My Disappointing Experience with Apple and my letter to Steve

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Pentad, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Pentad, Mar 4, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011

    Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    Updated, see the end of the post:

    Hello all,

    I wanted to post my disappointing experience with Apple and my letter to Steve Jobs. I don't think he will do anything to help me but I hope that he has someone who can look into for other people.

    Short Version:

    I ordered a new MBP the day they were announced. It arrived a day earlier with 'glue' on the screen and a dent on the bottom of the MBP. I removed the 'glue' with a damp washcloth and ignored the dent. I installed my programs and went to work.

    The system started to freeze (not KP) more and more frequently and by the next day (not even 24 hours later) it was showing strange white and black lines. I called Apple, it was a hardware issue, and they offered an exchange.

    This is where things really go bad. I told the woman that money isn't an issue, if it would be faster I would send the defective MBP back and pay for a new MBP right now. She assured me that as soon as I drop my MBP at FedEx it will release the new one to be built. I reiterated that time is a factor and money was not but she also told me that my replacement will get 'bumped' in the build process with expedited shipping.

    I said ok, received her email with the FedEx label and went to FedEx. They scanned it in and when I returned home I had an email from Apple. "Great!", I thought but the link in the email did not list the new MBP in my Apple account.

    The next day I checked again and nothing about my new MBP. So I called Apple again. They told me that the computer was probably in building but the system wasn't updated yet. I was a bit skeptical but thought that was possible. They assured me again that by late afternoon it would show in my account.

    By 7:30pm (local time) it was not in my account. Called Apple again. This time the woman was shocked at my story. She told me that Apple has to receive the defective unit, inspect it, and then clear for an exchange. Ack!

    I asked to speak to a manager. I wait for over an hour and never get a manager but the woman came back and said that the manager had released the exchange unit for building. I will get an email and it will appear in my account shortly. I ask about the expedited build time and shipping...she again seems shocked at my story.

    I check my email and its there! The link in the email still shows nothing. I go to bed.

    This morning I wake and check and....wait for it....nothing. I call Apple again. I tell them the link in the email shows nothing. They seemed confused with the order number in the email AND the case ID.

    I get transferred and am told their computers are down and they can't help me. They will call me back. (Yeah, we'll see.)

    What makes me unhappy the most is that I would have been happy to order another one and waited for the refund. Money isn't an issue but I really needed it by 03/09. Apple put me in a very tight position and now I have to juggle some work issues when it wasn't my fault.

    So this is how my week has gone...


    Dear Steve,

    I just finished a call to Apple ordering and found myself terribly disappointed in the experience that I received. I have been a long time Apple customer and never had an issue like this before.

    I placed an order for a new 15” MBP on 02/24, which I knew would come from China since I opted for the HR screen and faster processor. I eagerly watched my new MBP move from China to my home here in Indiana.

    When it arrived it was defective with numerous problems. There was a sticky substance (like glue) that was streaked across the screen that made it look like it was scratched. I was very relieved when a damp cotton washcloth removed the foreign substance.

    I then noticed a small dent on the bottom of the MBP, which was also disappointing, but nothing serious.

    I had no intentions of calling Apple on either of these issues. While one hopes that a $2500 computer would come in better shape, accidents happen and not every MBP can be perfect off the line.

    Sadly, the computer started to freeze with serious graphic anomalies on the screen that forced me to contact Apple. As I had suspected, there was some type of hardware issue. Again, I was not angry or upset with Apple. Defects happen and my previous Apple hardware has always been fine.

    I spoke with Victoria who told me they would send out a replacement MBP to exchange for mine. I was worried about how long the exchange would take. I asked if I should opt for a refund and then place an order for a new one. Money wasn’t an issue but time was. She assured me that when FedEx scanned my MBP they would release the new one for building. She even stated that my replacement would be bumped for faster building and also have expedited shipping to my home.

    I could not have been happier and agreed to the exchange. I received her email with the label, boxed the MBP up in the original packaging, and went to my FedEx facility to have it shipped. They gladly scanned it and I went home to check my Apple account.

    When I returned home I had an email from Apple but I didn’t not see any information on my new MBP. I thought it was probably too soon for it to appear on my account. I would check tomorrow after some time had passed.

