Let me share with you an incredible story that just happened to me:
The battery of my Macbook Pro (early 2011) is completely dead, after only 16 months and 130 load cycles. The 12 months warranty is of course expired.
With Dell or HP, I would just buy a new battery online for 80EUR, get it within 2-3 days and install it myself. Pretty simple.
On my Unibody Mac, the battery is internal (but easy to access with the right screwdrivers). Apple decided to put batteries inside the computer and thinks all its customers are too dumb to change it, so the official way is to let Apple or an official reseller to change it, for the bold price of 130 Euros.
I am angry against Apple, therefore I look for alternatives. Ebay only has used items or coming from Hong-Kong, the USA, or China. It doesn’t look like a good plan.
I call Gravis, a big Apple reseller in Germany which has a shop close to me. They tell me I have to come to the shop with my laptop.
So I go to the shop. I wait 1h in the queue. The Gravis employee then starts his diagnosis tools on my computer, and confirms that the battery is dead. They can change it, but they will need 5-7 days, during which they will keep the computer. SAY WHAT ? 5-7 days to change a laptop battery ?
Back home, I take my screwdrivers and open my laptop. It takes me 10min to take the battery out. If could buy a new one by my own, this story would be over at that point.
I call the Apple hotline to get an appointment in an Apple store, since their online scheduling tool doesn’t work. The employee tells me that there is not appointment until the next Wednesday, and that there is not other way. SAY WHAT ?
10am : I go to the Apple store directly, and ask if they could do it quickly. First answer is no, I have to take an appointment, 1 week, blabla. This is the point where I became really angry and loud: “My battery has clearly a manufacturing defect, it’s not covered by warranty. Now I have to wait 1 week for an operation that takes 10min, and pay 130EUR for that ? If that’s really the case, I sell my Mac and buy an HP or Dell”. I meant it. Fortunately the employee gave me an appointment at 6pm.
6:45 pm : I go out from the Apple store with a new battery and 130EUR less in my pocket.
I really don’t like the general direction Apple is heading to (Gatekeeper, App Store, planned obsolescence of computers and devices, closed and proprietary systems, patent lawsuits, culture of secret , and so on), but since MacOS X is until now the best system for me, I was closing my eyes. However this battery story went way to far. My next machine will most probably not be a Mac, but a PC with Linux. I know I will have to make compromises, but I am now ready to pay the price.