Apple Launches Macbook Bottom Case Replacement Program (June 1, 2011)

Posted: May 31, 2011 by Mike Hubbartt in Press Announcements
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By Mike Hubbartt, © Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved.

May 31, 2011

I needed a new laptop, so I bought a Macbook on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving in the US) in 2009. I wanted to use Mac and Windows applications on it for my classes, so a low end Mac laptop was a better choice than a Wintel unit. It was great when I started using it but I noticed that the rubber on the bottom of the case started started separating in the summer of 2010, and it looked like an overheated battery was causing the problem.

I wanted to take the laptop in but I had to wait until the end of the UST Spring semester (the middle of May), so you can guess I was pleased to read the May 31st newsletter from ZDNet, as it had a short piece announcing that Apple was launching a program to replace the bottom of Macbook laptops bought between October 2009 and April 2011.

There are 3 options for qualified Macbook owners: take the laptop to an Apple store, contact an authorized Apple repair facility, or order the part and replace it yourself. I chose the third option and since I had an Apple ID and the laptop serial number (found by using ‘About this Mac’), the process was quick and relatively painless. Apple sent a followup email 10 minutes after I ordered the replacement part, confirming that it would ship and providing a repair ID.

I’ve found Apple to be responsive to equipment issues in the past – my iMac had a bad power supply and they replaced the power supply and main board for free, even though the unit was well out of warranty. I do wish they responded faster if people have seen this issue since October of 2009, but I’m glad they did respond and they gave us several options to address the issue.

I hope the new part arrives this week and will update this article with the details about replacing the part as soon as possible.

UPDATE 6/1/2011

Talk about responsive! The part arrived this morning, in less than 24 hours from the time I initially contacted Apple on May 31st. It was sent priority overnight and the box has the parts plus a return shipping tag. I am impressed. Big time kudos, Apple.

The box (part no. 661-5975) had a new cover, decent instructions on to replace the cover, a small screw driver, and 10 replacement screws. The only tricky part was getting the bottom cover off – I nicked a finger while pulling up on the back of the cover, but otherwise everything went well.

IMPORTANT: Be sure and read the instructions if you replace your own cover, because you need to write the serial number from the old cover on the new bottom plate.

NOTE: Apple includes a pre-printed return label, so all you need to do is repackage the old part and drop it off at a FedEx office. Kudos for making this so simple.

It took me a total of 10 minutes to replace the cover and restart my Macbook – very simple if you can use a screw driver. It is nice to have this fixed, as it drew a few comments when I did take it to school.

Thanks to Apple for addressing this issue for older laptops, for making multiple replacement options available to your customers, and for sending the part so fast. And yes, I did keep that free screw driver.

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