To Return or Not? iMac 27" Problems

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dwarnecke11, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. dwarnecke11 macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2009

    On Wednesday, November 25th I became the proud owner of a beautiful i5 iMac. This replaces a 1.42 Ghz G4 Mac mini, and the difference is simply indescribable. Like upgrading from a Neon to a Veyron.

    When I first got it, I noticed the infamous Seagate "grumbling" sound, but it subsided once I moved my iMac into my office and onto a different desk.

    Then I noticed the yellowish gradient on the screen. The upper 1/3 of the screen is a very clear white but as you move downwards whites take on a yellowish tinge. After researching this, it seems the old 24" iMac also had this problem. I figured I'd live with it.

    Now this is the issue that tears it for me. Last night (day 6 of ownership) my screen "blipped" for a split second. See 0:14 in this horrifying video:

    About 20 minutes later it blipped again. I haven't seen it since. Very minor, but it did happen.

    What if this flickering problem gets worse? What if the yellowing gets worse? Is it worth returning? Is this an issue Apple can resolve with a simple software update?

    I bought the iMac at the La Cantera Apple Store in San Antonio, but my mom had to use her credit card since my debit card has a daily draw limit (she transferred the money from my savings to her account later). I've since moved back to my college apartment in College Station and if I returned the iMac I'd take it to the Apple Store at the Houston Galleria.

    Will they willingly refund my money or will they play dumb? (ie "I haven't heard of any defects" or "you just got a rare faulty unit out of thousands") Crawling the threads on this forum and the Apple Support forums, there don't seem to be any fixes or remedies to these problems yet, so an exchange would be pointless and it could have more issues than my current unit.

    How would they refund me since my mom's credit card was charged for the purchase? Store credit?

    Should I get a refund? The flicker is impossible to replicate and very rare on my particular machine, would showing the above YouTube video be enough proof for them?

    I'd like to get a full refund and wait a few months until Apple has fixed the defects and they're confirmed to be fixed.
  2. neonkru macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2009
    what i would do in your situation: play dumb and wait for imacs refresh an issues are solved. by that time you go to the store and tell them you have those issues. they will have to cover it if you are inside the warranty period. i also sugest that you get apple care plan. unless you need it to be perfect you should trade it now but if you can live with it i would wait a few months then report the issues so it can be repaired or exchanged.
  3. miK. macrumors 6502


    Mar 13, 2008
  4. dwarnecke11 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2009
    Well, it just did it again. That makes three times now. Also a very brief blip.

    I don't care how minor it is, it's going back for a full refund this weekend (sans restocking fee since it is defective). I'll cite the flicker and the yellow tinge (which doesn't bother me too much, but at least I can show that to them if I have to). This makes me sad, I was looking forward to a GREAT experience with this amazing machine but now I have to sit on the money for a while and continue using my woefully outdated Mac mini G4 with OS 10.3!
  5. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    Why don't you just let Apple know and then use it until a fix is in-place? Or alternatively, you could exchange it for a new one and there's a good chance that you'll get a perfect iMac with no issues. Either way, you'd still have the new iMac to use...

  6. dwarnecke11 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2009
    I'm not convinced that the latest batches have resolved this issue. It seems even those with Week 48 serial numbers are having the flickering. Theres just too much speculation floating around right now for me to risk getting another defective unit. I didn't see the issue on mine until Day 6, what if I didn't see the issue on the replacement until Day 15? Heck, some have had the flickering since the very first bootup while playing the introduction movie. I can manage on my mini for a month or two...
  7. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    Then Apple would replace it. They would also do the same on Day 364, and maybe even beyond the standard warranty period too. For example, Apple will replace an iPhone that has cracks in the plastic casing, even if it's outside of the Applecare period. Apple really has one of the best customer service departments in the world.

    Of course, you may not want to deal with the possibility of having to migrate your data again, and that is totally understandable. In which case, living with your Mac Mini is not a bad idea. Just know that if you wanted to hold on to your 27" until a fix is in place, you can.

    Heck, if you do return the 27" and live with the Mini for a few months, you may be able to hold out a little longer and catch the next refresh (speed bump).

  8. zerolight macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2006
    Only some of the machines have the flickering problem, not all. You'd be really unlucky to get two bad ones in a row. Any there's no limit on the number of times you can return a faulty machine. Failing that, you have at least a 1 year warranty, that allows you to take the machine into a Genuis Bar and let them repair it further down the line if you have any issues.
  9. dwarnecke11 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2009
    There are varying degrees of the flickering problem. While I'm thankful mine is going nuts like some of those shown on YouTube, it exhibits an occasional flicker nonetheless. Until Day 6, I thought mine was flawless, then bam, there's the flicker. Its 100 miles to the nearest Apple Store from my apartment. I'm not wild about getting a repair since it involves more shipping, more possibility for scuffs and scratches, etc.
  10. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    +1, not sure why people have such a hard time with this issue. If you have a problem with your iMac just send it back and keep sending it back until you are happy. That should be straightforward. If you don't want a new iMac then just keep the one you have and be happy with it. If it was me, I would send it back right away rather than deal with being outside the 14 day policy and trying to get it repaired. Just ask Apple to order you a new one, keep your current one until the new one comes, and then send the old one back. Not that big of a deal.
  11. hamm3rhead macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2009
    The "old" one has to get picked up by the shipper before they begin to process shipment on the replacement. If you could queue up replacement and have them side by side, I don't think this thread would exist. There would be no fear of getting a worse model.
  12. mtnDewFTW macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2009
    San Francisco, CA
    If you're still within your 14 day period, I don't see why not.

    Well, yeah, there are chances of you getting a worse machine, but then again, there are also changes of you getting hit by a bus when you walk outside.
    Does that mean that you should never go outside? No.

    If I were you I'd get it exchanged. Apple already know about this problem, so I'd call them first to see what's up.
    And if you get the same thing again, which a lot of people seem to have a problem with, then just keep exchanging it. You paid a lot of money for that machine, and I don't think that it's too much to ask that it works as Apple promised it would.

    But that's just me.
  13. danistyping macrumors regular

    Dec 8, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I just got out of the same situation that you're in my friend. My suggestion is, DO NOT "play dumb" and wait. Tell Apple and get a new computer. I did, and the new one is fine (yellow tinge is baaaarely noticeable) If there IS a fix in the future, you'll still be under applecare and you can complain then.

    For the amount of money you paid, these problems are inexcusable. At the same time, you need your comp. Cheers and good luck.
  14. dwarnecke11 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2009
    I ended up getting a full refund. I probably should have updated this thread...

    This problem appears to be too widespread to bother with a replacement at this point. In fact, I've decided to wait for the next revision which should surface around May or June.

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