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Genius Bar Theater

You know that new Genius ad from Apple? Met that guy last night, figuratively, in what I'm calling Genius Theater. That's where Apple sends out their best, brightest, and offers you a solution you know is wrong. I'd take some geek pride and the street cred of outsmarting them, but in this case it's more concern and sadness for a post-Jobs era, any Mac fan is worried about. 

The short version of the story is I've got a Macbook Pro with a ghost in the machine. It's got issues with graphics rendering and the display. The logic board has been replaced, ram, and the issues persist with screen tearing. I returned to the Genius Bar to escalate the issue and after a good hour of perplexed Geniuses trying everything they could think of including running fsck, one of them flipped the automatic graphics switching and pronounced that as the fix. Even said, "has the screen torn since we turned that off?" To which I said, "you mean in the past 5 minutes, uhm no."

The Genius believed that the switch between the two graphics cards was causing the tearing and other issues.

He's wrong and here's why from Apple's own tech note:

Automatic graphics switching is enabled by default to allow your computer to automatically switch to the best graphics system for the applications running on your computer.  Using this option may also maximize battery life.  Deselect this option to use the higher-performance discrete graphics processor at all times.

Some circumstances will always activate high-performance graphics:

When your computer is connected to an external display, high-performance graphics will remain on until you disconnect the display.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4110?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

This MBP is always connected to an external display. So turning off automatic graphics switching makes no difference. Besides that, if turning graphics switching off did resolve the issue, then it confirms one of the boards is bad. I explained this to the Genius and he stuck to his solution, as did his supervisor. 

Felt like the court of the Genius had heard my case and banged the gavel against me on a technicality that was wrong. I guess they're doing this to avoid replacing the machine at all costs and willing to upset me to do so. You want to really confuse a Genius, tell them they're solution is wrong and you have no confidence in it and don't believe them.

They're not trained to handle that situation, when you realize they're playing you.

Next step: escalating it to Apple Care with a formal complaint. Also for some perspective, I was prepared to let this issue go and move on. Setup the MBP as a family computer in the kitchen or hand it to one of the teens, but because of this theater I played a role in, it's personal now.

Guess cause I also believe in a company I've spent so much time with as a customer and fan. Including, back in the day of 5% marketshare and when Apple's Death Knell was pronounced weekly.

Update

The Apple Store called, apologized, and the MBP is en route to the Depot Center for further triage and repair.
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5 comments
 
Exactly how I felt with this current iPhone. It was a refurb from Apple, and I've had battery issues since iOS 4.1. Their solution: hard reset, but with no way to test it during the 20 minutes I was in the store, they pronounced it as "good". 
I've given up trying to fix it, and will be switching to a replaceable-battery Android phone when I'm ready. 
 
+Robert Rowe Yep. It was scripted with a pre-determined solution to not replace the machine. I even felt bad for the Genius that had to present flipping a preference to me as a solution. I don't think he believed it was the fix either, but had to say it was. 
 
Sure glad that I have not been bitten by that (typing this on my 15" MBP).  Sorry to hear that you have been going through this.
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