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Portables (Apple) The Courts Apple

Macbook Owner With Defective GPU Beats Apple In Court 280

New submitter RockoW writes "A few years ago, Apple sold defective computers of the MacBook Pro line. They had the defective Nvidia 8600M GT GPU. In this case Apple refused to take the computer back and issue me a refund. Instead, they promised to replace the 8600M GT boards when they failed, up to four years from the date of purchase. Three years later, the MacBook Pro failed and they refused to replace it. This guy took them to the court and won by their own means."
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Macbook Owner With Defective GPU Beats Apple In Court

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  • by noh8rz3 ( 2593935 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:13PM (#39724469)

    Apple promised to replace parts they knew to be defective for up to four years

    this seems reasonable for me. It's not like all parts were defective - there was a higher error rate. Normally the computers have a 1 year warrantee, and you can buy a 3 year for $200 I think. Because of the nvidia thing they extended the warrantee from 1 year to 4 for free on the affected part. This is standard for product manufacturing - if there's an indication of a problem, offer longer warantees.

    The issue seems to be apple not honoring their promise within the four year window. but this sounds like isolated cases, and could be for any number of reasons (user voids warrantee, the problem turns out to be a different part, etc). Without knowing the deets we can't rule on if it's egregious or not

    in general, I've found the genius bar people to be extraordinarily generous in fixing issues, often for free when it was my fault. Once I cracked my iPad LCD and they gave me a replacement refurbished one for free.

    not to mention the benefits of talking to genius bar people for support, rather than calling some foolio in india.

  • Not what you think (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:13PM (#39724481)

    I did in warrantied repairs for an Apple authorized service provider for two years. I can't tell you how many of these repairs apple picked up the tab on. I have never seen another computer company take as much responsibility as they have on this issue. The repair to replace the logic board that contained the defective GPU was a $1700 repair from a third-party authorized repair center and I did an average of 2 to 3 a week for 2 years.

    Try stacking up those numbers against any other computer companies defective products in what they did to fix them

  • Re:Cool, but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:16PM (#39724517)

    This is a huge problem for almost every manufacturer.

    And Apple is one of the few who gets apologists jumping in to defend them by pointing this out.

  • Opposite Anecdote (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IKnwThePiecesFt ( 693955 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:33PM (#39724769) Homepage

    That's strange... I had this exact same problem and Apple replaced my motherboard for free when the time came. I wonder why they denied it for him?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:59PM (#39725159)

    Yeah and? That's too much money. When I owned a MBP I had a horrible time getting apple to fix anything, as a matter of fact they regularly denied problems and their people seemed to be instructed to all tell me that anything wrong with my machine was "something they'd never seen before, huh" Every person I talked to on the phone seemed to say this, every person at the apple store said this.. it was always very forced and unnatural and unprompted. This was on problems that seemed to be very common on internet forums.

    Oh and apple deleting my threads, and apple denying the problems for months and then issuing a patch a day after I spoke to an engineer who had "never heard of" the problem I was having and had fixed. The fact they put me on the line with an engineer after I said I had a workaround.

    Also telling me an extended warranty was like 3 or 400 because I had "a professional product" and then looking at me like I was crazy for asking for an onsite warranty (You know like the one professionals with other laptops get, apple doesn't have such a thing for any of their products). I'm on call because I'm a professional I can't give you my laptop and it's full of secrets anyhow.

    Implied quality is clearly more important than actual quality, I've never had more hardware failures in any machine I've ever owned. It was also the most expensive computer I'd ever bought both in upfront cost and maintenance. The warranty was beyond useless I will not lose my machine and risk wiping it for something I could fix myself. (Yeah I know I can backup, but by the time I've backed up, packed up, and shipped off, picked up, unpacked, and restored.... I've given the same time investment I could have gotten with my warranty and had to use a shit loaner laptop with none of the software I need for 3 weeks, professional product indeed)

    No onsite warranty at any price.. a premium "professional product". They sell premium feelings to people who want to feel like they're professionals by spending more money.

  • Re:Opposite Anecdote (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <.ten.xoc. .ta. .ikiat.> on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:20PM (#39725493)

    Because the machine failed to boot. If the GPU failed, it'd boot but no image on screen.

    Which apple thusly correctly blamed on other parts of the logic board.

    While Apple is technically correct here, the failure on Apple's part is customer satisfaction. They should've replaced the board. I think the Judge was right in categorizing any logic board failure as being within the scope of that replacement program too.

    Apple's not evil, they're just dicks though. Evil would've been to deny the problem ever existed, or to replace affected machine owners with lower class machines, like some OEMs did.

  • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:29PM (#39725605) Journal
    Maybe they calculate, based on reasonable predictions of variables such as the likelihood of lawsuits and the corresponding costs of such lawsuits, that they can profit more by offering the warranties (positive marketing) and then not honoring them (reduced after-sale cost) and paying out the (comparatively) few lawsuit judgments. And, sadly for decency and goodness, they were probably right.
  • Re:Cool, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BlackSnake112 ( 912158 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:28PM (#39726547)

    If I knew that video card 123abc had a record of failing I would avoid that video card in any product no matter who it was from. Then again I try to be an informed customer. Not everyone is. As others have stated, people go to the company they bought the item from when it fails.

    Apple is a pain in the ass when it come to their stuff breaking. They have their own tools and tests that they run. For example: we have an iMac with bad memory. Memtest shows errors every time. We bring the under warrantee iMac to Apple to replace the memory. The Imac is fired up at teh Apple store. It fails to boot and only beeps. It is the memory beep according to the 4 Apple store people. A few more boot attempts, the iMac boots but has trouble booting from their USB drive. They take the Imac to run their memory tests on the iMac. A few days later they tell us the Imac is repaired. What was done? Nothing. They found nothing wrong. We take the Imac back. It has the same errors as before. Again, memtest shows errors. This time we just replace the memory ourselves. Now there is no issue. If Apple had used memtest they would have seen the errors. They have to use Apple approved tests. There are free tests for memory and other things that can be used. We can prove that the memory has bad sectors. According to Apple, that doesn't matter since their tests says otherwise. I did ask for a printout, screen shot, something of the test. They could not provide that. They also said that we could not run the test ourselves. When the other Imacs showed signs of the same problem (all bought at the same time). We ran memtest, again bad memory. We just replaced it rather then going to Apple. No need for the longer down time and the headache from the Apple repair people.

  • Re:Cool, but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LinuxIsGarbage ( 1658307 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:56PM (#39726925)

    I'm amazed at how nVidia tried pawning this one on the OEMs, insisting nothing is wrong when thousands of HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Apple Laptops were having GPU blowouts.

    The 8800 also gets lots of attention, but the Geforce Go 6150 and 7200 chips delaminate in huge quantities as well. My HP laptop was sent away once on warranty work when the wireless card dropped out (first sign of a failure). It's now dissapeared again and out of warranty. Surprising the lazy-man reflow actually works:
    -Remove battery and HDD
    -Turn machine on and wrap in blankets
    -Allow to cook for a couple hours.
    -Replace battery and HDD.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.