My disappointing experience buying a MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DanFreemanPhoto, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. DanFreemanPhoto macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Hi guys,

    First post on here, but I have been lurking a while. I wanted to share my ongoing experience of purchasing a new MBP.

    It all started on Boxing Day 2010, when I finally plucked up enough courage to order a brand new 15″ i7 MacBook Pro, with the high resolution anti-glare display. So that’s a pretty high spec computer, and as you can imagine – it wasn’t cheap! But….this would be great for me for travelling and location based photography.

    On the 30th December, my first ever Mac computer arrived. I was looking forward using a quality product like the MacBook and also re-learning the computer all over agin in the form of a brand new operating system…..OS X.

    Not long after using it I discovered a problem. As part of OS X, when entering my password, about 75% of the time it would reject it. But I knew I was entering the correct password. I then discovered that I was in fact entering the correct password, BUT the ‘c’ key on the keyboard was faulty….and so would only register the key stroke occasionally. There was no way I could live with that, as you had to press the key quite firmly to work.

    I called Apple Sales, and they were very helpful and understanding…..they arranged collection on my faulty MBP and delivery of a new one.

    On the 5th January, the new MBP was delivered. Again I spotted something bad…..this time before I even turned it on!

    On the back of the unit there were some very obvious dents, and when I looked closer, some large scratches on the front of the unit. Below are some photos of this damage:



    Granted they may not be huge dents or scratches, but when you’ve payed this much for a product you expect perfection – and this MacBook was far from it.

    Again I contacted Apple Sales and once again they were very understanding, a replacement was arranged.

    On the 13th January my second replacement (third MacBook in total!) was delivered.

    Once again, before I turned on the device I noticed yet more damage. It so happened that I opened the MacBook where there was a lot of light behind, so there was some glare on the screen. This showed up a large scratch running right down the centre of the display. More photos:


    This photo will give you an idea of the scale of this scratch:


    I must admit that in a lot of situations you can’t see it, but if there is a significant amount of glare or the light is in a certain place it is quite obvious. And going back to a previous point – when paying this much for a computer you expect perfection.

    By this point I was getting pretty fed up! I held off contacting Apple Sales yet again…..but luckily a friend gave me the contact details of the UK Director of Sales in the UK. So a polite but honest email was sent to him explaining my situation.

    Amazingly I got a response within hours, basically apologising and also assigning a colleague (the Business Manager UK) to see this through to a resolution. After a few emails back and forth between him, he asked if he could give me a call to discuss everything.

    Early Saturday morning (15th) he gave me a call. In a nutshell….he said the best outcome would for me to visit an Apple Store where they could swap the unit out there and then, and also show me around my new Mac.

    So that's pretty much it up to now.

    The main reason for posting is to see if anyone has a situation like this, and what did Apple do to make it up to you?

    In total this what I've had to do:

    Day off work for me (awaiting delivery of replacement)
    Probably about an hour in total at work calling Apple arranging replacements
    All my time wasted since the first was delivered on 30th December
    Driving 50 miles to Brum and back (and parking) to visit Apple store.
    Wasting my only day off this week visiting Apple store

    I've been told I will receive some 'free accessories' as compensation, but if they think they can fob me off with a free mouse then they are mistaken!

    What do you think is a reasonable outcome to this, my first ever MBP purchasing experience?!

    Thanks, and Hi MR! :)
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Personally, I think a reasonable outcome would be to get the MBP you purchased.

    I am not one to believe that Apple, a store or an employee owes you any additional items, accessories or anything else. If they do give you anything beyond the MBP, I would take that as gravy and not complain about it.

    However, from your original post, it appears that you will not be satisfied unless they "wow" you in some way.
  3. puttputt macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2006
    sounds like better response and service than you would get with any other PC manufacturer. Be thankful you purchased a Mac. Any time you have spent resolving this issue will be made up in faster productivity in your computing activities. Enjoy.
  4. DanFreemanPhoto thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2011
    I agree the service has been very good, but it's excellent service for a problem which shouldn't have existed in the first place.

    Not to mention that I am the one severely out of pocket as a result of this.

    I think it's their duty to put some positive gloss on this (besides a new MBP) as at the moment it's probably the last Mac I'll ever buy!
  5. ZilogZ80 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 5, 2010
    time = money
    the initial higher purchase cost of my Apple equipment has been paid back many, many times over
  6. BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Nov 10, 2008
    The first MBP I got came with two gashes on the button. I was dumb and didn't complain to Apple; but it turned out I only had that computer for a few months before it was replaced due to multiple HDD failures.

