Friday, 30 November 2012

Apple - Think Twice.


Apple - Think Different Twice.

I'm writing this because I think Apple may have changed. I have been a loyal customer for 11 years, but will think twice before every buying from them again. I hope anyone reading this will do the same.

I bought from Apple because they make (made) fantastic products that are a joy to use, and if they went wrong they would look after you. But I, like many others, have recently been on the wrong side of Apple and been left regretting swapping my cash for their shiny-new-thing.

As an illustration of the ghosting on my $4k machine, here’s a pic of my screen trying to show a plain grey screen after a photo of Phil Schiller (left), Tim Cook (centre), and Jonathan Ive (right) had been on it for 3 mins.


Phil Schiller, Tim Cook, Jonathan Ive, Ghosting


I'm not pretending my case is unique / new / particularly note-worthy. I just want to put it out there.

The short version:

I bought a retina-MBP, it had serious and annoying ghosting (a common problem). I asked apple to repair it (I have Apple care), they administered a spurious test (my opinion, see results below), said it was within their tolerances and refused. I, rather disappointed, complained at every possible level to no avail.

This is a real problem with my laptop that affects my use of the device every day. I am now having to pay myself to have the screen 'replaced' - not 'repaired' as Apple's representatives are keen to point out.

My opinion is that Apple have created a spurious test to get out of an expensive repair that affects a large number of devices. Worse, they have continued to ignore a customers genuine issue.

All this has left me disillusioned with Apple. Would I have spent $3k - including Apple Care! - with them knowing I would be this unsupported - having to spend £500 to repair replace my own faulty screen?. No.

Part of buying from Apple is knowing that you'll be looked after. I wasn't for the first time in 11 years, and I and others get the feeling that it is because Apple itself is changing.

The point of me writing this up & sharing is to encourage people to think twice before buying an Apple product - They still make amazing products, but they may not be the dependable company that their brand represents. It may no longer make sense for some people to trust that they'll be looked after by them.

The long version:

I purchased a few months ago a Retina MacBook Pro. When it arrived, I was happy and smug, as only an Apple-geek with the shiniest kit in town can be.

However, through day-to-day use I noticed strange lines appearing on the screen. First, when the unlock-screen presented itself, it seems to have a slight transparency to the desktop.

Once I noticed it, it seemed to get worse, though this might be because I knew about it & saw it more often, or because it did actually get worse. Either way I was getting less and less happy with my new shiny thing. I would work on a document, flick to working on some photos & there would be not-so-mysterious lines appear 'over' the images.

It wasn't long before I did some searches and found out that this was in fact something known as ghosting - a problem occurring with some of the retina MBPs.

I purchased the r-MBP because it was powerful enough to cope with my needs & had a fantastic screen. The screen now, was no longer fantastic. So, still smug, as I purchased apple care, I booked an appointment with a genius and prepared myself to be looked after.

I cannot remember the last time a saw a genius, not because I haven't seen one recently, but because it’s always been a pleasurable experience that falls back into the mists of past 'Apple is a great company' positive thoughts.

This time it was not. I left disillusioned with apple and an extremely unhappy customer.

I'll try to be brief on boring detail. But Apple’s decision about whether my screen was faulty hinged on a test. & despite the fact that I could repeat the issue, my laptop passed the test & no further help was offered…

Apple’s test:
(please note this is my representation of the test, not the actual test)

Apple’s test puts up a full-screen B&W grid for 3 minutes:


(whilst you try to contain your excitement)

Followed by a grey one for one minute:



…an exiting un-apple shade

Then you look for any residual patterns. If you see any residual patterns, the display is at fault. If there are none, you are.

…That my rMBP somehow passed…

When my r-MBP took the test in-store, there were no visible residual images.  I was stunned.

In my every-day use, I get ghost images all the time - it happens whenever I use the computer. Its a visual reminder that I spent thousands of pounds on a lemon!

Now Apple turns round, ‘showing’ that the problem I have doesn't exist. That, and my 15 mins is almost up, so I have to wait to discuss further, or go away and call Apple Care.

I was put in the position where I had to justify something that I knew was an issue, that Apple said wasn't. As a customer, I was far from happy. This is not a position I have ever been with Apple, and was not pleasant.

Is this really ok?

To give you an idea - I've now spent about 15 minutes writing this. I've just taken a photo of a plain grey window on my computer & you can just about read the text that I've written so far. But, according to apple's test this is not an issue, or rather 'within their tolerances'.



