My Experience With A Refurbished MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pcgeek12345, May 12, 2012.

  1. pcgeek12345 macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    I am writing this to inform people of the horrible experience that I had with my Early 2011 MacBook Pro.

    In November of 2011, I purchased an Early 2011 MacBook Pro. It was the base, 2 GHz quad-core i7 model with 4 GB of RAM and the 500 GB Hard Drive. It was rock solid until February, when the sound stopped working.

    Apple replaced the speakers, then said that it was fixed. However, when I went in to pick the machine up, the sound was not working still. They kept calling me and telling me to come in, that it was fixed. Each time, either the sound wasn't fixed, or some other issue cropped up. For example, one time, the backlights on the keyboard did not work, and the sound only came out of one speaker. They replaced the logic board, and that did not resolve the issue either. Their only option was to do a clean install of OS X Lion. I wrote about the issue here.

    5 days ago, I took it into Apple to have the Logic board replaced AGAIN, because the headphone jack was very loose, and would not grab the plug when you inserted it. They replaced the Logic Board. I recieved the machine back on Tuesday night. All was well, until I was really using it that night.

    I started getting Kernel Panics and the dreaded 3-beep error. It would just freeze and do the 3-beep error, randomly. I tried resetting the SMC, PRAM, and replacing my Crucial 8 GB upgraded RAM with the stock 4 GB. Nothing worked.

    Yesterday, I took my machine into Apple after it had frozen with the 3-beep error, and then refused to boot up. I asked to speak to the manager after the "Genius" told me that they would replace the Logic Board again. IMO, for a Logic Board to last TWO DAYS in a machine is totally unacceptable. For a Logic Board to last 3 months in a machine is also totally unacceptable. I was not about to get my third Logic Board in under six months of ownership.

    I explained the situation to the manager of my local store. After much discussion with him, he agreed to give me a new machine: A Late-2011 2.2 GHz i7 with my 8 GB ram that I'd upgraded in the previous machine.

    Hopefully this ceases all the problems that I've had with my dud of a MacBook so far. A few of my tech friends have MacBook Pro's, and have had little to no hardware issues with them.

    What are your thoughts on all the issues I've had with my "Certified Refurbished" Machine?
  2. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Statistically, you're in an incredible minority here (and I'm one as well, I had a similar set of problems with my launch-day MacBook). The instance of that happening with a Refurb is similar to brand-new machines, and some would argue even lower because they go through another round of testing before they're sold as refurbs. Glad Apple did eventually replace it for you, though.

  3. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    I think you just have been a part of an unfortunate set of circumstances. I've had a refurb mini for about a year now that hasn't given me a bit of problems.

    Computers just flake out on occasion, be it brand new or refurbished when it gets to you. The good thing is that Apple worked with you on the issue and in the end gave you a brand new machine for all of the trouble you went through. While I'm sure the whole process was incredibly frustrating, I think Apple put a nice bow on the whole problem and did the best they could to try and make everything right for you.

    Can't ask for much more than that.
  4. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2006
    Washington State
    I have purchased over 25 refurbished machines from Apple over the course of about 5 years and I haven't had any unusual trouble with any of them. Not a single one has shipped to me with as much as a fingerprint on it, and the only work I've ever done was to replace a couple of failing drives in the older ones.

    Your experience with the refurbished machine is unfortunate, but Apple did the right thing and completely replaced it. So your overall experience was not all that bad.

    It is also an incredibly rare event (statistically speaking) to receive two bad logic board.
  5. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    I agree with the really has nothing to do with the fact that it was a refurb. Some machines have problems, whether they're new or refurbs. General consensus around here seems to be that refurbs tend to be slightly more reliable than brand new, perhaps because they've been looked over more carefully due to the refurb process. But that doesn't mean there won't occasionally be one with problems. I'm on my 3rd refurb (two iMacs and my current MBP) and have had no problems at all.

    Sorry you had to go through a frustrating series of repairs, but don't lose faith in Apple's refurbs. They're a great deal and usually don't have any problems. I'm glad Apple got everything taken care of for you and hope that the new one is problem free!
  6. pcgeek12345 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    I agree, I'm not saying that Apple's refurbs are bad, I'm just saying that I had a bad experience with my first refurb, which is also my first Mac. I can't wait to get the new machine.

    The Genius that helped me also said that he would do a full data transfer; does this include programs, or just files?
  7. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
  8. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    There must have been a bad run on MBP 15" Logic Boards last year, because I bought the same machine NEW for my wife last summer, and WITHIN ONE WEEK, it failed with the same 3-beep error code. We just took it back for a refund, because I know from being in electronics that is not a good sign to have a major failure so soon. It's could be a manufacturing defect on a certain run of logic boards, or it could be critical component failures (often the voltage regulator), or just a bad design.

    However, my refurb 2010 13" MBA has been rock solid for about 16 months, and am very happy with it.

    So, refurbs are usually good, and hopefully if one is destined to fail, hopefully it will do so in that first year of warranty. I may try the next-gen MBP again, but will wait for reviews before buying a refurb.
  9. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    We are talking about an electronic.. and these things happen. My first iPod is a refurb and has lasted longer than my 3 iPod touch. My refurb MBP has the same problems as my Powerbook G4. things happen..

    Its great that you didn't leave the store empty handed.
  10. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    To the OP, I'm sorry you had such a negative experience and I hope the newer replacement machine is acceptable!
  11. pcgeek12345 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    Yeah, I'm glad that I got a new machine and I hope that the new one will live up to my standards! :)

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