Apple Refuses to Replace Swollen Battery

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by jon31rm, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. jon31rm macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2007
    My mom noticed the other day that the battery on her MacBook (purchased May 2008) was swollen (pics below). Due to this, the battery will no longer lock in place. The trackpad button will also no longer click, as the battery is pushing it up from the inside.

    The one year warranty expired 4 months ago, but I was fairly certain that Apple replaced/fixed things that were widespread issues (I know, I know, I told my dad to buy the AppleCare but he never did). Swollen batteries in MacBooks were recently recalled, but apparently this MacBook was not one of the ones recalled.

    The folks at Apple told me that it was an old battery issue, meaning the battery was at the end of its life. Normal. That it was simply time to buy a new battery. Now, I don't know much about laptop batteries, but I know for a fact that the swelling isn't due to a dying battery. My mom keeps the laptop plugged into an external monitor nearly all the time, and rarely takes it anywhere. The battery has had 31 total load cycles, standing at 98% of original capacity.

    They refused to replace it because the computer is out of warranty.

    They recommended buying a new battery before it swells more and causes any more damage. I expressed my concern over the possibility that the battery might explode (an issue common with other swollen batteries). I was told "it is a possibility".

    Here's my question. If products produced between months C-D warrant a recall due to a certain issue, and a product produced in month E has the exact same issue, shouldn't it be replaced as well?

    I guess I expected more from Apple.

    Attached Files:

  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I say you get on the phone with customer service and raise a bit of a stink. That is bullsh*t! < 100 cycles and 17 months is not NORMAL.
  3. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    Time for you to find a "genius" whose not on a cost-saving powertrip...:rolleyes:

    1-800-APL-CARE will take care of you properly for sure. After the massive recall issues, they don't f-around with bulging batteries.
  4. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    That's not normal, but I had to buy a warped battery for my Powerbook after fourteen months. On my MacBook Pro they replaced it after 13 months, and that was with a whole lot more cycles, but still pretty good health. jessica. suggested the right idea.
  5. jon31rm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2007
    That's what I expected from Apple, warranty or not. The customer service rep I talked with had to put me on hold for a good 10 minutes while he talked to someone in tech support, who told him that it was a dead battery issue. The cs rep then told me that my two options were either buy a new battery or be transferred to someone else (I forget what dept.) to see if an exception could be made. The lady I talked to took the advice from tech support guy and simply refused to replace an out of warranty battery because "it isn't causing any real problems", but also threatened that it could cause more problems/catch on fire.

    My dad then spoke with her for a while, and ended up telling her that he's never buying another Apple product again (we've got 4 Apple computers in our house). Apparently, she could care less.

    I'll give it another shot after the weekend.
  6. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    Sounds like they've got the ignorant/2nd string team working for the holiday weekend :mad::mad:

    These people ***** suck. Every other post on here that has a swollen battery results in a replacement regardless of age. You need to drive the point home that the battery is swollen beyond its original dimensions and poses an explosion hazard.

    Keep escalating to the next manager if needed, don't take no for an answer yet stay polite.
  7. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Tell them that the trackpad isn't clicking properly, and make them replace the entire bottom casing and palm rest trying to figure out why :p
  8. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Go right to the top. Send an email to Explain the situation, send the pics, and give your number. Steve probably won't respond personally, but his staff will. These are the people who have the power to bend the rules of AppleCare and/or give you a new computer. I've dealt with them before, and while I ended up being out of luck b/c of the age of the computer, they were extremely helpful.
  9. mbtalle macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2008
    The same thing happened with my wife's MBP. She took it to the Apple Store and they fixed it without asking any questions... It's weird how that works...
  10. jon31rm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2007
    Email has been sent. I'll let you guys know if/when I get a response. All I'm asking for is that the battery (which obviously suffers from the same problems as those recalled) be replaced at no charge.

