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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I've posted a few times before about my mac and how's its shaping up to be the most unreliable computer I've ever owned. Here's a brief history of problems:

-after 9 months, hard drive fails completely and due to mechanical failure, no files are recoverable.
-Bring it in, get new hard drive AND new superdrive since it sucked too. The screen also flickers occasionally as if it's changing brightness on it's own.
-Generally a slow machine.

I got my Macbook back and for a while the screen doesn't seem to flicker but a few days later the flickering comes back. Also, now my Mac tends to shutdown with a considerable amount of battery left in the indicator. Not only does it shutdown, but it doesn't go into prolonged sleep mode, it completely shuts down and reboots "cold" when I connect the power adaptor and press the power button.

So I bring it back and ask for a new machine (as was recommended on this forum). The person at the desk agrees that I've got a point and tells me I have to call Apple myself, they can't do it for me. So right in the store I call the unfriendly people at apple canada and get helped for a while in french (the language I wanted to be helped in) but then I was informed that I had to speak to an english representative for my hardware replacement. No biggie, I was ready to switch over to english to avoid a "we'll call you back" reply. So I speak to a certain John Banach and he feels that although I've had all the aformentioned problems and even after repairs my machine has big issues I still don't deserve a new machine and I've got to leave it with INSO so they can run diagnostics.

So I brought it back to INSO (the Montreal authorised Mac resellers) and they told me a technician looked at it and ran a bunch of tests and my machine is completely fine. Few. I was only imagining that my Mac was messed up, in reality, it works fine. Problem is, the first time I even boot up again, my screen flickers. Not even 30 seconds of use and my screen flickers (altough the technician said he used it all day and the screen didn't do it once). I try opening stuff like iTunes and the icon has the time to bounce 6-7 times (plus about 4 seconds) until it opens up. I'm using my mac in my living room and once my battery hits 11%, without warning, off goes my Mac. No sleep mode, no recovery, just a cold reboot once the adapter is plugged in.

So basically, my Mac kinda works, but tends to shutdown sometimes and is as slow as molasses (even with 1GB ram). Apple doesn't seem to give a damn and the people that run the diagnostics for Apple (at INSO) don't seem to think there's a problem unless sparks emanate from the keyboard whenever the machine is turned on. Some people have recommended that I file a lawsuit but I feel like that is unreasonable (even though I have a defective product which is supposed to be under warranty).

The deadline for me to get Applecare is coming up and I don't know what to do. If I keep this computer, it will obviously breakdown shortly thus not getting apple care would be nothing short of madness. However, I'm thinking of trying to get rid of it somehow just so that I can get another Macbook or at least a computer that works and that will be repaired if it has issues for a while until I feel confident I can buy a Mac and it will work.

Any advice? Opinions? Should I just wait until my battery fails completely?
 

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I managed to get my brother's macbook replaced, and he had less than what you're expereincing. My recommendations?

Take it to another authorized service provider, and get a second opinion. After that, supposing it requires repair, phone apple back, and confirm with them that it would need another repair. Assuming again that's a Level 2 repair, tell them you would prefer to have the unit replaced.

Stress that as the warranty will expire in the coming weeks, you will be forced to purchase applecare for no other reason than because you haven't had a reliable experience with repairs, let alone the computer itself. It seems unfair for you to have to buy applecare because your less than a year old macbook has had numerous issues and you expect more to come.

If you're polite but firm, reasonable and courteous, you'll get a replacement.

The minute you get sharp with the people who might give you a new macbook, you'll lose.

Don't talk about how frustrated you are, talk about how much you loved the computer when it worked and you'd like a happy ending to this. Talk about how friends and family members are watching this unfold, and despite you telling them how great Macs are, they're less interested in buying one because of this.

Get my drift here? It's all in approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I managed to get my brother's macbook replaced, and he had less than what you're expereincing. My recommendations?

Take it to another authorized service provider, and get a second opinion. After that, supposing it requires repair, phone apple back, and confirm with them that it would need another repair. Assuming again that's a Level 2 repair, tell them you would prefer to have the unit replaced.

Stress that as the warranty will expire in the coming weeks, you will be forced to purchase applecare for no other reason than because you haven't had a reliable experience with repairs, let alone the computer itself. It seems unfair for you to have to buy applecare because your less than a year old macbook has had numerous issues and you expect more to come.

If you're polite but firm, reasonable and courteous, you'll get a replacement.

The minute you get sharp with the people who might give you a new macbook, you'll lose.

Don't talk about how frustrated you are, talk about how much you loved the computer when it worked and you'd like a happy ending to this. Talk about how friends and family members are watching this unfold, and despite you telling them how great Macs are, they're less interested in buying one because of this.

Get my drift here? It's all in approach.
I'll try what you recommend. Frankly, I find it outrageous that I have to somehow "romance" my way into getting a new computer. My computer is faulty and it is my right, according to my contract with Apple as stipulated in their warranty, to get a computer that works.

There is an Apple store in Laval. Maybe there someone will do something. I'm just afraid they are gonna say the same thing as INSO. No flames coming out of it = it works just fine.

