Waiting for 4th MBP in 5 weeks---What should I do? ~~Updated: Now up to #6~~

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CleverUsername, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. CleverUsername macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2008
    ~~Update on page two~~

    So. Basically what it says in the subject line :( I mentioned in a previous thread that my first MBP arrived with a warped lid on the front right corner, and after being reassured by numerous Apple agents on the phone that that wasn't right, I initiated the exchange.

    After some mixup with the labels not being sent in a timely fashion, my second one arrived a couple weeks later. It was beautiful. No warping, no sound issues, no screen yellowing...and one dead pixel almost exactly centered on the display. At first I didn't even realize what it was, and kept trying to clean the screen :eek: After I finally caught on, I was so in love with the machine I tried to ignore it. It was not even noticeable when watching movies, or doing many other tasks, but the minute I would do things on a white background it would bug me. Like a tiny little speed bump when I was trying to scan through lines of text quickly, and in a location that I couldn't work around. After two days I became concerned that instead of getting used to it, I would just get more annoyed by it, so I called back to Apple. First I got the line again about taking it to a service center, and they would evaluate if it was worth repairing. When I said it seemed odd to send in a new unit for repair, he said my only other options were another exchange or a refund. Not seeing any other choice, and after many reassurances from him that most MBPs don't have any flaws, and it is extremely rare that I have gotten two in a row, I accepted another exchange.

    Fast forward through some issues with FedEx not coming when the pickup was scheduled for, and then taking 3 days to scan the return into their system, and we arrive at this week. I waited again all day on Monday for another delivery. It came around 1:30, and I hesitantly opened it to find....

    ....a MBP with a warped lid. On the left front corner this time, and a little more pronounced than the first. Now I know this is not 'normal', not only from the reassurances from the Apple representatives, but because the second one didn't have this issue. I didn't even turn it on. I called apple, and waited on hold for about 50 minutes for a nice guy named Andy to "get me taken care of". He finally got in contact with a product specialist, and then cut me off while trying to switch lines.

    I called back. Amanda apologized profusely, but said there was no way to reconnect me to the same agent I had just been on hold with for so long. We started over again. At this point my back was spasming so bad all I wanted was painkillers and bed. Instead I got another 25 minutes on and off of hold, while Amanda got in touch with sales and set up another exchange.

    All of the service people I have talked to have been nice, apologetic, sympathetic. It's not their fault, but after so many times my patience is wearing thin, if not completely beaten to death :eek: Yesterday when I called to let them know that the latest return is on it's way (at least that went very quickly and only took a day this time around, maybe they just needed some practice?), I asked if there is any procedure in place. Anything I am supposed to be doing to get these things straightened out that I'm not, because right now I feel trapped in an endless loop of getting units with tiny little defects and having to decide if they are tiny enough to ignore on a $2500 machine. After another 20 minutes on hold while Michael conferred with his supervisor, I was presented with the helpful suggestion of going to a retail store to pick out my computer in person. And I got to explain again that that's how this whole story started, me driving 3 hours to find that they didn't carry the exact configuration I wanted, despite being told on the phone that they did. And again I was told that "On behalf of Apple, we are very sorry for your inconvenience." :(

    After hanging up, I was having trouble letting this go so I sat down and wrote a letter, saying basically all I have told here, explaining that the whole reason I was getting the laptop was due to back pain and the act of opening and repacking computers over and over again has actually physically hurt me, and even if this latest computer is perfect I am sadly going to have to find somewhere else to buy all my accessories for it since not one thing in this whole ordeal has given me a reason to ever order straight from Apple again (hopefully all in a somewhat coherent manner). Then I slept on it - that whole thing about never doing anything when you're upset - but it's a day later and I'm still upset. I can't decide what to do.

    Since each defect really was a minor little thing that I'm sure some people would just accept, I doubt this issue has really escalated to the point of using that sjobs or whatever it is email address I see floating around here. But who else would I send it to that it would make a difference? Is there some customer service email that would actually get me a response or explanation? Should I just let it go and hope fourth times a charm?
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Not to be rude, but you are way too picky. If all of this back and forth with Apple is causing you physical pain, either live with the minor problems or get your money back and try a different computer maker.
  3. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    Hmmm... I had a CS rep named Amanda when I was having a run-around with an ipod mini (4th time was a charm there, for what it's worth)...

