MacBookPro - I think I was sold a REFURB!!!

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Tarekith
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Post by Tarekith » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:23 pm

I had this exact same issue recently, took my MBP in for a repair, and the serial came back under someone else's name. The genius bar guy did some digging, and it turns out that the purchasing agent for the batch of MBP's mine was from never released his name from the batch records. The Apple store manager happened to be right by us when he heard this, and told me that this sometimes happens on Apple products. Some newb in purchasing forgets to release the serial numbers once the product has arrived at the store.

Anyway, it's not a big deal man, the apple store should be able to transfer it back to your name no problem.

mohler
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Post by mohler » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:22 pm

I took a picture of the inside of my battery bay and there's a big sticker over the Original Serial which says Apple Certified Referb. I'll post it when I can suck it off my camera.

All the refurbs that I've seen have something similar.
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leonardrock
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Post by leonardrock » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:59 am

Tarekith wrote:I had this exact same issue recently, took my MBP in for a repair, and the serial came back under someone else's name. The genius bar guy did some digging, and it turns out that the purchasing agent for the batch of MBP's mine was from never released his name from the batch records. The Apple store manager happened to be right by us when he heard this, and told me that this sometimes happens on Apple products. Some newb in purchasing forgets to release the serial numbers once the product has arrived at the store.

Anyway, it's not a big deal man, the apple store should be able to transfer it back to your name no problem.
Interesting....I just don't understand why this agent's name has to be stamped on the machine's serial number. I'm no shipping guru but can't they just code a box of products that are tied to a specific location? And why an individual? Why not "box of Macs, Topeka, Kansas"

Crazy shit.......

Anyhow, here's an update....reformatted one of my bum drives with a 7-pass erase, loaded my libraries of mp3's and then tried to play them in iTunes. Sure enough, it seized again. Disk Warriored the drive and "rebuilt"its directory. Same issue, communication to/from the drive is faulty.

I'm just not seeing how this is not a MBP problem. The obvious suspicion is that it's an iTunes bug, but the thing seizes with Finder as well, I can't even poke around on the drive's contents.
15" MBP 2.5 gHz, 4 GB, OSX 10.5.6, M-Audio FW-410, Axiom 49, Trigger Finger, Line6 POD XT, Live 7, PTMP 8

adventurepants_
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Post by adventurepants_ » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:03 am

this is something that ALL computer companies do.

its also why those in the know will never ever ever get anything else but a "fix on site" warranty with a laptop.

once the broken laptop leaves you, it becomes a nameless broken laptop in the system. they then send you a fixed laptop, but not necessarily the same one you sent in, and probably not one that was treated anywhere near as well as you treated yours!

mohler
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Post by mohler » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:07 am

adventurepants_ wrote:this is something that ALL computer companies do.

its also why those in the know will never ever ever get anything else but a "fix on site" warranty with a laptop.

once the broken laptop leaves you, it becomes a nameless broken laptop in the system. they then send you a fixed laptop, but not necessarily the same one you sent in, and probably not one that was treated anywhere near as well as you treated yours!
Strange that, cause I sent a MacBook in with the chip cooling problem that blighted the first run and I got the same one back. (same serial and other identifiers) but they have replaced the HD, logic board, chip and keyboard. Cleaned it too. Well impressed and it only took 2 days.
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adventurepants_
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Post by adventurepants_ » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:13 am

its more about the internals than the case. if a logic board fails, and the laptop gets sent away, they will probably replace the logic board with either a new one, or one thats been returned with a minor error and repaired. your logic board will then get assessed if its worth reparing, and if it is will probably end up in someone elses machine. same thing happens with batteries, drives etc.

adventurepants_
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Re: MacBookPro - I think I was sold a REFURB!!!

Post by adventurepants_ » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:19 am

leonardrock wrote:Fellow Forumites, I'd like your input on what I believe to be a possible scam:

I have had a serious problem with my MBP and the FW/USB ports which, to make a long story short, has caused 4 of my external hard drives (2 Maxtors and 2 WD's) to be rendered unusable. One of the drives was brand new so I am ruling out user error. I brought the MBP to my local Apple Store where they sent it out to be repaired. Although I can't recall exactly the process of the repair it involved replacing the "logic board" and replacing both I/O panels on each side of the laptop. Perhaps I'm missing something but let's just call it a serious overhaul for a laptop that is still under its initial 1-year warranty.

