Not the great Customer Support that I always hear about / Also battery issues for new 2017MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tenniseric98, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. tenniseric98 macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2017
    So, my MacBook Pro drains battery pretty fast. In the time span of 11 minutes, with only Safari, Pages, and Preview open, my battery will drop 7%. Is this normal?

    I called Apple Support, and they directed me to "About This Mac" >"System Report..." > "Hardware" > "Power" , and I did that screenshare thing and the guy said everything looked normal.

    But first lemme mention that Apple Support isn't as great as fanboys/fangirls say. I remember that before I bought the 2017 no touchbar 13" MBP, I was researching dongles, and I even chatted with a "Specialist" who apparently didn't know the different types of dongles that existed. I sent the "Specialist" a link to the HyperDrive USB-C Hub, and they were completely surprised. They even thanked me for showing them the HyperDrive. C'mon Apple, if you're not gonna yourself provide practical solutions to your action of removing useful ports, at least know and train employees on the market of dongles that all MacBook Pro customers are now gonna have to deal with.

    And, now recently, just had another hilarious moment with Apple's "top-notch" customer support. I gave Apple Support my serial number so they could help check my battery/power specs, and the guy, was like, "OK, you have a 2017 MacBook Pro 13 inch." He then proceeded to ask me if there was a light on the charger when I plugged the charging cable into the laptop. I was like, "You mean on the charging block that goes into the wall socket?" I was dumbfounded, like woah I didn't know there was a light on the charging block, because there sure ain't one on my tiny non-magsafe USB-C charging cable. And then, he was like, "No on the cable that goes into your computer." Ok, Apple, if your own employees don't even know that the new MacBook Pros don't have magsafe and light indicators on charging cables, how can you champion that you have the best customer service?!

    But back to the battery life issue. He tells me to turn off the computer and make sure the computer is plugged in. Then, he tells me to hit Option + Command + p + r before the Apple logo. So I turn it off, and put the charger in. Then I hit Option + Command + P + R, all one at a time, but holding it the whole time. Not sure if I did this correctly, because he said that I'd hear beeps, but I guess my volume was muted or something but I did see the screen flicker and then turn black again. I do this three times.

    Then, he said, to turn off the machine again and hit Shift + Option + Command, and I do that but I don't see anything happen, I just go to the login page.

    And that's it. He says everything is fine and that I should just take it to an Apple Store to triple check. I give him my zip code MULTIPLE times, and tells my that the nearest Apple store is in some other state. So I had to load up Safari while the screen was shared to show him my zipcode and finally he gives me the nearest Apple Store.

    However, my battery is still doing the same thing. Drawing like 1%ish every 2-3 minutes. So basically I added 5 battery cycles for nothing. Also, do the number of battery cycles matter? Like I just restarted my computer 5 times, does that negatively affect my battery? Can anybody help me?
  2. burgman macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2013
  3. JesterAZ macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2017
    Every time you restart your computer, you do not use a "cycle".

    Battery drain is based on usage. Is the screen cranked to 100%? Is there 50 apps updating along with the OS in the background? Are there 10 apps being downloaded with a giant 4K movie being streamed in the background?

    Why would you need the agent to find you an Apple Store? Go to, type in "Apple Store" and it should direct you.

    And yes, you sound like you fit right in with the cynical posters here,
  4. Spudlicious macrumors 6502


    Nov 21, 2015
    Bedfordshire, England
    You are taking that battery reading far too literally, honestly you are. It's a guide, not a scientifically precise measurement. If you are really losing 1% every 2 minutes then you would have a normal usage battery life of less than 3.5 hours, and I just bet that's not the case.

    As for the battery cycle count, I'm now convinced it exists solely to confound and mystify, it's there for obsessives to focus on. Either that or it's meant to be a rough guide to how much punishment a battery has taken, one thing to take into consideration when buying a used machine.

