Quality control with rMBP 15in

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tombiscuit, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. tombiscuit macrumors member

    tombiscuit

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    UK
    #1
    OK, so I know this might be an old topic but a few months ago I bought one of the 2015 MacBook Pro Retina 15in models.

    With the first one I got the tab key was literally hanging off and couldn't be reattached. To cut a long story short I arranged to be sent another but this had a crappy screen that was brighter at the top compared to the bottom, and had a kind of grey overcast feel. No good for anything, and annoying to boot.

    It was starting to get ridiculous -- calls and emails to and from Apple were well into double digits. I know Apple simply don't listen if you complain a screen isn't up to the quality you expect, so I undertook a repair myself, swapping the tab key of the second MBP for the first, and sending the second back.

    All was well until a week ago when the space bar on the keyboard started squeaking! It's like one of those dog chew toys -- tap tap tap squeak tap tap squeak...

    Because I can't get an appointment with an Apple Genius at either of the two stores closest to me (both are apparently fully booked for weeks), I'm trying to arrange for a third replacement. But Apple want to take away my existing laptop and I need it for work. I'm haggling with Apple now about this.

    Does anybody have any similar stories? Is there a pattern here?
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    Oregon
    #2
    Sounds like you're really unlucky. My 2015 13" rMBP has been a great computer so far.
     
  3. tombiscuit thread starter macrumors member

    tombiscuit

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    #3
    I suspect so, and certainly hope so. I'm just worried that replacement number 3 will have some new fault, or an equally crappy screen.

    Edit: And yes it's a superb computer in every other respect.
     
  4. tombiscuit thread starter macrumors member

    tombiscuit

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    #4
    I got my second replacement MBP 15in 2015 today, and that's my third overall. The screen isn't as poor as the second but there is definite slight colour differences across the surface. The right-hand side of the screen is slightly pinker than the left-hand side.

    I suspect the retina screens are simply hard to manufacture, and to avoid too high a reject rate (in which the panels are literally scrapped) Apple/LG/Samsung is letting through screens that are questionable. I don't think somebody like my wife or friends would notice the issue with the screen unless it was pointed out to them, which is perhaps why they implement such a policy.

    Here's been the issues so far:

    MacBook Pro #1, received June 2015: Screen great, but tab key literally hanging off when the Mac's taken out of its box. It would later turn out that the space bar developed an annoying squeak, a little like a dog's chew toy.
    MacBook Pro #2, received July 2015: Screen has grey tint, which is more pronounced at the bottom. A bit like looking out on a rainy day. Keyboard fine so I end-up taking its Tab key and fitting it to MBP #1, and returning MBP#2.
    MacBook Pro #3, received Sept 2015: Screen has pink patches. Keyboard has softer feel than other keyboards but works. I'm sticking with this one.
     
  5. Barna Biro, Sep 16, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    Luzern, Switzerland
    #5
    I also agree that you seem to have been quite unlucky. It's, unfortunately, expected that some products are faulty, you can't have 100% coverage when you produce the amount of stuff they produce ( and where they produce it ). Then again, perhaps the manufacturer isn't always the one to blame...



    I'm not trying to defend Apple ( I had my share of faulty products too ), all I'm saying that many, many, many things can happen during a product's adventures, starting from manufacturing until it reaches our home. We're just usually hasty when it comes to placing the blame on someone / something...
     
  6. tombiscuit thread starter macrumors member

    tombiscuit

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    #6
    To be honest I've never ordered a top of the line notebook from, say, Dell or Lenovo, so I have no reference point for Apple's imperfections. Maybe all manufacturers are like this, who knows, but at the top of the price range you expect quality control to be stricter.

    Like you I've had quite a lot of less than perfect Apple hardware. I got into Apple stuff in 2004, which makes me a newbie in some people's eyes, and have been a regular customer since. My first was an iBook G4 with a terrible screen that had screwy colours. Then I got a white Intel MacBook, with a whistling CPU and a speck of dirt behind the screen, and an iMac with a fan that sounded like a quietly ticking clock - tica-tica-tica-tica-tica... Always little irritating faults. Otherwise fantastic.

    It was only when I got my first MacBook Pro back in 2009 that I got a computer that I thought couldn't be bettered. That's still the case – technically – with my latest MacBook Pro. It's superb. It's just that the screen's slightly questionable.

    FWIW I also think my iPhone 6 Plus is the pinnacle of phone technology. I was depressed when I got it because I thought that phones could only get worse from now on, but it sounds like the 6S does indeed improve on it!
     
  7. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #7
    This is an unfortunate illusion that many people live with. In reality, a higher price does not guarantee or mean better service, better product or better anything. They charge such amounts because they can... there's clearly a large enough group of people inhabiting this planet who are willing to and can afford paying the extra ( for whatever reason ). While it's true that many companies want to also maintain a good public image while maximizing profits, it does not mean they can't mess up just as badly or even worse than others.

    On the bright side, Apple has a good reputation when it comes to customer support / service. You could easily spend just as much money ( even more ) on similar products of competitors and still end up with lemons... the difference is that with many other brands, the chances of having a much more *bumpy* customer experience in such a situation tend to be significantly higher.
     
  8. tombiscuit thread starter macrumors member

    tombiscuit

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    Jul 23, 2015
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    UK
    #8
    Indeed. The customer service has been largely fantastic, after a rocky start where I was hung up upon by one of their agents.

    For instance they sent me a replacement notebook some three months after my initial purchase.

    A friend bought a Macbook Air and destroyed it within days by spilling a pint of water over it. Took it in to the Apple Store for an assessment, they looked at his record of buying Apple stuff for years, and gave him an entirely new one.
     
  9. tombiscuit thread starter macrumors member

    tombiscuit

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    #9
    Interestingly this is a real difference between Europe and America. In the US there's famously only one Coca Cola. You can't buy luxury Coke. If they'd invented Coke in Europe, there'd be all kinds of tiers of drink, including a cheap one that most people have.

    In the UK where I'm from we expect a different level of service for higher prices. It happens in other industries. But the US has refined capitalism to this extent.
     
  10. MacInTO macrumors 6502a

    MacInTO

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    Canada, eh!
    #10
    I kinda agree that Macs have gone down in quality somewhat. I've been using them since the 1980s and have never had a problem, until lately.

    My 2011 had Radeongate and then my 2012 had image retention issues. I sold the 2011 for cheap once I got it fixed and my 2012 had the screen replaced under warranty. However, after getting the screen repaired, my 2012 rMBP has been flawless. My Applecare is about to expire and I'm getting nervous. :(

    I think the higher volumes of machines and the drive to reduced costs might have something to do with it. I've never purchased Applecare before my existing machine and I would now never buy a Mac without Applecare because I don't have the confidence that it will make it through three years without a repair. Before this, I would go five years before replacing it, but I guess that's bad for business. :oops:
     
  11. tombiscuit thread starter macrumors member

    tombiscuit

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    #11
    The issue is that apple pushes the technological envelope and is aggressive with technologies. Sometimes the engineering just gets out of control. For example I will bet money that there will be issues with some 3D Touch devices this year or next. The MacRumors headlines write themselves
     

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