Print 17 comment(s) - last by cjc1103.. on Feb 5 at 12:15 PM

I think I'm on my fifth or sixth warranty repair visit with Apple

Usually when you buy a computer product, you expect it to be working well when you bring the thing home -- not for me. I'm somewhat of an unlucky guy when it comes to computer hardware. Never once in my life have I purchased a computer product that has worked properly out of the box. I have to return, exchange or troubleshoot the product at least once before things begin working as they are suppose to.

Enter the MacBook Pro, a glorious piece of hardware by any standard, that appears to have been designed well, built well, and operate well. That's what Apple customers hope, and I hope, anyway. When I first purchased my MacBook Pro last year in June, it had overheating problems. The Apple store that I purchased it from was kind enough to exchange the unit for a brand new one. Unfortunately, it too had overheating issues and in fact, locked up once in a while. At this point, I was starting to get a bit worried, but not yet frustrated -- well, maybe I was frustrated.

I visited the nice folks at my local Apple store again, but this time I did not have such a good mood as I did when I first walked into the store. Again, my unit was taken in and a brand new one was given to me. Just so it's clear, I did purchase the AppleCare extended three year warranty for my MacBook Pro, but all these things happened within my first month of purchase.

Fast forward two months. I was relieved that my third MacBook Pro had none of the problems that the previous two units had. But boy was I wrong. The fan on the right side of my unit started flaking out and eventually died completely several days after making rattling noises. I was upset now. I brought the unit back into the Apple store and they held it for a day and had it repaired. My work order indicated that the right side fan was replaced as well as the inverter board -- a problem for many MacBook Pro users, causing such behavior as a whining noise, which I did not experience, and flickering LCD screens.

A week after I took my repaired unit home, the left fan failed on me. At this point, I was fuming because the situation was becoming more than just ridiculous for me. Did Apple rush this product out too quickly? If so, it still doesn't make any sense, since the design of the MacBook Pro was largely based on the previous generation of PowerBooks. Again I went back in for repair and they replaced the left fan. Now however, the top keyboard cover no longer fit flush with the main chassis, and there was nothing that could be done. The folks at Apple's Genius Bar told me that if I wanted, they could hold my MacBook Pro for several days, gut the entire thing and replace the chassis for me. Sigh -- no thanks, I don't want to have something else break in the process. Once you take apart a complex piece of hardware like the MacBook Pro, it will never be like it was when it shipped from the factory. I didn't want to take my chances.

We're now in 2007, everything had been going well since my last visit to the Apple store, and I had hoped then that nothing else would go wrong. Yesterday however, fate would prove me wrong again as the SuperDrive in my unit failed to read DVD-R discs that it had previously been able to handle. At times I would hear a loud rattling noise, and during DVD playback the movie would just stop with an error. So now as I write this article, I am standing inside my local Apple store yet again. I'm waiting to speak to another Genius about my nightmare notebook. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if Apple will eventually gut out my whole unit, replacing every bit of hardware one piece at a time.

Will I ever buy another Mac notebook? At this point, all I can say is that I am extremely disappointed.

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Maybe theres one guy on the assembly line who...
By ninjit on 2/2/2007 4:58:01 PM , Rating: 2
is working with one hand up his arse.

It really seems hit and miss, and might be batch-wise.

We've recently bought 12 new macbook pros, running from right at release to latest revisions (17" and 15" models), and we've had no problems at all, besides the whole running hot issue, which I consider a serious design flaw rather than a manufacturing defect.

Did you compare the serial #s of all the replacements you've had so far? It would be interesting to see if they are close in manufacture date. Might indicate that the store you went to just got a bum batch, taking it back and getting a replacement from somewhere else might help.

By tech24 on 2/3/2007 10:02:56 AM , Rating: 2
First of all the prices Apple charges for their hardwares
you would expect better results.
i have to vent, because my $250 ipod mini died of overheating too.
You could save like $400buxs for the similar specs on a non-mac laptop.
Anyways Apples buy all their Mac_craps from the same taiwanese manufactures, looks like they got poor engineering specifications compare to Dell's requiredments from these ODM.

By tech24 on 2/3/2007 10:03:24 AM , Rating: 2
First of all the prices Apple charges for their hardwares
you would expect better results.
i have to vent, because my $250 ipod mini died of overheating too.
You could save like $400buxs for the similar specs on a non-mac laptop.
Anyways Apples buy all their Mac_craps from the same taiwanese manufactures, looks like they got poor engineering specifications compare to Dell's requiredments from these ODM.

By Questar on 2/3/2007 1:50:18 PM , Rating: 4
Ipod mini overheating? I call BS.

Some advice...
By masher2 on 2/2/2007 3:11:41 PM , Rating: 2
Look into the so-called "lemon law" statutes in your local state. You might be entitled to a full refund, and potentially damages.

