Owners of MacBooks plagued by 'Staingate' demand free repairs


MacBook users with damaged displays are banding together to seek recourse from Apple. A site dedicated to those owners, Staingate.org, is asking Apple to pay for repairs resulting in stains on MacBook screens.

"The stains can start as early as 7 months after the purchase," the group's website said. "There is no clear pattern as to how it starts: some experience it in small spots around the edge, on other screens it appears in the middle as large patches."

According to group members, the stains aren't covered under Apple's warranty, as the problem is considered a cosmetic issue, with repair costs estimated to be in the range of $800 or €800.

How bad is the problem?

Gallery images on the group page show different levels of stains, with the most significant damage being stains in the center of the screen.

Specifically, the glass screen and the underlying liquid crystal display (LCD) are not damaged. It appears that the anti-reflective coating on the screen may have been worn off, but it's unclear if users have used chemical solvents to clean their screens, resulting in this damage, or if this is the result of a larger manufacturing defect.

The problem dates back as early as 2009, but 2013 seems to be the worst year for MacBook laptops, according to ZDNet. Given the years in question, and photos posted to the site's gallery, the notebooks with screen damages include Apple's MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineups. The 2015 MacBook may be too new to determine if there

More than 3,200 people have registered their problems with the website, and US law firm Whitfield Bryson & Mason has reached out to the group to collect data.

The group expects that even with repairs, stains can appear again.

As a recourse, the group is asking Apple to cover repairs for this known issue, with "a free repair program for all the Macbooks that are having this problem, without taking into consideration if it is under warranty or AppleCare."