Thank You Apple!

December 19, 2008 / Opinion, Reviews, Technology / 20 Comments

Whoa! I didn’t expect the sudden influx of questions and concerns from my anger-filled post about my melted magsafe adapter! Anyway, I’d like to take this opportunity to answer all your questions for everyone’s future reference so you all don’t have to trudge through hell for a simple adapter replacement.

1: What’s the update?
After a chat with Apple Technical Support (Singapore Toll Free 800-186-1087), I was given a Case ID. Next day, I went down to the Apple Authorized Service Provider at Wheelock Place and brought along my:

  • melted 60w Magsafe adapter
  • Macbook serial number (found under Apple > About This Mac > More Info)
  • case ID

I picked up a queue number and filled out the service form. Within 25 minutes, I received my brand new replacement at no cost.

Just as a side note, the service technician seemed really shocked that Apple would replace it for me for free.

2: “…looks like the same thing might happen in a couple of months time” – Claudia
To prevent your Macbook or Macbook Pro from straining or melting, please make sure your cord never turns at a sharp angle. For more info on strain relief, visit the Apple Knowledge Base on reducing cable strain.

3: “Did you say your MB has past it’s one year warranty status? If so, yes, Apple nor it’s authorised reseller or service centres have no obligation to exchange new one for users. That’s where the Applecare is something you can fall back on.” – Jonathan Kong

Although Apple has no real obligation to replace it for you, but due to the overwhelming number of melted adapters (and the bad PR that comes along with it), their Troubleshooting MagSafe Adapters Knowledge Base says:

“Whether your product is in or out-of-warranty, you can take your adapter to an Apple-Authorized Service Provider or Apple Retail Store for evaluation and replacement if necessary. You may be eligible for a replacement adapter free of charge provided there are no signs of accidental damage.”

4: “Are the authorised dealers here trying to make a quick buck out of your problem?” – S. Kiat

Initially, I thought so too. But I’ve heard from some people that these authorized service centers require Apple’s permission before replacing the adapter free of charge. So perhaps it’s red tape that prevents them for easily replacing your parts, rather than greed. *shrugs*

Hence, I suggest you call Apple Tech Support before visiting the service centers.

5: “So what’s their official stand? The MagSafe replacement is not applicable in SG??” – NTT via Twitter

Apple Tech Support’s official stand is that my replacement is a “special case”. But for a “special case”, it didn’t take very much to persuade them for a free replacement. All I did was quote the Troubleshooting MagSafe Adapters Knowledge Base.

I’m not sure how it will fare if used the same tactic with the authorized service centers. But as I have explained in question 4, they seem to be tied down with some red tape from Apple, so you may not receive the quick service that I have. In the worst case, you will be forced to pay for a replacement.

6: “I’m planning to get the MacBook in 2009 to replace the notebook I’m currently using. Now I have to think twice.” – Michael Yip

Once you go Mac, you will never go back.

Sorry, I had to be lame.

Seriously speaking, I love the Mac. Yes, I have a plethora of problems with the hardware – overheating hard drives, melting adapters and God knows what’s to come next year.

But the interface and the screen resolution have won me over.

Mac OS X is extremely user-friendly – a Windows noob would be a competent Mac user in less than a week. Let’s compare the installation process for example. In Windows, you need to check the Terms and Conditions, choose the folder location, customize your installation, click “Next” another few times and then search high and low for your new program. In a Mac, you accept the Terms and Conditions and then drag the application icon into your “Applications” folder and you’re good to go!

One major downside of a Mac is the lack of Internet Explorer. Many sites in Asia, especially ones designed in Singapore and South Korea still code for Internet Explorer. So you may not be able to access some sites at all. Then again there’s Boot Camp to allow you to install Windows on your Mac. But it’s still a hassle to have to reboot just to access one stupid site coded in VBScript.

I hope that addresses all your concerns! If you have any more Mac-related questions, please leave a comment.

Oh and my last tip to you is to be courteous. I know people tend to lose it and start swearing at the customer service officer (CSO) when they have a problem. But if you think about it, it’s not really his fault. And actually, he is your potential saving grace.

Being respectful and doing some research goes a long way. The CSO will like you more, and perhaps try a little harder to help you out. That’s just how humans work, don’t you agree?

  • That is more like it! Glad that they replaced it for free.

  • NTT

    Nice!!.. Thanks for sharing your experience..

    I have never been impressed by the service given by any of the Apple Authorized Service Provider in SG. (OK. The one at Apple YCK comes the closest).

