Apple reluctantly admits problem with MacBooks ‘shutting down intermittently’

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
September 7th, 2006 • 3:13 pm

After numerous reports over the past couple of months from MacBook owners about their machines suddenly shutting down, it appears that Apple has finally acknowledged the problem:

Tech Note

It’s important to note that this is the only text that appears in that tech note.

I don’t know about you, but if I were a MacBook owner affected by the problem, I would find this form of “minimum service” acknowledgement so terse that I would almost feel insulted. It’s almost like Apple is too proud to admit that it has (once again) screwed up.

It’s not like this is a minor issue for those affected. You’d think that Apple would adopt a slightly more apologetic tone here, and give the issue a bigger profile on their support site. Yet, there is no link to this tech note on Apple’s main support page, and there is no link on the main support page for the MacBook either.

Do I dare ask if Apple is going to spontaneously send a note by e-mail to all registered MacBook owners?

In light of all the recent problems with its hardware, it’s really time for Apple to adopt a more customer-friendly stance when dealing with obvious hardware defects.

And, no, this particular development is not going to help convince me to give the MacBook another try either…

4 Responses to “Apple reluctantly admits problem with MacBooks ‘shutting down intermittently’”

  1. danridley says:

    It doesn’t appear to be a common problem, so I think it’s fair not to have it be featured on the MacBook support page. (They do have the discoloration article linked there, even though it’s likewise extremely rare.)

    It sounds more like they’re still gathering information and don’t know the cause than like they’re trying to hush it up.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Dan: The problem is common enough to generate a fair number of reports at I am not saying it’s affecting a majority of MacBook customers, of course, but it certainly looks like more than an isolated incident, and Apple’s tech note is a tacit acknowledgement of that.

    I somehow doubt that they are “still gathering information.” It’s not like Apple to acknowledge a problem until they can accurately and reliably reproduce it themselves. I speak from experience :).

  3. danridley says:

    I dunno. I guess, as a MacBook owner, I’m looking at it from my own personal perspective: if this starts happening to me, I now know that AppleCare will fix it. That’s good enough for me.

    Then again, I’ve yet to see this on a MacBook, or hear about it from anyone I know that owns one, or that knows someone that owns one, etc. On the other hand, I have two Dell notebooks at the office that shut off randomly, and tech support does the polite-offshore-tech-support version of laughing at me since I have no steps to reproduce. If Dell were to post something like this, I wouldn’t feel insulted, I’d be delighted, because then I could get them to solve my (coworkers’) problems.

  4. Pierre Igot says:

    Well, yeah, I can believe that the competition is much worse :). But that’s not really an excuse. We hold Apple to a higher standard. Maybe their switch to Intel means that they are going to have to deal with more problems like this one, but it’ll still be Apple and they’ll still be expected to deliver premium customer service.

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