MacBook Pro w/ TB – 3 Repairs hell including internal burning finale
Here’s a wild story for you…
I purchased a MacBook Pro w/ Touchbar i7/512GB in early January 2017 and was really pleased with the overall purchase and the experience with the MacBook itself.
This all changed in August when the first problem came around.
**Fault 1**: During the month of August 2017, I started to notice areas of the display were essentially changing colour. When viewing a white page or background, you could noticeably see these dark blue “areas” of the screen developing. For the most part you didn’t notice it until you viewed anything in bright colours such as white, light grey and so on. I took the laptop to the Apple Store and they agreed something was clearly wrong, and booked it in for a screen repair. Around 6 days later, I picked up my MacBook and all was well (though the hinge had a minor click to it when opening/closing which wasn’t there before).
**Fault 2**: During October 2017, I woke my MacBook up from sleep only to hear a loud clicking/banging noise coming from the right speaker for around 2-3 seconds. The noise then stopped – so I figured it might have just been a random program trying to play something in the background. When I then went to watch a YouTube video, sound was only coming out of the left speaker – the right speaker had died.
I again took the MacBook to the Apple Store – they agreed it was faulty and booked in a topcase replacement (whole new upper area of the case with keyboard/battery and speakers replaced together). After around 6 days in the store, I picked up the laptop and all was well.
**Fault 3**: (December 2017) The exact same fault happened again – the right speaker blew at random when waking up. I took the MacBook to the Apple Store again and this time they replaced the top-case and logic board (so I had to start from fresh on macOS). Again, 6 days later I pick it up and all is well.
**Fault 4**: So this is the big one… Again, I woke up my MacBook from sleep yesterday (Tuesday January 10th) to have a video call on Google Hangouts. About 3 minutes into the call, the right speaker again makes a large banging noise and then immediately dies (volume was set to about 40-50%). Realising what had happened, I still continued with the Hangout call only to then start smelling a very strong burning smell coming from the laptop – it was a the smell of some kind of plastic or other material burning. This smell proceeded to travel across the whole room that I was in, and I had to shut the machine off and walk away.
With colleagues also commenting on the smell coming from my laptop, I ensured the machine was completely shut down and left it alone for a while. I called the Apple Store to say that something is definitely wrong with my laptop and I want to bring it in for someone to take a look as soon as possible.
I bring the laptop into the store about 30 minutes later, and they immediately take it behind the scenes and open the bottom up to see what is going on inside. According to the Apple Genius, the laptop looked “immaculate” inside and they see no evidence of anything damaged/burning. At that point, they agreed that it should either go in for a repair, or I get a full laptop replacement, but they’d need to get “authorisation” for a replacement that would take “up to a week” before then ordering one for me.
I requested they go ahead and run through the process of getting me a replacement sorted as the laptop is clearly not stable. In the meantime though, they offered to give the laptop back to me as “everything looked immaculate and it’s working fine” (despite having a blown right speaker) and is “completely safe to use” in their words. With that in mind, I decided to take it back to the office with me (as the smell had completely gone) and started using it again – everything seemed ok.
Literally 5 minutes into use, the left speaker (the one that was still working) all of a sudden made a large clicking noise just like the right one did, and then blew out in exactly the same way. Again, and even more so this time, the really strong burning smell was back and I immediately shut it off. I called the Apple Store again and said I don’t want to use it anymore, and they advised me to bring it in – which I did.
I’m now currently waiting for my replacement MacBook which they are ordering through.
To me, this seems like a very poor experience overall – I have many other Apple devices including the iPhone X, iPad Pro, Apple Watch and an iMac and never run into issues. This MacBook however has been an absolute disaster, and it’s been in for repair now for almost 4 weeks across the 11 months that I’ve owned it.