lemon MB - how to deal with Apple?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by JustLikeYou, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. JustLikeYou macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2007
    Hey there

    I've had my white MB for 10 months now (2.1 intel, 120 gig, 2gig ram, superdrive) , and although I love Apple, this has been the one product that has been a complete lemon for me. In the 10 months I've owned it, I've had the optical drive replaced 3 times, I've had USB and HardDrive issues, and the apple techs at the stores have reinstalled the OS 3 times due to them being "corrupted" each time. The most recent reinstall was this past Saturday at the apple store after the USB's wouldn't work and it wasn't recognizing CD's.

    This morning, I went to start my computer, and it was VERY slow, took 10 minutes to start up, and when it did, it didn't recognize any desktop files and wouldn't find half the files in my documents folder. The spotlight up in the corner popped up, saying it was "Indexing Admin", and then the whole thing froze. I went to restart, and the grey startup screen appeared, but not with the normal Apple, it showed the Prohibition Symbol (the "no" sign, circle with slash through it). It gets to that point, then shuts itself down. I can't even get the thing to boot.

    Up until this point, EVERY Apple person I have come in contact with says "Well, these things just sometimes happen! Better get Apple Care!" (I haven't gotten it yet because my dad's buying it for me as a gift when I come home for thanksgiving, before my first year is up). Maybe I'm not being tough enough with Apple, but I feel like I am experiencing WAY more problems than I should be. I've got a lemon, right? At this point, with the computer not even booting, should I be able to walk into the apple store and ask for a replacement or a credit toward a new one? When my iPod broke, they replaced it without a second thought. When my first iMac broke, they replaced it, no questions asked. Why am I having such a hard time this time around?

    I have an appointment at the genius bar late this afternoon and hoping for some helpful tips before I walk in.
  2. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    Sounds like you have a lot of bad luck hovering around you. I can't believe that all the Apple stuff you have bought has broken and had to be replaced. Out of all the Apple products I've had, only one has had to be repaired.
  3. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    have them look at it. Tell them about all the problems you have had and they will probably give you a replacement system i had a 2.4 whitebook and my replacement was a 2.4 al book. just so you know if the computer was ordered online the replacement has to come from the online store so it might take a week to get to the store.
  4. JustLikeYou thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2007
    I can't believe it either. And neither can the techs. When I bring my stuff in, they always say it's the CLEANEST equipment they've ever seen. I baby my apple stuff, I'm proud of it. It just doesn't like me back :(
  5. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    You've had more issues with this one Mac in 10 months than I've had with all of mine combined in 28 years. I think I would have lost my temper by now. I'd say that you should be entitled to a replacement, as this one has managed to attempt suicide repeatedly.

    Be polite, firm, and outline everything that has been a repair issue in a relatively short time. They should be able to call up your service records and see that this has been a problematic machine, and specific Apple policies that dictate repair/replace decisions may need to be looked at with a little common sense. The aggregate here is fairly substantial.

    Don't accept a no from the Genius, insist that the Store manager (not any assistant) oversee this, and is still not satisfied, document everything and call Customer Care. Escalate, escalate, escalate!
  6. Jollins macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2006
    You may want to try requesting a new macbook. If you've had more than 3 repairs in a year with this one, it's not an unreasonable request. I had a lemon macbook replaced back in 2006 because I complained and asked for a replacement

    Just ask to speak to a manager if the geniuses turn you down. Argue a bit if need be, without being hostile :)
  7. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    I agree with the above post by JohnNotBeatle. Just reason it out in a polite and professional manner. If you are not having much luck with the store, call Apple Care instead. Explain and log in your latest problem, try to speak to a manager and ask 'if there's anything he can do'.
  8. iaymnu macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2007
    ^^^ I agree also, The best way to handle this is to act in a polite way and don't take anything they give you until you feel satisfied.
  9. nickXedge macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2008
    Long Island
    I don't mean to go off-topic but you say you've had it 10 months, which places the purchase date in January. I bought my MacBook in February and the 2.1s weren't out yet. I'm not trying to cut holes in your issue, but rather point out the fact that it must have been less time than you state you owned your MacBook which only makes matters worse. I believe the 2.1s came out in March, I could be wrong. But I'm sure you've had it less than 9 months, I think 8 months tops. Again, not trying to be rude, I just think you've had even less time to have all these problems which makes matters that much worse.
  10. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I think it would be important to go back and start from the begining when you swing into the bar. Be polite as it was not the genius that decided that your computer would be a lemon. I would ask if there would be a way you could get a different machine rather then just fixing the current (again)
  11. SwitchingtoMAC macrumors member


