Traveling Macbook Pro with Applecare NIGHTMARE

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by corey.olin, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. corey.olin macrumors newbie


    Aug 3, 2009
    Barcelona, Spain
    Hello fans of Applecare, Macbooks and Traveling. The following is the account I sent to Apple, at their request. I wanted to see these comments published, and I am open to your honest opinions in the matter. All the best, and to a better Mac-universe!

    I did not attach the images here, but I will soon.

    [Email as follows:]


    •Customer Service (Legality) of Apple liscenced store CTA SERVEIS (Consell de Cent, 392, 08009 BCN)
    —Return of Macbook Pro Unit scratched
    —Inconsistent customer service
    —Poor treatment of customers and refusal of service request

    • One probematic Macbook Pro, July 10, 2009 Delivery
    —Hard Drive purrs and beeps inconsistantly
    —Screen fades slightly in and out (subtle, but very present to a visual user)
    —Ethernet cable functionality inconsistent
    —Programs such as iPhoto and Adobe Indesign occasionally began to open very slowly (more than a minute).
    —Applecare protected

    Customer Account:

    On the day 11 July, 2009 I opened the box for a new Macbook Pro unit. The previous computer I owned was an iBook G4. Upon startup, the Hard Drive instantly began making beeping and "purring" sounds. I thought this might be normal on the new units, but it became more constant. The screen was also instantly defective, fading in and out slightly very slightly. I am a creative director and photo editor, and see the screen issue prominently. Also, I would find later that the cables I used to connect an ethernet line was often successful, but sometimes would not connect at all. I tested cables and signal separately, and the issue seems to be with the connector in the unit.

    As soon as I became connected to a Wifi signal, I contacted Apple (approx 21 July). The Apple representative advised me to have the unit repaired in Barcelona, Spain immediately, where I am now located. On the 28 of July, I left my computer in the hands of CTA SERVEIS. I was sure to ask the staff to note on my account that the unit is in brand new condition. They refused. I insisted that the note be made, as I know of two colleagues who had their aluminum Macbooks returned to them from service with scratches, both in Spain. I was told that was not an option, but that my computer would be handled with care. The representative allowed me to note on their version of the service order: Condicion: Nuevo (New Condition), but they would not issue me this in writing. However, the representative assured me that the computer can be serviced before 5 August, 2009, before their store closes for vacations during the rest of the month of August.

    After waiting 4 days for an answer from CTA SERVEIS, I decided to call for an update. The response was shocking, roughly: Sorry, we forgot to call you. We used the Hardware Test and found nothing. We do not see an issue with your screen. We do not have time to look at your computer more. We are going on vacation and can help you after 25 August. As an owner of Applecare, and a professional in need of a computer, I find this to be irresponsible behavior.

    On the 3 August, I reviewed my computer at CTA SERVEIS. The bottom of the machine now has two scratches (images attached). This too is unacceptable, as the unit is brand new and has been handled with delicate care in a 99 Euro soft bag since it's arrival. This is a very expensive machine with elite qualities, but now is evident to me that CTA SERVEIS scratched the delicate aluminum exterior. I demanded a recognition from them in writing, or I would not accept the machine. They refused me again: We will not do this. I replied: I can not accept this computer as-is. The representative left and returned 10 minutes later with a small personal pen-written statement on a receipt, (in English) "The client says that he recognized the computer with some small scratches on the bottom part that before was not there." I asked him to please sign his hand-written statement. He refused: I cannot do that. I asked the technical representative to please show me their contract with my note. He refused politely: We are leaving for lunch now, the store is closed.

    Greatly in need of a computer for my work, and better hands to handle my Macbook Pro, I was forced to remove the unit from the store. On my way out the door, the representative tell me: We can't be responsible for little scratches. In 30 minutes I arrived home and I instantly called Applecare in Spain and was transferred through (4) people until I finally reached the very helpful Ivan. He had great patience in listening to my story and advised me to write this letter. As I was explaining the scratches issue to Ivan, he told me that CTA SERVEIS had just recently made a note to my account: "NO SCRATCHES." I find this makes them appear utterly suspicious in this matter, but moreso I am angered by the cover-up and betrayal from an Apple-certified repair center.

    To Apple, I am reporting Piracy at CTA SERVEIS. Please have this company investigated, I do not feel comfortable with them bearing the Apple brand.

    I have the upmost respect for Applecare, and have had only good experiences until I purchased a Macbook Pro. My first complaint on this unit was made within the first two weeks of owning it. I feel that I should have been offered a replacement unit on the first day, as I was sold a faulty unit, instead of being sent to a care center that is not closely examined by Apple.

    I am looking at the unit now, which is still making sounds and showing a visible screen defect. I absolutely cannot wait longer to continue my work with a properly operating computer. Please understand my position.

    Ivan sent me a list of different service centers in Barcelona. Today at 6pm, not one store will answer my calls. Are they all on vacation, and how does this effect my Applecare contract?

    Please respond at your earliest convenience.

    Best Regards,
  2. CompanionCube macrumors regular


    Aug 3, 2009
    I'm curious why you waited 10 days to take the Macbook Pro in for service. You stated yourself that you noticed defects IMMEDIATELY. :confused:

    That being said, it sounds like the service center in Spain needs to take their job a little more seriously. They should have treated you more professionally.

