14 April 2012

Kudos to Apple

I have a second hand 13” white Macbook. Like most Macbooks of that vintage it has developed cracks in the palm rest where the ridges in the lid push on it when it’s closed. I recently found out that Apple in the US are still fixing this problem for free, I guess because it’s seen as a design defect.

So I thought I’d call up Apple here in the UK and see what their policy is. It turns out that as long as your Macbook is less than 5 years old they will fix it for free - even a second hand one like mine!

I didn’t know when my laptop was bought and it turned out that the original owner hadn’t registered it when they bought it. However the AppleCare guy was able to determine that it must have been bought after November 2007 (I guess from the model number) so it was still within the 5 year window. After checking with his supervisor he told me that it would be fixed free of charge, gave me a case number, and told me that I’d need to make an appointment in an Apple store to have it done (actually he offered to make the appointment for me, but I needed some time to work out which store would be most convenient so I did it).

They do also recommend that you back up your computer, presumably to cover them in case they accidentally break something.

Making an appointment at an Apple store is handled on their website and is a pretty nice experience, you pick from a list of available dates and times and leave a message explaining the problem.

When I got to the store today it seemed that they hadn’t actually read the message much in advance as the person helping me told me they’d have to check that they had the parts in stock. Fortunately they did and I was asked to come back in about 90 minutes.

I had read that the palm rest, keyboard, and trackpad are all one unit so I was hoping for, but not expecting, a new keyboard and trackpad. As it turns out, I not only got a new keyboard and trackpad, they also replaced the bezel around the screen, I’m not sure why. Perhaps the new one is less likely to break the new palm rest, but it looks the same to me, only much cleaner - the original looked like this:

So credit where it’s due, I’m very impressed with the way Apple have stood behind their product here, and as a result I’m happily typing this on a brand new keyboard.