6 Replies Latest reply: Jul 3, 2011 8:21 AM by talaplace Branched to a new discussion.
sgeersen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
i have been browsing these forums to gather information on the swollen battery problem.

sydney australia:
my battery swelled up a few days ago, rendering the trackpad/clickpad useless (17" macbook pro early 2008). i took it in to the apple store, knowing that people around the world are having the same problem, and having their batteries swapped.

two different apple stores in sydney, two different "genius" bar staff, two different answers, neither offering to replace the battery.

one said that as the battery was a "consumable" it's not covered. i argued that the battery wasn't "consumed" as i can hold charge for 2 hours or more. rather the battery is defective, as on one day i had a working battery, the next i had a battery that won't fit inside my mac. staff member told me to buy a new battery.

2nd genius bar staff member tried to tell me that the batteries are "designed" to swell. rubbish. why then, is this problem intermittent, with only some users experiencing the issue? surely if they were designed to swell, every single macbook owner would have this problem?
staff member told me he could sell me a new battery at $127 instead of $199. so clearly apple are aware of the swelling issue and offering discounted batteries to customers who suffer from this problem. i think this is an attempt to dodge legal responsibility under australian consumer law for what is a defective product.

i have an hp laptop that is 8 years old. it can't hold charge for more than 5 minutes, but the battery doesn't leak and it doesn't swell. my two iphones don't swell. my three ipods never swelled and one of those is older than my macbook.

the product is clearly defective. the manual does not warn that the battery will swell. there is no press release saying "don't worry, this is 'normal'". there is no whitepaper i can find that lists swelling as a technical design feature of the macbook pro battery. and yet staff say that it is a design feature? and i am supposed to accept that without any documentation?

there was a recall and swap program in place, that has now ended. apple, you can't have it both ways. if you recalled defective batteries and NOW try to tell me that sorry, they were actually designed to do that, then something suspicious is going on. my battery comes from the same time period for which you offered replacements. just because my battery swelled now instead of back then, i should not be excluded from the program.
if there is someone on this forum that can help me, then i would be most appreciative. if any apple store staff from sydney read this, i ask that you reply so that i can set up another genius bar appointment to have the battery swapped.

if apple refuse to swap a battery that is clearly defective, and apple sydney staff continue to ignore the hundreds (thousands?) of cases around the world where people are receiving replacement batteries for no charge, i will have no choice but to submit the case to NSW fair trading and the CTTT. i am happy to trawl forums for every user/post who HAS had their battery swapped, and print these for the CTTT's reference.

as a loyal apple user i am extremely disappointed with the ad-hoc approach to battery issues, where some users in some cities have their batteries replaced, no questions asked, and others have to jump through hoops just to be acknowledged.

i await a response from apple, official or otherwise, on this or the many other forums on which i will be posting this issue.


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • 1. Re: yet another "swollen battery / difficultly with apple staff" problem
    JeroenHMG Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    A swollen battery is under no circumstance "normal", it could actually be dangerous. The staff did the wrong thing. Ring Apple.

    Look around the net for battery explosion &fire videos in Apple and Dell laptops.

    Something has changed at the stores in the last 18 months or so and certainly not for the better.
  • 2. Re: yet another "swollen battery / difficultly with apple staff" problem
    JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)
    sgeersen wrote:
    i await a response from apple, official or otherwise, on this or the many other forums on which i will be posting this issue.

    I wouldn't hold your breath. Apple will not post/respond in this forum, they won't call or email you because they saw this thread. This is a user-to-user discussion board and on the Terms of Use (oddly that you saw today when you made the account) says just that.

    I agree with the above poster, give Apple a call. There's never been any consistency with Apple's policy on covering products. What's covered for Customer A isn't covered for Customer B somewhere else.
  • 3. Re: yet another "swollen battery / difficultly with apple staff" problem
    davidfromburleson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same problem today...I took my MacBook in because I found that I have the swelling battery and it was causing my mousepad to screw up. They looked at it and said, yep you've got a swelled battery. Then they told me they are no longer replacing them for free; I would have to buy it myself. I told them that's not right; I had done the research and found that pple knew there was a problem and had been replacing them. She said they are not doing that anymore. They put my old battery in and I left and immediately called Apple.

    The person I spoke with on the phone at first acted like he didn't know anything about the swelled batteries, but then admitted it was a problem a few years ago, and mine is not covered. I purchased mine in Sep 2008.


    When I got home and tried to use my MacBook, it was worse after they had messed with it. I called Apple again and explained. I was transfered to a "senior" tech support rep. He gave me the run around too at first and compared my battery to running cr tires too long..what? He said it was like getting a bulge on a tire and needing to replace it becuase it is old. Any tires I have ever had that developed a bubble were replaced for free by the tire store I use. He asked me to look at the cycles on my battery...it was 208; far from the end of it's life. Even it was old, it should not have swelled and caused mousepad problems.

    So then he does admit that there was problem with swelling batteries at one time and they were replacing batteries for free, but not anymore. Really? So I have the same problem that many,many others had but now they will not replace mine! Some customer service.

    I could get that kind of sevice from Dell or HP.

    I am extemely irritated with Apple about this issue...it's not about the money, but the principal of the issue. They had a know issue a few years ago and obviuosly I have on of those batteries that is a problem...but yet they will not satisfy a customer that has 8 Apple products in his household.

    What has happened to Apple?

  • 4. Re: yet another "swollen battery / difficultly with apple staff" problem
    Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (30,410 points)

    "i await a response from apple, official or otherwise, on this or the many other forums on which i will be posting this issue."


    That could be quite a wait for a response "official or otherwise," as this is a user-to-user forum; the only Apple employees here are the Hosts who keep the forums from falling over, and break up the occasional virtual donnybrook when we drink too much. They cannot read every post.


    See if Apple have a corporate presence in Australia, and  if they have a Customer Relations section. CR is a higher support echelon tha teh peope you've encountered. if they don't have a CR section in Oz, I suggest writing to that section at Apple World HQ in Cupertino CA. The mailing address is in the contact page of the Apple web site.


    For the person in Burleson (Texas, I presume?), call Apple Customer Relations at 1-800-767-2775. Be calm and have documentation at hand. Emotions don't play well in that setting. Telling them you have multiple Apple products is OK; ranting won;t get you anywhere.

  • 5. Re: yet another "swollen battery / difficultly with apple staff" problem
    davidfromburleson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was calm and cordial with all three people I spoke with today, even though they gave me the run around and basically lied to me. I have a feeling Apple has put everyone up to this since they have had to replace so many for free.

    I'm an Application / Sales Engineer in the semiconductor industry and work with many IC manufacuring customers around the world and I would never treat them the way Apple representatves treated me today.

    I will be calling Customer Relations tomorrow...

  • 6. Re: yet another "swollen battery / difficultly with apple staff" problem
    talaplace Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My Late 2008 MacBook battery got swollen and blocking the trackpad.. another case with swollen macbook battery issue.  wanted to record.  I took it to Genius bar they simply said its out of apple warranty. you have to buy a new one ..

    Model No. a1280



    MacBook, mac OS X(10.5.8), Late 2008, 2.2GHz 13"