John Topley’s Weblog

A Battery Of Problems

You may have read recently that Dell have had to recall four million laptop batteries made by Sony because a few of them exploded. Well it turns out that Apple have been affected too and have initiated their own recall programme. As soon as a heard this news I knew straight away that my PowerBook would have the problem. After all, it’s only been six months since I sent its original battery back as part of the last recall. Lo and behold, a visit to the website confirmed that my suspicions were right:

A picture of the Apple support website confirming that my battery qualifies for replacement

I like the way they show you nice friendly green ticks, as if it’s somehow a good thing that your computer contains a battery that could blow up at any minute! Also—in true Apple style—they don’t apologise for the inconvenience or the worry. Sorry is often the hardest word to say, especially if you’re in Cupertino it seems.

I know that lots of PowerBook owners are quite thrilled at the prospect of getting a brand new battery free from Apple, but I’m not. It means that I have take a day’s leave from work so that I can be at home when the courier arrives with the replacement battery (I can’t have parcels delivered to my work). Apple use DHL in the U.K. and DHL don’t deliver on Saturdays (you know, when most people aren’t at work), nor are they able to give you even a morning/afternoon hint as to when your parcel will be delivered. The whole experience seems to be weighted against the customer. I’m convinced that someone could make a killing if they launched a delivery service that was actually geared around when most people are at home i.e. weekday evenings.

I also want to know why laptop batteries are so crap. I can accept that they don’t last that long, because I’m waiting for superconductors that work across a temperature range to completely change the world. What I find hard to swallow is having to send my battery back every six months because a tiny percentage of units have manufacturing defects, which means that all the batteries have to be replaced because the manufacturers haven’t got a clue which ones are affected. Talk about belt and braces!


There are 5 comments on this post. Comments are closed.

  • avatar John C
    29 August 2006 at 21:28

    You see, this is what sick days are for! Just ring in sick on the day of the delivery, some sort of stomach bug should do the trick (maybe mention the chinese takeaway you had the night before). Best bet is to make the call the first thing you say that morning as your throat will be dry and you'll genuinely sound ill (bonus points if the HR person says you sound awful). Your exemplary attendance record will mean no suspicions are raised.

    You can then put your feet up, watch Bargain Hunt and so forth while your battery is delivered and your holiday allocation remains unaffected!

    Of course, I've never done this myself, it's just an idea I heard mentioned one time in a pub...

  • avatar John Topley
    30 August 2006 at 09:09

    Quite frankly I'm speechless, Mr Conners!

  • avatar John C
    30 August 2006 at 10:55

    Ha ha! :)

  • avatar Kim
    01 September 2006 at 14:07

    I am surprised that you can't get stuff delivered to work. I saw one of the developers for your organisation signing for a guitar and a package of screws in the last two weeks.

    After 8 years I obviously still don't have a full grasp of all the Java APIs yet!

  • avatar John Topley
    01 September 2006 at 14:32

    Hey Kim, no complete heart failure then...? And how's the horse?

Sorry is often the hardest word to say, especially if you’re in Cupertino it seems.


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