    On the 03/01 I did not see any information on my replacement MBP on my Apple account so I contacted Apple. I spoke to Anthony who assured me that as soon as FedEx scanned my defective MBP the new one would be released. I told him that FedEx scanned it the previous day. He again assured me that by later in the day it would appear in my Apple account.

    By 7:30pm I still had not seen any information on my exchange unit so I contacted Apple again. I was greeted by Samantha on the phone and she seemed genuinely surprised at my story. She said it was Apple’s policy to not release any exchanges until the defective unit arrived at Apple and was inspected.

    I was disappointed and angry at being lied to by two different Apple representatives and I asked to speak to a manager. While I was never actually able to speak to Tim, Samantha stated that Tim would release my exchange unit for building. I asked about the exchange units being bumped in the building process and she seemed less confident about that.

    I now wait to see of my exchange unit appears in my Apple account.

    I am disappointed that two of Apple‘s representatives were misinformed about Apple’s policy regarding exchange units and that I wasted my time. I would have gladly opted for a refund and purchased a new one out right.

    I feel that Apple truly dropped the ball and did very little to acknowledge their mistake and truly make things right.

    I hope that you will have someone look into this issue for others who find themselves in a similar situation.


    I contacted Apple again since nobody called me back. I did manage to talk with someone who actually understood my problem.

    1. The first two Apple employees are wrong. Any defective unit has to be returned, blah blah blah. So my replacement didn't go into production until today (Three days from when I was told it would).

    2. Apple asked me why I placed the replacement order as a Guest. I asked him what he was talking about since I couldn't have ordered a replacement MBP, that would be the person on the phone who works for Apple. He then said well it was ordered as a Guest so you will never see it in your account. I will receive emails when it ships.

    3. Apple compensated me for the experience which I was happy with.

    I would like respond to the posters who said that I was unrealistic in my expectations and that I *bothered* Steve about this:

    First, I'm not sure how I was unrealistic about anything. I asked which would be faster: the exchange process or refund/buy a new one? That seems like a straight forward question. Apple said the exchange process since the new one will automatically be added to the system when FedEx scans the return label.

    Of course, we now know that isn't how it works nor is that Apple's policy. I understand that Apple needs to inspect my defective machine since I could be a crook. However, if I was told the truth about the policy I would have just placed a new order. No big deal, no time lost, no expectations...

    As for bothering Steve Jobs, if you think Steve reads every email I have a great Windows Vista computer to sell you. He has people that read and sort the emails. I have had great luck in the past getting responses from Apple this way. I have no doubt Steve will NOT get this email, but you know what? Somebody will and I hope that the misinformation I received will sorted out so the next person that calls with the same question I asked will get the correct information.


    If you think
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
  3. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2009
    That sounds awful. I hope you get it sorted soon.
  4. axu539 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2010
    Despite this being terrible (I completely agree with Apple dropping the ball on this one), I don't think it was appropriate to email Steve Jobs with this.

    1. You're better off contacting costumer service and getting the case escalated to a manager, as I doubt Steve handles day-to-day retail operations of Apple.
    2. The man, despite having shown up for the iPad launch, IS still taking an extended leave from Apple for health reasons. You really shouldn't be emailing a man who specifically asked to be left alone, just because you have to wait a little longer for a new computer.

    In summary: retail dropped the ball, Steve Jobs is the wrong person to contact, and the email will probably never get a response. But, keep us updated as I might be totally wrong.
  5. Kalach macrumors member


    Jan 11, 2011
  6. crypticlineage macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2010
    All I have to say is, if I found a dent and glue on screen on a new mbp, I will not try to clean and use it, rather I will turn around and take it back to apple right away. I will also report this to the shipping carrier.

    Why in the world would you think it is okay to clean and start using it? You paid top dollar for this baby, didnt' you? You better expect an excellent machine to boot.