    Apr 7, 2006
    talk to the manager, but dont be rude, and dont yell at them they will usually give you what you want
  12. molala macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    Ask for a replacement. Having that many hardware problems is not normal.
  13. danvan21 macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2008
    Same thing happened to me.

    I google how to deal with apple care and i downloaded a pdf on it. I read it and did what it said. Pretty much be very calm and go through everything that happened from the beginning. I did that and now i just got a replacemnt aluminum macbook.

    if this issues has been resolved and my post doesnt matter, please disregard. i didnt feel liker reading everything.
  14. JustLikeYou thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2007

    Well that didn't go as well as I had hoped...

    I sat down at the bar, explained my problems, showed them the non-functioning computer, they diagnosed it, and said it was a hard-drive failure, and that it had probably been failing for months now. I asked them why it was never noticed before, and got a shrug for a response. They offered to replace it, even started the paperwork and got the new hard-drive out of the box and practically in the machine before I could protest.

    I was being as polite as I could possibly be, but I was really irked. I explained to them everything that had been happening from the start... I even brought every work order I have from the genius bars from when I bought this thing. I told them it was crucial I not have breakdowns like this, because as a designer, this computer is part of my life (in fact, because of this last fiasco, I lost an entire website I was working on and I have to start from scratch, because the computer wasn't recognizing my TimeMachine after Sunday's reinstall).

    The guys at the genius bar just wanted to fix it, said it was just the hard drive... but I did like you guys said, and I politely asked for the store manager. I explained the whole situation to him also, and to say the least, that went even worse than dealing with the genius bar guys... obviously not word for word... but... it went very closely like this:

    Them: "Well, I'm sorry, but our policy is that something has to fail three times for a new unit to be issued"

    Me: "So, you're telling me that two optical drives, three OS reinstalles due to corruption, and now a hard drive replacement isn't valid enough?" (I thought I had 3 optical drive replacements... turns out one of them was just a "repair" and not a "replace", and they don't count that...)

    Them: "No, I'm sorry... It has to be the same thing failing three times, not a whole bunch of different things"

    Me: "...So you're telling me I have to wait for my hard drive to fail again two more times, or my optical drive to fail once more, or for something else entirely to happen 3 times in order to warrant a new machine?"

    Them: "Mmm Hmm..."

    Me: ".... What about all those people that are returning their aluminum mac books for slanted keys? They get a replacement, no questions asked. I've been having legitimate hardware issues... what is the justification for those replacements?"

    Them: "Well, that's a different situation. Those people's computers are new..."

    At that point, I hit my boiling point. I honestly couldn't contain my anger any more, so I chose to keep quiet. I took down the manager's name and the person who was fixing my computer at the genius bar, and I plan to call Apple again and explain how thoroughly disappointed I am. I have the computer back at home again, but who knows how long this thing will last. I haven't had it home for 2 hours and I'm already having internet and USB data transfer issues. I feel so hopeless at this point.