    But good choice on the computer--15" is great for travel, and it's a great computer for photographers.
  7. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    Be glad you didn't have to go through that process with HP.
  8. Mr Bump macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    Sorry to hear you had a crap experience, I agree you should be compensated for your trouble.

    Forget all the 'you'll save time and money later on with such an efficient computer' nonsense - it should be perfect first time, especially given the premium price, not 3rd or 4th!

    I'm also about to take the plunge for a mbp and fingers crossed that doesn't happen to me.
  9. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    To start, I agree that your experience was an egregious failure. Even if I bought a refub machine, I would expect it to arrive with a working keyboard, undented, with an unscratched screen. This is basic.

    I think the good news is that you'll be getting your next replacement at an Apple store -- inconvenient, clearly, but the stores don't stock (that I know of) refurbed or otherwise pre-owned stock. This means that you should be getting a true new machine.

    Also, I would take a moment to open it there and make sure it's OK. They should be willing to let you give your machine a once-over.

    During that check, I would look closely for dead pixels. At this point, you should be getting a flawless machine, and I would recommend using your I've-had-a-poor-experience-so-far leverage to get a perfect machine rather than a video adapter or some other cheap jazz.

  10. DanFreemanPhoto thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2011
    haha thanks. Yeh those comments were a bit nonsense to be honest, but I guess I am on a Mac forum ;)

    Thanks for that. Yes I will be giving it a thorough inspection on site.
  11. Waragainstsleep macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2003
    To have so many issues is very unusual. I have unboxed a lot of Macs in my time and its incredibly rare that they come out with any damage to the casings.

    I agree that a few free accessories is fair compensation for your inconvenience though. People seem to have this odd attitude that if someone in a shop spells your name wrong they should immediately give you a brand new car as compensation.
  12. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    true, but every manufacturer has at least one flaw in their products. the nice thing is Apple is sugar coating you even though it doesn't need to. I mean would you think dell would give you free accessories?
    and that last sentence about the last mac you will be buying may be true at the moment as you must be furious at the things you've had to go through. But once things calm down a bit, I'm sure you will be quite they say "Buy a Mac and never go back!"
  13. DanFreemanPhoto thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2011
    This is slightly unique in the fact that it's an Apple product. If I had a problem with Dell, I would returned it, got a refund and looked at a Compaq or HP etc...

    The only thing that's stopped me from getting a refund on the MBP is the fact that I want a Mac, and recognise that I will be paying a premium for the best product out there - and it fits my needs the best.
  14. JamesMB macrumors 68000


    Jan 2, 2011
    I probably wouldn't expect them to give me anything, but if they offered, I sure wouldn't turn it down. I might even suggest to them that I would feel much better about the situation if I had AppleCare. AppleCare, certainly won't cost the store anything and it just might give you the peace of mind that you lost by getting three unacceptable machines.
  15. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    What kind of 'experience' were you expecting when ordering an Apple product online? Frankly if I were going to drop that kind of money I would of taken the time to go to an Apple store for the real 'experience', even if it I had to drive two hours and 100 miles out of my way to do it, but that's me. What happened to you was inexcusable and should not have happened at all, and you have every right to complain. The beautiful think about owning an Apple product, for me anyway, is not the purchasing aspect, but using the product, and this is where you shall reap bounty of Apple quality. Coming from having used Windows for the past 20 yrs, its refreshing to use Mac OS X and have a computer that 'just works'. Enjoy!
  16. Blu101 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2010
    Well, I think it's fair to say you're not experiencing the *normal* scenario of buying an Apple computer, and you know that. The common experience of it is a trouble free one. Of course, as you know, nothing is prefect (see, I can't even spell the word right! lol), and things sometimes do go this way. When this happens, as it's happening to you, you want to keep your cool and hold down the frustration as best possible. We all know what it's like, especially when you pay this much for a product. Rest assured, you are getting the service behind it - Apple already replaced it twice and will do it again to meet your (and their ) expectations. Aside from the frustration of not having a shiny and un-scratched MBP by your side, I think you can find some comfort in knowing that your replacement experience would've been drastically different with a Dell or HP or any PC in general. So hang in there and let customer service take care of you - and for the next replacement, follow through and do it in-store, to make sure there are no issues (or scratches), and accept any compensation freebies with a smile and say thank you (Apple, in turn, has apologized to you for your hassle, so stay polite). The MBP is worth it, trust me.

  17. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    If you haven't already bought it, ask for the AppleCare (the extended warranty). You certainly have a reason to be doubting Apple's Quality Control at this point. Apple doesn't "owe" you any extra goodies, of course, but they are known for their taking care of their customers. But... whatever you are offered is a bonus, not an obligation.

