How I Got Apple to Replace My Old MacBook Pro for a New Model

Let’s get this out of the way first: This is not a post that endeavors to tell you how to scam Apple. Rather, it’s one person’s story about how excellent customer service as a reaction to technical difficulties served to alleviate consumer hardship by going the extra mile. Guest blogger James Whitelegg had to patiently endure a lot of frustration with his old system before Apple agreed to give him a brand-new one, but his cool-headed cooperation up to that point helped him prevail. Enjoy his tale!

As many of us know, when it comes to buying Apple products, we can usually expect fantastic customer service. This can be used to your advantage when it comes to issues with your Apple products if they’re severe enough (and legitimately the fault of the company and not abuse on your part) as I found out when I started having problems with my MacBook Pro.

I purchased a mid-2010 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro for my schoolwork and video editing. I had no issues with the laptop for the first few months, however, I started to notice some strange ghosting on the screen. As soon as I realized it was a hardware issue, I had Apple replace the screen.

Five months later, I was having issues with the clutch (the plastic cover that hides the screen’s hinges). It started to show signs of heat cracks due to the exhaust blasting hot air onto the plastic, which resulted in cracking noises and sharp plastic breaking off. I called Apple to complain about the problem since I thought it was something that had to be addressed as a design flaw, however, the manager of this particular call center was not so convinced and told me it was just a faulty clutch — despite there being plenty of evidence of other users facing this issue. This was then solved by a replacement.

As Apple rolled out OS X Lion, I was quick to upgrade. I was loving the new features, however, I was quite confused by the strange graphics issues I began to encounter:

How I Got Apple to Replace My Old MacBook Pro for a New 2012 Model

I went to the Apple Store and the guy at the Genius Bar told me it was a graphics card failure, which did seem likely, so I was given a free logic board replacement. This did not solve my issue , though, so the screen was then replaced. Guess what? The graphics issues still persisted. I managed to get in contact with someone quite high up at the Apple Support Center and they told me that the Apple replacement procedure goes as follows: If you have three repairs within one or two years after the purchase, you will be eligible to have a case made to get your device replaced (whether or not this helpful person was supposed to pass along the actual details of the protocol, I don’t know).

I made a point of telling him how let down I was by the product and I was very unhappy with the fact that my problems had not been solved after exhaustive attempts to remedy them. Within the day, he offered to replace my MacBook Pro with a brand new 2012 MacBook Pro completely free! I am now typing this blog on the computer and it is a fantastic upgrade.

The reason for this post is to give you a better understanding of how to get what you want when it comes to Apple’s support protocol. If you are politely persistent and willing to talk out whatever problems you are having (as long as they’re legitimate, and without being rude or loud), then you might be lucky enough to get a brand new product!

My name is James Whitelegg, and I am a computer science student. I have been building PCs and tinkering with computers from an early age. Recently I have made the switch to Apple and I am really enjoying what Apple has to offer.

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  • Bharat Kumar Gupta

    This is again one of the many good customer service stories i have read on the internet specifically about apple, and i m glad to hear that u were able to resolve ur case, and personally even i agree it takes lot of work(honest endurance) on our end to convince companies regarding product faults, i never had bad experience with any company eg: Samsung, Seagate and Nokia like you i was also able to put my case in a legitimate manner and hence the concerned people there listened and i was offered solution, putting a good case always helps i would say. I wish apple never change their good culture.

    • alpinewhite200

      Good post- although he failed to mention whether or not he had active Apple Care at the time. Makes a big difference on how Apple treats its resolve. One of the best features of Apple support is the fact that they even come to your house! I had an issue with my 27″ iMac screen and they came to my house and replaced it.

      I wouldn’t recommend trying to scam Apple by playing off a user related issue (i.e. dropped iPad and need a new one) as a manufacturing flaw. I, and I’m sure others will agree- don’t want to abuse Apple’s current policies or make them want to change it. But if you DO indeed have an issue, you pay good money for Apple products and deserve the best support.

  • Bharat Kumar Gupta

    Regarding the logic board replacement hey i read a post from a commenter here on lockergnome he had same Graphics card fault and his logic board was replaced 3 times, and then he requested apple for a replacement and he also got the brand new laptop, his main issue was always the logic board. Its good to read such experiences :)

  • LewiHussey

    Wow, great article, it really shows how Apple takes care of their customers, even years after the product was purchased!
    I know there products never usually have such severe problems as yours, I guess they could see it was legitimate and were happy to replace it! :)

    • Bharat Kumar Gupta

      personally i also came across many stories that even i can share u 3 links here, geekanoids on youtube also claims that apple sometimes go out of their way to help their customers.

  • Kane Naylor

    For a brief time I did level 1 support for Apple. We always endeavored to provide top quality support. At that time there was an issue w/ the laptop batteries; I received a call from a customer that was having an issue with his battery. While researching the issue I read thru the case history and noticed that Steve Jobs was personally involved in the resolution. Mr. Jobs’ notes on the case history basically stated: Get this fixed NOW! Upon reading Mr. Jobs’ notes on the case history I immediately escalated the customer up the ladder to the engineering department. What does this say? Apple is a company whose CEO will actually take a personal interest in individual customer issues and direct the company to fix the issue. One happy customer may possibly tell everyone how s/he is satisfied. One unhappy customer will definitely tell everyone how s/he is dissatisfied.

    • Bharat Kumar Gupta

      That’s great to hear :), i would like a job like that in which u are pursued to help customers in an honest manner. That’s called culture.

    • Vlad Gidea

      Unfortunately Tim Cook is only looking out for profits and doesn’t care much about the product itself. Maybe trying to strike a talk with Mr Ive would get us some answers. Let’s not forget that Cook got where he is because of his great economics skills with scaling costs in Asia.

      He doesn’t care about us, and he’s going to drive this company in the ground. According to the Q1 earnings Apple has plateau’d and if their not going to innovate with a new category of products thy will continue to loose market shares in favour of cheaper products (tablets and phones) because the difference in UI and features is getting smaller and smaller while f.ex. Android products are way cheaper and the price difference is getting bigger instead of smaller.

    • James

      i HAVE to get that case #!! lol

  • ajvizz

    I wish Apple give me a new logic board. :( But they did give me a new DVD drive for free.

  • Colin Reid

    That’s awesome news! I will keep that in mind whenever I purchase the 2012 13″ Mac Book Pro retina display!

  • Aisback

    Great article but customer was spelt wrong.

  • pcnerd37

    That is awesome! The only issue I have ever had with my MacBook Pro (same year) is the screws are constantly coming loose. Rather than complain about it, I just tighten them up every couple of days. I hope this machine lasts me a long time yet although I have to admit, I am really eyeing a 13″ Air.

  • Bert Visscher

    This reminds me of when I had a problem (no, not with Apple) and I was being directed from one person to the next. I made a point to sum up every time, from whom (to whom) I had been redirected. This had the advantage of making clear to both me and the addressee, with whom I had already had contact.

  • Curtis Coburn

    Apple always had great customer service. That is what they are known for, and I do hope they will continue giving great customer support.
    Apple makes great products. Sometimes, there is an unlucky customer who has a bac computer made by them.
    I am using my 2006 MacBook. It has never had issues with anything, and it’s still running great. It’s a bit slow at times, but you’d expect that from a system almost 7 years old.
    Great article. It was really to the point and well explained.

  • Samuel Guillermo

    These guys are pretty good with customer service, haven’t had an issue yet.

  • Liam Jackson

    I have been through 3 iPod touches with then, with new and upgraded ones for free every time it broke from some silly hardware malfunctions, they were very willing to give me a new one, but that 3rd one breaking was the final straw, and haven’t touched an apple product since.

  • kefir

    i wish i could get the new macbook pro for free

  • Dakota Wallender

    im not sure id get a mac, i don’t have time to relearn an operating system atm. if i ever come accost the money i most definitely will. I have many iOS devices and the apple-care support is great, i haven’t really herd of bad support from apple. i think most of bad support is caused by the customer not staying calm and they are getting mad at the support agent. people have always said dell`s support is hell, i have never over my life had a problem with there support!

  • Ahmed A

    Acer support flat-out sucks. Definetely a reason to switch.

  • Michael Albayya

    i wish pc manufactures would do the same thing

  • Jesse Aranda

    It’s the customer service that really attracts me to the company. Amazon replaced $400 worth of textbooks without question because I had a weird event of not having anything inside my packages – not even the paper that has the purchase printed on it. I also got bumped up to overnight shipping because I mentioned class started in two days. They also replaced a $8 flash drive when it was lost in the mail, though that tale never gets as much attention as the textbooks did.

  • Qwilleran Lake

    I have never had a problem with any apple product, although reading this article leads me to believe that if I ever do have a problem, I know I can count on Apple. Although the majority of the people I know who have had Apple product problems have said that Apple is not good with its customer suport. I guess it just comes from personal experience.

  • Jentylee

    Wow, what a story. It’s nice to here that Mac understands customer service and brand loyalty. I’m glad you were treated like a human being (even with the faulty clutch incident) and as a computer student with full knowledge of computers, are getting to see the fruits of your hard work on this yrs MacbookPro!!

  • Arman

    Wow, I always like Apple’s customer service, but never knew they would actually replace a product for something newer. That’s one of the things I love most about Apple, it completes the product (Great product, great OS, great material, and great service)

  • Joshie305

    This is pretty awesome and some really great luck that he had

  • Roberto Van Gilder

    I also replaced my macbook pro with a new one! It was very easy. I just went in the store with my laptop, told them that it has some problems, and they immediately handed me a new one.

  • Mohamed Hisham Hadjazi

    apple has are great with customers. I remember when my Ipad stopped working after i drop it. I took it to apple store and told me If i have any important data in the device. the only important thing was my wifi login so I said no. and the apple genius replaced my Ipad for a new one. I was happy =D

  • DJAB HipHop

    same here my graphic card went out and fried every thing but the hard drive 6 mouth later after my new mac was giving the hard drive wend

  • Tom Sharples


  • Pascal Fiedler

    I use Windows. But same problems are sometimes here. More than on apple^^

  • louis percival

    Apple does have amazing customer service and this is a great article but i don’t think it would work for everyone ?

  • Christopher Micallef

    Apple does do that. I got them to replace my 3rd generation ipod touch. #$15amaawesome

  • Girolamo Carini

    so i have a mid 2010 macbook pro 15 inch (2.66 i7, 8gigs of ram, 128gig ssd, mountain lion) that i purchased used from a local company 2 weeks ago. the computer still has one year of apple care on it. i am having battey issued where the battery only lasts, if im lucky, an hour. ive been to the apple store 3 times and they told me to calibrate the batter (drain it, let it sit for 5 hours, charge it up completely) and this still hasent fixed the problem. what do you guys think? any ideas? im on 10.8.1 fully legal version straight from the app store.