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  • Stimulacra Level 1 Level 1

    Update (October 1st 2012)


    After a couple of phone updates from Apple's Corporate Executive Relations team telling me that they were still looking into it I finally got a follow up call last Friday letting me know what their options for me were:


    1) Honor the repair estimate of ~$310 for the depot flat rate repair. Depot stuck with their diagnosis that the laptop had been tampered with at some point. Not sure when that could have been. There was a repair notification email sometime in December of 2008 from the Apple Store First Colony but the email didn't have any additional info more detailed than the date and location. 


    2) Deduct the depot repair costs off of my next Retina Macbook.


    They sent an empty prepaid repair box to ship my computer in and I just scheduled FedEx to pick it up.


    It was about the best I could hope for considering the circumstances. I'm very appreciative of everyone that provided advice and guidance online and offline. Once I got past the redtape that is prevelent at the retail and phone support level, I was finally able to make some headway.


    I'm sure they had their hands full with the Apple Maps fiasco last week. I upgraded to iOS 6 on my iPad and am unimpressed with Apple's mapping solution and the deletion of the Youtube app.


    At work they recently upgraded me to a 15" Macbook Pro Retina and although I don't have a thunderbolt display to take full advantage of the streamlining of the ports (I have tons of adpaters for DVI, ethernet, and FireWire 400 and 800) and additional desktop connectivity, this machine is light years ahead of the portable I was using previously. I'm still getting used to it but so far the latest Macbook is very fast and sleek.

  • Stimulacra Level 1 Level 1

    Got a call back from a depot representative on why they detected an "Unqualified monitor" in my macbook pro.


    It had failed an initial firmware test and when they took a closer look at it, noticed it had a monitor that appeared on later spec model MacBook Pros. As such, it was labeled as an "Unqualified Monitor" and requoted the higher rate. ~$1200 versus ~$310.


    As to why that is the case, I don't know, but I'm glad it cleared up the issue for me. I think somewhere along the way it was mistranslated as "Tampered" or "3rd Party display" which really put me on the defensive and had me at a loss.


    The MBP should arrive back tomorrow.


    On a side note, I notice this site likes to jump my cursor up a line above existing text when using the reply editor. Anyone else have this issue?

  • rrahimi Level 3 Level 3

    Apple Repairs, shoot first, ask questions later...


    At least you're getting it fixed which is good news.

  • smontanaro Level 1 Level 1

    My MBP conked out in the past couple weeks, only staying up for a few minutes to a few hours before freezing.  I took it to Lapin Systems here in Evanston yesterday.  They diagnosed video card problems.  With the demise of the NVIDIA replacement program, it seems I have a few options:

    • doorstop
    • logic board replacement
    • depot repair from Apple
    • third party logic board repair/replacement

    While it was still under Apple Care coverage I sent it back to have the display replaced.  At some point n the past I upgraded the RAM to 3gb and recently swapped out the hard drive for an SSD from Other World. I don't know if those changes would cause Apple to consider the machine had been tampered with and thus incur a higher repair cost.


    I was kind of leaning to a third-party repair, then giving the computer to my son.  Does anyone have experience with third-party repair/replace options?





  • rrahimi Level 3 Level 3

    Hard drive and memory upgrades are authorized operations that do not void your warranty.


    However, I doubt your issue has anything to do with the particular program. You mention you still have AppleCare, which means you've purchased your laptop some time in or after 2009. The program was limited to mid and late 2007 MBPs.


    If by third party you mean non-Apple Authorized third party, then I recommend against that. If AppleCare covers you then why pay a third party?

  • gcfl Level 1 Level 1

    To correct/clarify, the affected machines are those listed here:


    Specific products affected:

    • MacBook Pro 15-inch and 17-inch models with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processors
      • MacBook Pro (17-Inch, 2.4GHz)
      • MacBook Pro (15-Inch, 2.4/2.2GHz)
      • MacBook Pro (Early 2008)
    • These computers were manufactured between approximately May 2007 and September 2008
  • smontanaro Level 1 Level 1

    I no longer have Apple Care coverage, it expired.  Note that I wrote, "While it was still under Apple Care ..."


    According to the model lookup on, my machine, serial number ending in X91, is one of those produced in the timeframe being discussed.  Introduced in June 2007, discontinued in Feb 2008.


    Lapin (an authorized Apple service provider) quoted me $746 to replace the logic board with a new one.  So, if I send it in to Apple is it going to be a $300-ish repair, or was that repair estimate a mistake on Apple's part?  Most of the non-authorized repair places are less than the $310 Stimulacra was quoted, some much less.  I suspect all they do is replace the NVIDIA chip/card and run some diagnostics to confirm the fix.



  • carl wolf Level 6 Level 6

    There are 2 Apple stores located near Evanston.  The closest is Old Orchard Shopping Center.  You should take your computer there for inspection, analysis, and repair pricing.

  • Stimulacra Level 1 Level 1

    Hi everyone.


