Looking to get a replacement laptop

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CRaSHeR36, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. CRaSHeR36 macrumors member

    CRaSHeR36

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #1
    Hi everyone:

    I've been having issues over the entire time I've had my MacBook Pro and have tried to resolve the issue with both the Geniuses and the telephone support. After getting flat-out refusals to offer a resolution, I've emailed the sjobs email with the following email explaining my situation. Please let me know what you guys think and what you think my chances are...
    - - - - - - - - - - -
    To whom it may concern,

    I am writing to you because I want to escalate what I consider a very serious issue regarding my MacBook Pro that I purchased in late 2007. While I know that this is not by any means a recent model, I feel I have no choice but to follow through on my complaint after having escalated this issue through the proper channels and not getting a satisfactory resolution.

    My MacBook Pro first had an issue that caused the bottom half of my display to show illegible, distorted video. This was an intermittent problem that randomly occurred about 50% of the time beginning about 1.5 months prior. I made an appointment at that time at the Genius bar on St. Catherine Street in Montreal. Unfortunately, the Genius could not reproduce the issue and therefore said that there was nothing to be done. He suggested making another appointment once the issue became more "apparent". This left me in the position of using my MacBook Pro with an external monitor most of the time - which, as I use my laptop for work on the go in the multimedia and film industry was not at all convenient. In fact, I ended up not using my laptop for most of that period due to the fact that I needed it on set and on-site with clients and could not reliably depend on the display working. I also began having issues with the hard drive (bad sectors that could not be repaired with the Disk Utility) which I noticed as I would continue to monitor the display daily until the issue remained reliably enough to ensure that a repair would be guaranteed. On April 10, 2008, the entire display/clamshell was replaced. I figured that I could use a larger hard drive and so purchased one at that point and had it installed to replace the faulty one at that time.

    After a year of reliable service, my MacBook Pro suddenly could no longer power the optical drive. Once again, being in the industry that I am in, my optical drive is very important to me! Once again, in went my laptop for repair and on May 27, 2009, the drive was replaced and the laptop returned to me once repaired.

    Up until this point, I figured that this is what basically could be chalked up to "these issues can happen once in a while"... and thanked my lucky stars that I had Apple Care.

    A few months later, my battery suddenly refused to hold a charge - in fact it would suddenly shut down after 15 minutes on battery power. Knowing that my batter was well-calibrated and showed no indication of failure, and having less than 220 load cycles, I brought it in for replacement under AppleCare. The Genius refused, saying that the battery was showing "normal" wear and tear. Having owned a multitude of laptops previously, I knew that this was not normal and tried to escalate it through your support channels. I ended up paying for the replacement myself.

    Then, in July of last year, my display once again started showing distorted video. I once again brought in my laptop for repair and began to wonder if I had unfortunately purchased one of the few lemons that make it out of Apple's manufacturing facilities. This issue was diagnosed as a complete logic board failure and needed to be replaced. Once again, no laptop for work (thank God I had backups!) and now had the growing feeling that my laptop was definitely a lemon.

    This week, I turned on my computer to find a "Service Battery" message appear on my Snow Leopard's battery icon. I had the sinking suspicion that the same issue I previously had was once again manifesting itself. Unfortunately, I was correct in that the battery would no longer power the laptop for more than 15 minutes before just shutting down. I brought the battery to an Authorized Apple reseller to have it diagnosed (once bitten, twice shy) and the diagnostic showed that the battery was "bad". Once again, there were under 200 load cycles on the battery. This leads me to believe that the issue is more than a simple "bad battery" as this has happened twice in 2 years (and having paid for the first replacement myself!). Based on the fact that 2 batteries have failed suddenly in the exact same way and under 200 load cycles, I am guessing that the issue may have to do with the way the laptop charges the battery and is causing the battery to burn out suddenly and completely.

    I have spoken with both tiers of support on your support line, and in both cases have been told that my repair history is within the norm. Please let me know if you also feel that this many repairs (two of them quite major repairs!), the time required to go back and forth with your retail stores, support staff and authorized resellers, and finally the fact that your client doubts the reliability of your product is the norm. Having bought many Mac and Apple products in the past, initiating a Mac Pro buying spree at my job, and also giving Apple great word of mouth, I still like to think that I just happened to get a lemon and that this is not indicative of Apple's quality assurance process or the quality of it's end-products.

    After the continuous problems I've had with this laptop, coupled with the obvious disconnect regarding customer service, I respectfully request a replacement to my laptop (currently running with NO battery and awaiting a simple battery replacement that may or may not fail quite soon). My AppleCare will be finishing shortly, and with the major issues this machine has had, I could not in good conscience continue using Apple products in my work or personal life knowing that this level and frequency of failures is the "norm" for such an illustrious company.

    I look forward to hearing from with and to coming to a successful resolution of this issue.
     
  2. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #2
    Not bad. Use more dollar figures if you are going to say that you purchase (or have the ability to purchase) volume in your company. Talk more about how this has "severely impacted your workflow" or something like that.
     