I got the MBP back, wiped the system drive and reinstalled OS X (to eliminate any issues from software) and the problems reoccurred immediately.

Here's where it gets sketchy.....I bought this machine "new" from the above Apple Store this past July and until a few days ago thought this was freshly unwrapped from the Apple factory. However, upon an initial phone call to Apple Care, in which I provided my model's serial number, the associate said that it was not registered under my name for some reason and registered under another person's name.....

WHAT?!?!?

Upon bringing the MBP to my local store to setup a repair I asked the Genius why my machine was registered under another person's name when I purchased what I was told was a brand new unit for full price. He did not provide a definitive answer however he did say that if my machine was indeed a refurb, the serial number would be re-coded with an "R" at the beginning. Mine did not and therefore "was not a refurb".

Personally, I feel this is absurd. Unless Apple is NAMING their MBP's upon birth in the factory, how could a BRAND NEW product have any association whatsoever to another person unless it was opened, registered, and then returned?

My questions to all of you:

1. What do you make of this?
2. After an extensive repair and complete reinstall of OS X already, can I assume this MBP is a lemon?
3. Should I actively pursue a full replacement since I am still within warranty?
how long ago did you buy the laptop? if its within a month or so, then they should replace it as a DOA. if its been a few months, they could quite rightly bounce it around their system, and exchange whatever faulty parts with refurbs that they like. it all depends what kind of warranty you got.

smutek
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Post by smutek » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:28 am

leonardrock wrote:HB-
Shipping costs if from home?.
Apple will pay shipping both way's.

This has been my experience with a battery and mouse swap via mail, and I can't see it being any different for your laptop.

Amberience
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Post by Amberience » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:42 am

adventurepants_ wrote:its more about the internals than the case. if a logic board fails, and the laptop gets sent away, they will probably replace the logic board with either a new one, or one thats been returned with a minor error and repaired. your logic board will then get assessed if its worth reparing, and if it is will probably end up in someone elses machine. same thing happens with batteries, drives etc.
That sounds a little wrong to me. Anytime I've experienced a broken product, they've taken the whole product and replaced it with a brand new one. Said old product then goes into the pile of "may be able to fix and sell at a reduced price" pile.

But I've never been aware of them replacing COMPONENTS and putting the components in a pile. That wouldn't make much sense. What if they had twelve hard drives, two cases, and one mainboard. They're gonna lose profit on all of that.

Nah.. a lot more likely they'd just replace the entire thing. Then if the old one can be salvaged, they'll still make money on it.

adventurepants_
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Post by adventurepants_ » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:34 am

Amberience wrote:
adventurepants_ wrote:its more about the internals than the case. if a logic board fails, and the laptop gets sent away, they will probably replace the logic board with either a new one, or one thats been returned with a minor error and repaired. your logic board will then get assessed if its worth reparing, and if it is will probably end up in someone elses machine. same thing happens with batteries, drives etc.
That sounds a little wrong to me. Anytime I've experienced a broken product, they've taken the whole product and replaced it with a brand new one. Said old product then goes into the pile of "may be able to fix and sell at a reduced price" pile.

But I've never been aware of them replacing COMPONENTS and putting the components in a pile. That wouldn't make much sense. What if they had twelve hard drives, two cases, and one mainboard. They're gonna lose profit on all of that.

Nah.. a lot more likely they'd just replace the entire thing. Then if the old one can be salvaged, they'll still make money on it.
it honestly depends on the part. if its a bit on the logic board that is cheaper to get someone to resolder, than it is to write off the whole cost of the logic board, then thats what theyll do. those parts that are then considered 'good as new' can be put into some warranty jobs. anyone whos ever worked at a name brand computer reseller can tell you many worse stories.

philipc
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Post by philipc » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:22 pm

If its a refurb it'll say so on the sticker inside the battery compartment. At least it does on my refurb Macbook.

kabuki
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Post by kabuki » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:26 pm

I had an issue with an iBook a long time ago. The Logoc Board died. They replaced it. It dies again the day I got it back. They replaced it and the Power supply. It fixed the problem, Apple paid for all the shipping and even rushed everything through... I was only without my rig for 1 week.

