Quality of Apple's service on my MacBook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by thecow, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. thecow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #1
    So I have a late 2006 model MacBook that has been sent into apple to be repaired 4 times now, with several of the times being for issues that weren't fixed before or were present in parts that they had replaced. Apple installed a bad inverter, top case and logic board. As in, in the example of the top case, they sent me back my laptop without even fully testing the keyboard and it had 2 bad keys.


    So anyway, my original warranty has just ran out (I still have a warranty on the last repair I had, not the whole computer) and I decided to replace my LCD panel which had gotten scratched. I am fairly handy so I bought the actual LCD part (not the full display assembly with the case, camera etc.) and installed it today. The installation involved removing a good portion of the computer because the display has to be completely removed to replace the LCD and what I found inside angered me.
    I think I found about 3 places where screws were missing, several stripped screws, a missing piece of shield tape and the best part, a completely loose screw floating around in the display case. Also, after the last repair the bezel of the screen came back cracked.

    Now I'm not surprised at all that my computer came back broken so many times! That kind of quality control is atrocious! I am an untrained mac enthusiast/engineering student/general geek and I could have done a better job fixing my computer! This is so frustrating because this is actually the second physical laptop I have gotten with this purchase. The first one got messed up being fixed by apple's "repair" center that they shipped me a new one from the factory.

    So now that I'm done ranting here, my question is how should I bring this up to apple? I'm in a bit of a catch 22 here in that admitting I opened my computer will void any warranty I have left from my last repair but that's the only way to explain my issues. I feel that apple has not held up their end of the contract in the warranty to fully repair my computer. I looked for some kind of higher up email contact on apple's site but found nothing. Does anyone have an email I could send this to?
     
  2. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #2
    Do you know where these repairs took place? In-store vs shipped to apple?

    If its in store, Id deffinatly speak with the manager.
     
  3. thecow thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #3
    They were all shipped out since it was mostly issues with the logic board and display, which they don't do at the store (I think). I initiated all of the repairs from the applecare phone support.
     
  4. dbowlin17 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    #4
    call them back, right away. give them ur serial number. they should have those records on file. tell them what you found and they should be able to help you out. maybe even do a repair again, or offer u money. at least something.
     
  5. pellets007 macrumors 6502a

    pellets007

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #5
    If you're in the states, you could contact your state's attorney general. Warranty or not, that's enough to get you a refund or a new machine. As you said, they did not sell you a complete computer because, essentially, you paid for each of those missing screws.

    I would ask for a replacement, without noting your experiences inside the machine before contacting third-party assistance. There are numerous sites and companies that listen to complaints as well, such as the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.

    EDIT: Here's the link, as I just noticed your location.
     
  6. dbowlin17 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    #6
    sounds like the previous poster knows what he is talking about. i might suggest first going to apple care about it. if that doesn't work, then go to your attorney general. that should help out. maybe even give apple some bad press. watch out.
     
  7. thecow thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #7
    Pictures

    So I called apple and talked to a product specialist. He seemed genuinely surprised at what I told him since none of it was listed in the repair history and asked me to email him pictures.
    IMG_9191.JPG - On the left is a stripped screw and the one on the right is missing
    IMG_9192.JPG - A slightly stripped screw
    IMG_9193.JPG - This screw was not screwed in at all
    IMG_9196.JPG, IMG_9198.JPG - These show the damaged shield piece connecting the shields of the ports to the logic board
    IMG_9207.JPG - There should be a piece of shield tape here. You can see the adhesive left behind
    IMG_9210.JPG - Crack on the top right side of the bezel. This one is harder to see because about half of it is directly in line with the raised portion of the bezel
    IMG_9211.JPG - Cracks on the top left side of the bezel
    IMG_9212.JPG - Damaged clip that holds the bezel to the display case. It is cracked around the edge and one of the clips is crushed. It doesn't hold into the case very well and comes off with the bezel
    IMG_9214.JPG - Part of the bracket that holds the mount for the optical drive is cracked
    IMG_9218.JPG - Missing screw that holds the right mount to the LCD panel
    IMG_9219.JPG - This screw was completely loose in the display case. I put it back in so it wouldn't damage the LCD or the backlight
     

    Attached Files:

  8. thecow thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #8
    More pictures
     

    Attached Files:

  9. thecow thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #9
    Part 3 of 3
     

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  10. hodgeheg macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    #10
    I'm not surprised. I had the screen replaced on my MacBook Air, and the apple store bent the base plate, none of the screws would ever stay tight again, and the hinges rapidly became wobbly afterwards.

    I raised this with them and they insisted the screws didn't matter enough, that I bent the base plate myself, and that all MacBook Air hinges are wobbly and they're designed that way. I complained to Apple and got no response.

    Needless to say, this lost Apple a customer. I hope the response you get is better.
     
  11. pellets007 macrumors 6502a

    pellets007

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #11
    Did he tell you anything other? That's material enough for class action lawsuit given the spread of these incidents. They had better give you excellent service, less you inform the press. ;)
     
  12. thecow thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #12
    How many other people have had incidents similar to this? It does seem to be a common problem because this is actually the second physical laptop I've had under this warranty. My first one had the same issues with being continuously broken after "repairs" that they replaced it.

    So if you've had issues like this, post in this thread and maybe we can get some momentum going to get apple to clean up its repair quality control! (hah, yeah right)
     
  13. mosx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    #13
    This is a pretty common thing.