    Could I offer a little well-intentioned advice? Just use the computer, do what you want to do with it and stop looking for problems. As Mathew 7:7 puts it, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find.
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Batteries don't deplete consistently as they're not a digital technology. Losing 1% in 2 minutes doesn't mean that in 10 minutes' time you'll have lost 5%.

    You need to judge the battery life much more broadly; simply, how long does the laptop last before it will warn you it needs to be charged.

    What applications are you using? Screen brightness settings? Do you use Chrome or Safari?

    What is the total battery life you're getting — how long do you use your laptop for before the battery goes red?
  6. AppleSmack macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2010
    You're mixing up "power cycle" (turn off then on) with "charge cycle" (charging from some depleted percentage up to full).

    Is your screen and keyboard backlight on high brightness?

    Don't count percent per minute. Start at full charge, use your computer normally, then come back and tell us how many hours you worked before you hit empty.
  7. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    I would use the laptop under normal conditions without watching the battery to see how long it lasts. So, for instance, if you wake one morning and start using your Mac around 8:00 am, see how long it last on battery power only. So, if it dies before 5 PM, or around 12 noon, you can better gauge if its a battery issue or not.

    At the end of the day, between using Wi-Fi, running background apps, you are gonna take a hit. Just don't focus your usage only on battery life though. Use the laptop under normal circumstances.
  8. tenniseric98 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2017
    First off, I appreciate the responses.

    Really, I've only used Pages and Safari. However, I do notice that I use Bluetooth, but does Bluetooth do that much of a drain?

    Screen brightness at 50%, backlit keyboard at 50%.

    But, really, you know what it is? Everybody claiming that the Macs have excellent battery and Apple marketing made me think for some reason that MacBook Pros have miraculous battery. So, when I got this first MacBook Pro, I was expecting insanely better battery than my previous Lenovo laptop. And you know what? It's probably just the same, if not, maybe a tiny bit worse but I understand that there are numerous sources for power draw.

    To address other comments: Apple Support asked for my zip code, I thought it was to check that you were the owner of the product you were calling about; didn't know they were trying to find the nearest store near me. They insisted on doing that for me when I know I could've done it myself.

    And ok, yes I'll listen to everybody and look at it from a broader view. I think it was the Bluetooth that made me freak out because literally I'd look at the battery gauge and then I just noticed it dropping a good amount in a short period of time. So, basically, my conclusion is that Bluetooth just drains your MBP.
  9. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    I don't keep Bluetooth on at all, only if I need to use it for something like AirDrop. Its a definite battery hog and I also learned its a security risk, so you should keep it off when not using.

    I do the same with Wi-Fi too when I'm not using it. In your case, that would not be reasonable, since you are using Safari. You can also check Activity Monitor to see whats going on.
  10. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    So there are tens of thousands of Apple support staff, and one of them doesn't know about a specific third-party hub, and is gracious enough to thank you for pointing it out even though it's not their business to know about the thousands of third-party products out there, and yeah, another failed on a tiny detail about a light on the new power cable... yeah, shouldn't have happened... but if those are the kind of royal screw-ups that your complaining about in the world of customer support these days, then point to a company that is better in this industry. That will be tough, because it's not just "fanboys/fangirls" yakking it up, but that Apple continually ranks year after year at the top of the reliability and support rankings. ;)

    That's kind of ironic. All it is on these forums is posters complaining about how the 2016/2017 MBP's battery life is worse than ever (though many of the complaints are unfounded or greatly exaggerated, some usage scenarios appear to have suffered).
  11. deadworlds macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2007
    Citrus Heights,CA
    For the record, I have a maxed out 2016 MBP TB. When doing simple stuff like word processing, power point, safari, iTunes, I get anywhere from 5-7 hrs of usage. That is great battery life. At the same time it’s important to take into consideration screen brightness, this is a battery killer.
  12. millerj123 macrumors 65816

    Mar 6, 2008
    You know, when I'm having a problem, the first thing I do is insult anyone who might help me.

