Will Apple ever replace a Macbook that has been repaired many many many times?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by zybersniper, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. zybersniper macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2013
    Long story short, a damaged HDD cable led to the discovery of a broken battery connector about a week after the repair.

    Pieces of the connector got lodged in the MLB and system fan which Apple claimed would be alright and the pieces were removed from inside the Macbook.

    Later, more pieces came out from the vents, and I believe the pieces led to the bottom cover being unbalanced and the Macbook not sitting completely flat on the table.

    They "adjusted" the casing, which led to the casing touching the MLB and shorting out the Macbook completely. They finally agreed to replace the MLB, the bottom cover, the bottom casing.

    1 month later, another MLB failure with burning smell and a broken iSight camera. Entire upper clamshell with LCD was replaced.

    Now another 3 months, dust is getting under the glass, the LCD has ghosting problems and the black plastic casing covering the LCD joints has a large gap at one side, revealing a white label and the cable underneath which is really really ugly.

    My question is, will Apple ever replace a Macbook with a new one? This is just one too many repairs and if I hadn't purchased AppleCare, I wouldn't know what to do.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Apple has no fixed rule or policy for replacement of Mac computers that have been repaired more than once. It completely depends on the circumstances. I would certainly push them for a replacement, politely explaining that bringing your Mac in for multiple repairs is impacting your productivity, but I wouldn't hold my breath on them replacing it.
  3. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    In general, people have been reporting that Apple is likely to replace your computer if you had to repair it over three times under warranty. I believe GGJstudios's suggestion makes a lot of sense under these circumstances. We can't really help you - but Apple is well known for its good customer service. Talk to them. Personally, I have always had the most positive experiences with them.
  4. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    It really depends. I had my mid-2009 sata cable and hard drive changed out several times at both an Apple Store and an authorized service provider. Because it's a semi well known issue, they haven't charged me out of warranty, but they haven't replaced the machine either.

    In your case, it sounds like the techs have just been breaking it or something instead of fixing the issue you bring it in for. I would actually call AppleCare and explain what's been going on. They may tell you to go back to the store, but at least you'll have a case with them.
  5. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Replacing an entire computer is really rare I think. The whole time I worked for an AASP, I never had anyone get a new machine, and I had some serious lemons that came back several times.
  6. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2014
    Call AppleCare, ask for a supervisor, tell them all the various issues with detail, and see what they do. You may get lucky.
  7. zybersniper thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2013
    Thank-you all for the positive responses.

    The last time I went in I already talked to a store manager, who said the only thing she could offer was to waive all repair costs for parts that are usually not covered even under Applecare (e.g. bottom casing and battery). She said since I was not under the Business Venture plan, I would not be offered any Macbook Pro for loan but she allowed me to purchase any Macbook model and waived the 14 day return period and would be allow to use it until the Macbook Pro I brought in was repaired.

    I do thank them for the customer service they offered, however, I really do think that a continuous repair is really not the solution to my current problem. As I see it, the original casing and parts of the Macbook Pro were carefully matched so that no ugly gaps or fitting problems would occur. With the replaced casing and LCD, I can see that the parts don't fit as well as they use to when I first bought the Macbook.

    Also, the dust under the LCD is another problem I had with iPad replacements, so obviously, the same level of care isn't put into their refurbished parts since both the replacement iPads and the Macbook that I had have problems with dust underneath the glass.

    This is my first Macbook Pro and I am really disappointed that the product had to be repair so many times during the past year and a half.
  8. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    I'm also disappointed with Apple after going to my 3rd display exchange. If I get a non-uniformly yellow display next time, I'll be eligible for a replacement. Actually, don't know if a replacement is a good deal in my case because I can get a rMBP with a decent screen, although refurb and risking getting other (newer) issues.

    rMBP really disappointed me. Perhaps in two or three years they'll be able to manufacture rMBPs with a decent quality, but at the moment it's a real lottery getting a flawless unit.
  9. lulla01 macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2007

    I have heard 3 major hardware repairs warrants a replacement. I have had one one time. It is really up to Applecare.

    Anybody senior enough can really do anything they want. So be nice and honest and they may help you out.
  10. zybersniper thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2013
    So after about an hour on the phone with Applecare, the first representative basically asked why I talked to them instead of going straight to the Apple Store and I told them I lost faith in their repairs as something new always seem to go wrong following a repair. The CSR asked what I wanted to do, and I asked if a replacement is possible.

    She forwarded my call to a Product Specialist who heard my story, and said he had more than enough information to push for a replacement. So he forwarded the request to another team, pending a final approval.

    They offered an "advanced replacement", basically holding a charge on my credit card until the old unit is returned. This way, I would not be without a MacBook during the exchange.

    The product specialist wouldn't tell me if the replacement would be a refurbished one but said it would be the latest model. It's too bad that they haven't updated the MacBook Pro (non retina) line since 2012, and that's when I got this one.