    Now we know where all the refurbs are coming from :D:D:D:D.

    Very best of luck on this one!
  4. drossad macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2008
    Yeah it was rude ucfgrad93. This person is shelling out alot of money, so the thing had better be above standard with no defects. It is understandable to get shipped a faulty product here and there, but THREE times in a row!?!

    CleverUsername - I am sorry that this has been such a bad experience for you. I would be thinking the same things you are. In fact you seem to have been way more understanding and calm than I would have been. Good luck with number 4!
  5. CleverUsername thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Nope, not rude, just honest. As I said, I'm sure these are things that some people could just deal with or ignore, and I am well aware that I have some obsessive tendencies. Which is why every step of the way I have asked many other opinions (friends, family, the Apple representatives themselves), and every single person has said that there is no such thing as too picky when you are paying that much. I'm not blaming Apple for my health problems, or the problems with FedEx for that matter, but these are extenuating circumstances that have added to the ordeal. As far as going with a different company, if you think I'm picky about my Macs, you really don't want to hear me complain when I have to try and do some work on a PC :rolleyes:

    Thanks, hopefully luck is all I need at this point....it's just the urge is there to make my voice heard, you know?

    And it actually crossed my mind that I was making some of the refurb seekers v. v. happy with this situation. I had considered getting one myself, if they had the right specs in stock at the time I probably would have.
  6. CleverUsername thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2008

    I have trouble getting mad at people on the phone when they're being (or trying to be) nice...they are just doing their job, after all. They're not the ones making the machines. I'm just very frustrated at this point, and it seems like I keep getting the same responses over and over again. I feel the need to do something, I just don't know what, which is actually making me more frustrated :eek:
  7. rvrugg90 macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2008
    CleverUsername...i would be quite unhappy if i was in your situation. Dont consider yourself picky at all...nobody should. Like comments above, you paid a premium to get a "premium" well-made and reliably-built computer, so you should get that in return. I'm about to pay $500 extra for a MBP considered to be replaced and at the end of its life cycle because I need it now. I can only hope that I get a good product. I wish you luck in getting this beast...but imagine how nice it will be when you finally get a "perfect" MBP....freedom from customer support at last!
  8. magiic macrumors regular


    Jun 17, 2008
    I just want to say your username made me laugh. Good luck with the 4th MBP
  9. ozone macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    $2500? The thing better be close to perfect. A warped lid sounds like more than just a "tiny" defect too...
  10. SGrant macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2008
    I would have done the same thing for 2,500 dollars, don't feel guilty.

    As for the letter, I would go ahead and express your disappointment. Not only for the possibility of some kind of apology, but also because it would let Apple know that they need to have more thorough inspections done.
  11. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    How is the lid warped? Is the metal bent and curved? I'm surprised such a thing could even get through normal QC.

    The dead pixel in the center would certainly annoy me. Normally a few dead pixels are allowed, but I too expect all my pixels to work.

    I think you keep at it until you get the right computer. I think you also note that this is the fourth computer and that you've spent a month, having paid $2500, and not actually had a computer to use, and how they might help you out in some manner?
  12. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    a dead pixel is not a minor defect, especially when it's right in the center of the screen. This isn't an eeePc, it's a MacBook pro - a very expensive machine. Keep trying - you'll get a good one - my first MacBook Pro was pretty perfect, but it took my around 5 tries to get a nice working iMac! My second MacBook Air was pretty good, too. As I said, keep trying. Tell them you want a discount because of all this trouble - it's really annoying when buying online and having to return it - thats why from now on I only buy in store so that it's easily returnable.
  13. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    your doing the right thing! dont let apple give you a defective product, its apple and they should really do a better Cq
  14. CleverUsername thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Thanks for all the responses! Very reassuring to hear that I'm not completely crazy from someone other than my family and the voices in my head.