This is a plain grey window (+ cursor). According Apple & my retina display

Well, its not within my tolerance - or even reasonable expectation of how i'd expect a device sold on its screen to be - & I'd really like a company like Apple not to have tolerances set so disappointingly low, or to admit when they’re wrong.

My test

So I got home & did some tests on Apple’s test. What I found was quite interesting:

1. White on Black doesn't seem to generate the strongest ghosting effect - White on Dark-grey does
2. Your ability to see the ghosting depends on the shade of the grey screen you use afterwards
3. Over the course of the one minute you are meant to leave it, an extremely strong effect can almost disappear.

You might think this last point is irrelevant, but hang on, If you work on one thing, then switch to another (e.g. an image) are you then to wait one-minute until the screen catches up with you to carry on? “perfect clarity” indeed.

Anyway. I developed a quick test of my own - keeping with the same timings, but changing the following:

 1 .I use different shades of grey (<50) instead of black chequered pattern.



2. I used a darkish grey screen to view effects afterwards
3. I took photos (with the iPhone 4 I have to hand) before and after the one minute leaving period.

After 3 minutes of the test screen the results were clear:



Don’t worry, Apple says this isn’t relevant.

After 1 minute they were very faint, but still present (please ignore my silhouette):

Again, don’t worry, Apple says you don’t care

The problem with Apple’s test:

After two small tweaks, EITHER: Grey-on-white, OR, a different shaded test-screen – Apple’s test has an utterly different result.

The test is right-on-the edge of detecting my displays issue, and Apple has failed to deal with or detect the real customer issue. A customer that has by this point, spent a lot of money with Apple.

I can only imagine that this has happened either through incompetence (poor test design), or by Apple constructing a deliberately self-serving test to deal with an otherwise expensive repair. Either way I’d been fobbed off.

But my problem isn’t Apple’s test:

My experience as a whole was extremely negative, and I don’t remember it being like that. I remember an Apple that bent over backwards to understand its customers’ point of view and stretched itself to meet the high expectations it sets.

Having written to them about my test (a past version of this blog post), they got in contact to repeat their stance: The test was passed, it didn’t matter what I stated the issue was, or what I could demonstrate. Line in the sand. No leeway.

My view of Apple has changed. As a loyal customer of apple for almost 11 years (iMac G4) my loyalty has been shaken.

Even the Apple store, a relatively new invention of my time with Apple has changed. I’ve been in with the most absurd of problems, and been treated to nothing but patience, flexibility and generosity from Apple. This seems to have been superseded by a “Computer says no” style, where I get told that I have to call Apple myself to take things further.

Is Apple still a great company that works to provide amazing products and user experience to its customers? Or is it just my memory ghosting?

What Apple should do:

I don’t pretend to know what Apple should be doing. It’s a fantastically innovative company seeking profits in an intensely competitive environment. But at the very least it needs to do two things:

·  Change the test – it is either dishonest or just not fair to customers
·  Don’t try to fob customers off – it goes against everything Apple stood for



75 comments:

  1. Come out of the closed walled Garden and see for yourself, there are more beautiful things. :) Everything which is expensive, might not be better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds lovely. Have suggestions?

      Delete
    2. http://zareason.com/ I have three of their laptops - they're beautiful, they last a long time, and the service is amazing.

      Delete
    3. Or www.system76.com. I've been developing solely on one of their GazP6es for the past year and it's been an absolute pleasure. State of the art insides (128GBSSD, 500GB HD, 16GB RAM, 1920x1080 matte screen, quad core... I could go on) for less than $1500.

      And the customer service is fantastic - I had an issue with my drivers and I called the support line; it sent me straight to a technician who actually knew his shit and resolved the issue in 5 minutes.

      What's more, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is much more stable and usable than Windows 8. I've been experimenting with open source since Ubuntu 4.10, and I never thought I'd see the day when Linux was not only more powerful but also better designed and more reliable than the Windows alternative. The future is here!

      Delete
    4. Do any other manufacturers build Hi-DPI laptops/software?

      This is not a fanboy response, I am genuinely curious.

      Delete
    5. I had the exact same shadowing / image retention / burn-in or whatever other name there is for it on my new mac pro with retina display. I tried 4 times to get one with a samsung display and every time I sent it back I got another one with an LG display and the same problem. I spoke to the office of the president about 10 times about this and sent them pictures of my display with clearly visible shadowing (I wish I could upload them here). The images stayed on the screen for over 10 minutes. They kept telling me the only thing they were willing to do was to test it in the store. When I asked what they could do about it if it didn't meet their tolerance they said they would replace the screen. I asked if it would be a new samsung display since my computer was new. They said they could not guarantee it would be new or a samsung but it would meet Apple's quality standards - even getting them to answer that question took about 3 calls and me asking the same question about 10 times. They're completely full of it. I decided to not even bother because I was too pissed off with their ridiculous attitude and customer service after spending thousands of dollars on their products.