    They also offered to refund my remaining 5XX days Applecare Coverage but I told them to simply try and transfer it to the new Macbook Pro I will be receiving.

    All in all, hopefully this would be successfully resolved soon and thank-you for all your suggestions and comments! :)
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Congrats and good luck on getting your replacement.

    I'd not worry about a refurb, many people here buy them as they're a good way to save money and get a great laptop
  12. Freida macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2010
    Initially your experience was incorrect. Apple does replace a product after few repairs. It's called CRU - customer replacement unit.
    I don't remember that there would be a certain number you need to reach and afaik its based on manager's discretion but in my store it happened quite often. You just can't expect it to be after 2 repairs but Apple does the right thing if you really struggle with a lot of repairs. As others mention, the rule for me would be on 4th-5th fault I would demand it (in a polite way) and that seems to be the general rule of thumb I think.
    I'm glad Apple Care helped you this way and in most cases that is the way to go if the store is being not that helpful.
    Good luck with your new unit and hope this time its issues free :)
  13. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    Refurbs actually go through more detailed testing and scrutiny than the brand new
    units !!

    Source - someone I knew who works in the Ireland Apple "hub"

    I have had three and all were 100% perfect in every way, it's a great way to get a
    nice reduction and there's no loss apart from the Box - if that bothers you.
    Any extra's like Mice / cables etc are replaced with new ones.

  14. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    FYI the neat thing about getting a replacement Mac is your purchase date now starts from when the computer was replaced. It is considered a completely new computer. Ala, if you do the refund of AppleCare on your old Mac and buy AppleCare anew you get a full 3 years of warranty coverage.
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That's not true. The replacement is only covered for the remainder of the original AppleCare term.

    From the AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac:
  16. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    Thats interesting... my experience has consistently been that they treat a replacement Mac as an entirely new computer. I just went through the process in the past week and the AppleCare rep refunded the remaining balance on my old Mac and let me pay to add a new 3 year term of AppleCare onto the replacement machine starting at the date the computer was replaced.
  17. tcphoto macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2005
    Madison, GA
    Apple cannot replace with a refurbished item. I had a computer replaced through Apple Care and asked the same question, there seems to be US laws regarding replacing damaged/defective consumer goods. They will replace it with the closest specs in their current lineup or you can pay the difference for a better MBP.
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Canceling an AppleCare agreement and getting a refund for the unused portion, then buying AppleCare on a new computer is different than what is being discussed and what is stated in the AppleCare terms. Simply getting a replacement computer does not automatically restart the clock on the AppleCare coverage.
    From the AppleCare agreement:
  19. zybersniper thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2013
    That is correct on the basis that I refund my AppleCare coverage on the original broken MacBook on a pro-rata basis.

    I can then purchase a new AppleCare plan which would give the replacement MacBook a complete 3 year warranty period. The replacement MacBook would come with it's own 1 year standard warranty. :D


    You are correct. If I choose to transfer my AppleCare Protection Plan from the original Macbook to the replacement Macbook, the expiry date of the Plan would remain the same.

    E.g.: Original Macbook Pro Purchased December 2012, AppleCare coverage until December 2015.

    New MacBook Pro's standard warranty: Replaced February 2014, warranty expires February 2015.

    If I choose to transfer Original Macbook Pro AppleCare Plan to New replacement MacBook Pro, Replacement MacBook Pro with transferred AppleCare Plan expires: December 2015.

    So in order to get the most out of the situation, I should simply refund and repurchase the AppleCare Plan.


    Never purchased a refurb MacBook before but I can tell you that the refurb iPhones and iPads are definitely not scrutinised properly. I had AppleCare replacement iPhones that were dirty out of the box or various issues with power buttons/home buttons.

    With refurb iPads, I had problems with LCD discolouration or weird tints not the screen. Most also had dented/scratched casings or dust under the glass. I went through 7 replacements at one time, with the Genius confirming that every single one I looked at had defects warranting a further exchange.


    Out of curiosity, did the replacement machine come in retail packaging or a slightly more plain, white packaging?


    You are correct, but it seems to only apply to certain states where the law forbids refurbished replacements. In most cases, Apple will simply replace or repair with used parts that has been fixed.

    I looked at the MacBook main logic board they replaced and it was obvious that there were signs of rust on some parts of the board, a good sign that the board is not completely new.
  20. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    Originally, they were going to order one in brand new from the online Apple Store, but in the end it turned out they had the replacement one in stock at the store. They gave me the option of paying the difference if I wanted to upgrade to a higher specced machine but I didn't opt for that.

    For me it was an in-store replacement so they went into the back grabbed a brand new rMBP from their stock and gave me the new computer. I didn't get to keep the box as they needed to put my old machine in for their inventory system but I got all the accessories..

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