MacBook Pro Saga – Apple Support and From 15 to 17 In 8 Days

Those who read the obituary of my PowerBook know that I recently acquired a new MacBook Pro 15″ with Intel Core2 Duo chip. For the most part, I was extremely happy with this machine. That was until Thanksgiving weekend.

On Thanksgiving evening, I was performing a little work and headed off to dinner. I closed the laptop lid as every Mac user does. Instead of seeing the pulsating light signalling that the laptop went to sleep, I heard the startup sound for the Mac. It had actually rebooted itself almost immediately after closing the lid. This was the first time it happened, and I figured it was just a fluke.

Well, it continued for a few more days and seemed to happen more often. The laptop itself also began to act sluggish with apps crashing and taking nearly forever to launch apps. By the Wednesday after Thanksgiving, the laptop was taking 45 minutes to restart and nothing else seemed to work. Off to the Apple Store….

The Apple Geniuses did some quick diagnostics, including trying to boot from a few firewire drives. Nothing seemed to work. The 35-day old laptop still did not boot in reasonable times or at all. Booting off the OSX install CD and running Disk Utility showed everything was normal. This stumped the Genius (hell, that’s just fun to say). The laptop was checked in with the plan to replace the motherboard, CPU, RAM, and hard drive with the parts being overnighted to Apple Store.

No parts on Thursday… No parts on Friday… No parts on Saturday… No parts on Sunday…

On Monday, I received the call for which I had been waiting. The parts had arrived and been placed in the laptop. Ready to pick up? Nope, the Apple Genius Andrew informed me that the laptop still suffered the same problem even after replacing the aforementioned parts and quite a few others. Apple had replaced nearly everything except for the case and display. (Did I mention that it always sounds sarcastic calling someone a “genius” even when I truly don’t intend it?)

Here is where it gets interesting. A call to Apple support informed me that it would take until December 18, 2006 – nearly 2+ weeks away – to ship my laptop. There was absolutely no way I could survive that long without a full functioning laptop. Even worse, the rumor mill was stating 15″ MBP were on delay as well due to screen delivery problems. What was Apple’s resolution? Enter Jess from Apple Support and Nancy M. from the local Apple Store.

Nancy and Jess graciously stated that they were committed to doing everything to get it right. Nancy offered me a 17″ MBP at no additional charge to pick up at the store anytime. It would have the 160 GB hard drive but not the 3 GB RAM. Jess ordered the additional RAM for installation at the Apple Store and sent me a spare 17″ MBP battery. Since I was on the fence about a 15″ or 17″ MBP, I took the offer as a sign of fate.

Since the replacement, the 17″ MBP has had its keyboard replaced once. The new keyboard had some problems, and the Apple store replaced the entire machine again. The employees at the Apple Store smiled and always remained committed to making me happy.

Yes, it sucks the laptop has been replaced twice. Yes, it sucks that I received the poor luck of getting 2 bad MBPs. However, the new MBP rocks, and I am ecstatic to have the 17″ (even got a new Clyde bag from AcmeMade.com). My kudos and appreciation to Nancy, Jess, and the Apple Geniuses (Joe and Andrew) for the unwaivering commitment to customer support.

2 thoughts on “MacBook Pro Saga – Apple Support and From 15 to 17 In 8 Days”

  1. Matt,
    It was so nice to meet you at the coffee shop for the Brandstorming chat. I wonder, what are your thoughts of pc vs. mac? I’m sure this is a dumb question but I am thinking of switching to a Mac laptop (that you spoke of) instead of my Toshiba laptop. Let me know your random thoughts.

  2. Despite my string of bad luck, I absolutely *love* Macs. We are standardized on the Mac for company provided desktop/laptops. If you absolutely still need Windows, you can always dual boot or use Parallels.

    If I did buy a PC laptop, I would recommend IBM/Lenovo.

    Cheers,
    Matthew

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