    My dad is a man of his word. If it isn't replaced, our family isn't buying any more Apple products. :(
  11. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    bad luck op

    when that happened to me, my mb was out of applecare and the batt was bulging which would cause it to randomly shut off when using it

    i took it to an apple store and they replaced it on the spot for free at the same time they replaced my father's mbp logic board for free (it too was out of applecare)

    maybe try another store or go back and try and get another genious
  12. Buskape macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2008
    NGC 4889
    Just wait for it to explode and then sue Apple you will be able to buy a collection of macbook pro's then ;)
  13. MarkCooz macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2009
    Seriously I would definitely call apple care phone number again and again, until they finally accept the fact that your battery does need replacement.

    Like what jessica said, If they can't do anything with it, put a little anger in it, demand it over the phone!
    tell them that this could be dangerous around your house, if the battery explode, lots of bad things happen trust me :p
    but then you can sue apple, because they sold you a faulty machine. and you'll still win that battle because YOU DO have proof of pictures, and I'm pretty sure they give you the case ID when you call applecare.

    Raise your voice if you're young, let your dad or mom talk to them, and tell them that it's unacceptable what they're doing to their customers.

    (release a video saying apple care sucks)

    but in my case those are just tips.

    I do like apple care since they did help me out in my problems with my whitebook. I didn't have a hardware problem, it's sort of software/operating system problem.
  14. jon31rm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2007
    Second call.

    The computer is not under warranty.
    The battery isn't one that was recalled.

    Even though the battery is at 98% original capacity, "some batteries just fail, and Apple can't guarantee satisfaction to every out-of-warranty customer."

    I guess a replacement battery will be the last Apple product purchased by my parents.

    Edit: I get where you've got to draw the line, but I was under the impression that Apple was quick to make exceptions in cases like this (potentially exploding batteries). I'm sure they would have replaced it had my dad taken my advice and purchased the extended warranty.
  15. Vster macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2005
    Celina, TX
    Wow rotten luck, hopefully you can get that worked out for her. Maybe take it in? My mom had the HDD replaced in her MBP that was a month out of the 3 year AppleCare when she took it to the genius bar.
  16. The Californian macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Jan 17, 2009
    Surfers Paradise
    Everyone saying that they should call Apple Care are absolutely correct, they are definitely more helpful than the Genius Bar in my experience.
  17. jon31rm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2007
    Just to clarify (if there was confusion), I called AppleCare twice. I have not been to a Genius Bar. However, I assume I would get the same answer from them.
  18. joekix macrumors 6502


    Feb 2, 2007
    earth, long beach CA to be exact
    go to a genius bar, you never know.
  19. Tharian macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2009
    You know, maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I have ZERO sympathy for people who decide not to buy an extended warranty and then complain that something breaks and it won't be replaced.

    That said, I'd get a new battery since that one looks unsafe.

  20. andalusia macrumors 68030


    Apr 10, 2009
    Manchester, UK
    It isn't broken, it's swollen; batteries aren't supposed to swell, this is a manufacturing defect rather than an issue possibly caused by the consumer.
  21. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006

    And I have zero sympathy for tweebs that support brainlessly companies of not replacing obviously faulty,misenginered and potentially lethal products.

    Worst part is that it would practically cost zilch to apple as they could pin the battery manufacturer for the defect,but instead they choose to train their robotic personel with a standardized "tough luck" answer.
  22. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    unless im mistaken, the warranty only covers manufacturing defects, never has it covered issues caused by the consumer
  23. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    A battery dying is one thing, but a bulging battery like this is dangerous - I'm surprised they're so resistant to fixing it.

    We had two MBPs with bulging batteries (in both cases though, bulging a lot more than in those pictures), and they were replaced as part of the battery recall.
  24. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    How can anyone possibly make a battery swell up?
  25. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    i never said a person did:confused:

    I am saying you buy the extended warranty to cover against manufacturing defects

    This is a manufacturing defect and since the OP did not buy the warranty to cover against this very scenario, Apple does not have to replace it

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