Recently, I noticed that my battery for my aging Macbook was starting to bulge in the middle, along its length1. I Googled around and saw other folks complaining of the same thing, and that there was some recall program that ended in 2009 where Apple would replace your battery for free. My Macbook was bought in 2007 by someone else, and I bought it off them used a couple years ago, so it was definitely made in the time frame where the recall program would include it.

However, I didn’t figure I’d be able to get a replacement for free since the program ended. I took it in to see a Genius at the Apple Store today, though, just to see if it posed a safety risk. If it did, I was going to replace it. Otherwise, I figured I’d keep my bulgy battery and be happy until I bought a new Macbook a couple years from now. The Apple Genius I saw told me they could send off my old battery and I could buy a replacement for $99, but I told her I would just keep the battery since I figured I’d replace the laptop itself before too long anyway, if the battery was going to be very expensive. I asked if they offered any student discounts and she said they did, but she never got around to telling me what the discount would be because she went and got a new battery and plunked it into my Macbook. I thought she was going to try something out, or maybe be pushy about having me replace the bulgy battery, but she said she had decided to give me the new battery. I had to ask for how much, not hoping she meant for free, but she totally did. She was all smiles and told me how it’s in their discretion to give products away for free to customers on occasion. She said me and Jon seemed like nice people, the bulgy battery was weird, and she understood wanting to wait and just buy a new laptop in a couple years rather than buy a new battery for my old laptop now. I thanked her profusely and told her I’d definitely post online about this. I imagine it’s definitely to Apple’s benefit to allow such giveaways because of the good P.R. it generates. It also helps guarantee that, in the future, when I go to buy a new computer, I’ll think of Apple first. So I didn’t have to pay $130 for a battery on the wall in the store, or $99 for a battery if I sent my old one back, but instead got it for $0. Pretty sweet.

1 Is it a sign of a dirty mind that I write so many innuendo-filled phrases, or is it a sign of a dirty mind that I write so many innocuous phrases that I only think are innuendo-filled?