In mid-2018, photographer and programmer Greg Benz decided to spend nearly 7000 USD to own the latest MacBook Pro with Core i9 chip, 32GB RAM and 4TB SSD. On his personal blog, Greg said he was pleased with the performance of the device and felt it was worth the money he had to spend.
4 times the warranty costs Apple over 10,000 USD
However, after a few months of use, Greg said he was constantly experiencing hardware problems with this device.
– The first MacBook Pro that he uses often has black screen status (rotary fan but the machine does not start). Apple has replaced the motherboard of this machine.
– After a few months, the MacBook Pro began to show symptoms as before. Apple continues to replace another motherboard.
– Again, the MacBook Pro has an error. This time, Apple decided to replace a completely new device for Greg.
– Ironically, on the fourth warranty, Greg's MacBook Pro still "suffers a lot".
Continuing to make warranty makes Greg uncomfortable because it not only takes time but should be for work, but it also causes him to lose data after every replacement of the component due to the mechanism. security of T2 chip.
On the Apple side, the company also suffered no small losses. In Greg's case alone, Apple had to spend more than $ 10,000 to secure his MacBook Pro (including two motherboards, connecting cables and a new machine worth $ 7000).
The reason "distracted"
But for the fifth time warranty, Greg found the real reason that his MacBook Pro failed after only a period of use. Unexpectedly, the problem was not related to hardware, but because … the screen brightness was set to the lowest level and Greg forgot to increase it. The reason Greg did this was because he frequently connected the MacBook Pro to a removable screen. Since there is no need for the screen of the device, so he often reduces the brightness to the maximum.
In previous warranties, no Apple employee could detect this, including senior support staff. Only after the fifth warranty, was he "enlightened" by an employee named Kyle. After the initial diagnosis, Kyle tried a new way that no one had ever done before: illuminating the flashlight on the screen. At this point, he could see the dim image of the login screen.
Why is a seemingly simple problem so difficult to detect?
This whole story may seem silly, but the reality is that the MacBook Pro has caused a lot of misunderstanding and hindering the diagnosis of users and employees of Apple. On his blog, Greg pointed out the following series of irrational points:
– Screen brightness after restarting the machine remains the same as the previous level, including the boot screen with the Apple logo and login screen. Even the system recovery and testing tools don't make the screen light up.
– However, the brightness control button in the Touch Bar bar does not appear until the user logs in. That is, users have no way to increase the screen brightness when the machine is booting or at the login screen.
– The external screen will not be activated when starting and logging in. For some reason, only when the user has successfully logged in, the external plug-in screens are displayed.
– The external keyboard will not be able to adjust the screen brightness, including Apple's keyboard.
– The keyboard light is always turned off at the login screen, even if it was in the previous state.
– Apple's diagnostic guide is not updated to reflect the status of new MacBook Pro models. Previously, one of the most common steps in the Mac diagnostics process was to reset the PRAM (Parameter RAM, memory for Mac settings) to the default value. However, with the new MacBook Pro with T2 chip set with a firmware password, resetting PRAM will not take effect. Therefore, the screen brightness of the device will not return to the default level.
Combining all the above points, a seemingly childish problem like Greg's case suddenly became big and difficult to solve.
After this incident, Greg wished he could regain all his wasted time. In addition, he was disappointed by Apple's limited technical support, although despite being a manufacturer, Apple employees could not discover the true cause. Even so, Greg was happy that the MacBook Pro he had abandoned a fortune to actually own was still completely normal and had no hardware problems.