    Sell your computer. It'll never make you happy.
  13. Tramtryst macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2017
    Aichi-ken, Japan
    Truer words have never been spoken :D
  14. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "Really, I've only used Pages and Safari. However, I do notice that I use Bluetooth, but does Bluetooth do that much of a drain?"

    There are often "background processes" that can be active which consume CPU power, and thus battery power, as well.

    Next time you notice an overly-large drop in the battery, open up Activity Monitor and check the CPU pane.
    Look carefully at what you see before you.
    Are there any "runaway" processes?
    Anything using a significant amount of CPU?

    You also wrote:
    "backlit keyboard at 50%."

    I suggest you TURN THAT OFF unless you need it (i.e., in the dark).
    Even then, put it at the lowest or next-to-lowest setting.
    If anything "consumes power needlessly", it's the backlit keyboard.
  15. tenniseric98 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2017
    So, again, thanks for all the responses..

    Well, all the YouTubers and "Tech Reviewers" claim that one thing that Apple does best is battery life. As you can tell, I'm not familiar with what goes on here at

    I got pretty great support for my NVIDIA Shield TV, although it took a good amount of time and was a bit tedious. Yeah I understand that not a huge amount of people have that product and that NVIDIA isn't as big as Apple, but in the end I was able to get the newer updated version of a controller to replace my older controller that had problems registering input on one button and going to sleep. Also, this was all out of warranty -- it was past a year. Apple is great, but I think it's a bit overhyped... and don't you think that with such a big change to the MacBook Pro, at least its own employees ought to know about dongles and no mag-safe?

    So, I've been traveling around with my laptop, and generally keeping an eye on it but not over-analysing the battery life. I seem to get 6 - 8 hours of battery life, but only when I'm not using Bluetooth with a speaker, not streaming HD video, and WOW does turning off the backlit keys make a difference (as Fishrrman mentioned). So, I'm satisfied with the battery life, but it was just super alarming when I saw the battery percentage drop so quickly when I used Bluetooth and the backlit keys. It also made me question how Apple got to their claim of 10 hours of battery life (or any company, for that matter).
  16. tqbinh macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2016
    Can you run Activity Monitor app and post the the CPU usage and Energy Impact data?
  17. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Yep, the usual customer support employees at Apple are often fairly clueless in regards to technical things. That’s why if I’m having a tech issue I always ask to escalate this to the tech department. The people there are incredible. I’m still very thankful to the guy who shoved me all those undocumented command line tools for Mac server app :)
    --- Post Merged, Sep 22, 2017 ---
    P.S. a real battery killer is the display brightness. Apple has an incredibly efficient display for its spec, but once you crank the brightness past 60% it’s going my to suck the battery down fast.
  18. tenniseric98 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2017
    So I actually did take a screenshot when I wrote my initial post but forgot to include that. Unfortunately, it's only a screenshot of the "Energy" tab. Is this normal? I think I had bluetooth and keyboard and backlighting on for at least part of the time, but not the whole time.

    Attached Files:

  19. PieTunes Contributor


    May 6, 2016
    San Diego, CA
    What extensions are installed and running in Safari?
  20. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    Can we also get a view of the energy impact of All Processes?

    Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 11.36.00 PM.png
  21. tenniseric98 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2017
    I'm really sorry for the late reply but I wish I knew how to show all processes at that moment when my battery was draining insanely quickly. It was really scary too because my fan was going loudly as well. I don't plan on trying to replicate the problem because I believe it was just a combination of multiple tabs of safari, watching a video with audio streamed over Bluetooth, and the backlit keyboard lights on. Or maybe it was just a software bug with Safari /something with the OS. I think backlit keys does drain a lot of unnecessary energy, because I keep those always turned off now, and my battery seems to be better than before. No way of knowing for sure, I guess.

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