Apple’s Quality Program E1 — Exchange and Repair Extension Program

Apple: Typically, a device used to seduce men — usually equipped with display screens and/or worms.

Last year, my MacBook Pro started to have serious problems. That the keyboard was frickly wasn’t new — that seemed to be a design problem (Apple’s keyboards of the late-2016 MacBook Pro’s being especially susceptible to dust and dirt). But the screen had problems. And then it failed completely. Just started with a black screen (in a dark room, you could dimly make out the screen). But an external monitor still worked, and I was pressed for time, so my MacBook Pro became an overpriced Mac mini.

Until it did not start anymore.

At that time, I had already made (a couple of) backups, and — seeing that my MacBook Pro was my single point of failure (the one device that could completely annihilate my workflow if it failed) — had made sure I had an replacement. Might seem strange, but just look at families who depend on their car and who have two for that very reason. If one has to be repaired or fails completely, life still goes on.

It took me a while to get my MacBook Pro repaired. The Apple partner in Lübeck got a dismal reputation. Reading the reviews on Google Maps reminded me of Gravis in Bonn. Same issue. Gave me the impression of being arrogant, greedy and … not someone I would trust my hardware with.

So I made an appointment with the Apple Store in Hamburg. Takes me about 2 hours train journey (I don’t have a car), but was well worth it.

No idea what the name of the heavily tattooed guy at the Genius Bar was, but he diagnosed the problem quickly and competently. Even better, given that these were problems that are covered under Apple’s Quality Program E1 — Exchange and Repair Extension Program — it did not cost me anything. (Save being heartbroken that my MacBook Pro got a new top case which replaced a large part of its components — akin to the Ship of Theseus problem — and the usual stress of having to get to Hamburg after work, and the like. On the other hand, it was very useful to point out a serious problem in my infrastructure.)

If that wasn’t impressive (well, on the other hand, I did pay a lot, so if there is a design problem, Apple should fix it) and somewhat surprisingly — the repairs were done in less than 24 hours.

Couldn’t believe it myself, but went to Hamburg the next day and my MacBook Pro is up and running again.

Used the opportunity to try out macOS Catalina, but that’s another story.

But yeah, actually a good customer experience. Yeah. And if you have problems with your Apple devices (no matter whether iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc.) — have a look at Apple’s Quality Program E1 — Exchange and Repair Extension Program — it might be covered by extended warranty.