We all have our unnecessary demons. For the past three days I have relentlessly been dealing the “pros” at AppleCare technical repair over getting a bulging battery replaced on my MacBook Pro 17-inch machine. The reputation of AppleCare is that, for around $300 USD, you are supposed to get the most incredible and kind service. I did not have that experience.
I found the experience rather rotten as I felt AppleCare were giving me the runaround on the bulging battery. It’s as if they hadn’t ever heard of the problem before, but doing a simple search on the problem reveals scads of complaints and images like this one:
When Sony and IBM/Lenovo had their battery recalls, you simply called up and they sent you a replacement battery. No problem. Not so with AppleCare. Troy at AppleCare wanted me to put the bulging battery back in the computer so he could get some readings on the battery. When I told him I’d have to force the battery back in the machine to make it fit, he told me to “go ahead.”
When I asked him if that forcing would damage the machine — he hung up on me. Calling AppleCare back I was hooked up with Jason who also told me to put the battery back in the machine so he could write down some readings about the status of the battery “to help make future batteries better.” When I expressed the concern I previously expressed to Troy about damaging the machine further, Jason told me if I didn’t do that then “it’s going to take a lot longer because I can’t fill in the forms that will take me to the next screen.”
I did as instructed and forced the battery back into the machine and gave Jason his readings. It took forever. Then Jason told me he’d need a credit card to guarantee I would ship back the bad battery. When I told him I didn’t want to give over a credit card, Jason said he would not ship me a replacement battery. “But IBM and Sony didn’t hold my credit card captive to get a defective battery cross-shipped!” “We’re Apple.” Jason said with stones in his voice.
I was transferred to Leah — “Supervisor for AppleCare Management Response Team” — who was even more unfriendly than Troy and Jason if that’s possible. She told me if I didn’t give her a credit card, she wouldn’t ship my battery and if I didn’t like that then I could “schedule an appointment to replace the battery in an Apple store.” It would’ve been cheaper, and less of a hassle, if I never paid $300 USD for AppleCare coverage and just shelled out the $129.00 myself for a new battery.
I was forced to give up my credit card number and, after I did, Leah told me my card would be penalty charged “a late fee” in 10 days if I didn’t hand over the bulging battery and, after 20 days of not handing over the battery, “the full price of the battery would be charged.”
When I asked Leah what if there is a mistake and I never get the battery or what if the return was lost in transit — are you going to charge my card anyway? She answered me by not answering me. “We include a return shipping label when we send you the battery. All you have to do is call DHL to come pick it up.” The next day I checked the status of my “DIY Return” online and found my battery was not being sent to me in Jersey City, but rather to another “David Boles” in Georgia!
When I called AppleCare to alert them to this problem, Kurt blamed me for giving them the wrong Ship To: address — it took 20 minutes to explain I had nothing to do with Georgia. Kurt finally ended up blaming it on DHL.
When I brought up the matter of NOT getting my credit card charged for a battery that was shipped to the wrong David Boles — Kurt told me AppleCare “would take care of it and remove the Dispatch Order” for the “pending return” from my account. I just got off the phone with Caitlin in AppleCare to ask why the Dispatch Order expecting the returned battery was still active on my account.
She didn’t know why the order was still active, but she said she “didn’t think” my credit card would be charged for the return of a battery that was never sent to me in the first place. It’s an amazing realization that I paid $300 USD for this sort of “special AppleCare” treatment. I should’ve stayed with Windows!