Macbook Pro Retina Display 2015 - Exploding/Dead Pixel Issue - Not Covered with AppleCare?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hill-y, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. Hill-y, Jun 18, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018

    Hill-y macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2018
    Hey there! long time lurker, first time poster here. (Long post/Rant/Jumble of words incoming- TL : DR at the bottom!)

    I've been having a bit of a nightmare with my 2015 Macbook Pro these past few weeks, which has just recently developed an "exploded" pixel (example: From what I gather and know, pixel failure/"exploding" is a fairly widespread and known issue with the Retina displays. One in which I've personally had prior experience with on two (now three) separate occasions.

    I took my machine into my local Apple Store (local maybe being the wrong word, given that it's still about a 45minute-1hour drive from me, give or take) and was told rather point blank that this issue would not be covered under my Apple Care. The reason I was given is that because my issue is only "cosmetic", accidental damage caused by the user is not something Apple typically cover via warranty. The Genius said my issue would not be repaired without me being charged for what he quoted as being somewhere close to £600.

    Before leaving my appointment I asked the Genius if contacting Apple directly via their support line would be worth a shot to double-check this policy, the Genius said that it definitely couldn't hurt and maybe would be beneficial. So as advised I contacted Apple online support the following day, I gave them my sob-story, they said it should be resolved. So I was booked in for another appointment at the same store I'd just been to the previous day. At that appointment I was told the same thing: this time it was instead delivered by the head engineer/technician of the store.

    Don't get me wrong, this is a more than fair policy for instances where accidental damage has actually occurred.

    However, if this were indeed the case here (i.e. I'd caused the damage myself "accidentally") then:
    1. My current issue would be unique and not nearly as common a story as it is online

    2. I would not have had this same issue repaired twice before, with about a year and a half's space between those two repairs, the 2nd one being within a 90-day window to today. Both covered under warranty without any qualms

    3. I would not have been so paranoid of this happening again (after the first repair, and then again after the second repair) to the point of near-OCD where every time I finish using the machine I meticulously wipe-down the Keyboard and Trackpad area to ensure that there is no foreign particles/dust etc. which could potentially be crushed underneath the closed lid/screen and thus cause a similar issue

    4. As a working professional who depends on this laptop daily for my work, it seems extremely counter-productive to have spent and wasted nearly as much of my already precious free-time on chasing this up with Apple as I already have, or the amount of time I will have to be without the laptop (again) if it does indeed get repaired. Not to mention the cost of my fuel for driving back and forth to and from the Apple Store.

    5. I really don't think I'd even have the composure to try and swindle my way into getting this repaired in the dishonest way in which Apple are implying I am (I'm flattered that they think I have that kind of self-confidence, though)

    This is now the third time that I've experienced this issue during my (almost) 3 years ownership of this machine.

    The genius could "feel it with their fingernail" - just like the first time I had this issue - however this time instead of this remark being a further point of reasoning for it being a warranty issue, this was their point of reasoning for why it would not in-fact be a warranty issue, bizarrely enough.

    Today I called Apple and again civilly gave them this book (sorry) of a sob-story. They eventually put me through to a senior advisor who gave me the same spiel as the Apple Store had (I believe he had access to the notes the engineer had put in regarding my case, so maybe this isn't surprising).

    I feel pretty let down that there's even a whiff of accusation towards myself from Apple considering that this is (was?) a £2000+ maxed-out spec machine, with paid-for extended warranty/Apple Care at time of purchase. I think it's a stretch to even begin to imply that I would mishandle such an expensive product to the point where something like this would occur on three separate occasions, all in different parts of the screen.

    Although saying this, I can absolutely appreciate that the thinking of "if there's a funny smell everywhere you go, maybe check your feet" is perhaps applicable here; however, the fact that this issue is far from being exclusive to only myself, and that it's happened in completely different parts of the screen each time, in this instance at least strongly negates that reasoning.

    To further my point here (for what it's worth) the Genius who assisted me less than 90-days ago for when I had this same/similar issue (and subsequently had repaired) remarked that my machine was in immaculate condition. To the point where there were next-to-no discernible marks that he could actually list on my repair form.

    Surely that alone is enough to dispel any accusation of misuse on my part? Although to be honest, It's pretty abysmal that I have to justify myself at all in the first place for why I couldn't have been the cause of a known and widespread issue. Reminds me of how Apple initially blamed users for stain-gate (which so far, I'm yet to experience).

