Macbook Pro and Genius Bar.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kockgunner, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. kockgunner macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #1
    My nearest Apple Store is pretty far away and I have to make a big trip to go there. I have an early 2008 Macbook Pro which has the uneven backlighting issue (which is critical since I'm a graphic design student), a case that needs to be retightened every so often, and a hinge that makes clicking noises. Recently, it hasn't been able to wake from sleep in OS X and Vista and even had the black screen of death when booting up only fixed with a hard restart.

    Will the Geniuses even take me seriously? I'm scared they can't see the backlighting issue. The separating case and screws may be considered a cosmetic issue only, and the hinge click may be regarded as a problem that doesn't hinder the functionality of the laptop. Also, the black screen of death cannot be reproduced since it happens randomly. Should I even bother? I don't want to go to the Apple Store and just get left with a lemon laptop.

    [UPDATE]: Updated post and pictures below.
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Have you contacted Apple Care and discussed your issues? Perhaps start your case over the phone and see where it goes.

    I would say the backlight issue is in fact something that can be seen, even in pictures. Unlike these weird scan lines and such people report on, I've seen the backlight issue. I would also recommend that if you take it in, take the genius to the back corner where it is darker and more indicative of your lighting situation at home.

    As for the hinge, I would discuss the sleep/wake issue and then discuss how you believe the hinge may be the culprit.
     
  3. kockgunner thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #3
    Thanks for the reply! I don't have any Apple Care except for the standard 1-year warranty. I thought that you only have 90 days of telephone service and after that you have to pay. I also heard that they will charge you for the phone call if nothing is wrong with your product?
     
  4. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #4
    Is it within its 1 year warranty? if yes then they will fix it, if no, they wont you'll have to buy apple care first.
     
  5. iMacDragon macrumors 65816

    iMacDragon

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Just to point out, if its out of the 1 year warranty you can't buy apple care..
     
  6. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #6
    I was in that situation once. My MBP was covered under the 1-year hardware warranty, but I was outside of the 90 day telephone support window. When I called with a hardware issue, they wanted to charge me for the call to do troubleshooting and stuff, but after I explained it was a definite hardware issue, they didn't charge me.

    Your Genius Bar visit depends pretty much upon which Genius you get. At the store near me, they tend to be a little more cool to people who had to drive awhile to get there. Just remember to make an appt. online before you head out. Showing up to a store and hoping they can squeeze you in as a Standby Appt is a huge waste of your time.

    If they do fix your screen, it's probably going to take them a day or two, which means you'll have to make another huge trip back to the store to pick it up. You might want to see how far you get with AppleCare's telephone support before doing all of that driving. :confused:
     
  7. kockgunner thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #7
    I called, and they made me do all the SMC and PRAM resets and boot into the install disk to see if my backlighting issue is a hardware or software problem. I know it's a hardware problem so I was just playing along. I hope the Geniuses see the problem when I go to the Apple Store tomorrow.

    [update]:

    The bus was late so I missed my appointment with the apple genius by about 15 minutes and now I'm waiting to see if I can get a spot. There are only like 2 geniuses and the rest are cashiers who redirect you to the concierge who of course is busy. No one comes up to you to ask you if you need help so you never really know if the staff are busy are not. This kinda sucks. I might have to take a 1.5 hour trip back here again tomorrow.
     
  8. kockgunner thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #8
    Okay, after 10 days of waiting for the replacement screen to arrive at the Apple Store and Pacific Center in Vancouver, BC, the repair only took 1 day. I was impressed by the fast turn around time. The screen is as perfect as it's going to get so I'm happy in that regard.

    However, I knew something was wrong when they brought out my Macbook Pro, and the front of the top case was not yet clipped in. There was actually a 2-3 millimeter gap on both sides of the latch. I told the Genius and she said she'll show the guys in the back. She came out a minute later with my Macbook Pro with the case pushed in properly (wow, I could've done that myself and probably without the unnecessary strength from a pissed off repair guy).

    I brought the laptop home since it was getting late and I was semi-enamored with my repaired screen. When I brought it home, on closer inspection, I found my Macbook Pro was not in such good of a condition. First, the sides of the laptop are not screwed in properly either. It's not just lifting from the bottom case, the plastic trim is not even flush with the top case. Also the top case can't be depressed when you push on it. It's as if there's something stiff inside propping the case open.

    Additionally, the bezel of the screen is not put together properly. The plastic trim is not flush with the metal bezel. Fine, that's only a cosmetic issue you say. However, when I close the lid of the laptop, the lid makes some noise. It sounds like a hollow noise as if the lid is going to fall apart. When I press the front edge of the case where the hard drive is, it makes a scraping noise from the two parts of the case rubbing against eachother.

    Another problem, when I run Photobooth, there's an icon of a striked through camera where the video feed should be. They forgot to reconnect my camera! The green light doesn't even go on.