      You should post this complaint on eQuibbly.com and invite Apple head office to have a public dispute about it and let the people decide who is right with their votes. eQuibbly is a new online dispute resolution site where each side posts their side of the story and the public gets to vote for who should win the dispute.

      Delete
  2. It's a problem with the displays manufactured by LG. The retina Macbooks have displays manufactured by both LG and Samsung. The LG displays (even if they start off perfect) have a high incidence rate of showing the burn-in or ghosting over time and under high temp conditions.

    You can identify whether your display is LG or Samsung with

    ioreg -lw0 | grep \"EDID\" | sed "/[^<]*</s///" | xxd -p -r | strings -6

    in your Terminal window. If your display LCD starts with LP.. its probably and LG panel. If LSN, its a samsung. You can ask a Genius to check backroom inventory for this part number: 661-7171 which is the Samsung replacement panel. They're remove the entire top half of ur rMBP and give u a complete new display/bezel/top cover in a day or less.

    Thats the process to get it fixed... at least in my experience. =/ hth

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well I had the same issues but when Apple replaced my display they used Samsung display instead of LG. Ones manufactured by Samsung works perfectly but ones made by LG have these issues. I guess most if not all users are affected because Apple official discussion board is full with complaints and all these displays are made by LG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got the same experience, but the Samsung display I got has an awful yellow tint, I got it replaced again and got a second yellow tinted Samsung display. Check this out: (left retina, right 17" mbp) https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1929707/IMG_6826.jpg

      Delete
    2. Yeah it does look yellow. Luckily mine is working just fine. I have external display as well and colors looks almost the same on both.

      I am one of those lucky ones, I guess.

      Delete
    3. Did you try to adjust the color temperatures? I would adjust the display to the right side. It looks way too blueish. The right side looks reddish though.

      Delete
  4. I had this same issue, but unlike you I live in the US and I think we get better CS here. I did have to complain to the highest levels of apple to get someone to fix it. This problem exists in literally HALF of their machines on the market. That is why they have constructed this self-serving, completely bullshit test. I, like you, had HORRIBLE ghosting issues that were apparent even in the 5 minutes I was at the apple care box, but their test showed no problem. You are correct. It made me rethink buying from Apple ever again as a customer of over 11 years myself.

    Your post is spot on: Apple, think twice. Because I am.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Yes. The problem is with CS in US and CS is other countries are totally different. The level of services from Apple in non US countries are rather poor and this makes us feel we are treated like a 2nd class citizen.

      Delete
    2. Just as an example for how the non-english world gets handled:
      If i want to to register into apple developer program i would need to use my full name but apple's registration system seem to be using iso-8859-1 (in 2012, dude) for storing names and every accented character in my name (encoded as utf8 on submission) result in a mangled multi-character ASCII noise. Top notch.

      Delete
  5. Time to say it's not fit for purpose and turn to the Sales of Goods Act. Send them a letter before action (with documentary evidence showing any and all correspondence you've had with them), give them 14 days to reply then file a county court claim with Money Claim Online.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had similar issues and Apple had to replace the entire screen.

    @John Birch is correct, the LG screens are the bad ones. Here's a script to run to tell you which you have.

    https://raw.github.com/SixArm/sixarm_unix_shell_scripts/master/macbook-pro-retina-screen-manufacturer

    ReplyDelete
  7. At this point, you may as well "accidentally" drop your MBP and request a new one through Apple Care.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I discovered a problem. I made my flood-fill swap the two dither colors if one color matched the background. You will no longer get unexpected dither-color swaps, but bad things might happen depending on what is under the flood-fill location (if one color matches the background it no longer courtiously switchs the colors).

    ReplyDelete
  9. When I started with an eMac I was so-what impressed. Everything looked nice and I could work so much better. Later I migrated to other macs, and my software worked everywhere. After a while I decided to buy myself something really great (and expensive): Logic Pro 8 was running on Snow Leo. It costs me 300 Euros. Now apple "forces" me to upgrade, because they "force" developers to develop for the new platform and I (programmer) need recent software.
    But Logic Pro 8 is not longer supported on 10.7 and 10.8. I really don't need this "innovations" from the new versions, because there are none. I don't need Facebook integrated in my OS. I don't want all these scary bugs which come with 10.7/10.8. And I don't want to pay another lot of money to get Logic Pro 9, because I am an amateur musician. And it is said Logic pro 9 is painful when it comes to bugs.

