About a couple of months ago...
I thought there was something wrong with my MacBook: it couldn't stand still on a flat top, as if laid on an uneven surface. But I didn't put further thoughts into it, partly because - at most times - the MacBook sits on top of a snug layer of its case, Moshi, also when being used. The case apparently provides a 'pillow' that stabilize the MacBook's position on any surface.
I had a check and was alarmed by the actual condition of the MacBook: the rechargable battery is swollen! No wonder it couldn't sit still!
I've experienced a never-before incident, too. In the middle of one of my classes, when I was screening a video from my MacBook to my students, the computer suddenly shut off without warning. That was on Friday 28th. It happened again that day, I don't remember exactly when. Oh, and its cooling fan had been making a scary loud noise. I was worried since I would have to bring this MacBook to Bali for a presentation.
Wednesday Dec 3rd...
The MacBook survived Bali, thank goodness. Sybrand had been doing some research on the Internet about the symptoms and found out that my MacBook is among the batch that was installed with malfunctioning rechargeable battery, and is entitled to have a battery exchange for free (see here: MacBook battery update). The Mac site pointed to an authorized Mac retailer in Bandung: ZOOM at Paris van Java, Sukajadi. So there we went that day...
Inside the service room, I showed the swollen battery.
They said it should be replaced.
We said we could have a new battery for free, because this MacBook is included in the bad batch.
They said the battery is not in a bad enough condition to get a free replacement. It should be undetected by the computer and stuff. They said they have just the battery and that there's only one left. They said we should purchase the battery, paid for it first before they could install it.
We brought no written statement from the Apple site about the Battery Exchange Program, and therefore had no argument. (They are the authorized retailer, they should know, we thought)
We purchased a new battery *ka-tching!* and had them install the new one.
We left the swollen battery at the shop and went out doubtfully.
Thursday Dec 4th...
I had a full teaching day. At home, Sybrand called the Apple Support Contact Center for Indonesia. He spent 30 full minutes on the phone, mostly being directed to relevant people and finally got the right person to talk to (with a thick Indian accent, he said).
So, yes, we are elligible for a free battery replacement.
Friday Dec 5th...
Back to ZOOM. We were told to wait because the technician just went out for his lunch break (it was about 15.00). They still kept the swollen battery, though. The waiting lasted about 20 minutes, then we talked.
We brought a print of this page, which states clearly that a visibly deformed battery is among the symptoms that qualifies for a free replacement.
They said it wasn't clear that we wanted the Battery Exchange Program.
They said they will look further into it, checking and calling headquarters and so on. We are to wait for about two weeks from that day.
We left with the impression that they would actually do something. Apple has to keep up its reputation, doesn't it. See if we'll really get a refund for our purchase the other day.
Saturday Dec 6th...
A personnel from ZOOM called to check my MacBook's Serial Number. So something is being done after all.
In the meantime, I have this new battery running and all, and the fan doesn't make loud noises anymore. Yaay!