Oh, and what constitutes a level 2 repair?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One other thing: I don't see how stressing that my warranty is nearly expired is going to help me because ever time I call apple, people say "are you interested in buying applecare"? They've been cramming it down my throat ever 5 seconds I'm on the phone with them so I don't see how they'll take that as an argument.

Anyway, I guess I'm not good at this kind of haggling. I'm gonna keep trying a bit, then wait 'till my motherboard fails (which is on the way I suspect).
 

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First off, my iTunes doesn't start up immediately either. It does its little bouncey thing.

Second, buy Applecare. It will not only help you but also save the rest of us from hearing your whining about how you have so-and-so problems with the MacBook but it's out of warranty.

Third, if you don't like the advice on this board, try the forum over at MacResource. Either they will help you out or they will eat you alive. :)
 

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Frankly, I find it outrageous that I have to somehow "romance" my way into getting a new computer.
My 2-cents: You have to "romance" your way through to a replacement because if Apple just replaced every customer's machine that had more than two defective parts, they'd be replacing a heck of a lot more machines than they can realistically afford (or want) to do so. I agree that your MacBook has had a number of repairs which makes it rather ridiculous, but it nevertheless doesn't change how the process works with repairs or unit replacements.

I agree with IronMac: If they don't replace your unit on the next call to Apple, buy AppleCare. Not only will it cover you if go past your one-year, but it also makes it more likely that Apple will replace your unit down the road, especially after the one-year mark. Apple favors (and will do more for) those with APP - it's proven time and time again.
 
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I'd try another phone call to Apple. Be very polite and explain the situation of what just happened and that it had problems immediately again when you got it back and let them know that you've exhausted all reasonable efforts to get the problems solved. If they don't give you resolution on this ask to have it escalated. I've dealt with "Executive relations" on several occasions and they will go the distance to getting things resolved if it comes to that.
 

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I would buy Apple Care period. I think if you are persistent, insist you talk to supervisors, Apple will replace this lemon. Even so you will only have a few weeks of warranty to evaluate the new machine unless you buy Apple Care. Again if you do not already have a case number assigned insist on it NOW.

We're pullin for ya!
 

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Not true. If Apple replaces a lemon, the new computer has a new one year warranty, and you can buy AppleCare up to that one year's duration. I'm speaking from experience.

I would buy Apple Care period. I think if you are persistent, insist you talk to supervisors, Apple will replace this lemon. Even so you will only have a few weeks of warranty to evaluate the new machine unless you buy Apple Care. Again if you do not already have a case number assigned insist on it NOW.

We're pullin for ya!
 

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Try synergysmc:

www.synergysmc.ca

They're in St. Laurent. I had my iMac repaired there and they have a pickup and delivery service, provided you are in the Montreal area. I have to have my logicboard replaced again since I have a faulty USB port and they're going to order the part ahead of time so my machine can be in-out as quickly as possible.

There's always the Apple Store in Laval.
 

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I'd recommend taking it to the Apple Store. Had nothing but good experiences dealing with the ones here in Toronto.

Also, if you have a digital camera that can take videos, or can borrow one from someone, then why don't you take a video of the problems so you can show them? Take a video every time it starts flickering and make sure the date and time on the camera are correct so you have a chronological history of how often it happens.

Out of curiosity, have you tried just backing up your data, formatting the hard drive and reinstalling the OS and apps from scratch? It's possible some/all of the problems could be software related.

As for the screen flickering, your MacBook has an ambient light sensor, so it's normal for the screen to change brightness if the lighting conditions change. Some conditions can confuse the light sensor though like reflections and glare, or a dimly lit room with bright sunlight shining between semi-closed horizontal blinds. Just make sure it isn't that.
 

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As for the screen flickering, your MacBook has an ambient light sensor, so it's normal for the screen to change brightness if the lighting conditions change. Some conditions can confuse the light sensor though like reflections and glare, or a dimly lit room with bright sunlight shining between semi-closed horizontal blinds. Just make sure it isn't that.
MacBooks do not have an ALS - the screen dims based on power settings, not environment. This is a feature reserved for the MacBook Pro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, thanks for all the helpful posts.

So, if what Whatever says is true, I should be spending every waking second trying to get them to replace my machine since if I get a new one, it'll have one more year's warranty on it.

I don't want to be cheap, I'm going to get Applecare either way but a year's extra warranty and a new Macbook would definitely make me very happy. I was expecting to use my Mac and then get Applecare because something is almost bound to go wrong with anything electronic after a year, whether it's a toaster or computer. I'm just sad that I have had this machine for less than a year and have many problems with it, not what I was expecting when I paid top dollar for a shiny new Macbook (I know it's good value, but I'm not very wealthy right now so anything over 1000$ is a big deal for me). My screen is flickering as I'm typing right now; it doesn't make my Mac unusable, but it's one of the many little problems that make this machine no fun to use.