  3. CRaSHeR36 thread starter macrumors member

    CRaSHeR36

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #3
    Thanks - I'm hoping that seeing the issues listed out, along with the time and pain that they have caused, will help to get them to relent and exchange the laptop - I honestly love my Mac, but it's utter lack of reliability and Apple's stance thus far has really left a bad taste in my mouth.... for the money required to purchase a work-grade MacBook Pro, the last thing I want to hear is that this rate of failure of components is normal and that Apple actually believes that this will not only make me "go away" but continue to buy Apple products....

    Fingers crossed that this gets resolved - I really REALLY don't want to go back to the dark side! :(
     
  4. CRaSHeR36 thread starter macrumors member

    CRaSHeR36

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #4
    UPDATE

    Just got a call from Executive Customer Services....
    The woman I spoke with was very nice, professional and polite. She apologized for the issues and just went through my email (above) in detail with me. She ended by letting me know that she would review this with her colleagues as she understands the impression that my experience with Apple has left on me, and will get back to me by Tuesday AM latest. She gave me her contact info and phone number and apologized once more before ending the call.

    I'm hoping that this is a good sign - but if anyone has gone through the experience and wants to weigh in, please feel free!
     
  5. Hellishness macrumors 65816

    Hellishness

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #5
    I have only had good experiences with Apple customer care. I think that it will all work out for you in the end. :)
     
  6. PacMookBro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    #6
    From my experience with the higher-ups at Apple, you'll get a replacement MBP for sure. Nicely written letter. Well done. :)
     
  7. CRaSHeR36 thread starter macrumors member

    CRaSHeR36

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #7
    Thanks - I'm keeping my fingers crossed.... I'm just wondering if anyone has had my experience so far (getting a call back from Executive customer care), and end up getting refused any kind of resolution?
     
  8. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #8
    This seemed like a very nice and professional initial response from them. Let's see where this will go.
     
  9. CRaSHeR36 thread starter macrumors member

    CRaSHeR36

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #9
    I'll keep you all updated - fingers crossed.... again i really don't wanna leave the Apple side, but I really need to be able to depend on my gear (not that a PC would be any better :()
     
  10. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #10
    keep us updated, yours is a very interesting story
     
  11. CRaSHeR36 thread starter macrumors member

    CRaSHeR36

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #11
    Thanks - I hope to hear back from Apple tomorrow, if not I'll be contacting the lady at Executive Customer Services directly on Tuesday.
     
  12. ariesfeng macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    #12
    dude, tomorrow is holiday
     
  13. CRaSHeR36 thread starter macrumors member

    CRaSHeR36

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #13
    Wasn't aware of that - it isn't here in Quebec (unfortunately). Either way, the promise was to contact me by Tuesday latest, so if I haven't heard back by noon, I'll be making the call - and hopefully getting good news.
     
  14. CRaSHeR36 thread starter macrumors member

    CRaSHeR36

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #14
    Refused - completely refused!

    Well, I just got off the phone with Apple - and they refused to do anything at all. Apparently, the battery issues were still considered a "consumable", and not a hardware issue (I disagree - see my original post). I asked if there was any way to have the laptop diagnosed as this battery issue has happened twice and was once again refused, citing that there are "no known issues" with the laptop vis-a-vis battery charging and therefore no precedent to have the unit diagnosed.

    I asked what else could be done for me to address the situation (my main concern being that my AppleCare will run out in a few months!), and I was told that there was nothing to be done.

    She said that she's documented everything and that we can "revisit the issues" if and when they deem that there is a hardware failure that was previously reported.

    Basically, they've ignored everything in the email and decided that a lack of confidence in the reliability of their hardware is really not that important.

    Unfortunately, that translates (for me) into not being willing to pay an Apple Tax for the promise of superior-quality hardware with nothing but empty words to back it up.... guess I'll be looking at the Envy after all... :(

    Hope you guys have better luck with your gear (failure-wise and customer service-wise).:mad:
     
  15. kdum8 macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #15
    I can sympathize with anyone who has computer trouble. It is very frustrating especially when you paid a lot of money.

    But it doesn't seem to be that this is a particularly bad case. Correct me if I didn't read your email carefully, but they replaced the broken parts on your computer under warranty right? And what happened to the battery? Usually they have a battery testing rig and if the battery is below a certain charge level on less than 300 cycles they will replace it free of charge. Why didn't that happen in your case?

    Btw, for future reference, what exactly is the sjobs email that you used? Was it sjobs@apple.com?

    Good luck with future use. I hope you don't have anymore problems.
     
  16. CRaSHeR36 thread starter macrumors member

    CRaSHeR36

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #16
    Yes, they tested the battery - both times the number of cycles was under 300 and the battery tested as "bad". The first time, the Genius said that it seemed to be normal wear and tear. I didn't agree and called up Apple support. They agreed with the Genius, and so I paid for the battery out of pocket. My issue with the batteries aren't the batteries themselves, but rather the way in which they both failed. They both went from holding a charge of approx. 3 hours to holding a charge of 15 minutes overnight - and both under 300 cycles. This makes me believe that the issue is hardware related - something that cannot be verified as Apple has refused to run diagnostics to confirm or discount this.

