Phantom Serial Number

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by moviefan, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. moviefan macrumors newbie

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    Oct 7, 2008
    #1
    So I bought a 2.2 ghz mid-2014 MacBook Pro second-hand. It has only 2 battery cycles, pristine condition, works flawlessly, looks brand new. No issues whatsoever.

    First step: typed in Serial Number online to see if it had any warranty left. Not found. Next, contacted Apple verbally. Not found. They contacted me and asked for a screen shot of the SN. Not found. Then a pic of the engraved number (which matches) on the bottom. Not found. Took it to the Apple Store. He took the back off, looked all the serial numbers on the components, all match. He called Apple Care while I was there, said they were able to match up a few of the numbers, but they were still working on it. Told me another higher-up rep would contact me. She did and said there's no record of it anywhere. EVERYONE at Apple was perplexed by this. From the systems department to the engineers. They said it wasn't in their system for some reason. I asked them if Tim got a chance to look at it. Ha ha.

    Has anyone out there experienced this too? Any concrete answers out there? It's not a fake (are there any fakes?). I've been using Macs for 20 years and think I'd be able to spot one. If there are fakes out there, wouldn't there be thousands of people complaining that they can't register their computer? I have no reason to believe it isn't legit (and you would agree if you seen it) so I'm left scratching my head.
     
  2. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #2
    Sounds like a case of the Mac falling through the production cracks (so to speak). I have never read of such occurring before although I wouldn't be surprised if it had.

    Will you be able to buy AppleCare?
     
  3. moviefan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Yeah, they never heard of it either.

    No, since Apple said they don't recognize it, they can't offer Apple Care. They must have enough money that they don't need my $300.
     
  4. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #4
    That's not good enough - you should escalate it with Apple until they have a solution.
     
  5. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #5
    I agree with Matreya. You need to escalate this until you do get coverage. Apple's mistake shouldn't be your problem nor should you be treated as if it were your fault. Be firm but polite. If you don't get anywhere on the Apple chain, then send an email to Tim Cook.
     
  6. moviefan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    I did. And after it was escalated, THEY even escalated it even further within. She told me she went to the top of the Apple tree and their systems people and engineers were dumbfounded. The set of numbers just didn't appear anywhere in their system. Without personally knowing someone at Apple, I don't know how much higher I could possibly take it. One of the original people helping me early on told me that a possibility was it accidentally "fell through the cracks" like you said and someone forgot to scan this particular unit in their system. The last person I spoke with didn't want to admit it, but I think I kinda heard it in her voice when she was trying to explain to me why they couldn't find it.

    If I ever attempted to email Tim, one, he's never going to read it and two, whoever does read it will probably not respond either. But you know what? I think I will. Now where did I put his email address….

    :))

    Just kidding. tcook@apple.com

    I'm gonna do it. What have I got to lose? I'll let you guys know if anything comes of this. Thanks all!
     
  7. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #7
    In my opinion, Apple should allow you to get AppleCare. It is obvious from what you said, that something went wrong on their end, not something you did. Be firm about that. It really doesn't matter how it happened from your side of the equation. You just need to point out that you aren't seeking anything other than AppleCare, which is what prompted all of this. From a public relations / customer retention standpoint, it should be a no brainer to give it to you, in my opinion.

    Good luck.
     
  8. moviefan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Thanks so much. I'm emailing him now. I'll see if he replies and let you know.
     
  9. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #9
    Apple is trying to say that you have a laptop that does not have a valid serial number. Without that, you can't (officially) get warranty service of any kind, not just Apple Care.
    Did you contact the seller about this?
    Maybe they have a story about that, and that's the reason they were selling the MBPro (?)
    Did you get the original box (with serial number, etc on the label?)
    (I'm guessing that you did not ... )

    Maybe your MBPro is the NSA model with the "extra" camera :D

    Here's what I would do: I would try to sell it back to Apple. Let them make an offer. (or trade for one with a valid serial number)
    Let them prove that you have had it for more than 14 days (other than the time that you have been talking to Apple about this)
     
  10. alex0002, Mar 7, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015

    alex0002 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Apple appear to be taking the easy way out here by saying "it's not in the system", but not going as far as calling it fake.

    You could ask them to declare it to be genuine or fake.

    Tell them if they call declare it to be fake, you'd require a signed statement from Apple for when you take legal action against the seller.

    If they call it fake you are probably no worse off as it appears that you already can't get support and I'm wondering if things like Internet Recovery works with an invalid serial number. However there is a possibility that Apple might back down. I don't think Apple want people to hear about court cases involving fake Macs in the news.

    There are some third party serial number sites.
    What do they tell you?

    http://www.everymac.com/ultimate-mac-lookup/
    http://www.appleserialnumberinfo.com

    Plus the Coconut Battery application will tell you the manufacture date.
     
  11. moviefan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 7, 2008
    #11
    I went to those two sites already. Nothing came up. Coconut Battery shows the battery build date of 9-30-14 and a Macbook build date of 10-20-2014. Mac Details shows age (138 days), Serial #, OS, model # and build date. All jive. I doubt very much this is unit is a fake. The battery details shows the serial number of the battery. I'm going to call my contact at Apple who's been helping me and her look it up just for the heck of it.
     
