07 July 2010
My brother, who lives near Atlanta (United States), visited an Apple store last week to check out some odd behavior with his MacBook. The technician noticed that his battery has physically expanded, and needed replacing. Seeing that my brother's computer was covered by AppleCare, he said, "Hey, let's take the opportunity to see whether anything else needs fixing/replacing, since your AppleCare expires next month." As a result, my brother walked away with a new battery, trackpad, keyboard, and display.
This week, the SSD in my own MacBook died. I called Crucial Memory, in the United Kingdom, and within 15 minutes, they'd, without hesitation, shipped out a replacement drive under warranty, and provided me with a UPS account reference so that I could return the dead one to them, free of charge.
Let's now compare these pleasant experiences in the US and UK, to customer service in Spain.
Earlier this week, I noticed that the battery in my MacBook had physically expanded (yes, it had ballooned in size), so that the MacBook's battery cover was actually bulging outward. I took it to the local Apple store here in Marbella — Benotac — mentioned that the MacBook is covered by AppleCare, and ask if they could give me a replacement.
The store attendant made a call. Pay attention to the wording:
"I have a client here with a MacBook battery that's physically deformed. Even though his MacBook is covered by AppleCare, replacement of a battery wouldn't be covered, would it?"
That's right, his default presumption is that, no, I'm not going to get a replacement.
After a few minutes on the phone, he returned to say:
"Ok, you need to bring in your battery and charger. We'll send it to Malaga, run a test on the battery and your charger, which results in a code that will confirm whether or not we can replace the battery."
So let's think about what I've been told. Apparently, there exist the possibility that after testing, I'm going to be told that, my battery — which physically no longer fits in the machine — is fine and won't be replaced.
Of course, I actually needed a battery on the spot, and mentioned this to the attendant, who stated that under no circumstances could they simply give me a replacement. I'd have to buy another one (which I did).
Looking on the bright side, he pointed out that, should they ultimately agree to replace my battery, at least I'd then have two. Lucky me.