MAJOR MBP Problems

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lag1090, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. lag1090 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #1
    I am the owner of a Rev A | Week 9 MacBook Pro with AppleCare and have had tremendous problems with it over the course of the past year. I was initially troubled by the fact that the battery was failing two months after I purchased the computer, but after Apple had replaced the battery, the computer was fine for another 11 months. In this depiction of my experience, I'm not going to name the specific names of the people I spoke with, although I have all of these documented for my records.

    The trouble I have been having recently began on April 7th of this year, when I had put my MBP to sleep, only to discover a mass of vertical lines covering 2/3 of the screen. I had always put the MBP to sleep by moving the lid down slowly, but this time, the hinge was much more loose than usual. As a result, the lid fell fairly quickly as the hinge failed to hold the screen up when at a certain angle. I had initially not thought much of it, just that it was odd that the hinge was loose. I then remembered that I needed to use the computer again for something, but when I opened it, the screen was plagued by many vertical lines. At this point, I was fairly freaked out, as I had never seen anything like it before. I tried rebooting several times, reinstalling OS X, resetting PRAM, etc, all without much effect. As it was Easter weekend, Apple was not open the next day, so I was forced to wait until Monday before I could bring it into the store.

    On Monday, I had brought the MBP to my closest Apple Store (Marlton, NJ), which isn't so close to my home. There, a store employee inspected my computer, and had determined that it needed to be mailed to Apple for service, as they don't do LCD-related repairs in-house. While on the phone with AppleCare, the employee noted that my MBP was in flawless condition, without any physical damage. There's a reason for this, as I treat the thing as if it were a child. It's always on my glass desk at home, and had only been transported to bring it to Apple for service. As such, you would expect there to be no possibility that anyone could suspect physical damage to the machine. After the mail-in service was set up, I thanked the store employees and packed my MBP into the Apple-supplied box when it arrived a few days later.

    Two days after I had sent the MBP in for repair, I had checked my service status through Apple's online support site. I noticed that it said something akin to "Apple needs more information about your product before we can repair it." I was initially puzzled, as I had ensured that the Apple Store employee had given the AppleCare representative all of my information (address, phone number, etc). I called AppleCare, and the representative notified me that the repair depot claimed that my MBP had accidental screen damage. I explained exactly what happened, and that I treat the computer extremely well, but this seemed irrelevant to the AppleCare representative. I asked for a supervisor to dispute the depot's claims, but I was unsuccessful in my efforts. As such, I requested the MBP to be shipped back to me while I reviewed my options. I was/am flat-out against paying for something which isn't my fault, in addition to the fact that Apple was clearly gouging me with the repair bill ($1,140 for "Tier 4 Accidental Damage," plus $100 in labor charges). I was assured by both AppleCare reps that my MBP would still be under warranty, just that the LCD and bezel would not be covered as it had experienced some "warping". While my MBP was in transit back to me, I researched all of my options, which included a suggestion from the Apple rep to contact my credit card company for possible extended coverage. As I wanted the least amount of hassle involved, I filed a claim with Visa.

    Some time later, I had received a phone call from a Visa claims administrator overseeing my claim, stating that my claim would be denied since Apple's claimed physical damage is not covered by the original warranty. I disputed this with the administrator, but he could only base his assessment upon the information supplied to him by Apple. He stated that the Apple repair depot stated that the MBP has "corrosion in the hinges that caused them to fail and a cracked screen." I'm not exactly sure how corrosion in the hinges occurs, but I can tell you it wasn't anything of my doing. The administrator was also surprised by this detail of corroded hinges, stating that he had never heard of that occurring before. On subsequent calls to Visa, three more representatives confirmed that Apple had specifically mentioned corroded hinges. Since my claim was denied, I was forced to turn to Apple again for a long, hard argument over my MBP.

    My second round of calls to Apple initially involved the whole ordeal from the beginning, essentially similar to the first repair request. I had the representative review all of the problems Apple claims are with the computer, and this list failed to include the hinge corrosion. I once again asked the representative about the hinge corrosion and noted that Apple had claimed this while speaking with Visa, but the representative again denied that there is any corrosion in my MBP's hinges. I requested that images of the supposed damage be sent to me, and the representative emailed me a few pictures which only really show the bezel and the malfunctioning LCD. The only flaw that I could identify was with the LCD, but the Apple rep kept claiming that there was "case warping" above the screen release button on the front. I still fail to see this, but have found an example from a man all the way over in Germany with a problem that matches the Apple rep's description perfectly (http://www.mymacpower.de/Bilder/mbp2.jpg). Based upon this and many others' descriptions, these problems, among others, are not unique to my machine. As I was not getting anywhere with these AppleCare representatives, I was forced to wait as I further researched my options. Some time after, I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau over Apple's refusal to repair my MBP under warranty. Apple has so far failed to respond.

