MBP Repair Woes :mad:

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by george.dye, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. george.dye macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008
    I have an earlier thread I admit. I did find it, however I believe this change warrants another topic.

    Some back story: I am a student at a university in South Dakota. I also fix computers for the same university. So I provide technical/hardware support for an enterprise level organization. I trouble-shoot hardware/software issues for laptops/desktops on a daily basis. However my expertise is in PC's. However internally mac/pc same same.
    I purchased a 17" MBP in August 2009. It became slower as I used it and I eventually called apple. 20 minute start-ups and random lock-ups did not seem good. After spending 110 minutes on the phone with two representatives (None of this time spent on hold!) Apple-care though it was the hard drive, and said I should take it in for repair.

    I live in South Dakota so this is quite difficult. So I drove 60 miles one way for a repair. I dropped it off and left. Another hour drive back. They called several days later saying the HDD came in and it did not fix the issue. It turns out it was the motherboard. They replaced it and I finally got to drive another 120 miles round trip to get my laptop, which they assured me was functional.

    I get it home and the speakers do not work. I find this out only after I install all of my programs (CS4 and many others). Apple-care and the repair shop are closed by now, so I have to wait until tomorrow. I call both and they say to take it in for repair: it sounds like a motherboard issue. They replace the motherboard again and assure me it is functional. (After I drive 120 miles again!)

    It has been five weeks and the speakers start crackling again! I call apple-care and go directly to a manager. The underling I speak to says he will replace the machine, yet the manager says we wants another repair. I am so livid at this point I am shaking. He says after the repair is done he will compensate my me for my time. Great, whatever that means. SO he wants it sent into apple. They mail me a box and I send it in. To cover my ass and prove their was an issue, I recorded the crackle with a $1200 microphone and emailed a .wav file to the manager I spoke to. I get it back and all they did was replace the speaker. They shipped it back and now all works.

    I called the manager and he offered me iworks, a portable HDD, and an Ipod nano. I went with a black 8gb nano because I needed one. This only mildly assuaged me. He says he will make sure the ipod gets to me and he hopes I don't have any more issues.

    So at this point I have invested the following resources into getting the computer repaired::mad::mad:
    1. I have driven 360 miles
    2. I have missed 6 hours of work @ 20.52/hour
    3. I have missed 3 classes
    4. I have been on the phone for 165 minutes

    Apple gave me an ipod.

    At this point I have lost trust and hope in apple. I think I may take my business elsewhere.

    Apple did have good customer service: I was hardly on hold at all, it was easy to get to a person, their methodologies were simple, and they were friendly.

    I have two questions.

    1. How can it be profitable for Apple to repair rather than replace.
    The costs are as I see it
    a. The original machine (What it cost to make)
    b. The costs of the repair shop and components (2 additional motherboards, one HDD, and one right speaker)
    c. The hourly wage for telephone employees for 160 minutes or more
    d. the cost of overnight shipping twice for a laptop
    e. The cost of an ipod.

    How is is profitable to do all of this and not replace the machine?

    If all of this happened to you, would you still stay with apple?
  2. harperjones99 macrumors 6502

    Nov 3, 2009
    I think they always try to get off cheap by trying repairs but then it snowballs and they get in deep. Seems too it depends on who you get..some people will fight you forever and others will replace because it has a smudge on the box.

    About staying with them over quality it's such a hard call. I just switched to mac and love the OS and generally the machine but there are some little things I worry about. And reading how much trouble people have I am a bit nervous. Thing is if you want the Mac OS you dont have much choice unless you want to hack a PC and that's never totally reliable or trouble free. I hate how this thing cost me double what a MS laptop would have...but I wanted a Mac...and as long as it works I love it. I prefer the OS far and away.

    If you go to the MS or Linux side who will you go with for the hardware? They all have lemons and bad models. My old Windows laptop took me 3 tries and several weeks to get one new that wasnt messed up....the one I finally got lasted me 6 years...so how you would know what or where to buy is beyond me. Luck has a lot to do with it. I have met people who loved or hated every major brand including Apple all based on if they got a good one or not.

    I am one of those people that never thinks electronics are reliable enough for what they cost. But as long as people buy them there will never be a reason for them to make them better. Enough people are willing to accept this standard that it remains profitable.
  3. dan5.5 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2008
    sorry about your bad experience...Don't lose hope in Apple, as a whole they are a pretty good company. There are cases when somethings goes wrong, but usually they do a very good job at making it up.
  4. jfyrfytr25 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2008
    I am sorry to hear about your troubles, but i want you to think about this.

    Every company that Mfg. a product has a certain amount that have issues. That is a fact, so just because you go to a different company does not mean you will get a better or worse experience. Many people have had trouble with Fords and talk about how they break down, I have a 9 year old Mustang that has needed nothing but brakes and tires.

    the point is one person may get a bad experience but the next person may have a great one. THIS HAPPENS IN EVERY COMPANY!.

    as far as it being profitable to repair then replace, Yes it is more cost affective for them to repair rather replace. I know you would rather get a replacement but it is cheaper for them to repair. the individual components cost mere dollars for them. a logic board may have a mfg cost of $50. a speaker maybe $2. they buy and mfg in such qty they are CHEAP! as far as the technician, they are paying them whether your computer comes in or not so no further cost to them. so look at $50 for them to replace your board vs the $1000+ they loose by not selling that replacement computer to someone else. I understand why they repair.

    lastly, Apple did not have to give you the ipod for compensation. many companies could have cared less that you live so far away from a service center. since they offer a mail in service you really have no right to complain that you drove all that way. you could have just asked for the box to mail it in to begin with. whatever the reason, you chose to bring it in. that was your decision.

    so the fact that they gave you a ipod for your trouble, i would say that is a company that is going above and beyond what they need to do.
    so should you stay with apple, thats your decision but i dont think you will find better service else where.

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