    Good luck with your situation. :apple:
  3. corey.olin thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 3, 2009
    Barcelona, Spain
    Yes you're right, I did notice them—but at first did not realize they were constant issues. When I opened the box initially, I was at a Lakehouse in the US—no phone or internet if you can believe it! I looked at the Macbook three occasions that week. Immediately after, I traveled home to Spain. Thank you for your comment!
  4. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Welcome to the world of compute repair. E-mail Steve - things will be resolved and quicker. ;)
  5. galactic732 macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2008
    the screen issue?

    Are you sure its not just the MBP adjusting to the lighting conditions? Does it fade out when the room becomes more dim?

    The computer uses the iSight camera to detect light levels and adjusts brightness to maximize battery life and minimize eye strain.

    try covering the camera and see if that's the problem you're noticing.
  6. corey.olin thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 3, 2009
    Barcelona, Spain
    Thank you, Galactic, I will be shutting off the 'screen adjustment' feature, but I am perplexed as to why the Tech reps at Apple did not suggest this. I will post if successful.

    I am always sitting at a desk near a window, I would be surprised and impressed if the screen's slow flickering was related to the sun passing slowly.

    Per the beeping, some people seem to get their computers replaced, while others are being told it's normal. I wonder if there is a way to find out for myself. The Hardware Test found nothing.

  7. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    It could but the light sensor isn't THAT sensitive, it isn't going to adjust because you lose a little or gain a little light. You would have to turn off the setting and then see if it makes any changes. As to the situation, I would call up AppleCare and talk to CSR. Explain to them how the situation was handled by the 3rd party AASP. CSR or someone from Apple will call up the AASP and see what's going on. At the end if Apple feels that you should be compensated, they will give you something in return (but don't expect this to happen, it's something that COULD possible happen)
  8. glavoie84 macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2009
    The light sensor is pretty sensitive. I just have to approach my hand slowly and I can see the screen dim really quickly.
  9. hugorganista macrumors member


    Aug 2, 2009

    Send that letter Apple immidiatley!!

    I would touch it up a little bit by sounding more angered. I would be pissed off if that happened!

    CTA would go to court if they did that to me!!
  10. xpovos macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2007
    I second that. Just moving my head a little from side to side in my home office can cause my screen to dim and brighten. I never use the ambient light sensor for the screen; it's just too annoying.
  11. pier macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2009
    That's really bad luck. Everything closes in Spain on august...

    I'm Spanish, and it's amazing to me that you're having such a bad service in Barcelona. Sounds more like India....

    I recently went to Service Pro in Mexico (an AASP) and I got the logic board replaced in 3 days. They wanted to make me pay 630 dollars for cleaning the dust inside my macbook though.... but that is another story.

  12. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    Sounds like standard customer service throughout continental Europe, which sucks horribly!
  13. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    If history is any indication, if all goes well this person may get a new machine from Apple, but Apple will do nothing to fix the situation with slimy retailers.

    I have lived several places in Europe and the only time I got good service was the time an Apple certified repair shop made me so mad I wrote an email to SJ & someone from Apple in California intervened. And Apple Customer Support in continental Europe is among the best.

    I am in the process of getting screwed royally by a BMW dealership and BMW HQ replied politely explaining how they will do nothing. Its status quo. My DSL provider, which advertises "internet in 10 minutes" daily on TV took a month to send me a modem and would have taken another month to send a technician had I not taken it upon myself to rewire the apartment. In return for my troubles, I get nothing. Whenever you call CS in Europe, you pay a toll, mostly to wait on hold. I could go on and on and on...

    PS: I work for a European company that sells products internationally and was recently at a meeting in which there was a discussion about the "liberal return policy" in the US. "If people don't like a product they bought, they return it for a full refund no questions asked" made people laugh out loud. In other words, a great service they don't have was somehow humorous to the people who DON'T get it. This is the mentality. Perhaps spending too much time in over crowded, warm & stale environments deprived of fresh air due to a fear of both AC & cross-ventilation while getting poked by mosquitos all day long makes people a little nuts, who knows.
  14. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    if you do that, obviously it's going to adjust because you're blocking the sensor. I was referring to lighting around him. OP is saying that if a little light in his house goes lighter or darker, it might be adjusting. It shouldn't do that.
  15. glavoie84 macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2009
    Mine does that... Anyway, this behaviour can be disabled.
  16. ascender macrumors 68020

    Dec 8, 2005
    The scratches thing is very poor though. I mean, I worked for a computer shop about 15 years ago and when accepting customer equipment in or checking it out, both parties would check the condition and sign the sheet of paper to eliminate this sort of thing happening. The two Apple repair centres I've used also do this, so maybe Apple should be making sure that authorised repair agents have a standard set of booking-in forms?
  17. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Yeah because sending scathing unprofessional letters to document unprofessional behavior is always a good idea. :cool:

    OP I hope this gets worked out for you.
  18. MB98XJ macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2009
    As I was reading this article, I noticed my screen getting dimmer and brighter also. Maybe its normal? Maybe its just adjusting?
  19. galactic732 macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2008
    adjusting would be my guess.

    and now you're just paranoid and going to see it.

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