My Macbook Pro Battery: RIP Feb. 2007 to July 2007

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ma458g-a.jpgSo, as I sit here typing on my Macbook Pro (which is tethered to the wall by its cord) and I reflect on yesterday afternoon, I can’t help but be a little hacked off.

See, I purchased this Macbook Pro in February. That’s not that long ago. This battery should be fine…but it isn’t. If I was to pull the cord off of my computer right now it would die instantly, even though the battery is supposedly “99% charged”.

So, I decided to call Apple and get the situation resolved. It shouldn’t cost me any money right? I mean, the thing has a 1 year warranty…

Well, things didn’t start off well. Evidently the company that Apple has out sourced their Technical Support to has switched over to VOIP or something because it sounded like I was talking to them on Skype, and their system kept dropping calls. My phone call got dropped 2 times before I could even speak more than a word or two to the person on the other end, and each time I would have to start over with the wait time.

Finally, the third time the first thing the guy said was “I’m so and so, do you have a call back number I can reach you at if the call is dropped?” I had to ask him to repeat most of what he said several times, mainly due to the terrible quality of the phone call.

After I explained my problem, he told me that even though my system was under warranty, he was going to have to charge me for Technical Support.

I didn’t need Technical Support. I need the defective part replaced.

So we argued about that for a minute, then he told me that they had no way of proving that the battery was defective until they tried a few things on the computer.

I don’t see how that’s my problem. I’m not calling for Technical Support. I know the battery is defective, and I’ve already tried every solution I could find online and on to fix the problem. I don’t need Technical Support, I need the part replaced.

Then he suggested that I go to an Apple Store, where it would be FREE for them to look at it.

Well if it’s free if I make a 4 hour round trip drive to the closest Apple Store, why in the hell are they trying to charge me for it over the phone? I guarantee you that Apple is paying that “genius” more than they’re paying this Tech Support guy.

This is the second MAJOR problem I’ve had with an Apple product in the past month. I’m extremely unhappy with the fact that Apple is trying to squeeze more money out of me to run “Technical Support” on a problem that is clearly a defective battery. If they need to check something to make sure it’s defective before they send a replacement out, I get that…but I shouldn’t have to pay for it.

So, tomorrow, I’m heading off to the Apple store again. Another 4 hour round trip, and I gotta say…I’m not happy about it.

Why am I going to the store instead of paying Apple for phone Tech Support?

1) I don’t need Phone Tech Support. I need them to verify for themselves that I’m not lying to them, and then send the replacement part.

2) I’ll be able to get the part the same day, instead of having to wait however long it takes for the part to get here in the mail.

3) I’ve given them $2500 dollars for this machine less than 6 months ago. I’m not handing over one more cent to the company until the battery is replaced.

4) I did the math…the gas to get there and back is cheaper. 馃槈

So, if posts are sparse tomorrow…you know why.

And one more thing before I wrap this up. I understand that there are people that call in and lie to these guys. I understand that Apple has to verify that there is a problem before just sending out a battery. My problem isn’t with them wanting me to go through any tests on the computer. My problem is them wanting to charge me for it.

If they wanted to take a credit card number and NOT charge it until we discovered that it was a software issue and not the battery, then I could understand and accept that. If I was wrong, and it wasn’t the battery then that would have been a tech support call (which I still think should be free for more than 90 days but that’s beside the point)…it’s charging me up front for something that is not tech support related before they even know if it is tech support related that I find upsetting.

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  1. Although I don’t think I need to tell you this. You should let someone at the store, or at know about how badly you were treated.

    According to surveys that are made about customer service, Apple is usually at the top, so this type of treatment and service shouldn’t be considered “normal”.

  2. As a note:

    While they will ask for a CC number, and charge you for phone support, if they ultimately deem it to be a hardware defect after the troubleshooting, then they will refund the fee.

  3. @Eric

    It would be awesome if they would say that.


    Unfortunately, they didn’t tell me that.

  4. i’ve had a 17″ macbookpro since january, i use it every day and completely discharcge the battery almost every day, i’m getting about 3.5 hours charge

  5. Next time, ask Customer Service. I have the same symptoms with a MacBook Pro. Finally, the battery has swollen. They are sending a new battery tomorrow morning at no cost. I will send back my old defective one. I had to give my credit card number however.

  6. Even though the nearest Apple store is 4 hours away, is there an Apple authorized repair center nearby (an independent Mac repair shop, a CompUSA, a university bookstore repair section)? Sometimes they can replace batteries easier than dealing directly with Apple.

  7. @ ClunkClunk

    Good suggestion (and great name, btw) but alas, nope. That store is the closest Apple reseller to me.

  8. They take the card number and then diagnose the problem. If it is a hardware issue they don’t charge you for it. What’s the big deal here?

  9. i have the 3rd battery in my february 2006 MBP!
    I never got charged for the replacements. First one got replaced although it worked fine due to the “sony problem”.
    Second one died happily some weeks ago – started to not fully reload, indicator led on the power cord kept switching from red to green back and forth.

    I called in AppleCare (Germany) and explained the problem. We went through some tests _(reset PRAM and so on) and finally the men on the phone agreed on having a bad battery.
    Then the shock – warranty was over (1yr.) so he asked for for replacement permission in the system even with warranty being over…
    Got it – they sent me a brandnew battery in a box with UPS and i had to return the old one in the same box – That’s it!

    Oh maybe i haven’t mentioned earlier – I DO HAVE an Apple Care agreement- does this change things?

  10. @Oh Come on now…

    If that’s the way it works, then they should have explained it that way. The guy I talked to told me he was charging me, and never mentioned anything about only charging me if it wasn’t a battery issue.

    In fact, I think you’ll see that in the post. I said if they did it the way you’re describing then I would have been fine with it, and there would have been no problem at all.

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