    About a month later, I began experiencing Random Shutdown Syndrome while playing games (Call of Duty 2, Civilization IV), as well as while in Windows. I had connected an external display since the internal is still malfunctioning, and the MBP would simply shutdown (no kernel panic message) after a few minutes of playing games. Doing absolutely nothing while in Windows XP also rendered the same effect, even when only the internal display was used. I called Apple about the problem, and they had seemed fairly knowledgeable about the problem, stating that it was most likely a logic board issue. I set up yet another mail-in repair, and I made sure the rep was aware of the ongoing dispute over my screen/bezel. Two days later, I then checked Apple's repair status online, only to find the same you need to contact AppleCare message as I had seen last time. This time, however, Apple had at least sent me an email detailing that I had to contact Apple, but it was a day later than the message was posted on the support status. By now, it was Friday, and I had to wait over the weekend for the MBP to get shipped back to me. I'm not nitpicking, just simply saying that if I was notified as soon as possible, it might have been possible to receive the MBP on Friday. The only problem, however, is that Apple again refused to repair the machine.

    I called Apple about the message on the support status site, and I was yet again puzzled. The problem was widely spread, and the reps I had spoke to before assured me that all the other components were still covered by AppleCare. As I spoke with the rep, this turned out not to be the case. She claimed that when "accidental damage" is involved, it is "hard to warranty" the other, unrelated components, so the whole machine's warranty was void until the repair of the screen and bezel was ordered and paid for. I explained that this was not what the reps before had told me, but this did not change anything. I asked to speak with the supervisor, and the same response was returned. I then called back an hour later with a list of websites depicting MBP defects which Apple claims are affecting my MBP, but they simply did not care. This rep was much nicer, however, as she worked from the beginning with me to actually research Apple's knowledge base for the defects I mentioned. She claimed that Apple was not aware of any of these defects, and that my repair would yet again not be covered by AppleCare. When I posed a question asking why Apple would have accepted the MBP for repair when Apple's supposed policy is to void entirely computer warranties when "accidental damage" is involved, the rep responded that Apple reps do not normally search through the machine's records to see what issues were affecting it before. An open question to MacRumors, what exactly is the purpose of AppleCare's representatives, then? When posed with the question regarding the claimed corroded hinges problem, she denied that this affect my MBP. I informed her that Apple then lied to either Visa or me regarding this detail and responded, "we don't lie." Are these representatives human beings? If they are, then they obviously have the capability of lying. The only productive response I received from Apple was that their corporate office had received my complaint. After another lengthy phone conversation, Apple still refused to cover my repair.

    Now, I am left with a deeply troubled MacBook Pro. It experiences the hissing, mooing fans, extreme heat, LCD problems, hinge issues, and claimed bezel warping. With both Apple and my credit card company refusing to help, I have nowhere else to turn. These problems have consumed a great deal of time, and they still aren't fixed. I have nowhere else to turn, and would like to know what fellow MR members have done in situations like this to get their issues resolved. I have tried contacting both AppleCare and Apple's corporate customer relations department, as well as contacting them via the BBB. It's obvious that Apple doesn't care about most individual consumers. I'm not writing this post so much as a warning to other Mac users wanting to purchase Apple's products, but rather a cry for help from users with similar problems. I have exhausted all of the proper channels, and I fear that this issue will remain unresolved for some time to come. I realize that I was assuming a certain amount of risk with purchasing such an early Rev A Apple product, but no reasonable person can honestly expect someone to pay out the nose for something which is not their fault.

    For those which actually read this lengthy post in its entirety, I thank anyone with anything which could possibly help me in advance, as I am at the mercy of the inner workings of corporate America.
     
  2. luis4life macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #2
    Can someone please summarize this college level essay to a High school Lvl?
     
  3. samh004 macrumors 68020

    samh004

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    Read it, it wont take that long and actually provides a good deal of information.

    I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you though, Apple really treat their customers badly some times. Find some other users and start a class-action. They don't like them.
     
  4. lag1090 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #4
    I was trying to avoid legal action. I pretty much have a strong dislike of lawyers, but I feared that is what it would eventually boil down to.

    As for the class-action proposal, it does appear that there are others with similar issues. As for numbers, I don't know how many machines these ploblems affect, but it must certainly be a somewhat significant amount. Others have posted similar problems to: http://appledefects.com/wiki/index.php?title=MacBook_Pro
     
  5. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #5
  6. lag1090 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #6
    Thanks for the suggestion. I had read a similar story before, but Apple denied that Steve Jobs accepts any direct mail, email or otherwise. I'll be sure I try to compose a letter to him as soon as possible.
     
  7. eenu macrumors 65816

    eenu

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #7
    I emailed steve and had a call from Apple. Issue sorted.
     
