Saturday, February 16, 2008

My First Experience With AppleCare

Since I returned to the Mac platform back at the end of 2004* I have not had the need to call Apple for tech support. However, I noticed recently that the battery life on my 2.16 GHz Macbook Pro, purchased in January 2007, was deteriorating drastically. I can pretty much watch the battery life percentage indicator in the menu bar drop second-by-second. I'm lucky to get an hour and a quarter out of it, and that's with the Bluetooth module and AirPort turned off, and screen dimmed.

Because my MBP is my primary machine, back in December I sprung for the AppleCare extended warranty. While I mostly used the machine while plugged in, I do sometimes need to run it off battery power. So, I called AppleCare on Thursday afternoon. It turned out to be one of the most pleasant experiences I've had with tech support from any vendor.

First, I was greeted by an automated system which asked me a few questions which required a "Yes" or "No" answer. After about a minute on hold I was then forwarded to Colin. It's a sad sign of the times that I was happy to get a native English speaker rather than someone claiming to be "Steve" or "Bob" but who's real name is probably something like "Mujibar."

Anyway, after getting my name and MBP's serial number, Colin walked me through a few troubleshooting steps and decided that I should get a replacement battery. He needed to get a supervisor's override to put in the order, which required me waiting on hold for about 5 minutes. But at the end of the call he confirmed my shipping address and put in the order. I should get the new battery Monday along with a return shipping label for the old battery.

To my surprise, the battery arrived yesterday, one day after my call to Apple.

Note that under the terms of AppleCare, laptop batteries are considered consumables so unless they are defective, Apple isn't obligated to replace them. But based on the reported behavior and information in System Profiler, it wasn't difficult to convince them to replace mine.

It was refreshing to get a competent tech support representative who spoke English well, and not have to throw a fit to get good service. I'm impressed.

* My first Mac was a Mac Plus bought in January 1997, but I primarily used PCs running Windows, Linux, or FreeBSD from 1992 through 2004.

1 comment:

Nima said...

I work for the french tech support, in Europe. The reason why your battery was changed is because it is a very common issue when a battery is not recognised anymore, does not hold charge or if unit just won't run on battery alone.
Still "our" support is the best there is in the states, according to 2007 reviews, and probably the rest of the world. I often deal with customers who had previously called their isp "technical" support for example and who seemed very happy to deal with someone who is competent enough to at least determine what causes the issue and knows how to repair or IF it can be repaired. I sometimes even have to troubleshoot their router configuration since the support agent from the isp support line could barely speak french or did not know how to troubleshoot the product(s) he was trained to support(!)...
check this: