Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Product recall: 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Exchange Program

Thanks to Isaak who alerted me to this info: Excerpts from Apple Support webpage ("15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Exchange Program" - last accessed 31 Jul 2006):
Apple has initiated a worldwide battery exchange program for certain rechargeable batteries that were sold for use with 15-inch MacBook Pro computer systems from February 2006 through May 2006.

We recently discovered that some 15-inch MacBook Pro batteries supplied to Apple do not meet our high standards for battery performance. To give our users the best experience possible, we will replace these batteries for customers free of charge.

Note: The affected batteries do not pose a safety risk. You may continue to use your current battery until a replacement arrives.

The affected batteries have model number A1175 and a 12-digit serial number that ends with U7SA, U7SB or U7SC. To view the model and serial numbers located on the bottom of the battery, you must remove the battery from the computer. The battery serial number is located above the barcode. [
Photo at webpage]. Only batteries within the noted serial number ranges need to be exchanged.

No other MacBook Pro or MacBook batteries are part of this program.

Mine qualifies.

So I fill up the required information at the Support Page. I'm brought to a page that confirms my Macbook Pro and battery serial number qualifies for the exchange. I provide my address and contact information for the free delivery.

Finally I'm brought to a page that says:
Thank you

Your request will be processed shortly. If you provided an email address, a confirmation email will be sent to you.

Apple will ship you a replacement battery (or batteries) as soon as possible after processing your replacement order. Shipping time may vary due to product availability. Once you receive the replacement battery, please return the old battery to Apple with the pre-paid shipping label and packaging provided.

Almost immediately, I receive the confirmation email:
Dear Apple Customer,

Thank you for ordering a replacement battery. Your request is currently being processed.

It will take approximately 3 to 5 business days for your replacement battery to arrive. Please note that shipping times may vary due to availability.

We appreciate your cooperation with this exchange program.


Now that's customer service. Very professional.

While going through the steps, I can't help but recall this statement I wrote in an earlier post, about my modem trouble, (see item 5 in the post):
Inform the customer what you (the librarian) are going to do, and how you are going to do it. Letting the customer know what is being done helps alleviate some anxiety.

Out of curiosity, I searched for "macbook pro battery exchange" in Technorati to see what people are blogging about this episode.

It didn't surprise me that things are pretty calm, i.e. many people are blogging about this but there's no hysteria or "Darn you, Apple" type of posts. I think the affected users were probably early adopters of the Macbook Pro, so something like this was within expectations. Also, the recall and exchange process is quite hassle free (the battery is delivered to the customer, rather than the customer going to the store to get a replacement).

Some Macbook Pro owners are pretty analytical about the whole thing, like this blogger (who would be testing the new battery to compare performance before sending the old one back).

This blog post was useful to me -- where this blogger's replacement battery sported the serial number range that was being replaced (he shipped it back). I've made a mental note to check the serial number of my replacement.

(Two examples of how blogs are legitimate sources of information, which I will cite at my 2nd run of the LAS blog course later this week).

So far I'm satisfied with the customer service from Apple. Another plus point for them. I've come to expect no less from Apple. Notice that I wrote "satisfied" rather than "pleased" or "happy". This is a fact for service industries like librarianship too -- customers go from delighted to happy to satisfied because they are used to the service level. But hey, better to have satisfied customers than no customers (and no job) at all.

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  1. Hey, I remember Otterman having trouble with his battery. In fact his battery was worse off than yours.. Does he know of this?

  2. Yes, he knows. He blogged about it before I did :) But I only read it after publishing my post.

  3. I wish I'd learned about this before my battery died and then went totally out of action for the weekend...

    I wonder if it's really a problem caused by the high heat coming from the Intels.


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