    So, where is the "don't make me think" mentality? Where is the quality, not only hardware wise? A friend of mine had a dead pixel on his brandnew MPB.

    You are right, Apple has changed. When I have no chance to deny the new OSX anymore I am going to install Linux on my MBP. And when I change hardware, I will not go with an MBP. I really hope Apple is doing great boxes, great software for people who want to work with the machines again soon. I hope there is INNOVATION, not just the next iPhone or broken software like this Maps-thing.

    Rants away, I am sorry you have made that worse experience. I am definitely thinking again when I replace my laptop early 2014.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The persistent layer obeys no window boundaries after drawn. It's for beginners, and sometimes advanced people. Most advanced people use the graphics that draw over-and-over at 60fps. I created the persistent layer for kids, like when I was a kid and did HGR, HCOLOR=12, HLINE 100,100 to 200,200. The modern equivalent is CDC *dc=DCAlias; dc->color=BLUE; GrLine(dc,100,100,200,200); DCFill(dc); DCDel(dc);

    ReplyDelete
  11. I also had a problem with my rMBP it constantly restarted and would enter these restart loops & have restart errors. Returned it and got a maxed out MacBook air

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have been an Apple fanboy for a very long time but I feel they have changed as a company. I for one, don't think they're truly innovating on either front (general computing or mobile). Their recent patent disputes also left a bad taste in my mouth. That said, they still make some amazing hardware though not for me anymore. I left the ecosystem behind for these reasons:

    - hate iTunes
    - don't like app approval process
    - hate iSnobs (which I used to be)
    - dislike Objective-C

    I have recently switched to a Galaxy Note 2 and a Lenovo ThinkPad W530 with 32 GB of RAM, Ivy Bridge, dual SSD's, etc. and I have to say that I do not regret my decision. I am using Windows 7 because I feel Windows 8 will not benefit me as of right now (no touch screen). As a software developer most of my platform is cloud-based. It matters little what my desktop environment is but I have come to grow tired of Apple and their world with walls.

    I am doing work with node.js, django, play framework, and now asp.net mvc 4 and I have had nothing but positive experiences with using Windows. I don't hate Macs or Apple I just got tired of them and their fascist ways. I feel like after Steve passed on so did the company. It just doesn't feel the same to me.

    My $.02

    ReplyDelete
  13. I got my Retina MacBook Pro in August and this ghosting issue has been happening more and more. I brought the computer into the Genius Bar at an Apple Store and demonstrated by pulling up a news site for about two minutes and showing that you could clearly see the browser edges and read the text on the screen after completely quitting Chrome. I moved an icon on my desktop and you could very clearly tell what the icon was and read the text under it. Their response: "well, it's possible you've had that text on your screen for a month just to get money back." No, Genius, I haven't had a news article published an hour ago on my screen for a month. They did the test, pointing the screen down so I couldn't see it, and then the instructions were to "look at the grey area," but there was no grey area. They decided my computer was fine, but offered to take it in for 5+ days for testing. I had to buy another computer (a MacBook Air) so that I could even get work done.

    This burn-in / ghosting issue is seriously frustrating when you're trying to code and flipping between a browser and an IDE, and when I do photo editing work, it's completely intolerable. I never would have thought a $2,300 computer would be a paperweight within a couple months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya, I've heard the same from a few blokes I know. Some of us opted for these:

      http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/thinkpad/w-series/w530/

      when we were asked about an upgrade at work. I haven't looked back. I have Debian on small partition too for when I need Unix. Its not as sleek as the MB's but it's a damn solid machine.

      Delete
    2. You bought a Macbook Air from them after this?
      I don't know what to say. Don't let yourself be bullied and still come back after?

      Delete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just don't be a 1st-gen fool, bro. Not saying its not great to have the newest tech, but don't fall for the marketing hype of "new" when you can save some bucks and have just as a productive machine by going one step back in the line. :)

      Delete
  15. Jesus.... a 4k$ machine in 2012?! Must be keen to fill apple's bank account and slave the foxconn employees

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's very easy to fake the test and pretend to the customer they are within the tolerances.
    What it takes is to provide an _already compensated_ gray image after the checker pattern. If the checkers don't show up, you are within their, built-in, test tolerance. If not, then the screen is too way off or good to begin with (either the compensation is not enough or you see the compensated gray)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I saved for 4 years to get a new MBP. Finally ordered a MBP retina 15" with 768GB SSD & 16GB RAM & AppleCare. It cost about $5k CAD.