After my hard drive failed and I got my mac back from INSO with the new parts (hard drive and superdrive) I kept getting a flashing folder with a ? on it before the Apple logo during each boot. So I backed up the few files I had on my mac (about 3) put in the OS X disk, formatted the drive and installed OS X from scratch. It was then that I was amazed at how slow OS X worked on a clean install. I installed all the updates and it's still as slow as it used to be. Could it be that OS X didn't install properly? I might try to reinstall again but I don't really see the point.

When I say that iTunes runs slowly I mean the following:
-iTunes icon bounces in the dock many times before opening. It can take almost 10 seconds for iTunes to start up.
-When I use the cover flow mode (I'm not sure if that's what it's called; it's the mode where you can see the album artwork when browsing though your music), the movement of the album covers is jarred and choppy. The sliding effect often gets "jammed for a few seconds".
-Sometimes, when I type letters in the "spotlight box" in the top right corner of the window it takes a good few seconds for the letters to appear in the box. This occurs when typing only a few letters (2-4), as I rarely type more when searching for music.

Maybe this is all normal Mac operation, I don't really know, I'm a relatively new user but if I were to compare my mac to the windows boxes I've had in the past I would it is slower not faster, which is what leads me to believe that my computer isn't working properly.

I'm getting some nice screen flickering footage on my roomie's digital camera. Problem is, I don't know how convincing it will be because computer screens always appear to flicker on film because of the frame rate of the camera. Although I really don't feel like reinstalling everything, I might just try that to see if it will speed things up, even if I just did it two weeks ago. I'm tempted to just restore a bootable copy saved on my external HD but I guess that would defy the purpose of a reinstall, since it will duplicate exactly my computer's previous state.

I will try calling Apple again on Friday since I don't work before 3:30 PM. Someone recommended I ask to speak to a supervisor about my computer; wouldn't this cause a negative reaction and be counter-productive? I want to be polite, so this might not be a good idea. What do you think?
 

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So, if what Whatever says is true, I should be spending every waking second trying to get them to replace my machine since if I get a new one, it'll have one more year's warranty on it.
I don't think so. Usually, they'll just honor the original warranty, or give you 90 days from the date you get the new machine, whichever is greater, if I'm not mistaken. This is pretty common practice for most companies. It's the date of purchase that determines your warranty end date. Even though you get a whole new machine, you don't get a whole new warranty.

Maybe this is all normal Mac operation, I don't really know, I'm a relatively new user but if I were to compare my mac to the windows boxes I've had in the past I would it is slower not faster, which is what leads me to believe that my computer isn't working properly.
No, that definitely doesn't sound normal for a MacBook at all.

I'm getting some nice screen flickering footage on my roomie's digital camera. Problem is, I don't know how convincing it will be because computer screens always appear to flicker on film because of the frame rate of the camera.
LCD screens don't have that problem from what I understand, I think it only affects CRT screens.

I will try calling Apple again on Friday since I don't work before 3:30 PM. Someone recommended I ask to speak to a supervisor about my computer; wouldn't this cause a negative reaction and be counter-productive? I want to be polite, so this might not be a good idea. What do you think?
If your problems aren't being resolved to your satisfaction after following the instructions provided by the 1st level staff (repeatedly), then you should respectfully request to speak to a supervisor or ask for a contact number to contact Apple's customer relations department, who are the people who normally deal with these kinds of customer satisfaction issues. Document everything that you have done, every phone call, the names of the people you spoke with, the dates and times, etc. and also try to keep documentation of steps you've done to resolve the issues, such as service receipts from INSO or any other depots you've dealt with.
 

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I haven't followed the whole history here (on ehmac in other threads), but isn't the deal that Apple will consider a computer a lemon and replace it with a new unit if it has been in for repair three times for the same problem.

Is that the case here?
 

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I don't think so. Usually, they'll just honor the original warranty, or give you 90 days from the date you get the new machine, whichever is greater, if I'm not mistaken. This is pretty common practice for most companies. It's the date of purchase that determines your warranty end date. Even though you get a whole new machine, you don't get a whole new warranty.
This simply isn't true. When Apple issues a replacement machine, it has a full 1 year warranty, as well as any AppleCare (if any) remaining on the previous machine.

I haven't followed the whole history here (on ehmac in other threads), but isn't the deal that Apple will consider a computer a lemon and replace it with a new unit if it has been in for repair three times for the same problem.

Is that the case here?
This isn't a hard rule - it largely depends on the issue, and the person you deal with. There is no point at which Apple policy dictates a replacement be issued, as far as I know.
 

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Additionally, Apple will refund the remaining AppleCare on a pro-rated basis, if requested. You have to provide proof of payment, though, since even though you might have registered the AppleCare warranty, Apple refunds only on the basis of what it cost you. So keep those receipts. I had AppleCare refunded 2.5 years in on a computer that was outright replaced, nearly $60.


This simply isn't true. When Apple issues a replacement machine, it has a full 1 year warranty, as well as any AppleCare (if any) remaining on the previous machine.



This isn't a hard rule - it largely depends on the issue, and the person you deal with. There is no point at which Apple policy dictates a replacement be issued, as far as I know.
 

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...as well as any AppleCare (if any) remaining on the previous machine.
However, not defaulted. Unless you request the transfer of APP, it is not applied to the replacement unit.
 
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