Macbook Pro Quality Control Issues

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Andyflip, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Andyflip macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    So, I purchased a high end (2.2) Macbook Pro 15 in early September, 2011. Since then, I've had 5 unit replacements and 2 screen repairs in the course of 4 months. The problems I've encountered include

    Loose hinges
    Loose USB ports
    Broken hinges
    A cluster of bright pixels
    Bad sectors on the internal HD
    Uneven colours on the display
    More clusters of broken pixels

    All these problems appeared right out of the box on different machines. Apple customer support as been good about replacing my machines, but this is getting ridiculous. I'm currently typing this on a new replacement that arrived with a broken pixel, uneven colour balance and built with a refurbished keyboard backlight (The keyboard backlight on other new 2011 machines looks very different, a lot better IMO). I plan to complain about this machine as well.

    The warranty service has been accommodating, but my experience with the manufacturing of these machines has been awful. EVERY UNIT has problems. What's going on? Can anyone lend any insight? And no, I don't think that I'm being too picky. What is going on with Apple these days???
  2. Alaerian Guest


    Jan 6, 2005
    A barstool, Innis & Gunn in hand
    It's a string of bad luck. It's unfortunate, but it happens. I have not had a single problem in any machine I've ever had.

    Sorry, but it happens. Buck up, move on.
  3. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago

    I'm the same, and I've had a theory for quite a while. It may sound nuts, but I firmly believe that buying direct from Apple with my allocated direct phone number sales representative makes a difference.

    I was passed on to the first one by the European Sales director...Long story as to how I know him, but I do. She personally went through the specs I wanted on the phone, and oversaw the entire thing from build >transit >delivery. When she was promoted, she then allocated me her next in line who is still my sales guy now.

    When it came time for a new MBP, he did the same thing overseeing the whole process.

    The same applies to my MBA.

    It shouldn't make a difference, but I think it does. I have only ever purchased one item from an Apple store in person...A MM for my pro.

    QC in my case just hasn't been an issue at all. It should be the same wherever you buy your stuff, but lately there have been a lot of issues like this one, mostly it seems with MBP's although other machines have also been mentioned.

    Apple need to get a grip on this because QC and customer service is what they have built their reputation on.

    Let's hope they do, but my advice to anyone who is about to purchase a machine is to buy from Apple over the phone and to cultivate a relationship with a representative that they can contact for future purchases and if problems arise.

    If anyone want's the name of my current sales guy, just PM me, he's said this is fine, and I have done similar things for others here in the past.

    Please only do this if your serious about it, but it really has paid off...For me at least.
  4. barebackbadger8 macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2009
    Wolverhampton, UK
    agree with that!
  5. Andyflip thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    Thanks for all the quick replies. Hope has been restored. Still interested though if anyone else out there has had a similar experience like mine and if so, how did it end? Cheers
  6. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    A refurbished keyboard backlight? No way. It's not cost-effective for Apple to refurbish the backlight and put it in a machine, and even if it was, they wouldn't put it in a brand-new machine for sure.
  7. Andyflip thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    I've had four units with smooth, soft keyboard backlighting. This new unit I'm currently typing on has all these big dots underneath each key that the light is shooting up through. It's like the filter is different over top the LEDs and it's completely different (and inferior) from all other machines I've had. I showed this keyboard to a technician and they said it looked identical to their 2009 machine. This led me to believe its a refurbished backlight. Even if I'm wrong, there are still serious inconsistencies between manufacturers. I just hope Apple will come through with a satisfactory machine! I'm currently waiting to hear back from my sales rep and I will keep this thread updated.
  8. Chubbysumo macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    Blame foxconn, the manufacturer that they contracted out to make and assemble the MBPs. They are(foxconn) known for terrible quality control and even worse working conditions, and everyone uses them in some way or another. the screen issue is probably from samsung or LG(look up who makes the panels for Apple), HDD is probably from hitachi, which have a 45% failure rate, but are much cheaper than their competitors(which is why apple uses them), and the hinges are probably from an overworked or irate foxconn employee.
  9. ixodes macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    It's Apples responsibility to perform (or have Foxconn) quality control checks. Being a massed produced product they're bound to have some with problems. That's why manufacturers include a warranty.

    It's how they handle it that counts. I've only had to return one DOA MBP. That occurred last year. Prior to that all eight PowerBooks & MBP's I bought were fine.

    So sorry to hear of your misfortune. At least I'm confident Apple will continue to work with you until you get the new (fault free) computer you paid for.
  10. Andyflip thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    Thanks for the encouragement.

    I've read all the foxxcon horror stories. It's truly sad. I just want Apple to take responsibility for their choice of manufacturer. I've been using pc laptops for seven years from Sony, HP, Acer and never came close to an experience like this one. I watch WWDC videos of Tim Cook ecstatic about Apples rapid growth in various markets, then I read articles of Foxxcons repressive regime and then I open up a fifth, badly manufactured $2500+ Macbook Pro. Sometimes I feel my situation is more than a string of bad luck.
  11. Chubbysumo macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012

    could be, who knows. good luck on getting a good one. When it works it works, and when it doesn't, its frustrating as all hell. Sadly, nearly every computer manufacturer uses foxconn in some part(not everyone makes everything, except for foxconn, which does make everything, from the ground up, except screens). Foxconn problems just got a lot more exposed once apple decided to contract them for the MBPs, but the conditions to work there have been like that for at least a decade, if not more, but it still does not change the fact that foxconn is known for terrible QC, and pretty much always has been. Good luck to you, and keep using that warranty, thats what its there for. Apple has one of the best warranties in the computer business.
  12. Andyflip thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    Here here. The warranty service has actually been outstanding! far. Yeah, its foxconn that's been the problem. Let's hope Apple recognizes this and takes responsibility.
  13. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I think it's cheaper for apple to provide "outstanding customer service" than to enforce a better quality control (and working conditions).
  14. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    5 faulty units out of the box and 2 screen repairs in 4 months? :eek:

    Sorry, but this is tough to swallow. You know what the odds are of this happening? If true your luck is so bad I'd buy a gross of rabbits feet.