  12. Roadking714 macrumors regular

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    Mar 7, 2014
    #12
    I say keep fighting you never know they might send you a brand new one that's in the system this time
     
  13. moviefan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    That thought had crossed my mind, believe it or not. But what are the odds of that happening.
     
  14. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #14
    What are the odds that you would randomly end up with an "off-the-record" laptop?
    I think it is reasonable to ask Apple to make some sort of exception - whether that would be manually entering your laptop into their database, so you can get your AppleCare - or trading yours to Apple for one that you can be comfortable about.

    I'm curious how the seller first acquired your laptop.

    Have you ever contacted the seller since you found out you have a "bastard"?
     
  15. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

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    Apr 11, 2014
    #15
    I know you're saying it's not fake. But I have been overseas, and there are plenty of fakes out there. That doesn't means yours is fake by any means, but there plenty of fakes on the market especially overseas.

    The fakes are actually pretty good for what I hear. Of course some are bad, but I've heard many of the fakes work well.
     
  16. moviefan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I guess. BUT---I think I found something. Just on a whim, I clicked on About This Mac, then on the Service tab and clicked on the Send My Info to Apple button. Voila!!! The Valid Purchase was green and checked, the middle one (Phone tech) was yellow and I would have to pay for it but the bottom one--Repairs and Service Coverage was………..GREEN! Says it's under warranty until Oct. 2015. Which matches the build date on the Coconut battery info of a build date of Oct. 2014. It shows my serial number and everything.

    Suffice it to say I took a screen shot and sent it to everyone involved. If this isn't proof, I don't know what it. And I can't believe the techs at the Apple store or Apple tiered support didn't think to do this.

    I was told when I spoke with someone at the Apple store that my case went to the desk right under Tim Cook regarding this issue. That's how perplexed everyone was. Maybe I should go work for Apple. ;)
     
  17. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #17
    I assumed you had already done that. Just goes to show (once again) I shouldn't have assumed. Glad to see this good news. They may not accept a screen shot. If that ends up being the case, a stop to the Apple store should put this case to rest and allow you to purchase AppleCare.

    Like you, it is surprising that the tech didn't do the same basic thing.
     
  18. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #18
  19. iPad Retina macrumors 6502a

    iPad Retina

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  20. moviefan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 7, 2008
    #20
    Yes, now it recognizes it! Something must've happened on their end. Maybe Tim did get my email and did something about it! Lol!

    ----------

    Yeah, you would've thought I did that already. Stupid of me. I didn't even think to do that. I went directly to the website to punch it in. I wonder if I did do this originally if it would've showed up or if THEY just put it in recently because of all my bitching.
     
  21. moviefan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 7, 2008
    #21
    Case Closed

    So I get a call yesterday from a guy who said he was with the "Executive Office of Tim Cook" and was concerned about my situation. Pretty awesome, right? Very nice guy. I told him that the serial number is now in the system and he checked on his end and agreed. Never got any details from him as I really didn't care at this point; I was just happy it's finally recognized. I was surprised he even got back to little ol' me. Good to know Apple cares. Thanks everyone! Appreciate your input.
     
  22. chipchen macrumors 6502

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    Oct 30, 2002
    #22
    The reason (I think) you were advised to reach out to Tim Cook, is that there is a team called "Executive Relations" or Executive Escalations" that take customer service emails from his inbox. Those are basically looked into with more detail.

    I worked at the Apple Store several years ago, and I've had a few weird instances similar. It's EXTREMELY RARE, but something can fall through the cracks... Perhaps it was a pre-release model that got released into the wild? Who knows...

    I was actually thinking that if they couldn't find it, they would just replace it with a CRU (Customer Replacement Unit) at the Apple Store. Basically, they would "return" your unit and give you a brand new unit in exchange. That's what I would have pushed for at the Genius Bar had I been working on your case. Doesn't make sense to punish you... and then they could take your unit for investigation. Glad it worked out though.

    BTW, just for fun I typed the SN from the Apple Watch images into the Apple's support site and it came back as not recognized also!
     
  23. moviefan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    Wow--interesting. I heard today on the news that you can rent the Apple watch for $45 a week. About half of that goes to some charity.

    As far as pushing for a new unit, I don't think that would've worked as I bought it second hand and there was no receipt anywhere to be had. To them, at the time, it didn't even exist. So I highly doubt they would've given me a brand new unit on the spot just so they could look at this one.
     
  24. chipchen macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I wasn't saying you should push for a new unit... I'm saying I'm surprised they didn't push for a replacement unit.

    Think about it this way... if there was a bigger problem, and they have some possibility of a problem in the supply chain, a $2000 or less replacement computer is a really cheap amount to put towards investigating what was going on.

    They'd be able to send your unit to engineering and up the supply chain to see where the fault was and if there are others like it. Trust me... we replaced many machines for less.

    Glad it got worked out though. Sounds like one possibility is that it was a record in the database that got corrupted and someone was able to restore it.
     
  25. Derived macrumors regular

    Derived

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    #25
    This is definitely one of the more unusual things I've ever seen.

    Perhaps your machine might be worth quite a bit on the black market...the untraceable MacBook Pro
     

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