Apple: Genius Bar reps should have known

  • July 1st, 2006

After what seemed like an eternity, I can now report back with answers directly from Apple concerning the discoloration issue select MacBook owners have endured for the past few weeks.

A few days back reports surfaced that Apple did indeed acknowledge that the discoloration on an isolated number of MacBook was due to a manufacturing defect. Upon discovering the news, I immediately phoned Apple with hopes that my once white MacBook would shine bright white as it once did. Naturally, with my luck, I ran into a series of AppleCare blocks with conversations summarized below:

  • Me: Hi, I was calling in today to inquire about Apple’s stance on the recent discoloration issues that have surfaced over the past few weeks.
  • Rep #1: I have not heard of any issues. Can you please explain the type of discoloration you are seeing?
  • Me: Sure. I’m seeing grey and yellow spots (discoloration) forming throughout the palm rest area. I have seen 4 year old iBooks in better condition. I don’t think my one month old MacBook should look like this.
  • Rep #1: Hold please, let me search the database… Ah ok, I’ve read about discoloration on the Black MacBooks sir.
  • Me: What? Are you saying that you have not heard of any discoloration issues on the white MacBooks? You’re saying that you’ve read about yellow discoloration on black MacBooks?
  • Rep #1: Yes sir. Is it possible that the clothing you’re wearing is transferring its color dye to your palm rests?
  • Me: I’m sorry, what’s your name? [writes down name on paper] Could I please speak to a product specialist?

Thankfully, a product specialist by the name of Manuel was more than helpful with providing a little background information on the issue along with the words “Apple will replace your top shell under warranty“.

Without going into specific details concerning the reason for an isolated case of discoloration on white MacBooks, I will close with the following:

  • Apple was aware of the discoloration issue approximately two weeks ago (June 17th +/- a few days). Genius Bar reps were advised to accept repairs under warranty.
  • Two weeks ago, that’s about the time I went into a few Apple Stores only to be told that the discoloration was probably caused by sweaty hands or oil.
  • Re-read point one. Stop. Let it marinate for a little bit and consider re-reading my experiences. Now return and re-read point one.

I hope and pray that this is the last issue I have concerning my MacBook until it dies a natural death. Apple, your employee network really needs to have better access to support related material. Here’s hoping that when I go into the local Apple Store on Monday – which Manuel confirmed to be a supported repair center – I will have a spank’n new palm rest by the time I leave. I have my case number in hand. Just for kicks, I think I’ll go in under the pretense that I am oblivious to the discoloration issue just to check if the Genius Bar reps have been updated by the mothership. Digg this.