    The only explanation I can think of is your batch of faulty MacBooks came off the same assembly run and were screwed up by the same employee with a grudge against Apple.
  15. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    Skip the rabbit's feet and invest in a safe room. ;)
  16. Andyflip thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    I know its tough to swallow, that's why I created this thread because even I can't believe this and I'm interested in second opinions to get some objectivity. 80% of my problems were with display and rest is the computer itself. I know the displays and computers are manufactured by different companies so I don't think its one disgruntled employee. It just seems like every unit I've received has been assembled in a rush. Maybe that's ok for gadgets that run for about $800 a pop like ipads and iphones, but on a professional tool that's this expensive, I can't put up with that.
  17. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    Some customers just can't be made happy. You may qualify.
  18. Medic278 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2012
    New York
    In the last 6 months I have purchased a 27" iMac an upgraded 13" Macbook Pro and an upgraded 11" MacBook Air and an Apple TV 2 and I have not had a single problem with any of them. I always buy direct from the Apple store and get Apple Care for everything, its like buying a BMW you always get the extended warranty!
  19. Andyflip, Feb 9, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012

    Andyflip thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    Funny that a BMW analogy was made. Would you drive away from a BMW dealership knowing your brand new car had a rip in the leather upholstery? The problem is small and doesn't affect how the car drives but would you still just say "oh well"? Or would you exchange it for a problem-free car?
    If I didn't pay so much, I'd probably be more relaxed about this stuff. I made this thread to see if other's have had the same experience. To be honest I've never seen so many happy customers on one thread. Good to know my experience is rare.
  20. Georgl macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2011
    It's no surprise when you've worked with one of these sweat-shops before: untrained, overworked, underpaid & scared workers make mistakes and they don't solve them.
    But the truth is, most other notebooks are made with the same low standards by the very same manufacturers, at least Apple offers some clever designs (avoiding plastic...).
    I'll try the new CF-SX1, it's not as pretty as a Macbook but the quality should be better - Panasonic makes them in their own Fab in Japan (including housings, battery cells):
    But of course rumors about powerful graphics and retina displays for future Macbooks are tempting - but not from Foxconn/Quanta/Wintek, please.
    Apple could build an efficient, highly automated, vertical integrated fab in California - but the shareholders are too greedy, they need a margin of 30% and not 10%...
  21. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I don't know if it helps but I've had a really good run of quality Macs. Knocks on wood.
  22. Medic278 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2012
    New York
    Made that analogy because I bought a new 5 series last year and have had a litany of problems with it but I still love it! Little hiccups and problems pop up here and there what matters is what the dealer or manufacturer does to correct them for you!
  23. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010

    You were doing good, until you said in "California". Sorry but this is never going to happen, as California is trying to be the greenest state out there, so the labor laws and the EPA and OSHA restrictions alone kill that theory. Arizona or Washington, maybe, but California...No! There is a reason that most semi-conductor started in Ca and is now somewhere else as the environmental restrictions have made it hard to process anything there and even break even. Worked for a semi fab that went under after 60 years (wasn't always semi, at one point it made potato chips and trailer hitches even), but because the amount of new restrictions placed on them for emissions and EPA hazards production was made a losing venture.

    This is why the Silicon Valley (named so because of the industry that started there) is now nothing more than a large industrial think tank and the processing takes place elsewhere (lots of stuff goes out of the US due to environmental restrictions as much (if not more) as the labor costs involved. Lots of the chemicals used in the processing wouldn't be allowed in the US in the quantities needed without special (read expensive and hindering) permitting and handling.
  24. Georgl macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2011
    Environmental laws, yes for sure, that's one aspect to keep in mind.

    We have the same issue in Germany, many companys tried to outsource and offshore production to not invest into modern technology. But luckily, the automotive industry is a little bit more "established" - there are major suppliers making semiconductor (starting from the very machine, to silicium wafers to processing, making and mounting PCBs) components for them in Germany to even higher environmental standards than needed in California. Everything is recycled and cleaned - and very efficient due to skilled workers and automated processes.

    It's possible - no, it's actually more than that, it's inevitable - that's 21st century, sustainable production! The stupid offshoring to China has to stop and Apple is in an ideal position to make it happen within the IT-industry!

    Better jobs, better products! All they need to do is keeping their short-sighted shareholder-value and unlimited growth-thinking out of their heads!

    Environmental, social or safety standards - you could always set the bar a little bit lower - but I don't think this unsustainable behaviour shouldn't be our goal - worldwide. Often it's the customer not willing to pay a few cents extra (Wal-Mart) - but in this case (Apple-prices) it's just greed.
  25. arcite macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2009
    Cairo, trapped in a pyramid with my iphone
    Globalization is brutal on those who are caught in its grasps.

    That said, if more people report defects, Apple will eventually do something about it. So keep taking it in for service and complain loudly! Apple has $100 billion in cash, they are good for it! :cool:

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