    Last but not least, the Superdrive takes more time to read a disk than before and makes more random noises. Also, when the disc is spinning, I can hear a slight noise per revolution like something's hitting something inside.

    Another issue. Before, there was a little pop whenever the speakers made a sound after a length of silence, but now the pop is a sharp, loud pop. It actually startled me the first time it did it.

    I can't believe that I'm actually a victim of a botched repair. I have actually lost faith in Apple and their workmanship. I don't think I'll even buy Applecare anymore if this is what happens.

    What should I do? I'm scared if I bring my computer in again, my laptop will come back in even worse condition and they won't have to fix it since it's only a cosmetic issue. Also, since it was an in store repair, the same guy might be messing around with my computer, recognize my name, and this time screw my laptop over. I can't be without my computer since classes are starting to pick up the pace. I know Apple's shouldn't be judged by one repair guy, but they should at least hire someone competent enough to handle computers. Any suggestions on how I can approach Apple with these issues and anyone else experienced this kind of 'service' before?
     
  9. kockgunner thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
  10. dickchow macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #10
    sometimes those less experienced genius will missed those retainer clips thus the gap will appear where the latches are...

    but forgot/loose webcam connection is not forgivable...especially it is a connector that is almost an inch wide..



    if you feel more comfortable to get it fix somewhere else, let me know...I might be able to help you out...
     
  11. tcphoto macrumors 6502a

    tcphoto

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Madison, GA
    #11
    Call Apple Customer Relations and tell them about your Apple Store experience. They can send you a box and ship it to them. The repair center will go over your machine and should bring it back up to spec. I would not be comfortable having an in store technician working on my MBP. How many machines do you think the in store techs work on in a day compared to the service center? You can ride the bus again or let FedEx or DHL handle it.
     
  12. kaybeee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #12
    Hey, i also live in the Vancouver area and my LCD has a banding issue.

    I called applecare, talked to them, they did their thing and couldn't fix the problem. They gave me a case number and i was off to the Apple Store in Pacific Centre. I went their, i showed the genius the issue and she agreed to replace the screen. No fuss about fixing the issue as she trusted me that i tried everything to fix it. My macbook pro is still at the Apple Store as they had to order a replacement screen.

    Another thing is that the case on my MBP didn't close evenly, she also wrote that down in the work order as it would be looked after.

    If you can reproduce the issue of your screen, you should have no problem with it.


    Kevin

    Edit

    O shoot i read the rest of the thread now. I am worried now, hopefully they don't botch my repair.

    I will test everything before i leave, if something isn't right, i'm gonna complain and ask for them to fix it
     
  13. gjw4u macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #13
    OP, call Apple Care, and have them sort out the botched repair from the Apple Store. Remember to be nice & friendly on the phone, and they might go the extra mile.
     
  14. kockgunner thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #14
    I already sent an email to sjobs@apple.com haha. I'll see what happens. I was going to call Apple Care but it's already night time and they're closed so booked another appointment with the Apple store so I can talk to them in person. It's going to be another wasted day tomorrow...
     
  15. kockgunner thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #15
    I went to the Apple Store again and they fixed the camera issue. Probably the idiot who repaired my laptop didn't connect a cable. Also the new Genius fixed the lifting case on the left side of the machine but the front is still loose so the he offered to replace the top case for me :).

    As a side note, while waiting and using an iMac, I could see the Geniuses from my first Apple store visit looking at me through the reflection of the iMac's screen. They think I'm like a loitering kid or something. I'm an inconvenienced customer who paid $2000 for a laptop and received bad service and a laptop with many problems.

    As I was waiting for an appointment to open up at the Genius bar last visit (since I missed mine because of the bus), one of the Geniuses even said to me in a subtly rude tone "I honestly don't want you to stay here waiting because there are no open spots." I was shocked! So far, the Apple Store has provided me nothing but bad experiences. I can recommend Apple's products (sort of) but not the store especially if you are a young student. It's like they don't want your business or something.
     
  16. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #16
    As someone who has been on the other side of this sort of thing, I need to defend that guy. Sometimes, nice as you try to be at your job, as good of service as you try to give, sometimes you'll see a customer just standing around waiting for service you know isn't going to get around to them in the near future. He was most likely trying to help you. He didn't want you wasting your time standing around waiting for an appointment that was never going to come.
     
  17. kockgunner thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #17
    I understand where you're coming from. I've been on the 'other side' too, but the way she said it was a way I would've never said it to anyone. Also, before she came up to me to ask me what I was doing, it took half an hour for anyone to acknowledge me. She was giving furtive glances and whispering to another staff member but didn't do anything. As it was my first encounter with the Apple Store, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to go up to the Genius bar or if they were going to call my name. I was also told by the Concierge that they would find me in the store at my appointment time, but they never did.
     