    Sounds like a run of really bad luck. Back when I worked in the hotel industry, every once in a while we would see someone like this. We were a good hotel, and we did things right. But then we'd the person where if it could go wrong, it did. One guest we had: The airline lost their luggage. The cab ripped them off. The toilet started running constantly 5 minutes before they check in. The restaurant in the city messed everything up (forgot the order, then brought it cold, then charged for an extra bottle of wine). etc etc Their rental car got broken in to while they were shopping. They were staying for 5 days, and by the 2nd day we knew that a) we were comping the whole stay, and b) they were never ever coming back to the city again. About the only thing we didn't do is smoke them or flood them out of their rooms. sigh.

    Anyway.... good luck.
  18. josh1231, Jan 17, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2011

    josh1231 macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    That is some really bad luck. The C key would have been very hard for them to detect, but someone should have noticed the dent and scratches.

    I don't think you're wining at all, it's not like you bought a used MBP. If I bought a new car and it had a scratch on it when I received it, I would send it back as well even though the performance of the car was not affected. When you buy something brand new, you are paying a premium therefore you expect a near perfect item, and the pictures you took show this was quite far away from that.

    I never expect perfection in a new product because if you look closely at anything, you can find something wrong with it. That being said, it apears they are set on making it right which is what is important.

    Enjoy the new machine!
  19. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Drat! When I bought my car, they spelled my name on the sales paperwork... now you're telling me I should have gotten my car for free? :D:D:D
  20. Mabyboi macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    The way it should be is that you paid for a brand new product, you paid a pretty penny for it, and you're expecting the brand new product, in perfect condition for you.

    And thats how it should be, you SHOULD get the brand new product, no dents, no scratches, no problems. You paid for the Brand new Perfect product, and you should receive that, and only that.

    If they want to throw in extra's for you then so be it, but that shouldn't be what you look for...


    You paid for the perfect product, and you should receive that, and only that.
  21. josh1231 macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    I think a reasonable outcome would be to get a brand new looking and operating macbook pro.

    Though I have no idea where you live, generally you can have the delivery company hold your item and pick it up when you get off work, or you could have it shipped to work so I don't think any compensation would be warranted for that.

    Since you called at work while you were assumably getting paid, shouldn't your employer get the compensation for that time :D?

    Driving 50 miles is certainly an inconvenience, however you probably could have had them ship another one to you if you asked.

    And finally, there's worse things to do on your day off than go to the Apple Store. Sometimes I just visit it for free without compensation :D.

    I think anything they give you would be great because I don't believe most other companies would offer anything. Have fun with your machine.
  22. DanFreemanPhoto thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Just had a nice chat with the Business Manager at the Bullring Store.

    Basically, as my MBP isn't standard, they would have to order one in, which could take a few weeks. They asked if it was ok to continue using mine until then, which I had no problem with at all.

    He tiptoed onto the point of 'sorting me out' with something as well. He mentioned some software of something like that.

    I asked about having Applecare, which he personally had no problem giving me, but he had to double check first. And I jokingly said, 'and maybe some accessories for having to drive to Birmingham?' and he laughed and said no problem!

    They'd also show me around etc which they'd do normally anyway.

    So a pretty good outcome I think, the Applecare would be good, I know I'm not really getting anything, but it's reassuring to know my MBP is secure for three years.
  23. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I've had a couple of expensive things have problems under warranty lately, and I'm on a bit of a tear about it now. If the MBP is made properly then it shouldn't cost Apple a penny to offer you AppleCare. You'll never have to take advantage of it, and they won't incur any costs since really, it's just a note on computer file.

    On the other hand, if it does cost them money, it will only be because the MBP didn't last as long as the average. Which, in your case would be, what? the 4th repair/replacement?

    I wish companies like Apple offered AppleCare automatically to people who experienced a certain level of issues within the first 2 to 4 weeks. Not cosmetic damage, necessarily (unless it's multiple instances, like in your case). It would tell people that while there are always a certain number of units that go out the factory door that shouldn't have, Apple believes in their product enough that they think a replacement unit should last 3 years - it's that good. But not offering AppleCare they can be seen as saying that they don't think the system will last 3 years.... and in that case why then should we be buying it?

    End Rant. Sorry.

    AppleCare might do nothing for you.... or it might save the cost of a new system. It's a gamble, but it could be worth more than anything else they offer.
  24. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    This is why I have no desire to ever sell products to consumers...:eek:
  25. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    You "deserve" the computer you purchased to be in perfect working order when you get it.

    Other than that....nothing.

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