Error-Ridden MacBook Gets Free Replacement After Nice Letter To Steve Jobs

After umpteen attempts to have his multiple MacBook Pro problems fixed, only to be told each time the laptop was working perfectly fine, Jordan wrote a polite email to Steve Jobs. He affirmed his Apple loyalty, laid out what happened to him, and asked for help. A couple of emails later and he was able to walk into an Apple store and swap his jalopy for one of the brand new MacBook Pros that just came out. You might analyze how the letter was written for clues to his success but really what it came down to was that he had gone in for repairs of the same problem more than three times, qualifying him for a refund or replacement under what is known as “lemon law,” and he got his issue under the nose of the guy at the top. Or at least the assistant who opens his email. Same difference. Jordan’s success story, inside…

“My name is Jordan W and I am writing to you to tell you about my success story with Apple and my MacBook Pro. I almost feel compelled to tell you because it was your article that inspired me to take action in regards to resolving my issues with my MBP. (see In short, my laptop was experiencing an array of issues including USB, firewire and bluetooth reliability issues, hard drive problems (slow read/write), complete superdrive error (fails to burn cd/dvd, laser disc error) and the display experiencing warping issues when the lid was shut. After my laptop being in the Apple shop twice and nothing being resolved, I decided to look elsewhere for answers to my problems – online. Here is where I stumbled upon the article posted on Consumerist about this one man’s success story with getting his MacBook fixed/replaced by simply beginning an e-mail correspondence with, so I decided to give it a shot. Attached is the e-mail I wrote at 2:22am on November 4th:

From: Jordan
Date: Nov 4 at 2:22am
Subject: MacBook pro dilemma; Jordan
Mr. Steve Jobs,

First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Jordan W and over the past two years, I have been a loyal Apple customer through purchasing two MacBook Pro’s (one for me, one for my brother), several iPods as well as Apple peripherals (keyboards and mice). Simply put, I love Apple products. Unfortunately, a horrid dilemma has been developing with my experience of my most recent MacBook Pro, which I purchased in June of 2007.

Several problems have begun to arise with my MacBook Pro (late 2007) concerning the display, USB ports, bluetooth reliability and overheating. I have brought my beloved notebook in several times for repair, but each and every time, I have been told there were no problems detected and my machine was working properly. In addition, one time during a service repair, my laptop came back to me slightly damaged (casing at bottom-left of laptop was/is loose), which I was told was “already there”, when it most certainly was not. Also, I purchased the 3-year Applecare extended warranty (expires in June of 2010) in hopes that it would cover these sorts of issues. Apparently, it was not worth the extra $$$ to assure my laptop’s reliability.

My experiences with Apple Support in the past have been relatively troublesome, but not to this degree. I finally have
become fed up with leaving my laptop at Apple Sagemore of South Jersey (I live in State College during the school year) for two weeks at a time and risking my data being destroyed, only to be told that it is “functioning properly”. So now, I am stuck with a half-functioning laptop that experiences hardware failures all too frequently, poor iPod syncing due to USB issues and a useless wireless keyboard and mouse. I write to you in hopes of receiving some sort of explanation
or advise on what to do, as purchasing a new notebook at this time is not in my realm of options. I cannot find a notebook that is better than an Apple, but how can I remain a loyal customer to a product that consistently fails me and a repair process that does not help resolve the issues? Any reply at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Jordan W

Contact Info:
M – xxx-xxx-xxxx
E-mail – xxxxxxxx


Nearly seven hours later, at 9:30am on Nov 5, I received a very friendly phone call from my local Apple store and spoke to the manager about what we could do regarding the repair of my MacBook Pro. She kindly asked me to e-mail her a detailed list of all the issues I was experiencing over the next two weeks, so when I came into the Apple store on Nov 24, the geniuses could be prepared to assist me. Here is the e-mail I sent to her concerning the issues I was experiencing:


From: Jordan W
Date: Nov 19 at 12:27am
Subject: Jordan W; MacBook Pro Issues


Here is the list you requested of issues I have and can recreate.

* Sporadic USB behavior
o Iomega eGO external USB drive will fail to mount, must unplug and plug back in to recognize/mount
o Time Machine will not backup via USB, firewire only
o iPod is not always recognized/mounted as well, syncs will hang at “Syncing with calendars…” until i manually remove the iPod from the USB connection
* Sporadic Firewire behavior
o Time Machine is recognized/mounted, frequent error occurs which says, “Time Machine failed to backup.”
* Consistent Bluetooth Issues
o Devices (Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mighty Mouse) will drop bluetooth link from MacBook Pro after a given period of use
o Sometimes, when connected, the mouse will stutter across the screen until I shut the mouse off and on again
* Strange DVI behavior
o When MacBook Pro is waked from sleep, as well as Dell 2408wfp, the screen will flicker twice before any picture is to come through
* CD/DVD drive burning failure
o CD-R, CD-RW fails to burn because of “unable to read disc laser speed” error
o DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-DL burning capabilities (ISOs for example) fail to burn; Messages say “Beginning burn…” then about 10 seconds later, the message “Finishing burn.” appears and hangs for 10 to 15 minutes until it informs me the burn has failed
o Attempted to burn media through iTunes, Finder, Disk Utility and Disco, none have worked
* MacBook Pro display warp
o The display on my MacBook Pro now is bent, even though I have had the display replaced/repaired
o Very visible when closed (Apparently, this is a documented issue)
* Slow Hard Disk Read/Write
o Formatted using Zero-Disk to see if it will solve the problem; no improvement found

If I find anymore, I will add them to this. Thank you.

– Jordan W


When Nov 24 finally came around, I went to the Apple store at 10am and was greeted by one of the many-a-salesperson. (I live at school and Nov 24 was the first day I could get to an Apple store) I told them my issue as well as who I was and they informed me I was expected where I was then escorted to the Genius Bar. Then is where I explained all the issues I had with my MBP and he took my machine in the back. He also politely told me that he would be right back out. About five minutes later, the gentlemen came up to me and told me that I was to receive a replacement machine free of charge! (I tried very hard not to smile and jump up and down until he walked away) Twenty minutes later, I was signing the paperwork to my new MacBook Pro (Yes, the actual new one that came out a couple weeks ago, not a refurbished replacement. In fact, I am writing this e-mail on it.) and walking out of the store with a mile-wide grin on my face.

All thanks go to you Consumerist, for without that article, none of what happened could of been possible.

P.S. – Apple, you rock too.”

(Photo: James Young Art)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.