Apple Hardware support woes

I’m going to qualify my post from the outset by stating that my experiences with Apple Support have generally always been positive. Whether over the phone, via Chat or at the Apple Store, reps have always done their best to help me.

Unfortunately this hasn’t been the case with a problem I have with my late-2016 15" Intel MacBook Pro. It was my main work machine and always worked perfectly. In the fall of 2020, I started seeing system alerts that the battery needed service.

I took it to Apple and paid $269 CAN for a battery replacement.

When I went to pick up the machine, I was informed that when replacing the battery, they had to also replaced the logic board. Initially the store tried to charge me for the replacement ($1,000), but they quickly selected. As I later discovered, the original logic board was damaged during the battery service resulting in the replacement.

I soon discovered that the MacBook Pro was no longer usable. I was plagued by crashes, beachballs and kernel panics on an almost daily basis. I wondered if something was corrupted in the Time Machine backup that I had restored to the machine, but even if I ran a minimal, bare system, the problems would reoccur.

I must’ve erased, partitioned and reinstalled the system at least a dozen times.

I also opened Apple Support cases and took it back to Apple at least 2x during the 90-day part warranty period. My local Apple Store was offering reduced service due to COVID, but they would run Apple Diagnostics and “observe” the machine in the shop. They were unable to find ANY hardware issues with the machine.

After a couple of months of struggling with the machine I threw up my hands and bought a new 13" M1 MBP for work. I initially kept following up with Apple Support, because the battery replacement was becoming a sunk cost that I wanted to recoup. And the machine was in perfect working order before Apple touched it. Eventually I had so much time that I gave up.

A couple of weeks ago I reopened the case and took the machine in for service yet again. Once again, despite an Apple Genius observing repeatedly that I couldn’t get past the login screen without a kernel panic, they could find no hardware problems with the computer.

I was told that although they believed that the computer wasn’t working correctly, Apple wouldn’t let them do anything about it (i.e. replace the logic board/onboard storage again) until they could isolate the problem.

So I escalated the case to Apple Engineering. They sent me a Capture Data application to collect logs generated during normal computer use. I had erased and restored the machine YET AGAIN, and for the time being it has more or less behaved, but unrepairable disk errors prevent me from doing certain things or daring to do any real work with it.

I’m at my wit’s end… At this point, salvaging the computer has become a matter of principle. I paid for a repair that effectively rendered the computer unusable. It’s clearly (to me) Apple’s fault and yet despite a lot of sympathy from individual support people, they have done nothing to resolve the issue.


They replaced the mother board without your approval, then attempted to charge you for it? That’s illegal in all states.

I suggest you contact Apple Support and tell them your woes. Let them know the local store damaged the Mac while replacing the battery and now the machine is unusable.

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When I pointed out I had not approved the logic board replacement, they immediately took it off the bill without argument. I chalked it up to COVID protocols and a breakdown of communication at the Store.

I have related the whole sad, story to multiple Apple Support reps! The problem has been escalated to senior support reps as well as Apple Engineering.

Each one has been sympathetic, but apparently the thing that is holding back replacing the defective logic board is the inability to find any fault with the current one. Observing disk errors, I/O errors and kernel panics isn’t enough if the standard diagnostic tests don’t show any problem.

That’s the frustrating aspect of this tale of woe.

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The total cost is would have been $1270. A new 14” MacBook with an M1 Pro is not that much more and is certainly more expensive than a 13” MacBook with a plain M1 processor.

I am sure this won’t help you and I’m equally sure I was lucky, though it did cause me a lot of stress and many visits to the Apple store, and a chat with a lawyer.

I brought my 2015 MBPr in for a new battery (out of pocket). We discussed my super-hot charging cable (they gave me a used one to try) and them installing the new SSD I bought last year (they said no).

I got the machine back and once I got it on my desk in bright light, I could see swipe marks across the screen where they’d cleaned it and not gotten everything off. I have never used anything wet on this screen, and could not get the swipe marks off.

First time I went back to ask them to clean up the mess they made, they soaked it again, wiped it down and told me it was delaminated. It took a few visits and talking to different people. The last manager I talked to got on the phone with someone higher up and they finally agreed to replace the screen. They contended they could see delamination starting in two edge spots on the picture they took when I first brought it in, but we all agreed the spots in question looked no different while the rest of the screen was heavily damaged and it had not been when I brought it in.

I wonder if you’d have better luck at a different store? I know you’ve already talked to Apple themselves but it may not hurt to start the process new. I get how frustrating it is!


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Thanks for the advice. I’ll try to escalate it again. I actually went to two different Apple Store locations in the Montreal area. The first was where they did the original battery/logic board replacement. More recently I took it to the main downtown store.

I would think that them installing the logic board without your approval is something that could be used in your argument favorably.

Good luck!


My only suggestion is to get to their PR office in Cupertino. This is a big black eye for them so theoretically they SHOULD want to make it right. As long as they aren’t hand counting phone sales .


This is good advice from paulc. I suggest dropping some names of consumer and tech journalists that you are considering contacting if your problem isn’t solved. If there is one thing that PR people are afraid of, it’s bad press, national or local.

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