Trying to get a "perfect" MBP...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MacDaddyMac, May 2, 2009.

  1. MacDaddyMac macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2009
    I've been going back and forth with Apple in my quest to get a "perfect" MBP, so I thought I would share my experience here for anyone that cares.

    MBP #1
    I purchased my 15" unibody MBP back in January. I did an inspection when I received it, but apparently I wasn't thorough enough. At the time, I barely used it because I was extremely busy with work and didn't have time to migrate all my files. I did, however, want to make sure this thing stayed in tip-top shape, so I got a Moshi ClearGuard, PalmGuard, and Codex.

    I started to actually use it in March, and that's when I noticed a mark on the keyboard area. I posted about it here. I ended up speaking with Apple Customer Care about the situation, and the rep was absolutely awesome. Given the circumstances, she agreed that the mark was probably there from the beginning and she gave me an exception code so I could have it repaired at the local Apple Store. So off I went to the Apple Store to drop off my MBP. A few days later, I get the call that my MBP is ready, so off I go to pick it up. They give me my MBP with a brand new topcase, and then that's when I notice a new scratch on the lid. I spoke with the store rep about it, and he basically told me to live with it or return it because it's "normal." I spoke with the store manager, and she basically said the same thing and was extremely condescending. I ended up going home with a repair that was done in vain.

    I called up the same Customer Care rep and told her what happened. She apologized for what happened and told me that she would resolve this. She gave me another exception code, and I ended up going to a different Apple Store (quite a bit further, but I didn't care to deal with the first store again) to get the new scratch repaired.

    Dropped it off, got the phone call a few days later and went to pick it up. Checked it in the store and I noticed a gash on one of the corners of the topcase (further inspection later suggested that the MBP was dropped, as the corner was actually warped). Fortunately, the Apple Store rep checked it out and agreed to have it repaired again. They didn't have the part in, so he said they would call me when I could come in again for the repair. I got home, contacted the Customer Care rep again. She apologized for everything that's happened and suggested that she speak with the Apple Store about giving me a complete replacement. Awesome, especially since I would get a small spec bump since Apple no longer made the 2.53GHz model. The only negative was that I would have to rip off my Moshi PalmGuard.

    MBP #2
    Several days later, I get the phone call to come and exchage my MBP at the Apple Store. The exchange goes smoothly, I get home and check out the MBP. The case looked perfect! I turn it on, and what do I see? A light and dark blob on the screen, probably caused by uneven pressure (the blobs would go away when I press the back of the screen). Putting on a black screen, I noticed a strange light pattern at the bottom of the screen which I later learned was dubbed "stagelight pattern" by other unibody owners. Moreover, there was pretty bad light leakage in the bottom left corner. I called the Apple Store, and they said they said to bring it in to have a Genius check it out. Back again at the Apple Store, the Genius agrees that the screen is bad and tells me they'll do an exchange.

    MBP #3
    I just picked up the new machine, the body looks perfect, but the screen has minor stagelight pattern. Not as bad as the previous one and no obvious light leakage, so I figure it's good enough. But then I picked up the machine to adjust its position and that's when the screen fell back. The infamous loose hinge. Admittedly, I had my Codex attached to it, but it was a very slight angle. Really annoying and I worry about the long term effects on the hinge. I called the Apple Store, and they said I will have to bring it in to have a Genius check it out. I made an appointment.

    Do I just have really bad luck or are there some serious quality control issues? I feel like a bit of a jerk constantly complaining, but this is supposed to be a premium product. I'm also kind of sick of going back and forth and I'm worried that the next replacement will just have another problem. I wish I could just get a repair done to fix the hinge, but so far they are 2/2 with damaging my MBP whenever I leave it with them.
  2. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Jan 17, 2008
    Complain about the issues that get in the way of what you want to do. Don't worry about the ones that don't interfere.
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    How annoying to deal with all that.

    For what it's worth, I've never had any major return-worthy problems when I get new units... knock on wood I guess. It wouldn't surprise me if "lemons" that are marked for exchange go back to Apple and are "repaired," and then marked as units to exchange in the future. Some of the stories about people returning 5, 6, 7 defective units defy pretty much any other explanation.
  4. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    got a perfect MBP with my first computer. :) There are always quality control issues no matter what. You might have had just bad luck and your expectations might also have something to do with it.

    I suggest give it 1 more try?
  5. SPEEDwithJJ macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2008
    Apple probably figured out that one will probably still not be satisfied with his/her replacements & may go back for an exchange for a number of times, so might as well just use this tactic on people who "loves" to make exchanges, & play this game till they "give up!" :eek: This may just explain why people who seek an exchange "will not" get things right after a lot of exchanges.
  6. 5DollaFootlong macrumors 6502


    Apr 26, 2009
    I'm sorry to hear about your misfortunes. I purchased the 2.4 ghz white macbook in august for school ($1200 model). The screen had dead pixels, and the hard drive failed on 2 separate occasions. The manager of my local Apple Store felt sorry for me having to waste my time every other month so she offered me a replacement if one more thing occurred. Next day, the USB port stops working. I come to the store, and they offer me the 2.0 ghz aluminum ($1200 model). I argued that my white one was a 2.4 model, so they gave me the high-end macbook. So far, it has been perfect, and I have had it since December. Basically, if you know who to talk to, you WILL get the computer want. Don't settle for a less than perfect macbook. You did not pay for a flawed computer.
  7. MacDaddyMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2009
    I was sort of contemplating opening my my MBP and trying to fix the hinge myself, but it looks like I spoke too soon about the body. I just noticed a nick on one of the edges.