    And to Nick - Maybe I wasn't clear enough, but it's a 2.16, and yes, I have had it since Christmas.
  15. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    I would suggest calling Apple. Plan to spend a looooong time on the phone. Talk to the first person, and request that they transfer you to someone higher on the food chain. Do that until you get someone authorized to give you a replacement. that's the only thing that has worked for me. (i had an ipod photo that had 4 hard drive failures, and i was able to get an ipod video as a replacement after all my troubles, which has been problem-free). Just continue to be as patient as you can, and keep persisting. You'll get there.
  16. danvan21 macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2008
    I would have told you to not bring it in. If you call you can get a lot farther with them. My trackpad was replaced twice and the entire bottom plastic peices were replaced. I would see if it fails again and then call in.
  17. nylon macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2004
    My advice to you would be to write a politely worded letter to Apple corporate detailing all the work orders and case numbers chronologically. If you write the letter logically and explain your situation, with evidence, most likely you are going to get a brand new computer. I have seen this happen before. Someone documented their case well, wrote a letter to Apple Corporate and was dealt with directly by head office. Good luck to you!
  18. MacsBestFriend macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2008
    upstate ny (purgatory)
    huh.... the alu MB is a different problem.... maybe they are doing this so nicely because they know that there is something bigger with them and they want to keep us happy...;):apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple:
  19. JustLikeYou thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2007
    Write a letter to apple corporate... as in like... 1 infinite loop, cupertino, CA? Can't really find any other addresses. Who would I address it to? Tech support? Do they actually read every letter? I was considering doing this, but I sort of thought it would be like writing a letter to Santa and expecting it to actually reach the north pole...
  20. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Dallas, TX

    It's worked for people before.
  21. Ironic macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2008
    In my MBA!
    Yep, Worked for me!
  22. CalMin macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2007
    Sorry you have had so many problems. It seems to me that you are justifiably angry.

    The problem that the Apple store has is that a lot of people try to get something free. I've seen people in there with iPods that look like they were drop kicked across a football field claiming that the glass 'spontaneously broke' during 'normal use' and demanding a replacement. I've also seen a laptop that was clearly dropped with the owner claiming that the component failure was unrelated.

    They manage this through policy and sometimes when a person with a legitimate complaint comes in, they get screwed. As others have said, keep your cool, but be firm about your position. If you have Applecare then leverage it. If you don't, then get asap.

    You are reasonable in your request for replacement. Good luck!
  23. budaboy macrumors newbie


    Aug 12, 2003
    Vancouver BC
    I feel for you, I was in the same situation on this past weekend. I had bought a black macbook last Oct before I went on a lengthy stay in asia. My HD failed within the first two months, replaced it at ASC while overseas. Next failure came in Summer of this year. Was having colour issues and brought it into my local Apple Store, replaced LCD. Now this past weekend my macbook would simply not boot!! Not via battery not via charger, nothing. Brought it into Apple Store. BTW I am now out of warranty!!

    Genius confimed my out of warranty situation! He said he will do the repair any ways no cost. Because I was just a couple weeks out of warranty.They wanted to replace everything under the hood (logicboard). They gave me case number and they were ordering the parts.

    I asked the Genius what it what does it take for me to get a brand new replacement, as I was not happy with the repairs that had to be done within the first year. He suggested I call Apple directly (Apple Care), Expalin the situation. He will in the meantime proceed with the out of warranty repair.

    I called Apple the next morning. First talkted customer support, gave them my case number and just politley asked what will warrant me to get a replacement. They had the repair history and the lady on the phone said she will review it and see what they can do. After about 45mins of her going back between a few dpartments, she connected me someone Customer Relations.

    He explained he was very sorry about my situation and that they will be making exception to my out of warranty situation. I will be recieving a new Macbook as a replacement. Of course the black macbook are no longer in production, so I will be recieving a new 2.4Ghz as the equivalent.

    All in all I was just calm and collected with my converstation with Apple Care. I did not have to escalate during my call it was done by them on their end.

    I think if you need to esculate, request to go directly to customer relations dept. They were the ones that made the final decision in my case.

    Good luck
  24. Vulcan macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    +1. Call and ask to be transfered to Customer Relations.
  25. danvan21 macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2008
    Don't write a letter or an email. Cal apple care, ask for a specialist, dont talk to anyone but a specialist, and then tell them all that happened. Explain to them that you need this computer. Tell them that you cannot afford for this to break again and it is absolutely ridiculous. I bet they will give you a new one.

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