I bought a new MacBook Pro in May 2007. By August 2008, after I had taken it back to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store in Regent Street three times for various problems, I noticed the battery life was down to about an hour.
In September it developed an irritating little quirk. After about 10 minutes with the battery still in the 80th percentile it shut down without warning. This became more than irritating, but I didn’t really have the time or inclination to schlep down to Regent Street again so soon.
I put up with it, leaving it plugged in all the time, and when I needed a portable computer I used the old PowerBook G4, which was a very fine machine.
Finally I could stand it no longer, and on Monday I went online to the Apple store to see about a replacement battery.
First shock was the price — £97. That’s $135. That’s a lot of money. Then I noticed the reviews. 102 reviewers had given this battery one star out of five. There was a chorus of protest about the quality and durability of the MacBook Pro battery. Clearly Apple had bogged this one, and from the chatter on the site they had stuck their corporate fingers in their ears and were going La-La-La very loudly.
I rang the Apple Store. A very nice chap whose accent I could barely understand tried valiantly to help me for about 20 minutes, before giving up and suggesting I took it to the Apple Store in Regent Street.
So I booked an appointment with the Genius Bar for Thursday, the earliest available time from Monday. I told the Genius I had a battery problem, and that he may already have heard about it. He grimaced. I opened up the machine and it ran for just over a minute before shutting down without warning.
He carried out a few diagnostic tests, shrugged, and gave me a brand new replacement battery. No charge.
The computer was nine months past its warranty.
The battery (made by Sony) may be crap, but the Apple service was absolutely superb. No fuss, no quibble, just a new battery.
Nearly full marks to Apple. If only it hadn’t happened in the first place.