    I've had two replacement MacBooks because of shoddy repair service.

    My first one had the usual plastic cracking, discoloration, and the DVD writer died.

    Over the course of a month it was sent out a couple of times. Each time it came back with a new case that was scratched up bad plus the DVD writer was made worse in the process and went from being able to read and not write to not being able to do anything other than take discs in and spit them out.

    After they replaced it, the replacement system had issues. The usual plastic coming apart and a warping battery. It took another month to get it fixed right because of poor repair work. Several months later, the plastic started cracking bad again. And, again, another month of sending it back and forth. But they finally replaced it when the idiot at the repair facility destroyed my screen and replaced it with a defective one that had blue spots all over it. Sort of like greasy fingerprints under the outside plastic coating.

    The UniBody system I got as a replacement has been flawless. Me and OS X just don't get along, and along with the lack of features, overall high price of the system, and the experience with the repair facility... I'll probably be parting with it soon. Not quite sure because Windows 7 on the MacBook is amazing ;)
     
  14. Vulcan macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #14
    I had something similar happen to me. When I got the display replaced on my PowerBook, it had fingerprints all over it; they didn't even wipe it off after putting it on. I haven't gone inside, so I can't say if anything is wrong in there.
     
  15. pellets007 macrumors 6502a

    pellets007

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #15
    Well fingerprints are understandable. I had black dust over the power button on mine, not a big issue. However, missing parts is totally unacceptable.
     
  16. CREA macrumors newbie

    CREA

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    #16
    I experienced a very similar situation.

    My first MacBook was a white MB 2.2. I had the good old random cracks in the MacBook and since I do not live near an Apple Store, I (stupidly) sent it in to their repair center. When I got it back, it was filthy, looked as if it had been dropped (more than once) AND of all things, they put in a black MacBook battery which obviously didn't match. Either the repair guys are COMPLETELY blind or they are simply morons. Send it back a second time to get everything corrected, when I got it back different RAM and hard drive had been put in it. The physical appearance hadn't improved much either.

    I called Apple about it immediately when I got the monstrosity back, spoke to a care specialist, and they ended up replacing the computer with a brand new MB 2.4 Penryn. I had issues with the screen, and they sent me a second brand new MacBook as well (what I'm using right now).

    I now however have discovered a tiny crack in the front that just appeared recently, and since I bought the extended AppleCare, they said everything would be replaced with no questions. I just haven't had a chance to go to the Apple store because the closest ones are both 1 1/2 - 2 hours away.

    But to offer any advice, I would NEVER EVER send my computer out for repairs. Maybe some have had some positive experiences, but I know personally that I will never under any circumstance have any repair unless it's in an Apple store under plain view. If you ever pay attention in the stores, even associates do not treat the computers with that much respect (which is understandable to an extent) but when they're basically juggling/playing hockey with your laptop right in front of you, it's quite a frightening sight. That's why I just hope I don't have anymore issues with this one until I get a new one.
     
  17. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    #17
    The thing is that you need to get to customer relations not applecare. I know it sounds bad, but I ask for replacement before repair. It's conferred by the warranty and they are empowered to do a replacement, but it takes prodding. I can vouch for the fact that computers that go into flextronics often come out worse. Flextronics is the contractor that my apple notebooks have gone into for repair with. Apple uses other contractors as well I don't know the names of. If you can get into GCRM you can see the info. Start by calling 408 996 1010, and ask for executive customer relations. The agent you get may or may not help you. You can then ask to speak to the supervisory team. Often they will tell you that they have all options available to them and the supervisory team will give you the same answer. It is uncomfortable, but just stay on the phone and calmly ask to speak to the supervisory team. Once you get there, explain the situation in slow calm painstaking detail. If they put up a brick wall, say, I hear that, but the problem is: repeat your story in slow calm painstaking detail. If they say no, just use a phrase that keeps you on the phone like I hear you saying that, and it is unfortunate we're at an impasse as we haven't reached a mutually agreeable solution. Allow for lots of empty silence. And be willing to repeat your story as necessary. Make it implicitly clear there is nothing they can say that will get you off the phone until you get the result you want. And you never have to raise your voice. You just stay repetitive and say that you haven't reached a mutually agreeable solution. It's like in tennis where you just keep returning the ball and eventually force an error. Ask questions about their internal policies. Listen and calmly point out inconsistencies. It doesn't matter so much what you say, just keep lobbing the ball back in slow painstaking detail.

    But I doubt it'll even take that much work. Those suggestions were for a worst case scenario.
     
  18. courboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    #18
    Guys I am now quite worried!

    My UMB is due to go into the store in the next week to have the logic board replaced and some new RAM. I know the problem is with the graphics processor being faulty, from looking at other problems on the forum but the guy at the apple store said they will try this first.

    I don't mind them doing this but I am now worried that it'll come back in a worse condition, at the moment it's 100% unmarked as I take great care of it and don't want this to change.

    Does anybody have any advice what is the best way to handle this? I doubt if I called the customer relations line they would replace it without having a look at the computer, but at the same time I know it's nothing to do with the logic board/RAM.

    Any advice appreciated :)
     
  19. Vulcan macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #19
    Wait to you get it back mate, chances are it will be fine. If it comes back damaged, complain and most likely they will replace it.
     
  20. courboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    #20
    I think you are right, I'll just make sure I take plenty of photos of the laptop in it's current condition before I send it away so at least I have proof IF they ruin it!
     

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