I have long been a fan of Apple and their computers. It isn’t until recently that I realized what great customer service they offer and how they really stand behind their products. I have owned several Apple laptops dating back to a 12 inch PowerBook G4. Every single one of them has been great. Then I bought an Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro in late 2007.
If you search the interwebs for those models you will realize that they are not without their problems. This laptop has performed well for me but has needed several repairs recently. The first repair was a couple of months ago when my video card failed. Just to remind you, I purchased my laptop in November of 2007 and I decided at the time that getting the Apple Care was not worth the money. I had purchased it on every other laptop and never had to use it. iPods are a different story. So I searched the interwebs and sure enough there were several hundred posts on threads about failing video cards in my laptop. There were varying reports about what it cost to replace ($900-$1400) but all of the posts agreed that it was part of the main logic board and you had to replace the board in order to replace the card. So I took my laptop to the Apple Genius bar and told them what the problem was.
They tested it and agreed that the main logic board needed to be replaced because the video card was faulty. After 4 days they called me and told me that it was ready to be picked up. This was great because they had quoted me 7 to 10 days depending whether or not the part was in stock. When I went to pick it up they handed me the bill. At the top the bill it read $1348.00. At the bottom the bill it read $0.00. They comped me a $1300.00 repair out of warranty because they said it was their manufacturing defect that caused it. (It was actually NVIDIAs defect that caused it but what can you do when the video card is soldered to the logic board?)
I was shocked. How many other companies would have done that for me? I don’t even think Canon would do that. It just goes to show why apple was rated highest in consumer opinions about customer service. Did they have to do that for me? Absolutely not.
A couple of months after having my main logic board replaced, I started having problems with my laptop randomly shutting down. I realized that when my battery power got down to around 80% capacity it would shutdown as if the power cord had been pulled. Great, what good is a laptop that has to be plugged in all the time? I originally thought that I would need to replace the battery. At $129.00 they aren’t exactly cheap. So off to the apple store I went to seek a professional opinion.
At the the Genius Bar I told them what was happening and they hooked my laptop up to an iPod Nano that was labeled “Battery Tester”. The screen on my laptop turned bright red and the “Genius” said “Yep,” and wandered off to the back room. He emerged with a brown box and some paper work. He said “gotta love those Sony batteries,” and it would be replaced. I signed the work order, he swapped the battery, told me how to calibrate it and said that was all I needed. Once again my bill came to $0.00. Apparently I had somehow managed to get one of the awful Sony batteries that caused so many problems last year. I also managed to somehow not get the service advisory that told me to bring it in to be replaced. The recall had long been closed but instead of telling me I needed to buy another one they replaced it for free. It was my fault for not getting it swapped but Apple has decided that they would rather have a happy customer instead of my $129.00. I wish more companies saw the value in this style of service.
I only replace my laptops every 3 to 5 years or when I can afford to do it. Because of Apple’s commitment to the user experience, when it comes time to buy another laptop I know where it will come from.