    I too had the ghosting issue, but I was busy getting married & honeymooning, so I didn't get around to taking it into the Apple Store for 2.5 months.

    I took it in. Showed them the ghosting (I left my text editor open for a few minutes, then opened daringfireball.net in a browser on top of the editor). It was clearly visible (as it is in yours). They ran diagnostics using a thunderbolt-attached computer, and then told me it would take 3-5 days to swap out the screen for a new one. They didn't do a visual test pattern or anything like that.

    I had no problem whatsoever getting it replaced.
    Maybe you should try another Apple Store.
    That kind of inconsistency is totally frustrating, but I've never experienced it personally.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Who the hell would pay $5000 for a laptop?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And me.

      I make my living off my computer. You bet I'll pay more for quality hardware and service.

      Delete
    2. I make my living off my computer too. I'm a game developer. There's no way in hell I would spend $5000 on a laptop.

      Delete
    3. Theologically speaking, you actually have a point there.

      Delete
  19. I've had two HORRIBLE encounters with Apple now over two unrelated issues, the first issue was related to my charger. I had just got back from a 2 week holiday in Turkey and while there the connection connecting the laptop to the brick had worn away and actually burnt there was obvious burning and charring. I went to Apple explained this is a obvious design flaw cause this should of never happened. They wouldn't accept it and would not replace the charger free of charge which I thought was only fair as this could of caused a serious fire if I didn't notice it.

    The second time was related to the laptop it self. I have a mid-2010 15" Macbook Pro, and my laptop has developed a case of crashing, the crashes occur pretty much randomly but most commonly when the laptop is under strain and animations. I was able to reproduce this crash in front of Apple "Geniuses" but they told me that they couldn't use that as proof. They then performed a test, surprise... surprise it came back negative and they wouldn't accept my method as a way to reproduce the fault.

    I was extremely disappointed with Apple over this and the way they fobbed me off.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You can sort of fix this by flashing full screen colors rapidly. There was a program Samsung support had me download that would un-ghost a display, and it worked very well! You can see somebody else solution here:http://www.beginnercode.com/2005/11/16/lcd-ghost-remedy/

    Anyway I was hell banned at hackernews but hopefully people there can take this idea and help you out. Also, you can run OSX 10.8 on my thinkpad like I do:)

    ReplyDelete
  21. We use iMacs at work for development, and they have had similar ghosting problems. We've also had hard drives fail as well. Anecdotally, I've had better reliability with plain old Dell boxes; my home 'server' is an ancient Dell Vostro with software RAID.

    My suggestion for a laptop: get a Lenovo :-) I'm running a ThinkPad L520 with Linux Mint and it's great; all* the devices work out of the box, and the matte screen and quality keyboard are light-years ahead of any Apple offering. Lots of RAM, i7 CPU, SSD ... it fairly flies along.

    * there is a driver glitch where sometimes the SD card socket doesn't automount; this is being fixed

    ReplyDelete
  22. While I'll grant that service experience varies from location to location, I'm really doubting whether the conclusion of the author has any validity at all. I'm also the owner of a rMBP and I too have had ghosting issues - I've already had the screen replaced once and the issue persists. However, I happen to believe that those who choose to be on the "bleeding edge" of any technology, display or otherwise, need to be aware that issues are going to be much more frequent then if they were to wait till the tech has been fine-tuned and made more mainstream.

    I just got back from the Apple Store - my second time with this display issue, recall - and not only did the Apple Genius agree with me that the screen needed replacement, he literally "took [my] word for it" that the display was as bad as I said it was. I had only a few minutes to run the "checker box test" (I used the "official Apple" test image from this blog in fact, so thanks for that), he spotted the (very faint) lines forming and instantly recognized the issue and approved my repair.

    Quite honestly, I was taken aback - after reading this post and many of the comments I truly expected to have to argue my way through to higher management. The Genius was not only willing to repair my device, he was aware of the issue in general and even bothered to give me an 'attaboy' for having the checkerboard image ready to demonstrate. I don't know how these Apple guys could have been anymore helpful - they even arranged the repair to be made over a weekend to minimize my downtime (I explained this machine is my primary work computer).

    Oh, and when my time was up, the Genius stuck around to run a battery test on my sister's iPhone - without an appointment.

