Good Experience with Applecare - Battery Replacement

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by phooi, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. phooi macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2007
    Just wanted to share my positive experience with Applecare.

    I have a MBP SR 2.4 that is almost 2 yrs old and the battery is no longer holding its charge. It only has 44% capacity remaining on 215 cycles. I am using it right now and a full charge lasts a little over an hour.

    So I called Applecare today; this is my first time using them. The 1st rep takes down my issue and forwards me to a product specialist. The product specialist asks for my profile. I send the profile over and she informs me that they'll send me a new battery tomorrow.

    That's it!
  2. Sandy Santra macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2008
    beg to differ

    I don't know how you did it.

    I've visited Apple 3 different times with batteries that were under 40 cycles, had less than 50% capacity, and were screwing up the OS. In one case, the machine was less than a year old the first time, over a year old the second time (different battery); for the second machine, it was less than a year old. Both machines Apple Care for either 2 or 4 years. All visits in the very top-notch Apple Stores in Manhattan.

    First visit: "Sorry, you're getting your stats from iStat Pro. We don't make that program, so your stats are useless. Besides, you're under 100 cycles. We can't do anything for you."

    Second visit: "Sorry, you're under 100 cycles, and doesn't look like you reconditioned regularly enough."

    Third visit: "We don't ever really replace any batteries unless the battery/machine is less than a year old. Once 1 year has passed, forget it: you won't get any battery replacement from us. Ever."

    From what I've seen posted in the forums, about half of MBP users never have any battery problems (or are always able to get defective ones replaced); the other half of MBP users ALWAYS have problems, are never able to get them replaced, and just suck up the cost.

    I'm in the latter category. I love the MBP line and will continue to buy them; it is absolutely the BEST computer I've ever owned (in over 20 years of buying and running machines 6-10 hours a day). For this, I just budget an extra $140 to $180 (depending upon the machine size) a year for battery replacement.

    Believe me, I would love to save that money, if anyone has any suggestions. I am already doing recalibration 1x a month and completely adhering to Apply policy in that regard. And I don't think it's either machine; they've been pretty much flawless in all other regards.
  3. phooi thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2007
    Sorry to hear about your luck. I think the difference may be that I called Applecare directly and skipped the Geniuses.

    Also, I pulled the battery information from "about this mac/more info/power" and under "health condition" the condition = check battery and didn't use any 3rd party software (altho' I use both iStat and Coconut Battery).

    When I did my research, I read that it was a common experience that Apple would not take back the battery. It is what Apple terms a "consumable good". So I was apprehensive when I called. I was prepared to do battle for my right as this was obviously a defect and not user error. Apple says that the battery should be operating at 80% capacity at around 300 cycles and mine was obviously performing no where near that.

    Anyway, I guess today was my lucky day. In the future, you may want to try calling Applecare directly. I generally find that stopping into a retail store to deal with a technical issue is usually not the best option.

    Think about it... Genius' jobs are too broad base between tech support on ALL products, installs, etc. that it is too much for one person to be that good. Add the fact that they are super busy, it is very easy for them to pull the company line. A call center is more focused, have specialists and are incented differently.

    Good luck in the future!
  4. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I didn't know we were allowed to send batteries. We were informed not to handle battery issues over the phone because there are too many variables that could not be determined over the phone so now we are instructed to send the customer to an Apple Store where they have application or method to test the battery. There are times where we can determine given the exact information and iLog would notify us that the battery was indeed defective.
  5. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    Unless you have a solid relationship with a Apple-certified third-party tech who will look out for your interests, I'd imagine it would always be to your advantage to contact Applecare via phone first about technical issues. Seems to me that's part of what you're paying for (phone support) and many times they'll be able to just send you a defective part (battery, charger, etc) after discussing your problem.
  6. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I guess but it's a 50/50. It really depends on the problem. I would rather have someone take a look at it so we can determine the exact problem. I will admit that I would misdiagnose a problem because I thought I knew what the problem is but at the end I didn't. It's not like we as agents are doing a bad job but sometimes you just can't solve things over the phone especially if the problem requires the customer to explain what they see on the screen.
  7. snowmoon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2005
    Albany, NY
    The Crossgates Mall, Albany Apple store service has been mixed. They have always been quick, often professional going above the letter of the contract and replacing a second failing battery after 1 year, and only marred by some really bad incidents like lying about manufacturing defects.

    In the end I had to start calling AppleCare in order to get a replacement ( still in progress ).
  8. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    I also had trouble getting a replacement battery, but partly because the battery wasn't showing low capacity all the time. First, I went to the Apple store, but overnight the battery had gone from 76% to 97%. At the store, the genius tested the battery, saw it was good, then refused to consider the possibility that it might be bad or that it might be bad again in the future. I asked him "What if the capacity drops to 70% tomorrow, will it be covered?" and he tried telling me that batteries will always lose capacity over time and that Apple Care won't cover it unless there is an X on the battery icon.
    A few days later, I called Apple Care and talked to a "battery specialist." He had me read some stuff out of system profiler, then rebot to reset the SMC. Unfortunately, the battery was charging while I was talking to him, so it was up to 86% by the time I had finished restarting (it was 86% before I restarted too, so it wasn't an SMC problem). I probably should have just lied and told them it was the same, but I was afraid they might test it and charge me for the battery or something.
    The next week, the capacity had dropped below 68%, so I called Apple Care again. This time, they claimed that my logic board was faulty, and that I would have to take it to an authorized service center to be checked. So I went back to the Apple store, they tested the battery again, and since it was still reading 68%, they just gave me a new battery. No logic board testing involved. The person on the phone claimed that a bad logic board might cause the next battery to fail, but I am fairly sure that the charging and health monitoring circuitry is all in the battery.
    Unfortunately, the new battery is also a Sony, so it will probably die in another year as well. I would guess most of the people here with battery issues have Sony batteries (though it's possible that all recent MBP batteries are made by Sony).

