design business, same boat.
  13. fusionid macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2015
    They had my broken imac pro for 3 days and didn't do anything with it. I'm starting to think I truly wasted my money.
  14. Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    I can be as critical as the next person when it comes to Apple, but some of the complaints here are over the top. I agree wholeheartedly with Tom Scott in this matter.
  15. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    I agree that for critical business use it's the owner's responsibility to have backup storage *and* backup computers. You can't plan on hard drives or computers never failing.

    When my iMP failed I had several other iMacs, inc'l a 2017 i7, so I used that. The data was redundantly stored on multiple Thunderbolt RAID arrays. I just plugged those into the iMac and continued -- at a slower rate. But I didn't expect to work like that for two months because of extended unfruitful repair attempts by Apple and their stated inability to expeditiously replace a Pro CTO machine.

    If I had a base iMac, Apple might have replaced that within 24 hr or or even immediately once they were unable to repair it.

    The point is higher-end professional customers with much more expensive Apple Pro machines are getting *less* rapid service than casual users with cheaper machines. That's not right, and if Apple doesn't change their support policy the 2019 Mac Pro will face an uphill battle of Apple's own creation.

    We don't know the details but the 2019 Mac Pro will possibly be a dual-socket machine with a very high upper configuration. If it's $25k, should Apple inform professional customers they must buy two of those to safeguard against Apple's inability to rapidly repair or replace them? The top iMac Pro is about 1/2 that price, which is still pretty expensive, so the same dilemma exists.

    In my case I talked to a several people in Apple and they ultimately got me a replacement CTO iMac Pro in less than a week. I'm very grateful for that but it shouldn't require pulling strings.

    I think Apple will have to change their official policy of not stocking Pro CTO desktop machines nor having any official way of getting an expedited replacement.
  16. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2009
    I think this thread proves that an AIO just isnt the answer and slapping pro on the name doesn’t make it pro.

    If it were modular you swap the part out and continue. At the end of the day although it can be serviced Apple has made it difficult for themselves to repair because it’s a sealed AIO.

    IMO I wouldn’t contemplate one, no way I would be happy with those waits and we are 4 months in. Not 3 years just going to get worce.

    It was a reactive machine and it shows with the support and problems people are having.

    Impressive machine but at the end of the day one failure renders the whole unit useless just like the standard iMac.
  17. iMacDonald, Apr 24, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018

    iMacDonald macrumors member


    Oct 27, 2016
    Reading these problems, I'm kinda glad I settled for a mid spec iMac 27 which lives an easier life with less heat I guess. I was very close going for the Pro. Just a want, not a need so sure I am in a slightly different boat than most iMac Pro owners.

    I can understand initial long lead times but really by now I would have expected Apple to get people a replacement or fix in about a week max. Even for an 18 core. There are not that many components configurable in comparison to a PC build for example. I only count 4 configurable parts: CPU, Ram, SSD size and graphics card (only two options). Surely a technician can diagnose within a day what the problem is, fix it or recommend a replacement and on to the next job, no?
  18. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2009
    My macbook screen has been dodgy so took it in and they said they would replace the display... still not heard from them been over a week... You would think that would be turned around pretty quick...

    If they cant replace a sceen from the lowest end consumer product, then on such a low volume high end machine I wouldn't be holding my breath for speedy turn arounds.
  19. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    The iMP is quiet and fast, a very effective pro machine and the top models are much faster than the previous 12-core D700 Mac Pro.

    The above support difficulties don't have much to do with the AIO design. In my case Apple replaced all the interior components and it still didn't work. This was likely due to human error and/or a bad replacement component.

    I asked them how long it took for their technician to disassemble the iMac Pro, replace the logic board, button it up and test it -- they said 20 minutes. Whether that time period on the 2019 Modular Mac Pro is 10 minutes or 15 minutes won't make any difference in the big picture.

    This could just as easily happen with a 2019 modular Mac Pro. Every totally new machine will have new and different debugging and maintenance procedures. If the technicians have no practical experience with the new machine they will struggle. If Apple has no replacement CTO machines available, this will be a problem whether the professional machine is AIO design or modular.