    Laptop came in a couple of days ago. Been a bit busy to check in. Everything is pretty much back to normal.


    On the repair sheet it states that both the logic board and LCD monitor has been replaced in order to pass the Firmware tests that they run. Apple's customer service did a follow up call to see if everything worked out ok.


    On a weird note, where I work issued me a new Retina display macbook. To be honest I dont really notice that big of a difference with the resolution but do notice that non-retina displays look much softer and fuzzier when you go back to them. As such, I can't really comment reliably on the sharpness or brightness of the new replacement display they put in. The sharpness and contrast of the new MacBooks really raise the bar. 


    @smontanaro, if you can get Apple to do a depot flat rate repair (Tier 1) at around ~$310 I would pursue that option. I was hesitent at first but ultimately came around because they stated that all repairs are done with new Apple parts and components specced for your model, and the flat rate repair indicates that they fix anything that they find wrong. You'll want to make sure there's not too much cosmetic damage or major dings or dents on the case or hinge. 


    From my experience, documented here and elsewhere, if they detect or suspect any type of tampering or liquid damage to the device, they might requote you at a higher Tier. I was requoted at a Tier 4 flat rate repair of ~$1200 which I found to be unacceptable.


    In many ways I feel like I have a new computer (circa 2007) the case and keyboard is pretty much in new condition (aside from some wear from where it comes into contact with the Waterfield Sleeve). I tend to baby my Apple gear and so try to keep them running as much as possible. The only thing I will note is that the grey plastic that runs around the keyboard, speaker and trackpad assembly had a hairline crack near the left palm rest. This might have been existing already but isn't that big of a deal. I didn't notice it until I scrutinized the laptop very carefully.


    Much thanks to everyone!

  • sbix Level 1 Level 1

    Well that, and your case for everyone's sympathy is amazing.. in earlier posts you were talking about being a working parent (newsflash - there's millions of you out there) and other stuff that were requests for sympathy. 


    You just got a new machine at work and complained about how you don't have a big Apple Monitor to take full advantage of your machine.  And now, after Apple replaired your machine you're complaining about a hairline crack that you just observed.  Not sure what world you're living in. 

  • Stimulacra Level 1 Level 1



    I am a creative professional that uses Apple hardware, software and services everyday to create content and make a living. I have close to a dozen Apple devices at home in my personal life. That's where I am coming from primarily


    I appreciate the outside perspective and frank and candid comments. In re-reading my earlier posts, I still feel like they were an honest documentation of the frustration and headaches I was dealing with with Apple's customer service at the time. If there's a measure of self pity in there, it was probably due to the continued frustration and run-around I was getting with Apple's retail genius bar and the AppleCare reps I was dealing with over the phone.


    With that said, this is the Apple Support Community, is it not? If I can't solicit advice and sympathy for my specific issue and grievences here, then where?


    In regards to what you perceive were complaints, they were merely two observations on my end, I felt they were pretty neutral to be honest, I did however want to make sure they were captured in the thread for later reference. To your point, they were fairly minor and I would have easily forgotten about them a week or two out. 


    As a consumer and creative professional, I would still heavily consider Apple products for work and fun, but as much as I hate to say it, other manufacturers have gained a lot of ground over the last couple of years. If Customer Service is to be a core differentiator for Apple (and in my humble opinion I think it will prove to be vital), they may need to reconsider their current approach at the retail level. At numerous points during my journey, I was told repeatedly by geniuses, general managers, AppleCare, and Repair Depot that there was nothing that could be done and each time that was eventually proven to be false (with the caveat that it took members here emailing me privately to walk me through a pathway towards resolution and finally putting me in touch with Apple's corporate executive relations teams to resolve the issue.) 


    I suspect that more people then needs to be are being lumped in with novice iPhone users who dropped their phone on the sidewalk and are requesting a brand new phone.


    Again, I appreciate the critique, if you have additional comments please feel free to post them below.


    Thank you,


    <Personal Information Edited by Host>

  • sbix Level 1 Level 1



    Thanks for accepting my comment in the way it was intented.  I don't want to make a bigger deal of it than it needs to be - Part of being an expert is to be very particular, I get that.  But your notes came across as what I described.  And I fully understand your frustration with the Geniuses at the Apple Store.  I've had liquid damage on 2 of my machines and have had them talk down to me with unreasonable suggestions in their stores, only to fawn over the white folks in the line after me.


    Anyway, I love AAPL products, I use them as much as I can.  I'm also thankful to be able to have thems.

  • The_ErsatZ_Planet Level 1 Level 1

    I have had this happen recently and of course was past the warrentee time. I was wondering is anyone has tried using the Expresscard/32 slot with an external monitor? I have been looking into Expresscard/32 video cards and you can get ones made to add monitors to the MBP for around $150. I was wondering is anyone has tried this route yet? I can still connect to my MBP via screen sharing and the embedded graphics chip still works but am hoping I can just connect it up to a cheap monitor via the Expresscard/32 slot.

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