    I certainly do have high expectations and I'm admittedly fairly OCD which is why I continue to pursue this. With that said, I don't expect it to actually be 100% perfect, but just "perfect." In other words, good enough in my eyes. I can tolerate certain things, but I cannot stand things like nicks, scratches (which is why I bought all that Moshi protection), dead pixels, obvious light leakage, and a screen that falls whenever I pick it up.
  8. eron macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    Your situations seems like one that you need to email 'highly authority'. A few 'miracles' can happen when you email steve jobs's email.
  9. SPEEDwithJJ macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2008
    I cannot comment on the rest but you may want to take note that it is really easy for the aluminum parts of the MB/MBP to have nicks & scratches even if you take really good care of it. This I am sure quite a few fellow members will agree on.
  10. jgo78 macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    some people have gone through 5,6,7,8 new machines to get a perfect one and haven't. Seems to be a lottery.
  11. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Apr 26, 2003
    Was that little black "line" worth all of this? Really - was it?

    It is a tool as I said in post #13 of your original thread. If you want perfection you need to warp into some alternate universe.

    OCD comes with a high cost for you and those around you.
  12. kimnkk macrumors member


    Jan 22, 2007
    Me!bourne, Australia
    Wow, its just a laptop buddy, are you sure it was worth all that time? :confused:
  13. D4F Guest


    Sep 18, 2007
    Planet Earth
    All this hassle cause of a micro sized line??
    Some people have too much time on their hands.
  14. ryan.hayes79 macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2008

    I might be lucky but of the 10 machines I have had in the past 3 years I have NEVER had to return straight from the box.

    The only issue I noticed with one of them was a "stuck" pixel on a 24" iMac. The screen developed an issue later in life and was replaced prior to sale.

    Am I just lucky?
  15. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    I have a SR 2.2 MBP, and about a day or so after I got it I noticed a very, very tiny pit in the aluminum right side palm rest, near the edge. I thought it was dirt, but it wouldn't come off. Close examination proved it to be an extremely tiny little imperfection in the aluminum. But, otherwise my MBP was perfect. I was so happy to have my computer, that I quickly got used to the little 'birthmark' and actually felt it kind of personalized the machine for me. I've had it over a year, and it's been the best, most hard working computer I've ever had.

    So, I'm just wondering about your first MBP - other than the little hairline mark - was it also in good shape? If so, maybe you already had the best one, and you'll have a hard time getting a better one. Maybe cosmetically, but there are all kinds of other little things that can crop up in sample variation, yet are within tolerances. Good luck, though.
  16. DJ88 macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2007
    Downtown Miami
    Sounds like your first mbp was perfect, except for a tiny hairline half inch line on the keyboard. You should have just kept that one. Now you've gone through three laptops and who knows if you'll ever get one you're satisfied with. The apple store can't just keep giving you all the MacBook pros you want.
  17. MacDaddyMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2009
    The first one did seem perfect otherwise, although to be honest, I never checked for the stagelight pattern on the first machine (never played any movies). I'm surprised so many people would supposedly accept a black line on their MBP. The market for protective accessories suggests to me that I'm not the only one bothered by these sort of cosmetic issues. But really, I don't think it was unrealistic to expect that this whole thing should have been resolved after the first or even second "repair."
  18. apersianboyCOM macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2008
    London, UK
    My first ever Apple Mac purchase was the new 17" MBP.
    After the delay of pre-ordering it I finally received it in February.

    1st MBP: faulty GPU (vertical lines issue)
    2nd MBP: RAM issues (kept on beeping all the time)
    3rd MBP: really loud fans (can be heard from a feet away even when system is idle), and the space between lid on the side is quite big.

    Will hopefully have my next replacement soon... maybe I'll be 4th time lucky?
  19. SpecOps2087 macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2008
    OP is one of the reasons why apple computers are so expensive, some customers expect 100% perfection...I mean come on, its a little black line -- grow up already :rolleyes:
  20. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    However, since Apple computers are so expensive one should expect a higher standard of quality from them.
  21. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Apr 26, 2003
    And you feel much sicker when a little cosmetic issue turns into the mess outlined in this thread.
  22. SpecOps2087 macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2008
    higher standard of quality and perfection are completely different... :rolleyes:
  23. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    i had a problem with my UMB i bought back in december... i posted on MR a few times about it... the screen had flickering lines going from side to side... however i was lucky when i brought it back and got this one with nothing wrong with it...

    although there is still something lost when you have to return something with a major defect after you paid a LOT of money for it haha
  24. MacDaddyMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2009
    It's this kind of attitude which allows Apple's quality control to slide. If nobody complains then everyone just pats each other on the back for a job supposedly well done. I've had two (much cheaper) PC notebooks before this MBP and I did not have any problems. They weren't necessarily perfect, but they were "perfect." Anyway, this is the last time I will respond to members of the Apple Defense Force.
  25. bbadalucco macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2009
    Its people like you that just make me think Apple owns you. It seems you feel as if you owe it to Apple that you stick up for them, like they actually care.

    If Apple doesn't want their products returned, then they should put in the proper quality controls prior to shipping them out...yet all you can do is think about protecting Apple as if its family. I've been through 3 MBP as well... one had a dent the size of a quarter and the other had a bent hinge...all it takes is a little quality control, but why would we expect them to do that.

    Tell you what, go buy a new car and when the hood has a 2 inch scratch lets see if you say anything or not.

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