    A single failure in the logic board will take down a 2019 Mac Pro just like an iMac Pro. If the technicians can't get replacement parts quickly and aren't familiar with the new machine's unique troubleshooting procedures, the size or shape or interior layout of the machine won't make any difference.

    The main problems are (1) Apple does not expedite (via next day) replacement parts for high end pro machines. (2) Apple's technicians apparently did not have adequate practical hands-on training with the iMP, and (3) Apple's official policy is they don't have expedited access to CTO replacement machines -- even for high-end pro desktops like a $13k 18-core iMP. If that doesn't change it will equally be a problem for the upcoming $25k modular Mac Pro.
  20. iMacDonald macrumors member


    Oct 27, 2016
    Any of the 4 configurable parts surely could be swapped with standard parts to diagnose the exact problem initially and the customer could get a notification within 2-3 days saying: yeah it is this or that probably. If it doesn't work with any of the swapped 4 parts it's most likely the motherboard, screen, fan unit, psu or even case, which I think they should have in stock at every repair centre regardless. Diagnose complete surely or recommend replacement. "We will get that exact matching part and you will have your machine by end of next week or we will replace the entire mac."

    What's with the wait? It's like saying "we can't fix your car for 2 months because you went for the optional panoramic sunroof and we have to get an exact matching car to check each part on there. So we have to wait till it's built in Sweden or Japan first."

  21. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2009
    There is no doubting its fast and quiet, what I mean is with a modular machine you dont have to rely on apples turn around. Modular means you can get back up and running with an overnight shipment as long as its not something major. In your case a logic board is pretty major and I wouldnt say that is a normal issue probably quite rare unless there are manufacturing defects with all of the iMac pros. A logic board failing in less than 4 months is very rare.

    In my pro machines ive never had a big issue, just small issues. In my 2008 and 2010 mac pro I had two separate occasions where a stick of ram went bad, machine wouldn't boot. I took the offender out on both occasions ordered another and got back to work. You cant do that with an iMac, you couldnt take out an offender and get back to work... My GTX 285 went bad, I had the original 2600XT put it in ordered a new GTX next day and got back to work... you following the theme here?

    The iMac pro needs a complete disassembly the logic board holds everything so you cant just swap out a graphics card and will probably be with apple for a week and from this thread a lot longer while your left without a machine. If you try and solve it yourself you void the warranty. After the 3 year period apple care what then, if your graphics card goes bad you need a whole new logic board... how much will that be.

    Thats why an AIO is not suitable IMO. Just ridiculous.

    Pro machines get hammer and parts fail, the difference here is there is nothing you can do about it. End of.
  22. rjtiedeman macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2010
    Stamford, CT
    Wants: This is the first of a new type of Mac. I expected growing pains and have been holding off buying because of all of the above. Even the low end Imac Pro is 1/4 the price of a new car. So you really have to have plans in place for a cost analysis of your needs and wants. I want a super fast car but I95 is always backed up so why.

    Repair issues: I expect that no store wants to stock 100 grand in spare Imac Pros just for the one guy in thousands who has a issue. But you would think Apple would have had a plan in place so as not to piss people off and get bad Press.

    Stocking spares: At 5 to 10 grand each who wants to stock high end machine that are going to be obslete in 3 months. Consequently the 14 day return policy. You bought it. Now it’s your used stuff and your problem. It’s like waking up after a party with a tatoo on your face. If apple wants to build appiliances they started at the top of the ladder.
  23. Macshroomer, Apr 24, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018

    Macshroomer macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
    OMG, again???

    Look, you don't own or plan to own an iMac or iMac Pro, so why on EARTH do we all have to keep hearing this from you over and over and over and over again????

    It's like you *live* for these moments in your day, the moment you just get to come on over and crap on this concept as an All In One as if you are the consummate pro and know everything. It's a sickness man and you have it in spades!


    Please....just leave us alone already!!!
  24. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2009

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