  8. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #8
    Where the emails go, I couldn’t say – but as people have reported success, it doesn’t matter too much!

    I thought I would suggest it as it’s meant to have worked for people in the past and I’ve worked for companies that had a similar system; in the latter cases, even if it didn’t get to the top dog it was passed to the appropriate person.

    Also, I was fresh out of other ideas!

    Could you post what happens in any case?
     
  9. eenu macrumors 65816

    eenu

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #9
    http://davidjmoore.com/be-cautious-when-buying-a-macbook/

    thats what happened i contacted steve jobs - executive relations contacted me and said they were shocked how high it went....steve saw my site and also the case is being taken on by a senior vice president as he was appauled. Over the following week hundreds of hits from Apple and its manufacturing plant and then 4 weeks later apple moved manufacturers (so the news detailed). Make of that what you will. I never got a decent macbook in the end but i got my money back and a £150 discount when i was ready to purchase again. It went towards my 24" iMac which is an awesome machine.
     
  10. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #10
    I emailed SJ with a concern and got a reply. It would be a shame if everyone done it regardless of the problem, but I think you have a very good case. At the very least take it as high as you can.
     
  11. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #11
    When I was doing a bit of research about MacBook problems, I'm sure that I read that! Nice to be able to put avatar/face to a name :D

    If I ever have trouble, I'll be sure to catalogue the problems and send them the link!
     
  12. mustang_dvs macrumors 6502a

    mustang_dvs

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    #12
    I would imagine that the sjobs at apple.com email is handled much like emails and letters sent to U.S. Senators -- i.e., that it is pre-screened by a human being, to weed out the crazies and the inane, but that important, compelling communication does find its way to someone important (although probably not the addressee).

    Writing an eloquent summary of your issues, with a more detailed case history attached, will more than likely get a better response than you've had thus far.
     
  13. RojoLeo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #13
    His mac is brokan and appul dont kare.


    That dumbed down enough for you, Chief?


    OP, best of luck. I would expect some action from BBB within 6 weeks of the complaint.
     
  14. lag1090 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #14
    It most certainly would be a shame. That's why I initially ruled out emailing him, but now I don't have any other options. I'll make sure the letter's sent the day after the BBB deadline for Apple's response is passed (very soon).

    Once again, thanks for your help.
     
  15. lag1090 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #15
    BBB Deadline Missed by Apple

    The initial deadline for Apple to respond to my BBB complaint was June 7. Being as this deadline has passed, the BBB is giving Apple a second notification which they can respond to by June 18.

    It just seems like Apple doesn't care anymore, so I'm in the process of writing Mr. Jobs. I just hope it all turns out well in the end.
     
  16. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
  17. aerove macrumors 6502

    aerove

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta,GA
  18. johnee macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #18
    I would write a letter (not email). Don't address it to Steve Jobs, but to CEO, Apple.

    Yes, many corps have whole teams dedicated to reading letters to the CEO. THEY WORK. These teams are responsible for resolving issues. They figure that anyone taking the time to write to a CEO deserves a fair chance at being heard.

    BBB is a joke. Once you write the letter to the CEO, and if the response isn't to replace your machine, you should find some consumer protection watchdog group, also your local news might have a consumer watchdog. The key is to raise public awareness to your problem.

    But write the letter...
     
  19. BigPrince macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    #19
    Damn this blows. Let us know how you turn out. You appear to be unmarked waters.
     
  20. lag1090 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #20
    Well, I don't know about that, but they have seemed to help in the past. Apple may not be responding because it is not a member of the BBB, or it just doesn't care about me or its other customers. Either way, I wanted to go through the proper channels, as I want to ensure a resolution to this problem in my favor.

    As for the point about mailing Apple's CEO, I will initially try an email addressed to Steven P. Jobs through his email address. If that doesn't work out, then I will write an actual paper letter and notify the local news. I really didn't want to take such extreme measures, as Apple still has a chance to come to a reasonable resolution for this problem.

    Thanks to all who have contributed ideas to this thread.
     
  21. lag1090 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #21
    After I emailed Steve Jobs, I received a call from an Apple corporate executive relations rep. He offered to repair or replace the MBP, citing that the reps before him had not fully taken the heat generated by the MBP into account for the screen's failure. Of course, I took the replacement option, and I received a new Santa Rosa 2.4 Ghz MBP on Tuesday. It has its issues, like audio corruption at high volume and bad display drivers, but at least I can use more of the computer's intended features.

    Thanks to all who offered suggestions. I just hope no one else has to experience this in the future.
     
  22. Gurutech macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    #22
    Glad to hear that.
    Congrats :)
     
  23. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #23
    You could always try the sledgehammer approach and post it on youtube!
     

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