    Regarding the email address, yes it's sjobs@apple.com. Anytime you need to escalate an issue past the support people (after going through the proper support channels and documenting everything that was done/said), this email address goes directly to Apple's Executive Customer Services.
     
  17. kdum8 macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #17
    It's strange. I had a similar battery issue to you. But perhaps they have a cut-off threshold which they consider as normal or not-normal behaviour.

    My battery was down to less than 20% on less than 200 cycles. It would literally drain the whole thing in less than five minutes on a full charge, so they replaced it. What condition was your battery in?

    I also get the feeling that one gets a different level of service to a certain degree depending upon the store visited. I am sure there are overall customer guidelines but differences are bound to occur.

    You had applecare right?
     
  18. CRaSHeR36 thread starter macrumors member

    CRaSHeR36

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #18
    My battery in both instances would hold a charge of around 3 hours, (both batteries under 300 cycles), and suddenly would only hold a charge of 15 minutes before shutting down the laptop (no warning, nothing). It literally went from 3 hours to 15 minutes in the span of a an hour (again in both cases). Both times, the diagnostic listed the battery as "bad". Coconut battery in both instances listed the battery as good until the moment where it went "bad".

    I agree that differences can occur, but there seems to be a huge disconnect between store policy and Apple's "official" policy.

    Yes, I do in fact have applecare - in fact that is one of my issues - my applecare is ending in 2 months, but who know what (and when) the next major failure will happen? Or when the next time the battery will suddenly go "bad" for no reason.... it just feels like this laptop will end up being a money pit, not to mention my reluctance to use it in a professional environment because of the failures (ironic for a laptop dubbed as "pro").
     
  19. kdum8 macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #19
    If I am following you correctly you are saying that a perfectly good battery which held a 3 hour charge suddenly would only work for 15 minutes and that on all subsequent discharges it still only lasted 15 minutes? If that is the case and given that you have applecare I am very surprised that they didn't replace it for you and can't see why not. Did you tell them that it is apple policy to do so and that most stores will give you a replacement? No doubt you argued your case.

    Strange. I have heard of people getting free battery replacements even when they didn't have applecare if the battery died outside of expected parameters.
     
  20. CRaSHeR36 thread starter macrumors member

    CRaSHeR36

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #20
    I agree - it is strange (and inconsistent) - and that is one of my issues/beefs with Apple. At this point, Apple honestly has left me with the same kind of frustration that other large faceless tech companies have left me with in the past.... inconsistent policies, questionable reliability, and shoddy customer care. Whatever happened to the Apple that everyone talks about (and that I believed still existed) that actually cared about customer service and quality of product?

    Actually, the lady from Customer Care was actually quite nice and very polite, but I'm sure that you understand my meaning of shoddy customer care.
     
  21. silverblack macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #21
    I was going to order a Macbook Pro as soon as they refresh it. After reading your email, I have decided not to buy another Apple computer from now on.

    Years ago, I had a "no name" laptop made by a small company called CTX. It encountered 2-3 problems within the first year. I complained to them, and called their customer services. Even from such a small company, they offered a pro-rated refund. I am absolutely disgusted to hear that a company that's so proud of their products like Apple would refuse to do anything for someone in your situation.

    You have my support of not buying again from Apple.
     
  22. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #22
    OMG that's insane ...
    You change your mind based only on ONE PEOPLE bad experience when Apple is well known to have a great customer care worldwide :rolleyes:
     
  23. kdum8 macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #23
    Well Apple is a huge company and sometimes not everything goes right. I symphathize with CRaSHeR certainly, but not everyone gets treated badly. I have always been treated very well by Apple Customer services.

    Personally if that is the only reason not to buy a new MBP, then fine, but it would take more than that for me. The advantages of having OS X are big, so it isn't just hardware aspects.

    Did they give a reason for not wanting to replace the battery? I am sure there is some documentation somewhere which even states they will in your case. Annoying indeed.
     
  24. CRaSHeR36 thread starter macrumors member

    CRaSHeR36

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #24
    I have to agree with Max(IT)... as much as I appreciate the sentiment and as bad as my experience has been, there are many others that have had the exact OPPOSITE experience. I love the OS and the hardware design ethic at Apple, and while I will no longer be buying Apple and no longer be preaching to the "non-converted", I also will not be trying to talk anyone out of having a (hopefully) positive Apple experience.
     
  25. CRaSHeR36 thread starter macrumors member

    CRaSHeR36

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #25

    Yes, the reason given was "battery over 1 year - within specs". While the battery was 13.5 months old, the cycles were low and the spectacular way it failed were not what I consider "within specs". Apple corporate apparently agrees - and while I offered to fax over the docs I had, I was told that they "take my word for it"... and then completely disregarded everything and did not offer to rectify anything. :mad:
     

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