The likelyhood of them sending you a refurb is unlikely. Keep track of your serial number. Your warranty is tied to it and changing it will change your warranty with it.

Generally, a refurb will have an old logic board, case structure, dvd drive, keyboard and screen. The outside case, battery, and HD (most times) will be replaced new.

Good luck
15" PB 2.5 Ghz, 4 Gig RAM, 750 GB HD, Live 9 still no cue points or program change messages?!?. Doesn't do shit.

thelike5
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Post by thelike5 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:18 pm

Stop wasting your time.... simply repackage the notebook, and take it back to the store.

I would have done that the second Apple told me the machine was registered to someone else. YOU PAID FULL PRICE for a refurb that wasn't even refurbed. Apple probably overlooked the repair, repacked it and accidentely sold it as new. These things happen. Apple is a pretty large company these days if you haven't noticed. The larger you get the more you lose the quality control. Apple is still light years better in terms of support than any other manufacturer. Try calling Sony when your Vaio acts up...

Get a new machine. If that one acts weird than you are probably doing something wrong.

leonardrock
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Post by leonardrock » Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:29 pm

To update....I called Apple again to investigate the history of my machine as well as discuss my problem and they transferred me to their "tier 2" support. Whatever that means, the dude on the other end was very helpful and investigated the manufacture, shipping, and purchase dates of my machine and everything fell within 17 days. He said that with such a short window of time from assembly to my purchase he was 99.9% certain that it was simply a clerical error or a botched registration on an entirely different product that may have gotten associated with my machine. Whereas with third-party retailers things could get sneaky, he said that because the entire path of travel was through Apple's networks it was next to impossible that the machine was repackaged. He added that the normal processing time to repackage a refurb legitimately would take far longer than the 17 days from its initial manufacture after the product was repaired, tested, shipped, and sold.

After the full explaination, I'm pretty confident now that there was no funny business.

Tarekith...I think you mentioned this possibility, or something like it.

As far as the repair goes, he arranged a repair case number with a senior technician, whatever that means, it appears the laptop will be thoroughly evaluated before it is returned. Would've been nice the first time but hey, can't complain about them accommodating me this time.
15" MBP 2.5 gHz, 4 GB, OSX 10.5.6, M-Audio FW-410, Axiom 49, Trigger Finger, Line6 POD XT, Live 7, PTMP 8

thelike5
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Post by thelike5 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:41 pm

leonardrock wrote:To update....I called Apple again to investigate the history of my machine as well as discuss my problem and they transferred me to their "tier 2" support. Whatever that means, the dude on the other end was very helpful and investigated the manufacture, shipping, and purchase dates of my machine and everything fell within 17 days. He said that with such a short window of time from assembly to my purchase he was 99.9% certain that it was simply a clerical error or a botched registration on an entirely different product that may have gotten associated with my machine. Whereas with third-party retailers things could get sneaky, he said that because the entire path of travel was through Apple's networks it was next to impossible that the machine was repackaged. He added that the normal processing time to repackage a refurb legitimately would take far longer than the 17 days from its initial manufacture after the product was repaired, tested, shipped, and sold.

After the full explaination, I'm pretty confident now that there was no funny business.

Tarekith...I think you mentioned this possibility, or something like it.

As far as the repair goes, he arranged a repair case number with a senior technician, whatever that means, it appears the laptop will be thoroughly evaluated before it is returned. Would've been nice the first time but hey, can't complain about them accommodating me this time.

Nice that you got to Tier 2 support but you really should demand a new machine. You essentially still bought a brand new machine that is now going to be a refurb unit.

Demand a new one before you warranty runs out. Why don't you just return it and buy a new one? I wouldn't let Apple dictate what you should do. The cost of that machine is at least $2,000...

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