Trip through MBP hell

skipsandwichdx

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 23, 2006
106
0
Long story short: I've had problems with my MBP (kernel panics, whine, excessive heat, keys falling off, keys squeaking, distorted speakers, and random shutdowns) since I bought it in late May. I got a replacement mid-July, but more speaker problems drove me to returning it for a refund; I was tired of getting it fixed. Even though I bought it through my brother's EPP (Employee Purchase Program--no refunds allowed), AppleCare promised me a refund around mid-August because this computer was a replacement.

My dad and I talked to two different Apple employees, both of which promised set up a refund. They never came. I had to buy another notebook (Macbook) in the meantime because I needed it. After two weeks of getting the shipment-label-runaround, I sent this email to sjobs@apple.com.

(lots of text inc.)
Hello,

I'd like to preface this with saying I'm not confident this will help me (or get read), but it's incredibly hard to find any contact information for Apple employees above the AppleCare, etc. level.

I bought a MacBook Pro on May 31, 2006 for use in school the coming fall. My brother (xxxxxxxxxx@apple.com) bought it using his employee discount.

Over the first month, I had numerous problems- constant kernel panics, whining, excessive heat, random shutdowns, and keys falling off the keyboard. By the second month, after several trips to AppleCare, they authorized a replacement computer. This computer, too, had problems--a very squeaky spacebar and a defective right speaker. It was so bad, voices became unintelligible unless listened to through external speakers/headphones.

A trip to my local Apple Store (roughly 25 miles away, with a round trip of around two hours) Genius Bar fixed the spacebar problem, but the defective speaker remained. Two more (!) replacement speakers sounded equally bad.

By this time (five Apple Store trips totaling over ten hours and 250 miles driven, dozens of hours on the phone with AppleCare, and several weeks without a computer), I called AppleCare and was told I had the option of a return or a refund. Of course, I opted for a refund, as I know several people with Macbooks (not Pro) that don't exhibit any of the problems I've had and was considering buying one instead. AppleCare told me I would be receiving a return shipment label via email in a few days. That was near the end of August.

Two days later (and no shipment label), I called AppleCare to enquire. I was assured it was on its way. Three days after that, I called again. Same thing.

So, my plan was to take the refund money and buy a Macbook. Since school was starting soon (and I need a notebook computer), I bought the Macbook before my return label came (which has been working perfectly, by the way).

I called again about my return label. An AppleCare representative (I believe his name was Frank) then informed me I couldn't return a computer purchased using the Employee Purchase Plan. In short, I told him the story above, how I'd been told I could return the Macbook Pro, and how I've already bought a replacement computer contingent on getting my refund for Macbook Pro. He took my number and said he'd call back in a few hours (three days later, he rang and said he couldn't do anything).

At this point, my dad got involved. He spent three hours on the phone with AppleCare (beating my personal record of 2.5 hours), bouncing around from department to department trying to get an answer. Again, he was told the computer qualified for refund--Apple would email me return labels in 24-48 hours. That was last Wednesday.

Today, my dad sent an email to Apple and got the forwarded reply. [note: reply was a canned "we cannot refund this computer" response]

I've gone through hell trying to get my problems rectified or answers given on whether or not the computer can be replaced. No consumer should deal with several defective products, blatant misinformation, and well over a days' worth of hours spent trying to fix problems. At this point, I'd be happier with no computer, but it looks like I'm stuck with two computers, one of which is still defective. I don't know what to do.

I hope you read this, and, even if no refund/resolution results from it, that you'll understand, at least, how frustrating and ineffective AppleCare and the Genius Bar can be.

Thanks,
Brian
A few hours later, my dad (whose phone number was in the attached mail) got a call from an Apple exec. Twenty minutes later, I got the return shipping labels in an email. :D

Moral of this story: if you're in a frustrating situation like mine, sending an email to sjobs can't hurt--even though it probably won't be read by Steve himself. :)
 

apachie2k

macrumors 6502
May 23, 2006
408
5
was NYC...now MIAMI
that's a sad story with a nice ending...i guess
sorry u had to go through all that trouble

but it goes to show with a little determination, anything is possible...
suprised u didn't get compensated in other ways aswell
 

skipsandwichdx

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 23, 2006
106
0
apachie2k said:
suprised u didn't get compensated in other ways aswell
I was thinking it would be nice, but I'm satisfied as long as I get my refund.

Do they typically give compensations like that?