    Apparently things got screwed up somewhere in the assembly line.
  7. v66jack macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2009
    London, UK
    Sorry to hear about your experience, but very well written letter. Just a tip when you email it to Steve I would advice that you CC it to Apple Customer Service aswell. As they are the people who will actually deal with the issue.
  8. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    It is unlikely anything reaches Steve without going through several layers and filters
  9. ZombieZakk macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2011
    i am sorry you had a bad experience as well hopefully it gets resolved.
  10. gdeputy macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2008
    New York
    I would have just said "I want a refund" sent it back and went down to the apple store and bought a new one or ordered a new one online if money wasn't a concern.
  11. pctomac2011 macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2011
    No offense, but what you are asking for is a bit unrealistic. Further, all Apple devices are manufactured and shipped from China. After reading your letter, it sounds like you want an instant turn-around time. Working in the industry for years, I can tell you your expectation of a customer is very unrealistic.

    While I do agree it would be a disappointing experience to receive a brand new system with so many issues, it does happen, this is the chance you take when you order a system online (I used to work for Dell, so I know all about it). If you are that concerned, you should have bought it at a re-seller like BestBuy, so you could have immediately brought it back to the store. These are the chances you take when ordering products online.

    It is also very normal for any company to receive the defective unit back before shipping a replacement, they are covering themselves from theft, loss, etc. Even if you offered to pay again for a new system, it would not be instantaneous.

    Next time, don't buy online.
  12. Whiteacre macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2011
    You emailed a guy who is on sick leave for cancer about this? :rolleyes:

    Ditto what gdeputy said.
  13. gr8whtd0pe macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2008
    Belle, WV
    If there was an apple store near by you should have just taken it in and gotten a replacement. If money is truly no issue you could have drove or flown to get a replacement faster. I know no wise, but you stressed that several times.
  14. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Apr 26, 2003
  15. v66jack macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2009
    London, UK
    Yes, but by sending it to customer service you know it will get read. We have idea who reads emails sent to Steve. Probably CS but there's no way of knowing anyone actually reads all incoming mail to
  16. GuitarDTO macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2011
    Just keep escalating it with customer service. It will eventually get resolved. One thing about customer service you'll find, is if they are in the wrong and you are in the right, it will almost always be fixed and made right if you have good, open, honest communication with them. Go in person. No emails, letters, etc.

    As for the Jobs email. LOL. He's not gonna get it. At least 3-4 different people will have to read, and approve to pass it along, before it gets to him. It will be forwarded to customer service layer 1.
  17. vsighi macrumors 6502


    Jun 22, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Sorry man this...sux
    Same thing happen to me last my MBP from BEST Buy, I open the box and check my MBP...No scratches No dents, but man when I open the back cover to upgrade my DDR Memory it was scratches right on a black plastic frame where is a screw located...look like the Chinese guy who put this thing together did not ware his glasses and did not manage to keep the screwdriver on the screw and scratched all around...but I keep the laptop just for the reason that it operate like a Swiss watch...:cool:
  18. Pentad thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
  19. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    I hope all works out of you.

    Coming from my experience with Apple, I am surprised, but then again, I deal with everything in person. I am assuming you have no Apple Store close to you? I still don't understand why Apple wouldn't let you just return it while you buy a new one.
  20. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    No excuse for the Apple clusterf, but even if Apple processed one when yours hit FedEx, you would still be sans laptop for about a week. What are you doing in the interim?
  21. shamash macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2008
    Taichung, Taiwan
    Just to point this out, it is not that Apple doesn't send out replacements until they receive the defective unit. Once the defective unit has been scanned at Fedex and tracking has been activated, Apple will begin processing your replacement. I already have tracking for my replacement, and my defective unit won't reach apple for 3 more days.
  22. shoegal macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2011
    Send the email to executive Ron Johnson! He replied within 30 minutes when I sent him an email and the customer service I've been getting ever since has been amazing.

    They'll help you just don't abuse it!
  23. Jazwire macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2009
    Normally I wouldn't be with you, but you did ask if you could buy one right now and send the other back for a refund and she apparently talked you out of that by assuring that wasn't needed.

    I can see why they need to wait till it comes back, how do they know what your shipping back to them it could be an empty box or an old computer, or rocks. Or you could have thrown the laptop in a swimming pool.

    So logically I see the point of waiting for inspection, however this is something the first person you spoke with should have reiterated with you and it seems she didn't and in fact discouraged you from trying to do it the way you originally want too.
  24. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010
    sorry you had a problem or two..but bothering a CEO on sick leave on this matter is just not a cool move...
  25. Padraig macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2005
    Small point: Apple are still manufacturing outside of China.

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