I just wanted to write a quick note regarding my 3 week saga with the refurbished products store. The process has been anything but smooth, but in the end it seems to be working out. We'll see though - I won't set my hopes too high anymore.
- Ordered a 15" Macbook Pro 2.16 C2D (Glossy) from the refurb store for $1799 on Jan. 17th
- After a snafu with Purolator, I picked it up from the depot on Jan 22nd. Shipping took 5 days over standard.
- Open the refurb box, MBP has two dead pixels (side-by-side) dead-center on the screen. This may be anyone's personal preference, but I consider dead pixels unacceptable, so I call tech support.
- CSR walks me through the 'pixel massage' routine to get the pixels working again. Doesn't work. He spends the next 20 minutes doing research on apple policies for pixels (I already know the policy: 6 dead pixels = DOA). He is extremely polite, and does his best to understand the situation. I'm polite, but absolutely firm on the fact that I cannot use this laptop as it is (I'm a web designer by trade, and I hate staring at a blemish on the area of the screen that I use 99.9% of the time).
- He finally comes back saying that he can't do much unless there are 6 or more dead pixels. Then he repeats himself: "There ARE six or more dead pixels right?"
. I pause. Uh.. Because that's what I wrote in the support document. You told me that you saw 6 dead pixels on the screen.
At that point, I say "Yeah, that's right. Six."
- "Okay, now we're dealing with a DOA." He puts in a DOA requisition, and I receive the shipping labels for Fedex 5 days later. What a nice guy.
- I ship it via fedex, call Apple to inform them that the DOA has been shipped, and they 'release' my replacement refurb. It arrives in my city in 2 days, and gets stuck at the Fedex depot because it missed the 6am 'truck loading' cutoff. I call Apple and ask if I can pick it up at the depot, and due to internal policy they "must have one attempted delivery before a pickup can be allowed". I'm irritated by this, because I took the day off of work to receive the package at the door. I spend 5 minutes on the phone with the manager, and he offers me a $100 discount on the MBP for the trouble the shipping error has caused. I accept, and I drive to the depot the next day to pick up the package.
- I open up the replacement refurb at home. 4 dead pixels. The case is bent in one place, and there are scuffs on the bottom of the case. This is getting ridiculous. I call Apple sales support, and explain the situation to a CSR then immediately ask to speak with a manager. The manager is polite and understanding. I tell her that I know that this is probably a freak coincidence (BULLSHIT!), but I've gotten 2 DOA Macbook Pro's in 3 weeks, and I've lost my faith in the quality assurance of their refurbs (true). She offers me a $200 discount on the purchase of a NEW MBP from the online store. I ask her to work out the numbers - and she says it will now cost me $1999 to buy a new machine. I tell her that I can get the machine for the same price at the educational pricing, sans discount. She then offers the $200 discount + educational pricing, which works out to $1799! Perfect. Done. Sold.
So now I'm waiting for the shipping labels for my DOA MBP, so I can send it back. All and all, this has been a ridiculous experience. It's now 3 weeks, and I still don't have a proper working MBP. However, I *did* manage to get a new MBP for $1799 which ain't bad at all - but considering the MANY calls I made to apple during this time (approx. 10), I doubt I saved any money-time.
So, moral of the story: I STRONGLY suspect that Apple stocks their refurb store with returns from people who have bought *new* MBP's flawed with dead pixels. Your luck may vary, but mine was certainly bad. Comments welcome - I'd love to hear what other people's experiences with the refurb store were like, especially if they received products with obvious damage or flaws.
UPDATE: Received my brand new Macbook Pro this week - and it's absolutely flawless. Not bad, considering I only paid $1700 for it in the end!