    Obviously, we can't prove a trend based on anyone's personal experience, but I know for a fact I've never encountered a more helpful crew of support personnel in any industry, let alone computers. Will I be thinking twice before buying my next Mac? Uh... yeah, I would hope anyone spending +$1k on a computer would be thinking twice about such an investment.

    The real question is whether I will be thinking *at all* of purchasing a computer from any other manufacturer.

    Nuff said.

    ReplyDelete
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  24. Same problem here , bought a $3000 macbook pro retina 15". Same ghosting issue , contacted apple and their 'engineers' told me its a usual thing for a HD display and advised me to use a screensaver. ME = WTF?!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Apple had became this overly mark up and arrogant company. The now became so called Apple Genius people at Apple stores, most doesn't really know anything but make important and over-diagnose everything. Burnt main board is the estimate. it was not just HD crash in other Mac repair places.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Matthew, I've had my own problems with Apple - it seems that customer service is no longer king (at least not in the UK Retail stores). Without going into the details of my case (which was very different - details at http://www.markwilson.co.uk/blog/2012/07/does-apple-consider-itself-to-be-above-the-law.htm for those who are interested), consumer law is on your side here.

    Your machine is a) in warranty and b) nearly new.

    The Sale of Goods Act 1979 says that goods must be:

    * as described,
    * of satisfactory quality, and
    * fit for purpose

    More details at http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/sale-of-goods/understanding-the-sale-of-goods-act/your-rights/

    The Act also gives consumers up to six years to pursue claims. Although UK law does not specify how long a product should last (all products and manufacturers are different), a product is considered faulty if it stops working properly in less time than a reasonable person would expect the product to last.

    If you purchased it on a credit card, there may be some protection there too...

    Note that I am not lawyer - but your local trading standards department may be able to advise further.

    ReplyDelete
  27. It's temperature. Ghosting on an LCD happens with elevated temperature.

    In the store, you had probably just turned it on, and the laptop was cold. At home you use it, and it's warm.

    Try again, this time use the laptop for a long time in the store first, and get it (the screen) good and hot, and only then have them test it.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Apple is now a big company. They have to do some big company things like have policies to help them run the business. This includes pissing off a few customers. In general the first versions of their high end products have had some display issues ( the big iMac a while back and now the MBP RD ) and the display is a huge expense to fix. If the problem is widespread enough for them to be able to "put" the cost back on the display maker they might get more cooperative.

    Generally they have always taken good care of me but I have witnessed times when they have been uncharitable in giving support to others at the "genius" bar.

    Your Applecare contract goes for a while so maybe your display will deterioriate further and allow it to be viewed as a "failure" so they will fix it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. In the words of Tyler Durden...

    "You are not your Macbook Pro Retina"

    Just let it go and enjoy life :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm VERY happy with $250 Chromebook :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chromebooks are over-glorified web browsers.

      Delete
  31. "different shades of grey (<50)"

    I see what you did there :p

    ReplyDelete
  32. I had an experience with my iPhone 4S problem that I thought Apple did something deliberately to rip their customers off(at least their store managers are lying to customers). In short, camera in my iPhone failed to work. I brought it to Apple store. This Genius took it inside and returned 10 minutes later, saying he found water spot in the phone. He said it must be my fault. He did not mention those liquid detecting indicators were all normal. Instead, he and store manager said "We don't know what customers do with their phones. If there is liquid inside, it is your fault." He said I need to pay USD 220 (something like that) to get a replacement phone. I told them I had never spilled water on it. I even alluded to the humid weather. They said if it is humidity, it is still my fault. Well, afterwards I brought it to the repair shop from the carrier that sold me this iphone, they found that it was camera hardware problem....It was another story that I found the replacement phones all have problems. So, the replacement phone failed to work after a slight drop. The next (my current) iPhone 4S cannot take photos properly with its flashlight on. Well, I am sick of going back for replacement, because I don't know if next defect could be worse...

    So, I concluded that it must be a hidden rule or policy in the store to avoid admittmance of Apple problem and shift responsibility to customers first. I was really disgusted and thought Apple was just another company, like others...

    Don't think it is anything special... compare prices and choices and make a purchase...