    I really really really wish/hope that Apple would start an Apple store in SG.. It’s be so much better.. 🙂

  • As for any callups, I will always call the respective authorised apple reseller where I got my Mac hardware from. I tends to stick on just one reseller since that particular store’s owner went the extra mile to helped me resolved my issue. Only when they have no control on certain things then they suggest I’ll call up the official number.

    I called once and I hated the experience. It was routed to a call center, apparently overseas as the personnel spoke with a certain accent. Went thru the usual ding dongs which, eventually my reseller came to my rescue.

    As for the IE browser, Apple has no control over the development. U still can download it at MS site (Mac section) tho. IIRC, they killed off the IE for Mac already.

  • Ivy

    @Jonathan Kong: Yeah, the Apple Tech Support operator had a Filipino accent. But he routed my complaint to his supervisor, who had a very thick Aussie accent and resolved it for me on the spot.

    I don’t really mind the outsourcing as long as they get things done. 🙂

  • Wow! Glad that your problem’s solved. And I’ve to second what you said. Once a Mac, always a Mac! LOL!

  • Liz

    Totally agree on that last point. I used to work in IT support and it’s the worst feeling dealing with an angry person when it’s not your fault and you can’t do anything to help.

    oh and Happy Birthday Ivy! Hope you get time for some celebrations.

  • Hey Happy Birthday! Thanks for the FAQ! Think it’s a wise move to quote the “Troubleshooting MagSafe Adapters Knowledge Base”. In any case, it just doesn’t seem fair to pay for this design flaw from Apple.

    Glad it’s all over for you.

  • “Once you go Mac, you will never go back.”

    It’s okay, you’re not lame. I love that quote too even though I don’t currently have a Mac (I got a PC instead so I can play games). I’m def. going to buy a Macbook Pro next year though since I’ve been putting it off for like 3 years!

  • Nicely written.
    I’m a mac user but on an older G4 machine.
    Nevertheless, when I shifted myself down to SG a few days ago, I couldn’t just bring my G4 with me cause it’s huge and heavy, that’s why I brought down my own notebook instead with the aim of getting a Macbook soon.

    Looking at the way things go, it wouldn’t be a problem as long as the proper red tape hurdles have been met and conquered. 😀

    Good to know you’ve got your Adapter changed. It’s one small step for Nanyate, one giant step for mac user/bloggers.

  • Wendy

    When my current IBM laptop gives up on me, I am seriously considering switching to Mac. But this current laptop of mine has been going strong for the past 4 years and seems like it will still be going on strong for the next 1 or 2 years at least 😛

  • Wow, I have yet to use any Apple products. My boss just got me an Ipod for Christmas, not sure if I’ll keep it or exchange it since I already have another mp3 player.

    I hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday season, take care!

  • This entry will be a very good reference for my Macbook-welding friends. (: Because out of all of them, about 50-60% also had the same problem as you did – the melting adapter.

    I’m quite inclined to switch to Apple, although I’m too loyal to Windows and love it too much to make the switch just yet. :/

  • I should show this to my sister – she recently (like September) got a new Mac & doesn’t know of this. Neither did I but it’s good to see that Apple’s customer service is awesome & are willing to help you. Dell sucks & they are the reason that I want my new laptop to maybe be a Mac.

  • Hi!
    You’re so lucky. will forwards this to my apple user friends to. See you around friend.

  • thanks for the heads up on the adapter. will take extra care with mine. happy holidays!

  • Seem to have helped a lot of people with your bad experience. That’s why i usually check the reviews on amazon and other sites before i purchase an item. I want to be fully prepared for the glitches and errors.

    How was your holiday?

  • They should’ve designed the cables with the right materials in the first place… Apple can design great stuff, but too bad they sometimes don’t invest in the right (more expensive) materials that doesn’t break/scratch/burn/damage the enviroment/etc.

  • One day I may get a Mac, but I don’t think that’s being held in 2009. At the end of the day, I’m still a Windows user all the way, but thanks for sharing your experience!
    At least they’re willing to replace things no matter what… getting one bad comment or review is even worse for Apple so they have to try and keep it up.

  • -Looks around-

    Ivy seems to be missing in action! Nonetheless, here I am – wishing you a very Happy New Year 2009! (:


  • The overheated adapter is a small flaw for a MacBook that is just so perfect 🙂 I couldn’t help but agree with you that once you’ve switched to a Mac, you wouldn’t look back. My friend changed to a Mac a few years ago and he didn’t even flinch when Windows Vista was announced, heh!

    I heard that overheating occurs because the cord is being over-twisted (is there such a word anyway?) and so it just heats up to an extent that melts the casing.

    Nonetheless, it’s great that Apple had chose to replace your adapter for free! Happy new year Ivy!