Apple DIY Hardware Repair Service Makes No Sense...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by EFaden, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. EFaden macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2008

    So I figured I would post my story just so people could see how idiotic Apple can be. About 4 weeks ago I noticed that my trackpad was not clicking very well. After some self troubleshooting I figured out that my trackpad was being compressed by my exploding battery. After removing the battery from the computer the trackpad worked fine again. I called Apple and was told by the tech that I would have to send my laptop back to have the battery replaced. This was after I spent 30 minutes going through "software" to make sure it was the battery, despite the laptop working fine after removing the battery. I finally convinced him to send me a new battery, but they wouldn't send me a new battery lid (the case that covers the battery), which was bent from the battery exploding. He claimed that this was "not a user replaceable part". I gave up talking to him and had them send me a new battery. About 3 days later, no battery, but I did get an email threatening me that I would be charged for the battery if I didn't return my old one and that it was due in 4 days despite having NOT received the new one. Another day later my battery showed up. I swapped, and shipped off the old one. At the same time I submitted a complaint to the BBB to follow up on Apples "policy". After some back and forth the issue was left unresolved with Apple's legal department stating that the battery cover, which must be removed to replace the battery, was not a "user replaceable part," but the battery, which is under the cover is. My laptop is mostly in one piece, but I refuse to send my laptop to the depot without removing my personal data from it, and it seems fairly pointless to do this for a part that I had to remove to replace the supposedly user replaceable part.

    After this I am strongly considering not buying an Apple again....

  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Then don't buy another Apple product.

    Your story lacks a few things that would otherwise make this easier for people to discuss and even help. First, what laptop do you own? Second, paragraphs would help you quite a bit. Finally, do you really think that it is in Apple's best interest to send you a new battery without seeing the actual computer?

    Do you think that you could take a step back and see that Apple is probably concerned about the idea that a battery supposedly EXPLODED in a machine and yet you don't want to send the machine to them for further testing? If the battery EXPLODED, as you so dramatically put it, then I would be sending the entire machine back.

    You see buddy, when a battery EXPLODES in a computer it generally renders the computer useless. At the very least there is cause for concern all the same. I would be backing up my data, reinstalling the OS so it is fresh and my personal data was off the machine, and sending it back. I really think that you are part wrong here. Apple's policy is often fairly clear. I cannot comment on the user replaceable part because you failed to tell us what machine you own.
  3. EFaden thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2008
    I supposed swelled is a better term. It is a first generation MBP Unibody (the one with the battery that comes out). And the swelling is a known issue. And I don't think I am wrong. I think it is useless to send a computer back and forth for a part that comes off the laptop and is obviously failed.
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Do you have a store near you? What you need to do is either go into the store or call them to discuss this, unless you feel your case is resolved. Swelling or exploding, I think I'd still want them to see the machine unless you're certain it did not do anything to the machine.

    If this the late 2006 model then you need to remind them that on page 33 of the manual it explains how to remove the battery. If those instructions are absent from the manual then it is likely that it is not a user replaceable part. However, that is not the case here, as you already know. I think you just need to help them understand that. It's a 4 + year old machine and you're probably not talking to someone stateside, just help them understand and point them to the manual supplied with the machine.
  5. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    It is not 4 + years old. It is a first gen unibody according to the OP which makes it late 2008 at the earliest, meaning about 2.5 years old max.
  6. EFaden thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2008
    This is correct. This laptop is about 2.5 years old. I provided Apple the link to the web page on their site that has the instructions for removing the cover and the battery. The laptop is completely fine other than the battery and the case. And the closest Apple store to me is about 45 minutes to an hour.

    My main point here was that it seems odd to define the battery as user replaceable, while at the same time defining the cover as non-user replaceable.
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    You are right: it's idiotic. Especially when Apple knows that battery swelling is a problem.

    And it's inconsistent. For example, power supplies were going kaput on G4 MDDs; Apple sent out replacement power supplies to us that took far more technical expertise to install than the lid you removed from your machine. It's especially lame to not send you one after they got the swollen battery; they'd know then you weren't playing them.
  8. Gamoe macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2006
    Hey EFaden, I'm having the same issue. Worse of all- It took me over severn months to realize what it was. I feel like a total dunce. Thankfully the battery never swelled past a certain point, otherwise my computer and my person would have been in danger.

    Here are pics of my own battery:

    It's hard to photograph, but here is my attempt. It's relatively subtle, not one of those obviously swollen batteries we've all seen photographs of. Here it is:


    Here is the battery photographed from above. Nothing unusual is apparent.


    Here is the battery straight on. Notice that the bottom of the battery is up. Again nothing very unusual here.


    Now I attempt to photograph the battery with a flat CD case on top. Notice how it does not lie flat.


    Another photo from a slightly different angle. Although it is unfocused, it is clear that the top of the battery is not flat.
  9. harcosparky, Apr 6, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011

    harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    It's not odd, and in fact makes sense when you think it through.

    I believe the reason that the battery compartment cover is not " user replaceable " is because the battery compartment cover is a subcomponent of the laptop case itself. Since the chassis/case is not " user replaceable " neither would any of its subcomponents be.

    I have run into similar situations with other electronics manufacturers in the past.

    Your battery swelled inside the laptop causing problems as you have indicated.

    What failed? ( was it the battery, or a problem within the laptop? )

    Are you qualified to make that determination?

    Could a short somewhere inside the laptop have caused a high current drain condition where the battery was discharging at an excessive rate causing it to swell?

    A battery can swell for several reasons, internal battery failure is just one of them.

    If it has been me, I would have wanted Apple to look at the laptop.

  10. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    Whats odd is your belief that Apple should send you whatever parts you demand.
  11. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    I would be very concerned that the swelling has done damage to solders, etc, on the logic board and elsewhere. I'd want a new laptop. Even if it appears to be working fine, the life of the machine could have been shortened.
  12. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    You're mischaracterizing his complaint.
  13. Gr80Likes2Boogi macrumors regular

    Oct 3, 2009
    NoHo, CA
    While I somewhat agree with OP's logic- assuming indeed that the battery cause the battery door to bend and therefore rendered useless [a pic could help here, too]- 45minutes to an hour's drive isn't out of the question to get a potentially HUGE problem resolved- not to mention the possibility of a new computer. I'm not one of those people who look for fatal flaws to get free upgrades, but if something is astoundingly wrong with your computer, I do believe you could be a candidate for upgrading... all that aside, I have the same kind of uMBP, and haven't had any issues with the battery.

    You want my opinion? Make a Genius Bar Appointment and put on your driving shoes. Bring a friend, make a day of it. Grab some food after your appointment or something.
  14. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I called Apple, told them my battery was starting to swell. The guy said that he'd send a new one, and that if I found the battery cover was warped, I should call back and they'd take care of it.

    I received my replacement the following morning by 10:00AM.

    My guess is that the OP tried to embellish the story with Apple like he did here. Start talking about things exploding and sure, they are going to want to see it.

    Also, the "threatening" email was simply a notice. Would it be better to have no warning on the advance replacement, and then have people fail to return defective parts?

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