Why AppleCare is still the best. Seriously.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rezonat0r, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. rezonat0r macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2007
    Apologies in advance for the long-ish story, but I wanted to share my experiences here.

    I made the switch to Apple in mid-2006 with an original (CoreDuo) 17" MBP. This machine had a plethora of problems: Bulging battery, CPU whine, random lockups, and the left side of the backlight going dim:


    This didn't all happen at once, but eventually AppleCare had repaired the machine 3 times - and after the 3rd time in mid-2007 (in which they finally replaced the motherboard) the machine ran noticeably hotter than before. I felt as though I was left with a subpar machine, and told this to my AppleCare rep via email. They replaced my machine with a 2nd gen (Core2Duo) MBP. Processor went from 2.17 to 2.33, RAM from 1GB to 2GB, and storage from 120GB to 160GB. Awesome.

    Now this second machine was quite a bit better - except for, again, THE SCREEN (which is an LG brand, by the way). After about 4-5 months, the left side of the backlight was going dim (!), and would flicker intermittently as well. Apple replaced the inverter and the screen. The second screen was good, except that it had a bad vertical row of pixels (link goes to the movie I made for the AppleCare rep, if you're interested). They replaced the screen again, and even though this 3rd screen was not as good as the other two in terms of color uniformity, I lived with it. But, like clockwork, 4 or so months later (this past month) the backlight is going dim AGAIN - this time on the RIGHT side! After consulting with engineers, my AppleCare rep advised trying to change out the screen "cable" (I forgot the part terminology used, but basically the cable that carries power from the inverter to the screen) thinking that was the culprit.

    Now, this unit has about 3 more weeks of warranty - and even though their repairs have a 90 day warranty, this problem takes 3-4 months to reveal itself. Of course I still could have bought AppleCare on this unit (and would have been an idiot not to), but it was the principle of the thing. I pushed back against the rep and told him my feelings. And boy am I glad I did.

    Apple is now replacing this unit with a brand new Penryn 17" MBP. I opted for the 1920x1200 LED matte screen (Samsung) and the 2.6Ghz processor, and those upgrades cost a measly $350 - basically what I paid for AppleCare in the first place (and that was refunded after the first replacement!) Regardless of the absolute crap quality LG screens Apple was using (and still is if you get a "regular" resolution 17" Penryn...), they have really taken care of me.

    To recap, I have now gone from a 1st gen MBP in 2006, to a 2nd gen in 2007, to a 4th gen now in 2008, for basically the price of one computer. Even though there's been quite a lot of stress and wasted time without a machine, I feel Apple has taken good care of me and am actually quite happy now. I really don't think any other company would have handled this better.

    Moral(s) of the story:
    1. When dealing with Apple support, stay calm and collected, but be firm.
    2. Do not accept a sub-par product from Apple. It does you no good. And it does no good to anyone else here, because Apple won't know about a problem that needs to be fixed in terms of their quality control.

    Well, that's my story so far. Now I just need to wait for the ship times to come down on these high-res 17" Penryns, because they can't put my replacement order in until I've shipped this one back. :)

    Feel free to post your own good experiences with AppleCare here.
  2. akadmon Suspended

    Aug 30, 2006
    New England
    Good for you for staying strong, calm and collected. That's the way (aha aha) to do it -- I like it! :)
  3. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I've had good experience with applecare too, BUT these issues should never have happened in the first place and to have to pay in both money and lots of lost time to get upgraded to a functional machine is outrageous. I can't believe they didn't upgrade you for free - they upgraded me to a 17" for free when they failed to get a good display for my first generation 15" MBP and that was under the first year warranty.

    I was so grateful and then, the more I thought about it, the more I started feeling that that was the least they could do given all the trouble I had been through. So, yes, nice that they are replacing your machine but you shouldn't have to pay extra for such an expensive machine to last more than a year. Add $700 ($350 for applecare and $350 for the upgrade) to your initial computer cost....wow.

    Just my opinion
  4. aforty macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    If it just wasn't so darn expensive... Good to hear they did you right, though. :cool:
  5. rezonat0r thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2007
    Well, keep in mind the $350 for AppleCare was refunded with my first replacement. And the 17" high-res screen and upgraded processor are not standard. They would have given me the equivalent model for free (which would have been an upgrade in itself), but I wanted to max it out as long as we were at it. I should also clarify that my 2nd unit had only been in for 2 repairs and hadn't met the 3-strikes-you're-out policy yet. So they were also cutting me some slack on that front, and I think the result is fair.

    It's great that they bumped you from a 15" to a 17" - I think that's the first time I've heard of them doing that.
  6. noodle654 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    I got a MacBook over the summer for my iBook G4 because Flextronics (ARG!!!) damaged my computer. Scratches everywhere, scuffs that would not come off. I sent it back 3 times in 1 month and every time if was the same thing. The last time it came back, the logic board was replaced, even though it was perfectly fine. The computer was in horrible condition. I called Apple and the rep told me they would replace the computer with a 2.16GHz C2D MB. I used it for a few months and I just recently sold it for a 2.2GHz MBP. Need the GPU power.
  7. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I see...I guess that was nice then. Just wish quality control was better so that people didn't have to go through the major hassle of repairs and being with without a computer....

    Main thing is that you're happy with your new computer! Cool.
  8. comptr macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2007
    same thing happened to me they are replacing my 2.33 macbook pro for the latest macbbok pro. :apple:

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