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MacBookPro – sleep/shutdown and battery management problems – resolved!

I’m a bit of a Mac fan and I’ve already posted about getting an early MacBookPro. All was well (OK, the heat was annoying and carting such a lump around has also made me think more about getting a ‘computer on a memory stick‘[pdf]… but I digress).

Overall, life was good and even the I’m-going-to-kill-myself annoyance with the refusal to sleep problem didn’t covert me to PCs (and thankfully a fix arrived quickly).

What drove me to distraction was the spontaneous shutdown when the pooter was running on battery. Surely, the whole point of laptops is that they run on batteries (!) and so the problem was stupendously annoying, especially since the accursed battery level was reading 97%.

After this had happened a few times I read the tales of woe online: general problems with the early batteries, silence from Apple, long delays in having MBPs assessed. Sigh.

I rang Square, where I’d bought the MBP, and was told it would be three weeks even to look at the machine, and no there are no loan machines. I was also told that there was no guarantee it was a battery problem, but that I could buy another battery (gee, thanks) but – oops – no they were out of stock anyway.

So – more in annoyance than anything – I rang the Apple “Genius Bar” at the Regent Street Apple Store and, after a brief wait, got through to a chirpy-sounding person, clearly reading from a call-centre screen prompt. After asking me if I’d done the obvious (I had) and the non-obvious (firmware updates, checked RAM seating, reset power management) things went silent for a while (SFX: sound of reading notes).

Then, bingo: “there’s a website where you can check if you’re eligible for a battery replacement”. We visited the site together (ahh) and I completed the details (you need battery serial number and MBP serial number) and the site told me I was eligible. I completed my details and was warned of a lengthy delivery delay. Still, I was pleased it was being “sorted” and was rather impressed. All v easy, and I was surprised not to have found details of this on the web.

I was even more surprised and impressed though to receive the batter the next day, less that 24 hours after I’d completed the form, and on the last working day before Christmas. All arrived in a neat box with a return-paid label for the old battery (environmentally-responsible disposal).

In all, from my very low expectations, Apple turned round a major annoyance with a slick, prompt and free service.

Hugs all round – and I hope that the URL will help some other early adopters (fools as we are – or just incontinent in our desire for more Appley Kit Goodness). For now, back to enjoying the 3-hour unplugged battery life…