Tuesday, May 12, 2015

MacBook Pro Bloated

The third Week of May I noticed that the touch pad on my Macbook Pro was cracked. Further viewing of the outside revealed that the entire body looked bloated. First thought was that the battery was the culprit and it turned out to be the right assumption.

After hunting down the online appointment entry screen, which be all means is not intuitive, I managed to squeeze in today. The very friendly Genius Bar associate took one look and nodded her head, yes it is the battery. A lookup of the serial number not only showed that it is out of warranty but also that the manufacturing date was 2009 - as she said: "oh, that is a vintage computer". I guess in computer terms it is. To make a long story short, there was no exchange, there is no battery replacement at the store, there is only the internet and third party solutions. Alas, they took the battery out to prevent further damage and to dispose of it properly. Good thing I only use it to make sure that my websites are running on the Mac platform properly, that is pretty much all this notebook is good for anyway.

Here is the hiccup I have with this scenario

(and I assure you I'm not the only one)

There apparently was a battery recall, a KNOWN ISSUE with batteries swelling and causing computer damage. Apple Care told me there was a recall, but because of "company procedures," they can no longer exchange the bad batteries. I expressed how disappointed I am with the "process" of letting customers know when there is a recall. The Apple Care supervisor told me there are no good means of communication on these recalls, that they are posted on the web site. However, Apple has no problem notifying me when there is a new product out, when my computer has been rendered useless because it's OS is out of date or when they've had a "record" quarter in sales and revenue. So what gives? Perhaps it is a good thing that Apple has this blind follower customer base, were boasting "how I damaged my $400 watch" or "look I dropped my brand new iPhone 6S right when I came out of the store" is almost like a hero batch.

Word of caution:
If you suspect that your device has a swollen battery, the first step is to exercise caution. Puncturing a battery in any state is incredibly dangerous, but swollen batteries are especially vulnerable to compromise as their casing is already under stress from the built up gasses within. In short, handle any device with a suspected swollen battery with care.

Next, if your device has a user-removable battery, you can try to carefully remove it. Note that the battery’s swollen casing may make removal difficult. If you encounter any unusual resistance to removing the battery, stop and follow the advice below for those with devices containing non-user-removable batteries. If, however, you are able to successfully remove the swollen battery, place it in a safe, cool container so that it won’t be vulnerable to puncturing. Do not discard the battery in the trash or elsewhere. Doing so can severely injure the health of sanitation workers who may come into contact with the battery, as well as the environment. Instead, always dispose of batteries — swollen or not — at an authorized battery disposal facility. Many computer repair locations have the equipment and procedures to safely handle swollen batteries. For example, if you have an Apple MacBook Pro, take the battery to your nearest Apple Store. Other electronics retailers, such as Best Buy, also offer recycling and disposal services. Just make sure that you inform the employees that you are recycling a swollen battery so that they can take the proper precautions (don’t just drop the swollen battery in a battery recycling kiosk). If you can’t find a suitable location to dispose of your battery, contact your local government for instructions.

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