    You guys have me convinced that I should pursue this further, so I'm going to edit that letter and send it...but to whom? For a computer company, there is an astounding absence of email addresses of any kind listed on the Apple site. Is sjobs@apple.com really my only option? Maybe I should call back to the sales department, say I'm still upset by the situation to the point of never ordering directly from Apple again, and ask for a supervisor's email address to use?

    BTW, #4 (I think I may name it that permanently if it's perfect) is already on it's way from Shanghai. Judging from the previous ones, it should arrive on Monday, which is my birthday! Good sign, I'm hoping :D...I'll either be in for a very happy day or a very sad one :eek:
  15. CleverUsername thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2008
    I found this Apple customer service email: cso_dspecialists@apple.com mentioned in this thread, but it's around 10 months old. Has anyone used it recently, or had any experience with it at all?
  16. pinktank macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2005
    I would be equally picky if I was paying 2500
  17. CleverUsername thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2008

    This is an update from this thread, but I thought some of the things I am now being told should be mentioned over here in the MBP forum. Feel free to scold me mods, and I will move this over to the other thread.

    Meet #4....


    Not really much else to say about it, I guess. I was as disappointed this time as I was the very first one 5 weeks ago, but that's mainly my own fault. I just let myself get all excited again because of the whole coincidence of it being the fourth one, arriving on Aug. 4, which was my birthday. Apparently I also have the rational thought age of about 4. I really should try and keep in mind that saying about the definition of insanity, because it certainly applies here :(

    I did go ahead and send that really long email last week (Friday afternoon), to sjobs@apple.com, and there was a call on my answering machine first thing Monday morning from an Apple Executive Relations person calling "on behalf of Steve Jobs" to discuss it with me. I called him back and we had a long discussion, mostly just covering the details again, and he seemed genuinely concerned that I have received three flawed units in a row and had such a miserable experience. I felt reassured that things were being taken seriously, and we ended it with waiting to see how #4 arrived while he checked into some things on his end, and then I was supposed to call him back to see what else could be done to salvage this situation.

    Needless to say, after it arrived a couple hours later I was left trying to decide whether to go through this all again, or just request a refund. After taking some hydrocodone and calling the executive relations agent again (he also seemed surprised and disappointed that it happened again), I decided to try one more replacement, only because they will be double checking it before it gets shipped and there will be "some control over which MBP gets sent" as he put it. And my dad is back in the state, so he can come pack this one back up for me, so that's a little less pain involved. At least I didn't have to hold for 2 hours on the phone to get it set up this time, just left a message for the agent and he called me back directly within half an hour. (I actually took those pictures while I waited, as well as having a few minutes to rest my back in between and let the pills kick in)

    One interesting thing he mentioned to me that he found during his checking process is that he called the factory and had them pull 24 random MBPs off the line and measure them. All 24 raised up some on the sides ("had some curvature to the lids" as he put it) compared to the center, and they attributed this to the clasp being in the center and thus deemed it to be normal for the MBP. I asked if this bowing was supposed to be even at least, or perhaps what the measurements were that are considered within spec, but he didn't have that many details. He seemed to agree that since this information is completely opposite of what I have been told countless times on the phone (that the front edge is supposed to close evenly, or flush across the front), it's understandable that I've been expecting that from mine. I made sure he was aware that this latest one is actually worse than the other two combined, with over 1/8 of an inch of gap on each corner :eek:

    During a followup phone call this afternoon I asked why, since curvature of the lid when closed is considered normal, the picture on the website does not reflect that, and instead shows a completely even closure, and mentioned that those pictures were one of the sources I have been using during this process. He said I raised a good point, and that he would look into it.

    While I had him on the phone, I proceeded to ask him if they could also double check a couple other things before they send the replacement, because the way my luck has been I might get one that looks fabulous, and has some other completely unrelated flaw (like #2). However, when I mentioned that I am concerned about there being yellowing on the screen, he said that was weird and he has never heard of that issue. When I asked about all the concern over the NVidia graphics cards, he said there are no issues with the graphics cards used in the MacBook Pros.