RE: Some advice...
By TomZ on 2/2/2007 3:54:22 PM , Rating: 2
I know most states have "lemon laws" for autos, but is it common that states have such laws that would apply to computers? I know a few states do, but I thought it was relatively uncommon.

RE: Some advice...
By masher2 on 2/2/2007 4:00:00 PM , Rating: 1
I know some states cover any consumer product over a set dollar amount, but I don't know how prevalent this is nationally. Also, federal laws (e.g. the Magnuson-Moss Act) may apply as well, as I believe six attempts constitutes more than a "reasonable number" of repairs.

Similar Experience Here
By jeffbui on 2/3/2007 6:51:53 PM , Rating: 3
Reading this post is really funny because I just got back from visiting the idiots at the Genius bar. My girlfriend received a dead Macbook for Christmas. Would not even boot fresh out of the box. They gutted the thing and replaced the logic board and it still doesn't work. It turns out that it had a bad stick of RAM. Now, since they ripped the thing apart, the mouse button doesn't click right. As I'm sitting here typing this, I'm waiting on them to order a new chassis for it.

RE: Similar Experience Here
By gus6464 on 2/3/2007 10:31:27 PM , Rating: 2
why didnt they just give you a brand new macbook? thats what they did when i got mine with the A key falling off.

mac & pc commercials
By hellokeith on 2/2/2007 9:17:21 PM , Rating: 2
Guess those "clever" I'm a Mac, I'm a PC commercials aren't so cut and dried, eh?

RE: mac & pc commercials
By Ringold on 2/3/2007 11:51:30 AM , Rating: 2

Thats how I tend to think of them. :)

At least, regarding the hipsters that buy them for the style. I admire the OS to a degree, but not worship, and not enough pay a premium.

My Policy
By TomZ on 2/2/2007 3:18:48 PM , Rating: 2
I have a policy, if a hardware product dies in the first month, I immediately and unconditionally return it and buy something else. Otherwise, you are exposing yourself to a potential (product) lifetime of trouble.

I have an HP scanner now that is in that category. What a piece of junk. It will be returned this weekend.

Good luck with your Mac.

By Hyperlite on 2/2/2007 3:45:31 PM , Rating: 2
I am a patient person, but i would have demanded a refund and spent my money elsewhere probably after the second return. what has kept you going?

Good luck!
By Kougar on 2/2/2007 3:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
You sure weren't kidding, that's an even worse record than my Dell laptop, and it's even older than your Macbook Pro! Granted I have some similar stories, but not to that degree. Hopefully Murphy will give you a reprieve...

I might not be a Mac guy...
By novacthall on 2/2/2007 5:43:02 PM , Rating: 2
I might not be a Mac guy, but I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. Nobody like to have anything, especially computer hardware, go kaput on them once without warning, let alone several times.

I had a similar experience with a computer I had built by a while back. Ugh, what a nightmare that was. I only returned it to them twice before I demanded my money back (in a screaming match with the company's president, no less).

I actually also had a similar episode with a Powerbook 540c waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day, but that's another tale for another time, perhaps.

By gus6464 on 2/2/2007 9:50:55 PM , Rating: 2
I also bought a white macbook the second week they came out with the core duo and first thing that happened when I opened it up my a key fell off. I went back to the store next day and they gave me a brand new one. Next problem I had was discoloration on the palm rests so I took it back and they replaced the entire casing. Then a firmware update totally screwed up my system and they had to replace the entire mainboard as well as cpu. Now I am about to go back to the apple store for a fourth time because my airport card is pretty much dead. Its been about 8 months since I bought it and its going to be my 4th trip. Only thing that keeps me from being extremely pissed is the fact that applecare is extremely fast with warranty claims. Longest I have been without it has been about 4 days after drop off. If I would have bought a Dell or something from Best Buy I am pretty sure I would have to wait longer for it. I found it odd because my last powerbook was perfect, never had any issues. And its also odd that my girlfriend bought her macbook pro a couple of days prior me buying my macbook and she has had 0 problems with it. It had a bit of overheating issues but once I downloaded smcfan it has no longer had any issues. I guess I just got the crappy macbook batch as well. Now I dont consider myself a mac fanboy since all my desktops are home are PCs and only macs I buy are laptops because I think you get a lot for the money, especially when it comes to the macbook, which I paid $1000 for after student discount.

By cjc1103 on 2/5/2007 12:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with any of these horror stories is that you only hear the complaints when something goes wrong. You almost never from all the people who have no issues with their computers, everything works great. In order to determine whether there are more problems with Apple computers than PCs you would have to consider the percentage of warranty and non-warranty repairs for similar models (type CPU), based on the total number of machines sold.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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