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AppleCare MacBook Pro repair experience

Posted by Julian Seidenberg on 22 August 2006 | 5 Comments

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My MacBook Pro needed a repair. So then, here is a first hand account of my experience with the AppleCare tech support.

Appl MacBook Pro
The first problem I had was the battery malfunctioning. It would continually display a battery life estimate of 55 hours (which would have been nice, if true), even when empty. So, I phoned Apple and the tech support person ran me through a long list of trouble-shooting steps. She concluded that the battery was indeed faulty and arranged to send me a new battery. The new battery arrived two days later. With the battery came a prepaid UPS box to send the faulty battery back (Apple took my credit card number, so if I did not returned the old battery they will bill me for it).

Then I decided to complain about the infamous "whine" problem. The MacBook Pros make a faint, high-pitched whining/buzzing noise when running idle while on battery power. Apple had been denying the problem until last month when they announced a fix. I again phoned Apple support and (after about 45 minutes of running through every possible other thing that might be causing the noise) the tech support person arranged for the MacBook to be picked up for repair. The very next day a box for the computer arrived by UPS. UPS collected the computer a few hours later that same day.

Now the trouble started. It seems that since practically all MacBook Pros had this "whining noise" problem, everyone on the planet decided to send their laptop into Apple for repair at the same time. The result was that Apple was very short on the part (motherboard/logicboard) needed for the repair. To cut a long story short, after 4 weeks of my repair being "on hold - in queue for part" I phoned Apple and told them I critically needed my laptop. 3 days later it arrived in the post fully repaired and in good working order.

Tech support staff were always friendly, expert and helpful. The longest I was on hold for was about 3 minutes. They explained the situation with the long queue for the part, saying that repairs normally will take no longer than 7 days. They then upgraded the priority of my repair so it would "jump the queue".

I learnt the key words to say when talking to an Apple tech support person. They are "critical" and "unacceptable" . The staff are trained to agree to repair almost any complaint, however small, if you say it is "unacceptable". If you say the use of your computer is "critical", the priority of the repair gets boosted and it is completed in record time.

Apple recently has won a whole load of tech support awards. They are generally rated equally to Lenovo (both got grade A). In this particular review of computer tech support the other manufacturers scored as follows:

  1. Apple: A
  2. IBM/Lenovo: A
  3. Fujitsu/Siemens: A-
  4. Dell: B+
  5. Gateway: B+
  6. Sony: B
  7. HP: B
  8. Acer: C
  9. Toshiba: D-

(also check out PCMag's recent consumer satisfaction survey. Yup, Apple comes first there, too.)

5 Comments

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  • Posted by Hanric, 16/09/2006 5:00pm (8 years ago)

    &gt;check out PCMag??(TM)s recent consumer satisfaction survey. Yup, Apple comes first there, too.

    To me these results just confirm the lack of survey credibility. There is NO way Apple currently can achive an A for good service. Repair times of 4 weeks are totally unacceptable. Either Apple is blessed with customers who won't give negative feedback, else the services of other companies really suck. I certainly wouldn't like to be an Acer user then - their machines must be for repair full time.

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