Edit 24th October:
After long waiting It seems that Apple has finally acknowledged to the coating issue and replaced my screen for free! Other customers are also reporting that their screen has been fixed for free by apple
Table of Contents
What is Staingate?
There has been an outcry on the social media by MacBook’s owners about an issue to do with their screen. Staingate as the issue is being termed is the peeling off the anti-reflective coating of the screens of their MacBooks leaving large ugly patches. These patches are opaque which means that one cannot view what is beneath them, making the usage of the MacBook almost impossible. The problem is specific to those people whose MacBooks have retina display.
The staingate problem is however affecting only that anti-reflective coating only. The underlying liquid crystal display screen remains untouched. It is however unable to view it due to this dark patches. There are several reasons that have been put forward to explain what might be caused staingate. Cleaning your laptop with cleaning supplies for instance microfiber cloths may be the one causing the scratching. Another problem might be the pressure exerted by laptop keys or the track pad.
The problem has no particular pattern of occurrence. These users have noted that it starts about seven months of purchase. In many cases, the problem starts from the edges of the screen or the middle part due to contact with other parts of the MacBook. It may also start as many small patches on the edges or the middle of the screen. In some MacBooks, the backside is also affected and like the screen, there are some large ugly patches. It is however not clear whether the problem is a failure on the part of manufacturers or whether it is being caused by the owners cleaning their MacBooks with a chemical and thus causing a reaction.
Most of the aggrieved owners have tried reaching Apple so that they can have their MacBooks repaired. Some of them have raised concerns that Apple is claiming that the staingate is not covered by the warranty. In an official communication however, Apple has said that the affected owners will have their screens repaired provided that the warranty has not expired. For those who purchased their MacBooks more than a year ago. They might be required to cater for the cost of repair. The parties aggrieved have formed a group to put pressure on Apple to cover the cost of repair whether one is under the warranty or not. They have said that the problem is due to a failure on Apple’s part and therefore Apple should bear the burden.
..and then it hit me
I called the Apple Store support and they told me they’re able to resolve the issue and told me I should come over to their Apple Store in Vancouver to get it repaired for free “since its not a common issue”. Well thats a problem because I live in Victoria (the island right next to the mainland) and it costs about $300 to go back an forth from Victoria <> Vancouver with the helijet
So I flew all the way over (of course booked an appointment in advance) and when I arrived all they said was “Well your warranty expired so nothing we gonna do to help you” I told him that its a common issue and Apple needs to fix this because its a 1 and a half year old laptop that I purchased for over $2200 and they are telling me they’re not gonna fix it? EXCUSE ME?
I mean I own a LOT of Apple products and I have had a good experience with both the products and the service so far but their un-willingness to fix. So I called the Manager of the Pacific Centre Apple Store in Vancouver and he was willing to talk to the guy and see what he can do.
Apple WAS NOT willing to help me out fix my 1 1/2 year old MacBook Retina which I have purchased for over $2200. I expect Apple to address this issue ASAP and fix my god damn laptop.
YOU ARE NEXT
Owners have noted that the cost of repairing the screen is too high for them to bear. Repairing a single screen cost around $800. They are saying that Apple should launch a free repair program or refund their money. Even with the repairs, there are fears that the problem might still recur making replacement the only suitable option. The cost of repair is about half the cost of a new laptop and since there is no guarantee that they problem will not occur again, people are opting to have new laptops.
The group has over 3,000 members and it targets about 5,000 so that it may compel apple to listen. They are confident of success since this is not the first time Apple has had this problem. The 2011 MacBook Pro graphics failure problem was addressed in February this year when a similar out roar was made in the social media. Apple has been known to take responsibility of defects resulting from their devices and many affected users are hopeful that they will be quick to rectify the staingate problem.
When did it all start?
Staingate can be dated back as early as 2009 where a few cases were noted. The problem was however discovered in 2013 when people started complaining on the internet and social media. The most affected MacBooks were MacBook Air and MacBook Pros. For the MacBook 2015, it has not yet been discovered whether they have this problem as they are still quite new.
A formal petition has been filed on change.com in Bangkok by a Thailand based Apple user Cody Yuwapun. The petition has received more than 600 signatures. The reason behind this Yuwapun says is that when he discovered that his laptop had this problem, he took it to the Apple care where he was refused service two times despite the fact that his laptop was covered by the warranty. The last time he went to Apple store, he was no longer under the warranty and an employee told him that he had to part with several hundreds of dollars to have the laptop repaired.
The aggrieved parties have received a major boost in their campaign when a large law firm announced in their Facebook group that they will support them in their bid to have Apple shoulder the repair cost. Whitfield Bryson & Mason has offered to help them by representing them in court. They have actually started collecting data about the number of aggrieved parties. The group has a website, staingate.org where they have posted photos of affected MacBooks. On that site, they are requesting anyone with the problem to contact them. They have also posted lots of photos of affected MacBooks.
Its NOT A Uncommon Issue!
They also have tweeter hash tags on the same issue and many people have been airing their complaints there. Apple has been saying very little about the issue despite the pressure on the internet. Such complaints may not be good for Apple as more and more people may shun their MacBooks. This if left unchecked may lead to decreased demand of Apple’s shares in the stock market thus leading to a fall in their value in the stock market. To maintain its image and demand for its laptops, Apple may need to repair the laptops for free or at least at a subsidized the cost of repair so as to appease their angry customers.
If this issue goes unchecked, Apple may lose a good number of loyal customers. It is many users’ hope that Apple will not disappoint them and betray the many years that they have had in them. Many of them are looking forward to have their laptops repaired so that they can get them back in their useful condition.
Here are a few pictures of users with the Staingate Issue:[huge_it_gallery id=”2″]