Genius tried to charge for defective battery

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bniu, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    #1
    I have a 2011 MBP 17 with AppleCare good through May of next year and my battery came up as "Service Battery" and at the genius bar, it failed the battery test, despite the battery being just 205 cycles into its 1000 cycle lifecycle. The battery had also been draining ridiculously fast the last few months, I had been chalking it up to the fact that I run my computer with higher than normal settings even on battery mode.

    The genius quoted me $179 for the battery replacement fee and claimed that no warranty, not even AppleCare covered batteries because it was a consumable part. It was a good thing that I knew the difference between "wear and tear" and "defective" because I brought up the point that the battery was "defective" because it should not be failing barely 20% into its lifecycle.

    I agreed with her that "wear and tear" would not be covered anywhere, but I had to point out adamantly that the battery was defective and defective batteries are indeed covered under AppleCare. I then asked her to go check with someone (while I pulled up the AppleCare terms and conditions) and she came back to me 5 minutes later and said they'd cover the battery problem.

    They didn't have the battery part in stock, and told me to come back the next day, but at least they got my service ticket in the system. Came back the next day to do a quick swap out and I am not sitting happy with a brand new battery (and I guess the repair person fixed my trackpad's sticking problem, which I didn't even bring up).

    So why do Geniuses try to pull a fast one and convince us to pay for a defective battery replacement? I'm sure if it was someone less savvy about computers, they'd have just paid it.

    On another note, I did have this laptop docked in clamshell mode to a Thunderbolt Display for several months on end, would that have hurt the battery in that it never got a chance to discharge?
     
  2. Spink10 Suspended

    Spink10

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #2
    Very strange experience.

    In regards to having the MBP in clamshell for months - everyone has a different opinion on the subject. Apple claims that the new batteries dont need to be "discharged" a certain way / calibrated. I tend to believe Apple.
     
  3. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #3
    My old MBP spat a "service battery" error after a bit over 300 cycles. I had to pay for it-- was told 300 cycles was past the limit where a battery would be considered defective. Shrug.
     
  4. Spink10 Suspended

    Spink10

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    #4
    what year MBP - isnt it 1000 charges now?
     
  5. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    #5
    It is and it isn't.

    The batteries are designed to last 1000 cycles, but aren't quaranteed to last as many in every possible case. Cycles are not the only factor, age and temperatures make a huge difference, and so does a sheer chance. Some batteries are more stable than others and last considerably more than they are rated for.

    The reason the OP was asked to pay for the batery is simple: it was two years old. That's quite old for a battery, no matter how much it has been used.

    I would say, good for the OP that he got a new battery, if it wasn't for the "pulling a fast one" -part. The OP got something he, in my opinion, was not really entitled to, and still accuses the Geniuses af a scam. Ridiculous.
     
  6. Spink10 Suspended

    Spink10

    Joined:
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    Oklahoma
    #6
    You mind giving a link to that info about "Battery Replacement"?
     
  7. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    #7
    Apple Notebook Battery FAQ

    Apple does not specify clearly what would be considered a defective battery, but gives guidelines and leaves it to the Geniuses to decide in each individual case. A battery older than two years is generally considered old, and most manufacturers don't even cover batteries past one year, even in their warranty extensions (check Acer, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, LG and Sony warranty terms and conditions, for instance). Apple is an exception in this respect.
     
  8. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #8
    I have to agree with laurihoefs here. With such an old battery, the number of cycles is kind of irrelevant. Apple clearly states 'Apple warrants your battery against manufacturing defects for one year from the date of purchase'. I didn't find any point in Apple Care terms and conditions which would extend that time.
     
  9. Quackers macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #9
    Kind of hard to prove a battery is defective after more than 2 years, I would say.
    I've paid for a new laptop battery after a mere 9 months on a HP. It is (or at least was) commonplace for batteries to be excluded from a warranty in the UK. Obviously a defective battery is another thing.

    I think the op got away with one but I guess some are lucky and some are not.
    I suspect not too many others would get a free replacement after 2 years' use.
    But I have been wrong before :)
     
  10. whitedragon101 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #10
    I'm not sure why you are getting a hard time on this. I don't think the genius was "trying to pull as fast one" as they probably didn't know and made a mistake. But :

    Apple clearly state their battery is designed to deliver

    "up to 1000 full charge discharge cycles before it reaches 80 percent of its original capacity"

    and

    "In addition, Adaptive Charging reduces the wear and tear on the battery giving it a lifespan of up to 5 years"

    http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html



    So by their own measure the battery was well short of its design parameters AND it was in warranty. So you got the entirely expected result of .... new battery.

    2 years <<< 5 years
    205 <<< 1000

    <<< = a new symbol meaning way waaay less :)
     
  11. Spink10 Suspended

    Spink10

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    #11
    This is how I interpret Apple's policy - you advertise it - back it up.
     
  12. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    #12
    I wouldn't expect to pay for a replacement battery in your situation either. The battery failed Apple's tests while the machine was under Applecare and is well under Apple's own stated lifespan figures.

    At 90 cycles and a bit over 3 years the battery on my 2010 17" MBP still charges to ~97% of its original capacity, which means I don't expect it to fall farther than ~94% capacity by 200 cycles. Less than 80% (or whatever the test actually checks for) in that period of time seems to be way too quickly for the battery to deteriorate.
     
  13. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

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    Mar 1, 2013
    #13
    And that's how the Genius interpreted it after being corrected by a supervisor. Initially an error was made, but it was corrected.

    And yet the OP goes on to accuse the Genius of a scam.
     
  14. Spink10 Suspended

    Spink10

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    #14
    Im just glad he got it replaced for free - thats the important part.
     
  15. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #15
    That one was a 2010 Core2Duo. It's still working fine, I'm using it as a server, but needed something more powerful for my intensive virtual machine work. So, I upgraded to a Retina Macbook Pro in December. Awesome machine.

    I have no idea what the maximum warrantable discharge-cycle is today.

    BTW, $179 is not too bad a price for a laptop battery replacement. My ThinkPad batteries cost about that much for a lot less capacity.
     
  16. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #16
    Don't suppose I can pull this on my four year old battery that's at 75% and 400+ cycles ;). Of course I would expect it to be a little better if I hadn't been using a t-shaped MagSafe with a short for almost two years. Too bad that recall doesn't cover battery damage too.
     
  17. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #17

    You and I have different interpretations of "up to"!
     
  18. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #18
    No surprise here. You just happened to get a “stupid” genius.

    And you don’t understand what “before 80 percent” means. :D I just got a new battery for an out of warranty MBP because of this very same clause.
     

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