    ReplyDelete
  33. It sounds like you purchased the computer recently. If it is still within the return window, then simply return it or exchange it. Apple offers extended return periods during the Christmas season, so there is a good chance they will do a retail return/exchange. If the model you purchased is a CTO, then you will have to go through the online store as they wont' have that inventory at a brick and mortar location. There is likely an issue, and the technician helping you probably wanted to help, but the avenues were limited by the the busyness of appointments in the store and service notices from Apple that don't highlight this issue yet. If it is pervasive, Apple will make good on it, they just have to work out the correct solution which can take a bit of time. A good example is the recall of 1TB Seagate HDDs in iMacs which Apple is doing at no charge these days. They tend not to just throw parts at computers as that may not resolve the issue if the same style part is put on, then you just go through a spiral of repair after repair, which is never good. So your options are to return/exchange or sit tight. If you opt to sit tight, I recommend making another genius bar appointment, bring in a video or pictures of the ghosting issue on your computer and ask their team to escalate the issue to engineering. This will help Apple realize there is an issue as well as you will potentially get a response from the engineering team in charge of this model computer. I hope that helps, sorry to hear that your appointment felt like you weren't be treated well.

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  34. My whole experience with Apple is that they just want my money.

    Last year I purchased my first Apple computer, the 13" Air. It's a magnificent piece of machinery, to be sure. Which is why I bought it.

    About six months ago, I managed to spill coffee on the keyboard, and quickly turned the thing upside-down. I hoped that would prevent damage, but it turned out the keyboard was indeed damaged.

    I went to the regional Apple store, "Humac", and was told that
    1) The keyboard was soldered onto the logic board and thus couldn't be replaced.
    2) The price of just examining the unit, without even trying to "clean" it (in that repairing it was out of the question, as it would be cheaper to buy a new unit) was about 1 third of the original price in labor costs.
    3) I'd be much better off buying a new unit straight away, and here it was.

    What I took from that was that regardless of damage, there was no point in me NOT trying to clean the keyboard myself, as the official Apple answer was that the cheapest solution was to buy a new Air.

    As it turned out, what I was told was a lie. The keyboard is NOT soldered onto the logic board. Yes, it can be replaced. Yes, I managed to disassemble my Air and clean the keyboard. No, it didn't help, but I could buy a replacement keyboard/top part for 1 sixth of my original purchase price. And yes, it was repairable (by me), and I'm writing on it right now.

    The lesson I learned was, "F*** Apple and their minions, that just want to milk my wallet". I don't care how desirable their next product is, I'm never sending a single cent in their direction. They treat me, the customer, as an idiot and try to get my money? I treat them as the horrible company they've showed themselves as, and use whatever chance I get to share my experience.

    I'm still quite fond of my Air though, even if it, too, has weird ghosting (white specks, another fault widely experienced with 2011 Airs, and completely ignored by Apple).

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    Replies
    1. Your experience sounds very familiar to me. I went through the same thing with a cracked screen on a $1200 MacBook Pro. The physical damage was my fault, but the Apple store was not equipped to provide any help for a month-old laptop other than charging $1000 for a completely new upper portion of the laptop. Apple HQ was no more help.

      http://www.timgarrett.net/2009/09/18/why-apple-will-no-longer-be-part-of-my-life/
      http://www.timgarrett.net/2009/09/25/macbook-pro-teardown/

      In the end, I spent $220 and Apple lost a customer.

      Delete
    2. Both of your conclusions are silly. Your expectation that Apple should lift a finger for you at all for damage caused by yourselves is ridiculous. Go ahead, try another brand. Try intentionally spilling coffee on it or cracking the screen, since it will be the same type of damage, and see what the manufacturer says.

      Delete
  35. I would also suggest to try your luck with Apple authorized service provider instead of the apple store. They are usually mom & pop store and they try their best to earn your future business.

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  38. I bought a mbp last year after just 6 months I faced with overheating problem its failed my graphics card and they refused to repair and I didn't get it. I'm still not using my laptop since then.

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  39. My Mac Mini spontaneously reboots itself, sometimes every few minutes. When it returns, a dialog box tells me that I must have rebooted it. Not!

    I had hoped to use it as a media center, but all Web browsers crash regularly when trying to watch video over the Internet, such as from YouTube. A Flash problem, I presume, but I don't care if Jobs didn't like Flash.

    Good thing it is only a side computer that I use on the few occasions when I need to get screen grabs of Mac software for my writing projects.

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  40. I had the exact same issue with my MBPR in Hong Kong. I went to the store, left my machine on for 10 minutes and then showed two managers. They tried to fob me off initially by saying it was normal for any LCD to do that. After I went ape shit they relented and replaced the screen. The new screen was also faulty (again LG). Again I went back, had the same issues, they ran the stupid test which it passed, but then I showed them my test (open a couple of Finder windows, leave for 3 minutes, flip to Dashboard or an empty Photoshop) and they didn't have a leg to stand on (especially as I'd shown two people and they had *both* agreed that they had seen the issue). Third replacement, thank God, was a Samsung, which finally resolved it. Frankly i left me disgusted with Apple.

