apple quality program

Today I’m doing a little "public service" post specifically for Macbook Pro users. To be more specific, Macbook Pro 15-inch users. To be even more specific, Macbook Pro 15-inch bought in 2011 to 2013. I’m not sure if there are many of us, and if there are, I’m also not sure if you've had the same problem/solution. First, let me tell you a story, but if you don’t have the time, just skip to the bottom of this post.

I bought this laptop in 2011 after being urged by an officemate. I’m not into gaming, not looking to do any programming, and the last Windows PC I owned gave me so much headache, so I went for the Macbook. It was great, I had no problems with it for years, I was a satisfied customer.

In 2013 I upgraded to the then-latest OS version, Maverick. Around that time, the speakers got broken or got dirty, I’m not sure, but the sound quality was just off, but it didn’t bother me. So far my Macbook was still working perfectly as a whole.

It wasn’t until 2014 when it first started showing signs of ageing. One day, the trackpad wasn’t working properly, which I promptly ignored. Then a few days after, I noticed the trackpad was already lopsided and looked like it was about to burst. A quick Google search revealed it was the battery bloating from overuse, located right under the trackpad. I immediately went to the Power Mac Center. As expected, a new battery is expensive (almost P10,000) so I decided to just have the damaged battery removed and continue using the laptop via power adapter.

For a time it went well without the battery, except for a few cons like I can’t simply bring my laptop everywhere if there’s no place for me to plug the power adapter, and also if I’m in the middle of working on something and I accidentally pulled the charger cable off, goodbye unsaved data. And the speed decreased noticeably too.

June 2016, I finally decided to buy a battery, only because I figured that the old Macbook Pro batteries might become obsolete. And here starts my series of unfortunate events, which later on yielded very fortunate results.

I went to a known and trusted repair shop in Greenhills. I’ve had experience in getting broken iPod and Samsung phone screens fixed there so I trust them, and they’re generally nice guys. I bought a new battery from them for a price a LOT cheaper than Apple's.

On top of that, I was also talked into adding more RAM (from 4GB to 10GB), and also replaced my 500GB hard drive with a 128GB Solid State Drive.

As a result, my old Macbook pro worked like new, and even more powerful than before. Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, Garageband, while playing a 1080 movie? I couldn't do that before replacing the battery. It was like giving the computer some superpowers.

And then, after a month, one day I went home and turned it on and this happened.

And this.

And this.

These screens are scarier than any horror movie.

So immediately I asked the tech guy what was wrong. He figured it must be my video card, and asked me to bring it the next day. Which I did.

And of course, in the presence of the tech guy, when I turned the Macbook on, it was working fine. I travelled against traffic for over an hour for this. We dismissed it as “sumpong” or some software issue and I went back home.

When I got home, it won’t turn on again.

Slowly losing my patience I went to the Power Mac Center the next day to have it checked. They looked at it and was able to replicate the error I was reporting. Apple guy tells me, “Sir, anong year nyo ito binili?”



What was that? Is there some issue here I should know about? “Bakit po?”

“Baka sira na ang main logic board nito Sir.”

“Main logic board, yung pinaka-motherboard?”

“Yes sir.”

“Magkano replacement nun?”

“Nasa… [my heart was pounding] ... P30,000 to P40,000.”

Okay, those figures are offensive. I’d really rather just buy a new cheaper laptop right? Nevertheless I left my Macbook there so they can run further tests.

When I got home, I consulted Google and lo and behold:

Turns out, I was not the only one. In fact, I was one of over 30,000.

So what I found out was that Apple stared a recall program of their 2011-2013 Macbook Pros because of this very error. From what I read, “the defect in the 2011 MacBook Pro comes from the lead-free solder that's used to connect one of the processing chips to the main circuit board in the computer.”

I’m guessing this “lead-free solder” was working OK until I had my RAM increased and hard drive replaced. It was working like it was on steroids, causing the laptop to heat up higher than normal and damage the solder thing, resulting in graphics issues.

A few days after I left the laptop at Power Mac they emailed me saying I was eligible for the AQP (Apple Quality Program), wherein they will replace the main logic board for free.

I signed their paperwork and after less than 2 weeks I claimed my laptop. They were nice enough to reinstall the non-Apple battery and hard drive. I’ve been testing it since and so far, so good.

What makes these series of unfortunate events work for me? Apple said on their website that the recall program was only from February to December 2016. What a tiny window of opportunity.

It’s funny how the universe worked in this case. The only reason I went to Greenhills was to buy a new battery, a trip that I kept delaying. Had I gone to Power Mac instead, they would have changed the battery and that's it, end of story. But because I went to Greenhills, I was advised to get more RAM and change the hard drive as well, just for fun. If I didn’t do this, the video display wouldn’t have fucked up. And it fucked up at the right moment, because if the graphics error happened AFTER December 2016, I would not have been eligible for the replacement.

Summary: If you purchased a Macbook Pro from February 2011 to December 2013, and you’re getting graphics errors, you’re eligible for a free main logic board replacement until December 2016. Hope this information helps you.


6 comments. Post your comment here.:

Edgar Portalan said...

I am lucky mine is not an Apple , its a HP and its working perfectly fine since the day of old

Mr. Tripster said...

I am still using a Vaio Sony Laptop, year 2009, I think. Can't remember. Battery's fucked up. No upgrades. But still working fine. As long as I can blog, watch porn, and illegally download movies, I am sticking to this old computer of mine.

Although I considered buying a Macbook Air because my friend said the performance is great. Pero nanghinayang din ako sa pera. So ayun.... naiwan na ako ng technology. Hehehe!

Diane Writes said...

The best ang customer service ng apple! Pero ramdam ko yun worry at pagkapraning mo nung nasa PowerMac ka hahaha Wala ata mura na item dun Hahaha

momel8 said...

I'm reading this, and your voice doesn't register.

kalansaycollector said...

omg 2011 din me kaso wala namang graphic keme so baka kebs na. haha

reagan decena said...

Yikes. I can imagine the stress and hassle all throughout. Also because I own a slightly newer 2012 version, and I can feel the symptoms.

MakapagGreenhills nga soon.

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