    For anyone using Coconut Battery or Istat Pro, just tell Apple that you got the info out of System Profiler. That's where all battery apps get their information, and really the only thing it won't tell you is health as a percent, but you could divide the original capacity by the current capacity to get that. Telling Apple that you used their app gives them one less way to try to stop you from getting a new battery.
  9. Boneoh macrumors 6502


    Feb 27, 2009
    So. Cal.
    I had a similiar experience with my battery. About 2 years old, brought the machine to the store, left with a new battery for free. No arguments at all, very friendly service. It sounds like others were not so lucky.
  10. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    What's the point of phone support if your just going to send the customer to an Apple Store? Personally, I get irritated when AppleCare Reps recommend that as the first course of action. Mostly because the nearest Apple Store is some 160+ miles away. I generally cut them off.

    This conversation happens every time I call for a mail-in MacBook repair, and is a complete waste of my time:

    REP: Oh. Sure, we'll be glad to help you with that. I recommend you take your [insert product here] to one of our Apple Stores to have it checked out.

    ME: The nearest Apple Store is 160 miles away. I would like you to send me a box.

    REP: Ohhh ... OK. Let me check if we have any Apple Service Providers in your area.

    ME: The nearest one is 50 miles away. I just want mail-in service.

    REP: We have three Apple Service Providers in your state. One in [city that's 50 miles away], one in [town that's 45 miles away] and one in [town that's 200 miles away].

    ME: Those are not exactly near me.

    REP: OK. Well, we can do the mail-in service.

    ME: Thanks.

    As a consumer, your best bet is to do basic troubleshooting on your own depending on the issue (reset your PRAM, reseat your battery, use the hardware diagnostic test on your disk, etc).

    I've used AppleCare phone support for user replaceable parts, mail-in repairs and on-site repairs. In all cases, they've been more than helpful.

    I try not to waste AppleCare's time. So, I'm probably in the minority that tries everything before calling. I would say my average AppleCare phone time (after the Rep picks up) is maybe 10-15 minutes with most of that being on hold while they setup the repair/order.

    My new favorite AppleCare perk is this: Your customer information and problem description pop-up on their screens. Very efficient.
  11. dyerucf macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2008
    Alpharetta, GA
    Got mine done day

    I got mine replaced today.

    Current Stats:
    229 Cycles
    5400mAh Original
    3406mAh Current
    60% capacity...
    Laptops is 11 months old

    He said that this was well below the expected performance curve and he would be glad to replace it. He gave me two options, first go to an apple store or second he would ship me a new one, I took option 2.

    The whole process took about 10 minutes.


  12. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    I should add my case of battery replacement to the list of successes here. My battery was hovering between 82% and 72% using Coconut Battery, and basically worked okay, but had lost some juice. It had 116 cycles and was going on exactly one year old. I figured I'd call just before my original warranty was up (even though I have AppleCare) to see what the folks at AppleCare would say about it. I just told the guy that my battery was lasting slightly under two hours, and when I checked system profiler/power it said "check battery." I played a bit dumb, but wanted him to know that I wanted to deal with it before my original 1-year warranty was up. At first he said that as long as it was over 80% capacity, it was not something they'd replace. I reminded him that my battery's original capacity was 5600mAh, and it was now under 4000mAh. He put me on hold for a minute, and then came back and said they were sending me a replacement battery, and a pre-paid shipping label to return the old battery to them. It was actually that easy. I felt a bit guilty, actually, because now I have a new battery, and did get quite a bit of use out of the old one. I can't fault Apple here.
  13. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    That's cool that you got a new battery, not going to call you out on playing dumb or whatever but it's things like that why we were told (our call center) not to handle battery replacements over the phone. We have no idea what the computer is saying, all we can do is listen, follow and believe the customer. Looks like we're the only call center who is not doing battery replacements over the phone. If you don't live near an ARS, that's unfortunate. The best thing to do is hang up and call again, hopefully you'll get an agent who is permitted to do exchanges over the phone.
  14. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    I can see your point, but I did not mislead, or tell a lie. By playing 'dumb,' I meant that I didn't get all technical and analytical with the AppleCare guy, trying to be smarter than him. I didn't talk all about Coconut Battery, or Battery Health Monitor utilities, or iStat Menus or any other third party stuff. Just told him the basics, followed his lead, and answered his questions. I did have to remind him that my original battery capacity was 5600mAh, since newer batteries are lower capacity. Also, I had to put a hold on my credit card for $139 until they received the old battery, which they certainly could have checked out and seen for themselves that it had a current capacity of 3954mAh compared to the original capacity of 5600mAh, which can easily be figured as 72-73% capacity. The system profiler said "check battery." That's exactly what I told them. And I told them that it had slowly dropped it's runtime to slightly under 2 hours on a full charge. If I would have had to drive 100 miles just for someone to verify that, it would have been a royal pain, but they took care of me. They got their original battery back to examine, and more data for their battery research/improvement program. And a happy customer.

    I would not condone cheating, or lying to get something, but if a product falls under standards within a designated period of time, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of Apple's policy. They certainly make decent enough margins to support this kind of superior service where it is warranted. That's why Apple beats most other companies in buyer/owner satisfaction. And why I'm a loyal customer. :)

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