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  41. So show them your own test, then. And if you believe their test is faulty, write to Tim Cook.

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  42. I also believe there's a big difference between the "NEW" Apple and the Apple we all loved and admired, in many ways it's becaming more and more a business as usual and less of a think different.

    Thinking different used to apply to all aspects of Apple and these days their business practices makes them yet another one in the pack instead of playing different from the others. Just because you make more money doesn't mean you're doing it right.

    I came across Seth Godin post this week on "The cycle of customers who care (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2012/12/the-cycle-of-customers-who-care.html)" and after reading this post of yours, I wish that someone at Apple remember that the fact that you're on the top today only means that you're not going to be there forever and they should have learned this part once, when they almost disappear, back then they had the all might Jobs to come and save the day, but right now it feels his followers are failing his mandates..

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  43. You pay 4k for a laptop and then are surprised that Apple treats you like you are stupid?

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  44. For what it's worth I took my new 15" Retina Dosplay MBP into the Apple Store Genius Bar, did my own checkerboard test in front of them, showed them the result, and they immediately gave me a new one with the other type of display (LG vs Samsung) and I no longer have the ghosting problem.

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  45. You see, when Apple acknowledges a defect or design flaw in their product, their strategy is to replace your defective product with an UN-used, equally defective back stock of the same product, as many times as it takes to get you through your warranty or the end of your apple care cycle.

    For things like shitty batteries, time-capsules that die in 18 months, and defect flukes that only affect a differential proportion of the product line, this strategy works well enough so that the customer just :[ at the end of the 3 years or whatever the length of the warranty is, and generally accept its time to get a new one.

    They have been doing this since AT LEAST since 2006.

    But the thing is, they also do this for things that are as defective as they ever will be, which is the camp you are in now. They have been like this for a while now.

    I realized this over the last few years, and now I dont think I will ever buy apple unless they change this.

    The only problem is that QA is so low across the entire electronics industry, I cant decide who else I would want to buy from.

    Buying a computer suck these days :(

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  46. We see so many useless blog posts on the web that when someone like you takes the time to fully document a problem and expose an unfair situation, I find this very refreshing. Thank you!

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  47. Hmmm ... I shall stick to my Macbook Air for now then. Ghosting is an issue on a lot of devices though - are you sure you can buy a better alternative?

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  48. @Matthew,

    Quick question: which model retina macbook is that? The screen looks strangely out of proportion to the bevel around it. None of the retina macbook pros on Apple's site have a similar looking screen.

    http://www.apple.com/why-mac/compare/notebooks.html

    Just curious, I guess.

    -yitz..

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  49. If anyone is struggling to recreate this, i can recreate this issue easily on my retina MBP. I use Citrix remote desktop to log into my windows computer at work. then i swipe to a desktop that has a dark gray background and you can see the remote desktop ghosting on the gray background.

    it ghosts pretty much immediately.

    i plan to go to the apple store soon, and while i am waiting, launch remote desktop so when i get to teh counter, i can just show them the ghosting in action. Hopefully that will get them to replace. I'm more concerned about long term issues that may come with this ghosting, since, like all of you, i dropped ~ 3K for my Retina.

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  50. Had an awful Apple experience last summer with my wife's laptop (MBA) which developed a screen fault.

    Despite significant protest, and an admittance in the Apple Store that the unit was faulty rather than damaged, I still had to pay to have it repaired. The repair was botched four times. In all, I wasted 11 trips to the Apple store.

    Since then, I have moved my desktop back to PC, moved my mobile phone to Android, and my next laptop will not be an Apple either. This is partly because of the repair experience, and partly because I have no faith in the OS/X / IOS integration for my use case.

    Sad times.

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  51. I am on to my third iMac,after the screen was replaced 8times by an Apple Dealer,not the Apple Store.
    This has been going on since 2009.
    I have just sent 2 screen shots to Apple which they requested.
    They will not pick up the faults,until it gets worse.
    It shows up better when the computer is switched off. Grey streaks coming from the top right of the screen.

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  52. I may have lost my friends apple product and I'm planning on buying her a new one if its lost. I'm ot sure if it was an I touch or an iPhone, could you give me the most expensive prise for both of those so i can save up the money to get them?

    auto serive

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