MacBook Pro Service from hell

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ericsthename, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. ericsthename macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2005
    Vancouver BC
    Hello all,

    I have a rather long story to tell, possibly some other macrumors members can relate to or comment upon.

    I am a longtime Apple user. My first was an Apple LC II, running system 7. I recently purchased my very first computer of my own, as a second year university student - a macbook pro. I bought my computer in second year because I wanted to wait until apple released the sucessor to the aging powerbook G4's.

    I recieved my 1st MBP in late Feb, dismayed to find that it made a bizarre noise such as I had never heard in an apple laptop before. It was a little bit of a letdown, seeing as the iBook I helped my girlfriend purchase the semester previous seemed a much quieter machine. I was willing to live with this however, in exchange for the increased power of my machine. I believed that Apple would do something to fix that noise, either by hardware or software. Soon afterwards though, my computer developped many strange bugs. Dead pixels, trackpad problems, airport problems, keys popped off (yes under normal use), and the computer would randomly not boot. I contacted apple and after running thru the service gauntlet, and taking it in to authorized service repair centers and so on, they finally agreed to declare my machine DOA.

    I recieved my 2nd MBP a couple weeks later. This one "whined" too, but again I was willing to live with the whine, as long as it was stable. About a month later, more strange issues started occurring. The fan on the right hand side of my computer began to "tick", adding to the cacaphony of the buzzing logic board. The fan noise was much worse however. Then, my harddrive began to make strange umphing noises and died. Apple again insisted that I take the computer to an Authorized Service Center, although I told them that the Diagnostics wern't finding any problems. Sure enough, I took my*computer in, and they replaced its harddrive but did nothing about the fan, as it "wasn't reporting any problems". I then found out that apple had authorized Logic board replacements for "whiners". I called applecare, who apparently had never heard of "whiney" MBP's, and were unaware of any replacement program. I was told that if I had a problem, I could take my computer in to a Service Center, and it would be diagnosed. Now, another strange problem has cropped up. My MBP can only run under AC power. Disconnecting the AC even with a battery in place kills the computer.

    In total, I have been without my computer for about a month, due to the number of times it has been repaired/replaced. As a student relying upon his computer, I cannot afford the added stress of the unreliability of this model. I have lost data countless times already. Beyond this matter, for the amount that I spent on this machine, I am scared that if I don't purchase applecare, this machine won't even last me another year. Besides this, I feel like I have a $2500 patchwork quilt of computer parts, not knowing which part will need replaced next. I am currently trying to pressure apple for a refund, but what I cannot get back is my confidence in Apple's products and services.


    As an interesting side note, my XBOX 360 died the other day. When I called microsoft, I did not have to wait on hold, I got through immediately. Within a couple minutes, they had shipped out a replacement box which I recieved the following day. Why can't apple show the same timely service? It took me 6 calls to applecare to get my macbook pro dealt with...
  2. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Because Macs just work, Apple is not used to having to handle support. Likewise Microsoft has a lot of experience in this area :rolleyes:
  3. david06 macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2006
    The above comment is ********. If any PC manufacturer had similar QA issues to Apple they'd be sued out of business by now.

    I had similar issues to you. The way to deal with it is to call Applecare and as politely as possible refuse to deal with the level 1 person, demanding a "product specialist." If you do not have the nerve to immediately ask for a product specialist (I didn't), go through their troubleshooting procedures and when the answer is not to your satisfaction, ask for a supervisor/product specialist.

    When you talk to the product specialist, if they try to start "troubleshooting" with you, say "can I briefly explain the problem and what I've tried." They will of course say yes. This is your chance to show them that you might know what you're talking about, or even if you don't, it's going to be easier to do what you want. Describe the whine, describe how processor usage influences it and not display brightness. Then, here's the key phrase: "I am calling today because I want to send the machine in for a logic board replacement. I will go through any troubleshooting over the phone you want, but I would like you to put "replace the logic board" on the repair ticket."

    When I did this the guy said "I'm sorry the last repair didn't fix the issues. I'm noting this on the ticket, and if the tech cares about his job, he will just do what it says. Are there any other issues you'd like me to have fixed?" He was extremely helpful! Then when I sent the computer in I taped a note to it:


    Basically be persistant and demand exactly what you want. If you know what the problem is and how it needs to be fixed at some point start saying "I want part X replaced" rather than "I want problem Y fixed." That is how I got my MBP silenced after multiple repairs. Keep in mind this was before the whine was a publically acknowledged issue on the Apple site though.

    I had the dying-on-battery issue and it turned out to be a dead battery which I got exchanged by mail. Run coconutbattery and if the capacity of the battery is wayyy lower than it should be call and request an exchange of batteries.
  4. drake macrumors 6502a


    Jul 5, 2005
    What's "way lower"? Mine should be 5200, its 4980.
  5. david06 macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2006
    I forget what mine was... but let's say "hundreds or below"

    You're fine.
  6. ericsthename thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2005
    Vancouver BC
    Product Specialist

    I've had some limited success working my way up to product specialists, I just can't believe how unsavvy the people that answer your original calls are. At this point I've decided that I cant use a computer as unreliable as the MBP is right now for Univ. so I'm working on a refund. Hopefully Rev. B will come out before Sept. 5.... and hopefully they will accept my pleas for a refund.

    I too happened to notice that my relatively new battery was reporting a significant loss of capacity under coconut battery. Now my battery is nothing but an X in the menubar.
  7. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
  8. david06 macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2006
    If you are having limited success getting to talk to a product specialist you are not being persistant enough. They cannot refuse a direct request to speak to their supervisor. They will be fired if they do so. Another of my favorite phrases with phone tech support people is "look, it's obvious that you're doing everything you can to help me fix this, I appreciate it, but I'm sorry but <XXX (whatever resolution they offered)> is not what I'm looking for. please transfer me to someone with the authority to <fix the problem/do YYY.>
  9. ericsthename thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2005
    Vancouver BC
    Update on the service from hell

    Hey Fellow Macrumorsers/ettes

    So, I spent another afternoon on the phone with apple, and after being bounced back and forth a few times I finally managed to demand that I speak with A: A product Specialist

    B: A Customer Service Rep

    C: I wanted both on the phone at the same time

    The reason I did this was because the product specialists can often identify with the problems that you are having, but all they can do is setup repair. I wanted customer service on the phone so that I could come to the conclusion that it was unacceptable to have paid full new price for a computer that essentially needed to be re-patched together in entirety. My particular experience was exasperated by the fact that when I had taken my computer to the "Authorized service center" it came back minus several screws in the case, and who knows what inside the case.

    Anyways, I fiinnnnalllly got a customer service rep who seemed genuinely willing to help me resolve the matter and she agreed to replace my machine based on several matters, none the least of which being that my MBP has been in repair for over a MONTH.

    At least even horror stories can have "happily ever after" endings....
  10. trellabor macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2006
    The problem with the CSR's is they are likely just temps. I worked for a staffing agency here in Sacramento that did the staffing for Apple's Customer Care Call Center(you like that?), and 90% of them are just there til their contract is up, and know near nothing about Apple computers until they start work and are given a 'brief' overview of the OS. The Product Specialist's are permanent employees with likely a few years experience, so it is certainly a good idea to ask for one when you call no matter what the issue is.

    And i also agree with the above comment that "The squeaky wheel gets the grease". You have got to be adament about what you want done, this goes for ANYTHING you want fixed right the first time.

    I hope your new MacBook is up to par.

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