  18. kaybeee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #18
    Well, my repair was botched too.

    I gave it last Saturday, they had one screen in stock, and it didn't work.

    They order more screens and it comes in Yesterday, and i got a phone call later that evening.

    Today, i went to the Apple Store to pick up the MBP. Everything looked fine, everything was flush, no loose screw or anything.

    I turn on the laptop in the store, and i do not see anything. Looks like the backlight doesn't work.

    So now, they are putting in ANOTHER screen in it and said it will be done tonight.

    Apple has really lost some of the quality in their products, and i am really fed up being without a computer as a University student. I need the laptop for school.

    STEP IT UP apple.
     
  19. tcphoto macrumors 6502a

    tcphoto

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Madison, GA
    #19
    When all else fails, ask for a Manager. It sounds like the girl was being petty or trying to cover her butt because she obviously gave you sub par service and did not resolve your problems. The next step is to find out her name and call AppleCare. The employees are there to answer your technical questions, guide you through the purchase and help solve problems, not cop an attitude and belittle customers. When all else fails, ask yourself this question, "which way does the money flow?".
     
  20. kaybeee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #20
    APPLE STEPPED IT UP!!!!

    They couldn't fix the issue of my screen not working. They tried replacing the screen again, changing the logic board, and nothing.

    I got a call and they said they are replacing it with a UNIBODY MACBOOK PRO

    I AM SHAKING IN EXCITEMENT RIGHT NOW.

    I love you apple for easily resolving my issue.
     
  21. kockgunner thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #21
    Wow, I'm happy for you. My situation on the other hand is still not resolved. Although my screen doesn't have as much of a backlighting issue, after casual use, I discovered that my display is very dithered. I can see it really clearly on the Leopard wallpaper especially on the bottom. There seems to be chunky artifacts on the bottom of the wallpaper. I took a screenshot and the blocks are still there in the screenshot. Is it a hardware problem or a software one?

    Additionally, the display panel is not stuck on the the bezel of the screen properly. You can push the display in and the whole LCD panel moves. You can tell it's not seated properly in the display module since the backlight leaks through the edges of the bezel.

    It seems like after all these years longing for a Mac and reading through the forums, I'm experiencing all the problems under then sun. Apple still hasn't called back about replacing my top case
     
  22. kockgunner thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #22
    Here's a screenshot of my screen. On the bottom left you can see there are black artifacts on the darker part of the wallpaper. It's even worse in person as it is even more grainy. I did a PRAM reset to no avail.

    And of course the screenshot on my computer looks worse than the one uploaded onto the site which makes my problem seem trivial. Go figure.

    Also, Kaybee, did you get a call from the Apple store or from Apple headquarters itself? I can't imagine the idiots in my Apple store doing anything so nice.
     

    Attached Files:

  23. suburbia macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #23
    Be persistent. These Geniuses, along with the Applecare Techs, are, unfortunately, a hit-and-miss. With the nasty ones-- their attitudes are unacceptable.

    If you have Applecare, try to deal with them first. Or call Apple Customer Service, I've found they've always been helpful.
     
  24. PDE macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #24
    Let me just say that I'm incredibly picky with my MBP quality and have been through way too many of them to be considered 'normal'. I totally understand your frustration.

    Having said that, except for the camera, your problems might be better addressed without Apple.

    - Almost all the MBPs I've used and been through have had the bezel gap issue that your picture shows - the one on the top right corner. Sometimes it's not visible because of lighting, but it has always been there. My mother's three year old powerbook has the same issue.

    - they obviously didn't put back the top casing properly, but that's very easy to fix yourself. Just unscrew all the the little screws on the side and back, and then gradually work yourself around from back to the front, making sure to press down the upper case firmly as you screw the screws back in. That should do it.

    - The clicking sound you hear is most likely the LCD inside the bezel that is not properly attached. There's nothing you can do about this except try to open up the LCD bezel (not that hard) and use tape to fix it, but I really wouldn't try that if I were you because you can easily mess things up and won't be covered if you do. You can test if this is the problem by applying pressure on the top of the bezel at various places while you close the display and see if the sound/feeling disappears at all. If your display is good otherwise, I really would not recommend replacing and risking a poor display. The clicking is better than having a poor display. Also, nothing is going to come apart because of this: it's just a slight movement in the LCD that is brought about by the flexion of the bezel.


    I've found that it's better to try to resolve these smaller things by yourself, rather than let apple cause more problems. The camera cable obviously needs to be fixed and I wouldn't recommend voiding your warranty by trying yourself. But the other stuff can be addressed easily.

    Good luck!
     
  25. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    The Iron Throne
    #25
    I honestly can't see anything wrong with that screenshot. What artifacts are you talking about?

    I think you're being a little bit anal retentive at this point.
     

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