    TL : DR - Am I S.O.L with Apple on this particular exploding pixel issue? My Apple Care expires next month. I know stain-gate has an extension of a year on-top that? (not that this is a stain-gate issue). I believe I am still also within the 90-day window for the previous repair I had for this exact issue. Is there anything I can do other than complain? Just baffled as to how I've had this repaired twice under warranty but now it's no-longer a covered issue? (I'm based in the U.K. if that changes anything legally with regards to consumer law/rights etc.)

    Sorry for the book/word-salad! Thanks for your time reading this + any help or advice you may be able to offer! Cheers!
  2. borgranta macrumors 6502


    May 9, 2018
    You could contact Tim Cook's email which is available publicly. You could also complain to the BBB. Check this link out since link You can get help in regards to faulty goods. Since the Mac was defective from the very beginning the they may have violated consumer protection laws by forcing you to keep the defective product rather than replacing it.
  3. Funsize93 macrumors regular


    May 23, 2018
    If the Genius could physically feel the defect on the screen then it would mean that the device was subject to cosmetic damage. Dents, scratches, pressure/impact points are not covered under Warranty. This is why it was rejected. If the issue was due to the exploding pixel scenario you would not be able to feel it on the display with your fingernail, as the issue would be caused within the screen. Because the Genius could feel it that would mean that the surface of the screen was subject to some form of damage (outside source).
  4. Hill-y thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2018
    Thanks for your advice! Will definitely get in touch with citizens advice regarding this. Will update the thread when I do! Cheers!

    I'd 100% agree with you if this were my first time experiencing this sort of issue with the Retina display, or if my issue/case was totally unique (i.e. nothing similar happening to other users of the same display, no-one else could feel a defect with their fingernail on their machines etc.) - but that simply isn't the case. There's numerous posts both here and on the Apple forums detailing this exact same issue (this thread in particular details it rather well:, as well as the blog post I previously linked).

    The fact that I've had this repaired twice (the first time was a year/year+a half ago, the second time was less than three months ago) and that others have also had this repaired (under warranty) - would suggest that this is not just attributed to user error or damage as you've suggested. But as I said earlier, If I hadn't already experienced this issue previously I would be in complete agreement with your point of view. It's a fairly sound and reasonable viewpoint considering the nature of the issue i.e. the defect can be physically felt. Normally this would constitute to being a case-closed matter with that description alone, I do get that.

    However, what I'm saying is that the frequency in which I've experienced this issue, coupled as well with the spread of other users similarly affected - would go to strongly suggest that this is a manufacturing/design fault, not a fault of the user, as you've implied.

    I can certainly attest that for the 3 month window in which I've had this screen, for the manner in which it has been used and cared for it really is nigh-on impossible for this issue to have been caused by anything even minutely close to outside force or pressure.

    Whenever the lid has actually been closed in this short space of time I've always made double-sure to meticulously wipe-down the keyboard, speakers and trackpad area before doing so. Even before I'd had this issue the first time, I performed the same ritual (albeit, not quite as religiously or as paranoia-induced as I do now). The machine is 99% of the time utilised on a desk with external peripherals, completely isolated from anything that could have possibly caused this. I totally get that these are all kind-of irrelevant points for me to state here though, as other than the immaculate condition of the machine, I'm unable to provide any solid evidence for these claims besides my own word of mouth.

    I can however say with certainty that I really wouldn't waste my time (or fuel=money) trying to chase this up/complain/rant on forums like this if I knew the cause of the issue was my fault (i.e. I knew I'd caused this issue and was just trying to wriggle my way out of a repair bill). If that were indeed the case I'd genuinely have already paid the repair charge and been on my way - free of all the stress from this. For a true accidental issue It's a charge I'd be happy (maybe the wrong word) to pay if it meant I could go ahead and fix my own careless mistake.

    The problem here, again, is that the scenario I've described is not the reality of the situation - this is a known issue (one in which I've previously experienced and had repaired under the same circumstances - twice), and on principle alone the end-user shouldn't be the one to take the blame (or charge) for it.

    (Sorry mate! Didn't mean to go-off at you like that! Wasn't even directed at you, more just directed at the irritation of having to again justify why this almost certainly isn't a user-error/external cause. I sincerely appreciate your input/advice all the same!)

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3 June 18, 2018