Hi. My name is Mark Chisholm. I work in public relations, and happen to be part of the team that gets to support ComputerCare. This blog post is a little bit different because I wanted to share my first-hand experience of having my laptop’s battery replaced.
I have a MacBook Air. It’s my primary work laptop, and I find it light and really easy to use. It’s a five-year-old mid-2012 model, and (thanks to the case I keep it in) it still looks and works very well. I don’t do anything too taxing on my Air; in fact, I primarily use just six or seven applications, like Outlook for email, Word, Excel and PowerPoint for documents, Google Chrome as my web browser, Slack for internal messaging and Spotify for music. I occasionally joke with my boss that I’d like to upgrade to a newer machine, but all in all this has been an incredibly reliable laptop that more than meets my needs.
Old battery: Only 2 hours on a full charge
Like many people, I generally have my laptop’s AC plugged in when I’m at the office, so battery life is never an issue. But at home, where I also frequently use my computer, I noticed a sudden drop in battery life over the past couple of months. It wasn’t terrible, but it was enough that I’d try to extend it by turning off Slack and lowering screen brightness. Even then I was only getting a couple of hours out of it without the power cord.
When I saw a ‘service battery’ message pop up I was naturally a bit more concerned, so I tried resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) to see if that would help. I’d recommend trying that first if you’re having similar battery problems (link to Apple Support’s SMC reset instructions here), but it didn’t work for me, so I knew it was likely to be a battery hardware issue.
The good folks at ComputerCare in Seattle kindly ran some diagnostics on my laptop and quickly identified the battery problem, which would unfortunately require a replacement. All I needed to provide ComputerCare was the model number and serial number of the laptop, and they ordered the appropriate replacement battery. Keep in mind that these are 100 percent genuine Apple parts, so ComputerCare sources them directly from Apple.
Email confirmation: My replacement battery was on the way.
I could have left my laptop there, but I hadn’t done a back-up of the data, so I decided to take it with me and wait a few days while the replacement battery was being shipped. When the day arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from ComputerCare’s Seattle team, confirming that my battery was in stock and they were ready to repair it as soon as I could drop it off. I proceeded to clean up my files and back everything up to iCloud as well as to a large capacity USB thumb drive. The back-up process took longer than I’d expected, but it was still less than an hour, total, and I could keep working while it did that in the background.
When I arrived at ComputerCare’s Seattle office (on 2nd Ave in Belltown), I filled out some simple paperwork and fully expected to leave my laptop for a few days. To my surprise, I was told that it would only take 30 minutes if I was willing to wait. So, after a quick walk down to Drip City Coffee for a drink, I was back to pick up my laptop. I signed some more paperwork and paid for the repairs, and it was done. Did I mention how quick and painless that was?
New battery: Almost 8 hours on a full charge
Needless to say, I’m a very happy camper right now. My battery can last almost an entire work day without being plugged in, and I don’t have to worry about dimming the screen or turning off any apps. And even though I had prepared a spare laptop, I ended up not needing to use one (but I’d still recommend making a back-up of your data, just in case).
Ultimately, I’m really glad that I’ll be able to get at least another year or two out of this laptop. The whole repair process was quick, painless and cost-effective. That’s music to my (and my boss’) ears.
Finally, a big shout out to the team at ComputerCare in Seattle. Everyone was courteous, helpful, professional, knowledgeable and fast.