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Apple Customer Service in Spain.

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.


Published inRants


  1. Jan Mueller Jan Mueller

    Are you serious? You accepted this without talking to the store manager?
    That’s ridiculous .. what sense does it make to have two batteries? That argument I would have liked to hear

  2. Matt Henderson Matt Henderson

    Well, actually there wasn’t a store manager there. The store manager is actually located in another city. 🙁

  3. Daniel Nagala Daniel Nagala

    My experience in Spain is similar. I purchased a new macBook Pro 17″on 22 aug 2010. On 10 sept 2010 (19 days later) it started to fail due to an NVRM Panic. The computer performed well for the first 19 days, but after the failure first happened, it would fail about every 10 to 15 minutes (totally frozen, requiring a power reset/restart). I immediately took it in for service (at K-Tuin, which is an authorized reseller/service provider). That was more than 3 weeks ago (as of today), and all they have told me that the OS had an error, and needed to be reinstalled. I don’t believe this since I had to buy another new computer (this time in the US) because their service was SO inefficient, and I loaded the new computer with an image backup of the failed computer (exactly the same OS and other software), and have not experienced any problems what-so-ever. I don’t know what the problem is, but I can’t understand how they can be so inefficient. This service is so poor that my business there will never purchase another computer locally. I believe it will be much better to purchase in the US or UK, and hand carry them for service to those countries when/if necessary. My experience with hard failures and similar repairs (or replacement) in the US is less than 1 week turnaround time.

  4. Niels Niels

    Beautiful. Virtually the same experience in DK, i.e. ‘Good luck proving that we were in the wrong, not you…’ Couldn’t be bothered with fighting the crappy and frustrating service organ and ended up buying a new battery.
    More or less the same experience when my AirPort Express died on me for no apparent reason.

  5. Daniel Nagala Daniel Nagala

    Update from post on 3 October: Coincidentally, Apple opened a real Apple corporate store in Madrid in late September 10 (located in the Xanado Central Comercial). When I finally got the computer back from K-Tuin it had been 4 weeks, and all they did was reinstall the OS. The computer failed again 2.5 hours after I got it back with EXACTLY the same error. I immediately called them and they had nothing to say what-so-ever, except to bring it back for another look, and presumably several more weeks of them doing nothing. But having no confidence in them, I took it to the new Apple store instead. What a difference! They were professional, attentive and sincerely interested in providing high quality customer service. They fixed the problem in 4 days, and it has not failed since. Apparently it was some sort of a driver issue, but since the K-Tuin people had installed the wrong OS build for that particular machine, it had no chance of ever working correctly. After this experience, there is no way I will ever use any service that is not genuine Apple.

  6. Roberto Rodriguez Roberto Rodriguez

    Benotac in Marbella and Malaga is completely unprofessional. My Macbook air was taken to Malaga to replace the hard disk and then Benotac did not comply with the 10 days necessary for the repair and price was always going up until I decided to get my computer back after 14 days had elapsed. Apple should do something in order not to loose clients.

  7. Asad Asad

    Hi there. Can anyone help me with the contact number for an apple store in malaga or marbella urgently…


  8. justin justin

    if your looking for service and some one that KNOWS what they are doing… give us a call… 666756692

  9. Matt Henderson Matt Henderson

    +1 for Justin — I can, through personal experience, attest to the great job he does.

  10. Maria Parkes Maria Parkes

    Justin, are you in the Marbella area? I have an iPad that has some quirky things happening to it. I also have mac computers. Do you repair them? If you are in the area, i would love to know. Thanks!

  11. Mark Mark

    Had a very similar experience.. Bought a new iMac on release day 6 weeks ago at Fnac in marbella after 12 days it diesdso I took it back to the store.

    They told me they would need to send it off to be repaired… now over 3 weeks later I am still without a Mac!!

  12. Maggie Brown Maggie Brown

    Can someone help me with apple support in Madrid? Not sure what happened but the password on my Mac is not working!! It is Mac OS X 10.5.8. I can use it but can’t download anything. Is the store in the Xanadu shopping center a real Apple store? Do they have technical support?
    Thanks so much.

    • Matt Henderson Matt Henderson

      Hi Maggie, this is just the weblog of an individual (me). I don’t live in Madrid, and don’t know the Xanadu shopping center. The password of your Mac is unrelated to its ability to download. Wish I could be of more help.

  13. mark mark

    An update on my problem mentioned above.

    It took almost 6 week to get the imac back, and they returned it without the box ..they said they had lost it so it returned in just a single piece of bubble wrap…complete with a scratch.

    Now the good news a genuine apple store is opening in marbella in a few weeks time… no more dealing with fnac!!

  14. Carl R. Hall Carl R. Hall

    My family and I have purchased a number of items from Benotac Marbella. There are normally two persons there. One of them, Jorge, gives an excellent service and is very knowledgable. However, they do have to send any repairs to their Málaga office.

    Anyway, perhaps the new Apple Store to be opened shortly in Marbella will resolve most folks problems. If they give a turn around service, then nobody will use the little shops.



  15. justin justin

    Just for the record… the Marbella shop, everybody is mentioning is now closed…..

  16. Chris Chris

    RIP Benotac Marbella. You will be remembered for your 2 – 3 week turn around!

  17. Habib Habib

    Hi. My name is habib I live Bilbao in Spain but I’m looking for iPhone service center for changing my battery of my iPhone 4S if some one know any service center in Bilbao plaease send me the contact no of the service center to the email [email protected]

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