    I'm not sure how long #5 is going to take to ship, with all this checking going on. He said they are actually locating my previous returns, to examine them and see exactly "what the problems were". I offered to email him these pictures also, but he said that I didn't need to go to the extra trouble.

    Right now I am typing this on #4. One sort of improvement over the last three returns is that this time they are having me keep this one to use until I receive the next one. I won't get much done, since I don't want to load it down with files that I'll just have to delete in a few days, but at least it's something, and I can spend this time learning the ins and outs of 10.5 (or wasting my time on MacRumors and YouTube ;)). Of course, I had to send them an email acknowledging in writing that if this wasn't returned within 7 days of receiving the replacement I would be charged an additional $2500. Understandable from a legal standpoint, but still a little daunting :eek:

    ...and here I am with another really really long post. I'm sorry I talk so much, but it's nice to have a place where I know I'll be understood and get good advice. I'm going to shut up now and go to bed.
  18. tony4d macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Did you really need to take "some" hydrocodone?
  19. Screwball macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2006
    Wow that's a hell of a gap! :eek:
    A bit wider and you could have a 2 in 1 machine with you all the time with an Air slipped into the gap
  20. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Let's keep it in one thread. Thanks.

    That is quite a gap. My guess is when you (or someone else) open it, they are right handed and push on only the right side of the lid? I always open from the center and have no gaps.
    A lesson I learned with my mega-gapped Powerbook.
  21. nayf72 macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2008
    OMG! I dunno what is more shocking - the obvious defect itself or Apple's QC!

    You'd think they'd make sure you got a perfect MBP especially considering this was your 4th!
  22. MickdyMickdyMAC macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2008
    As frustrating as this experience has become for you, I really hope you stick it out until you finally get a perfect machine.

    My opinion is that the case is warping during shipment and is a result of two things. First, I really think the MBP aluminum case is not sufficiently designed to handle the weight of the laptop itself. This really is my primary concern with my own new MPB and even as I have tried to treat mine as gently as I can because of my concerns, I am already seeing early signs of the aluminum beginning to warp in certain areas. This is also why I consider my previous Powerbook12" to be the best laptop I have owned so far - I physically manhandled that poor thing everywhere I took it and it held up beautifully. Physical durability should be #1 in a portable computer, imo.

    Secondly, and working together with the "firstly", maybe the MBP packaging is not sufficiently designed to prevent the MBP aluminium case from warping under it's own weight being thrown around during shipment, especially overseas (Shanghai). I suspect Apple retail stores get their shipments on palettes, so each box may not be subjected to the rigors that a single box shipment will see.

    I also think you are not alone in your problems. There is certainly something amiss here and Apple needs to figure it out, especially during this time that the company is growing its products and user base. Unfortunately, Apple getting better at what they do may come at the expense of them working through the problems and frustrations of a few (or many) customers.

    So again, I hope you keep trying until you are completely happy with the eventual MPB that you have in your hands. It really is a great machine and hopefully future versions will even be that much better as a result of Apple realizing any shortcomings of previous versions.
  23. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    I've been saying over and over again that their QC really blows now. It's really not what it used to be. I am hesitant to even get a new MBP because I CONSTANTLY hear of problems.

    I have a good friend who went through a similar situation with his MBP. Took 3 units. Fist one was DOA. Second had warped lid as you describe AND bad pixels.

    My parents went through 3 Alu. iMac's before I finally wrote sjobs@apple.com and I got the iMac freezing problem solved for EVERYONE. (can't say much about it, but trust me, I did)

    It's pretty inexcusable for a company to charge that much and deliver poorly.

    My Powerbook is so freakin' awesome. It has been awesome for 4+ years, never let me down.

    I'm glad you let your letter fly. Apple needs to hear it. Hopefully you will get satisfaction. I would ask for a discount or free upgrade of some component on the MBP if I were you for your inconvenience.

    This is another reason I'm buying my next one at an apple retail store. I'm glad they're opening one here in November...I might even work at it.
  24. Bobioden macrumors 68000


    Sep 23, 2007
    Wow, that lid is totally unacceptable. Keep sending them back until you get one you are happy with.
  25. mchank macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2006
    I've never seen a lid that badly warped before that one.

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